Your Ultimate Summer Workout Plan
- By Joe Decker
- For Active.com
Summer is right around the corner. It’ll be time to shed your clothes, put on your swim trunks, and hit the beach. Ahhh, such a liberating experience; unless of course you’ve sat around and accumulated a hefty amount of junk in your trunk. If so, you may find yourself looking at your reflection hoping it’s actually a circus mirror.
Never fear, you’ve still got a few weeks until the Fourth of July and plenty of time to repair the damage. But you’ve got to do it now! No more procrastinating! Here’s your ultimate summer workout plan, and it all starts with the commitment to yourself.
OK, so you’ve made up your mind to get in shape. What next? You must have a plan. “Fail to plan and you will plan to fail,” as the saying goes. Keep a basic monthly calendar on your fridge. That way, every morning when you get up and walk into the kitchen, you’ll see what your daily fitness appointment is that day. Treat this as an important—a cannot-be-missed meeting. It’s that important; and yes, you are worth it.
I’m committed so what’s the plan? I’ve been doing this fitness stuff for many years. It’s my passion and my life, but I’ve had speed bumps too. Throughout most of these years I’ve had a basic weekly plan that I’ve followed. It’s the same one we teach daily at my boot camp company, Gut Check Fitness. You don’t need a gym or any fancy equipment. All you need is your imagination, a little fire in your stomach and a few pounds of determination.
If you’re truly serious about getting fit and shredding some weight, I recommend you try working out at least 5 days a week. Consistency is the name of the game. Get yourself some cool, comfortable workout gear and a good pair of running shoes. The last thing you’ll need is a pair of dumbbells (or a 2-liter bottle, a heavy book, brick or jar lying around your house if you don’t have the equipment). Most guys use 15 to 25-pounds and the gals use 8 to 12 pounds.
Next is the workout plan. I’ll break down a week for you to give you an idea of how it works. The goal is for you to take this format, get creative, and build your own plan.
Start out with five to 10 minutes of walking or jogging to get warmed up. It’s time for some bodyweight calisthenics. There are a few ranges you can work with. Beginners may want to start with less and the more advanced fitness folks can use the upper range. We’re going to do two sets of 10 (beginners) to 50 (advanced) of each exercise. Go through the list and do each exercise one time with 10 jumping jacks in between. Then do the circuit again.
- Pull-ups (regular or modified)
- Sit-ups or crunches
- Speed skaters
- Alternating lunges
- Leg lifts
Repeat and remember to do the 10 jumping jacks between each exercise. Finish it off with five to 10 minutes jogging or walking and 10 to 15 minutes of stretching.
It’s time for hill or stair repeats. Always remember to start with a five to 10 minute warm-up and finish with a five to 10 minute cool down and 10 to 15 minutes of stretching. Find a hill or set of stairs—the steeper the better. I always say, “Gravity and fat are bitter enemies and one’s gotta give!” We’re hoping it’s the fat. You can do 20 to 30 minutes of straight repeats up and down or change it up. I like to do forward up, then backward. Do side shuffles. Add a burpee every 10 feet. Change it up and have fun.
Bring out your dumbbells (or makeshift dumbbells if you don’t have equipment—there’s no excuse not to get moving!). Do your warm up then do two sets of either 10 or 50 reps of each exercise. It’s your choice. This time you’re going to add a 100 meter jog between each exercise. Here we go:
- Dumbbell squat/curl/press (all one motion)
- Dumbbell alternating lunges
- Sit-ups/crunches with a dumbbell
- Dumbbell flies
- Dumbbell squats
- Dumbbell bent over rows
- Dumbbell deadlifts
- Overhead triceps extensions
- Dumbbell Hammer curls
- Flutter kicks
Finish off with a cool down and some stretching.
“I feel the need, the need for speed!” is what you should tell yourself today. It’s time to pick it up. You can do this work out on a track, at the park or around your neighborhood. It should be about 20 to 30 minutes. Jog a couple laps to warm up. Run each distance with about a minute break in between. Start with 100 meters. Then go to 200 meters. Or start at 400 meters and go to 800 meters then work your way back down 800 meters to 400 meters or 200 meters to 100 meters. Remember to modify the workout to your fitness level. You can take away or add. I like to add 1200 meters and 1600 meters to this pyramid. Do a couple cool down loops and stretch.
The weekend is almost here, so let’s end the week with a bang. This time you’re going to take all the exercises from Monday and Wednesday and put them together on one list. The goal is to go through the list only one time, but to do as many reps of each one as you can. Nothing to it, right? Do an exercise then 10 jumping jacks. Then do another exercise and run 100 meters. Then do another exercise and follow it up with five burpees. Repeat this between each exercise. This is a barn burner that’ll really get your heart rate up, burn calories fast and keep it fun.
That’s all there is to it. Now you can take this format and use the basic outline for the next four to six weeks. Take ownership of it. Make it yours. Add things that you like or remove those you don’t. My motto is, “The worse it is, generally the better it is for me.” The goal of this workout is to shock your body and really get you fired up. The sky is the limit, so remember: you get out of it what you put into it. Have fun and get after it. Can I get a Gut Check?!
Active Expert, Joe Decker is an ultra-endurance power athlete and renowned fitness trainer who has helped thousands of people get into shape. He has completed many of the world’s toughest endurance events, including the Badwater 135, and the Grand Slam of Ultra Running. In 2000, Joe broke the Guinness World Records? Twenty-four-hour Physical Fitness Challenge to help inspire and motivate people to get fit. He is recognized as “The World’s Fittest Man.” Visit his website at www.joe-decker.com. You can also sign up for a customized strength training planby Joe on Active Trainer.