Getting Your Best Bod for Summer

By: Lindsay Finch

The weatherman is predicting warm temperatures, and soon you’ll want to be able to fit in to last year’s summer clothes. However, with that holiday weight gain, pulling those shorts on might be a tight task. 

Getting into a routine after not doing anything for some time can be tough. It can be challenging not really knowing how intense you should start out or what movements you can do. We here at The Squire interviewed fitness fanatic and gym owner of Peak Performance, Mike Norris, on how to approach burning off the extra calories.

The Squire: When is the best time to start working for your summer bod?

Mike Norris: You at least want to give yourself 3-6 months. I would say February is a good time, January and December are holiday months, making it really hard to start anything.

TS: What are the top three exercises that are the best to do for getting the bod you want?

MN: Any type of cardio (i.e running, biking or rowing, along with burpees) is helpful. Even though most people hate burpees, they are a full body movement and get most muscles working at the same time. Other things you could do include any type of explosive movement that gets your heart rate elevated such as jump roping or box jumps.

TS: How should you eat or diet to be prepared for summer?  How many cheat days should you have a month?

MN: Eating right is tricky. Depending on the person, they may not like certain things or have different tolerances to things. The easiest thing to do is eat whole foods, such as things that can be grown. If you want to get on a diet plan there are a couple good ones, such as Keto, Plaeo or Whole 30. It can be tough to stay away from those foods that taste so good but are not very good for you. The trick is to allow yourself one day a week that you can have some those things you enjoy. But the important thing is that you still limit how much you have; you don’t want to overdo it.

TS: What are the benefits of working out on your own verses working out at a gym?

MN: Being a gym owner, I know a lot of the benefits of having a place to go to work out. Here at Peak, you make a set time when you come in, which really helps you stay accountable to actually work out. On the other hand, if you work out at home, you work out whenever you want to. However, from experience, it’s harder to do because the couch or TV is right there, giving you more excuses to put it off.

TS: What are the benefits from doing both cardio and weight lifting?

MN: Both are very important in not just weight loss, but also in overall health and fitness. They play off of each other and having a balance of both is vital. You can’t perform good, sound cardio without having strong muscles. And you can’t perform any weightlifting movement if your heart and lungs can’t support the activity.

TS: How do you purpose to keep the weight off after you lose it?

MN: Keeping the weight is hard. Most people struggle with it because once they reach their goal they stop. So, I suggest to keep challenging yourself with different goals. Find something that helps you keep you working on being as healthy and fit as possible.

Along with this helpful advice, Mike gave us a starter work out that you can do to begin working on your summer bod:

Tabata: 8 rounds, 20 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest

Jump rope, Air squats, Ring rows, Pushups and Sit-ups

Besides professional advice, we asked Eisenhower junior Dakota Chase, an avid weight lifter, what his take is on getting that summer bod. “Meal prep!” he said, meaning that instead of waking up and throwing together a lunch full of not so beneficial foods, you should put together a container of your main dish and then get smaller healthy sides the night before. He also said that you should take advantage of the school’s cardio and weight room because, “the other gym goers can help you with movements, give you tips, and become a great friend!”

So if you’re looking to get fit before this summer weather hits, stop by to see Eisenhower’s athletic director, Mr. Penley, and ask about getting access to the weight room and cardio room. Or, stop Peak Performance in the plaza across from the North Warren Arby’s and chat with Mike about starting a gym membership!

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