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While for some, Summer may mean parties, picnics and lounging on the beach, use the good weather to your advantage, and get outside to do your training.
If there’s one thing that everyone wants for Summer, it’s the perfect beach body.

If you spent your Winter and spring lazing on the couch watching TV, and stuffing yourself with junk food, while avoiding the gym at all costs, then it’s a little late now to sculpt an Adonis-like body, but you can still make some positive physique and health changes this Summer.

Image source: Flickr


However, if there’s somewhere you want to train that involves a short drive, then go for it. You’ll be amazed how location can affect your training. Working out somewhere peaceful, with pleasant scenery and the Sun high in the sky will make you work harder, and get much more out of your session.

2. Base it on Body-Weight

As I touched upon earlier, body-weight training is a fantastic way of getting fit and working hard. Basic exercises like push ups, sit ups and crunches are fine, but use your imagination too. A simple full body body-weight circuit consisting of squats, glute bridges, planks, push ups and inverted rows, each performed for 10 reps is a great way to ease yourself into body-weight training.

Once you get more advanced, you can step it up a notch. For your lower body, try single leg squats, reverse lunges, single leg glute bridge raises, side planks, leg lifts, elevated push ups and chin ups. There are no limitations to body-weight training, and it can be as easy or as difficult as you need it to be.

3. Invest in Equipment

There’s no need to buy any equipment, buy if you do want a bit more variety in your workout, have a look for a few simple bits of equipment.

Resistance bands are ideal for this. They’re lightweight, portable and durable, and allow you to perform hundreds of exercises. You can add them to your body weight exercises to increase the resistance and make them harder, or use them on their own for exercises like good mornings, pull aparts, face pulls and X-band walks.

If you’re training close to home, or driving to your training location, kettlebells are perfect. Kettlebells are more suited to outdoor training than dumbbells, as they’re designed to be used as single weights, rather than needing to be used as a pair. They also provide a more cardiovascular and fitness based workout than dumbbells do. Start by learning kettlebell swings, then progress to snatches, cleans, jerks, presses, windmills and Turkish get ups.

Kettlebells come in 4 kilogram increments. Women should start with an 8kg and 12kg, while men should go for a 12kg and 16kg. More advanced trainers may benefit from heavier weights, but you can always add to your collection as you get stronger.

4. Use Your Location

This is where your location choice becomes more important. Training in a park or your garden can be really effective, but try different locations for different challenges. For example, if you can make it to the beach, you’ve got the opportunity to try sand sprints. These are brutal, and will torch your leg muscles while burning a huge number of calories. Running through woods and up hills is also more beneficial than jogging along roads, and play parks and jungle gyms can be great for training. Use the climbing frames to attach resistance bands too, or do push ups, chin ups, and hanging leg raises while holding onto the bars.

5. Train with Friends

Summer’s a time to be sociable, so make your workouts into an occasion. If you’re planning a barbecue or picnic with friends, then get everyone together an hour beforehand to do a group workout. You’ll all work harder and push each other, have great fun, and you’ll certainly earn your calories for the meal afterwards.

  • “Is Bodyweight Training Effective for Building Muscle?” by Jason Ferruggia. Accessed on July 3rd, 2012. Retrieved from http://jasonferruggia.com/is-bodyweight-training-effective-for-building-muscle/
  • Photo courtesy of coolinsights on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/coolinsights/6032969539