As I’m writing this, it’s the middle of September. The weather is still warm but this is the transitionary month. Temperatures start dropping at night making night time bike rides less pleasant or at the very least, more complex in terms of clothing. Swimming pools and oceans get brisk overnight limiting the amount of cardio activities we can do. Daylight savings time switches before Halloween to ensure that you see no sun when you get off work.
The colder temperatures ramp up your metabolism making for a voracious appetite that is not satisfied with light summer salads anymore. The cold also warrants heavier clothes that disguise your figure, masking any weight gain that comes from the food-laden Holidays coming to intensify the positive-feedback-loop of eating-more that makes you… well… want to eat more. (This is why obesity is so hard to counter. Eating a massive meal doesn’t make you want to eat less the next day, it makes you want to eat more overall. It’s a vicious cycle.)
Don’t be a ragdoll to these seasonal changes. Own them. Be cognizant of them. Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean you must gain 10-20 pounds. No you won’t. It’s normal to gain some weight, but don’t go off the rails, gaining so much weight that it takes a dire 6 months to lose them.
- You will maintain your consistency.
- You will figure out how to go to the gym or workout at home to counter the stiffness and stagnation that the cold and darkness invite.
- You will watch my yoga videos or flexibility programs and strength train at home or the gym! 😉
- You will practice intermittent fasting for the half dozen Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners you get invited to.
So during those festive dinners, don’t eat in the morning and abstain as long as possible even in the afternoon, to make the giant dinner much more appropriate. One-meal-a-day works very well in these circumstances. If you do that, you won’t be able to cram as much food in your stomach anyway, since it’s elastic and you haven’t been making it stretch out.
By doing these simple things, you will not succumb to the yo-yo effects of dieting nor have to resort to extreme bulking/cutting cycles. Make proper diet choices that set you up for the long run. Strength train consistently regardless of the seasons and continually get stronger.
Consistency is the most important thing
A bad training routine THAT YOU STICK TO beats the most professionally created, well thought out, optimal training plan that you DON’T stick to. It’s similar to the quote: Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.
To maintain consistency with your strength training, simply have a notepad or log and put it out there in front of you, visible on your desk or common area of your home to remind you of your workout. It can be as simple as putting a check mark next to an exercise and you need to do 3 check marks a week, or as complex as writing down the # of reps you are doing for each exercise and the date and rate of perceived effort (RPE 1-10 out of 10) for the day. You be the judge of what satisfies your mental masturbation.
You can even just print a calendar and simply put a big X across the day you workout and the more X’s you visually see, the better! The point is, keep a log of some sort as it helps solidify the plan and keep it in sight to help you remember to do it.
Update: If you’re looking for a SIMPLE AND VERY EFFECTIVE workout plan for your upper body, then click here for the minimal workout program!