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With the summer more or less upon us, now is the time to crank up your training intensity and make the most of those last few weeks before beach season.

If you’re seriously out of shape, unfortunately you’ve probably left it too late to get ripped for summer. Actually, scrap the “probably” part, you definitely have.

That being said, there’s no reason whatsoever why you can’t start training now. By hitting your new exercise plan hard this summer, you can guarantee you’ll be in awesome shape when beach season rolls around again next year.

For those of you who have been keeping trim through the winter months, now is the time to really crack on, hit your training hard and reap the rewards of the last few weeks before you’ll be strolling round in your bathing suit at the beach or lounging on a sun bed by the pool.

Summer is the perfect time to vary your training too. Rather than being stuck in a stuffy gym, you can get outside and make the most of the glorious weather.

Training Drills

Are you the very definition of hardcore? If so, you’ve got to keep that intensity going right through the summer months. You’ve put in the work the rest of the year, so don’t you dare ease up now just because the barbecues are out and everyone’s calling on you to grab a beer – there’ll be time for that after your workout’s finished.

These drills are not to be taken lightly. They’re for the tough, year-round gym goer, looking to maintain and increase awesome fitness levels over the summer.

1. Hill Sprints

Forget your treadmill and hit the hills.

Hill sprints are brutal and require tremendous mental and physical strength. The premise is simple – find a hill, sprint to the top as fast as you can and walk back down it as “rest.” When you reach the bottom, go again. Repeat until you’ve completed a pre-determined number of “reps,” hit your time limit or simply can’t take any more.

The main benefit of hill sprints, apart from the fact they’ll take your cardio fitness through the roof, is that they strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and calves, burn fat more effectively than going for a jog and are safer and more joint-friendly than sprints on the flat.

2. Trail Runs

During the winter it can be a challenge just to leave your bed in the mornings, let alone get outside and brave the elements in nothing but shorts and a t-shirt. Trail running offers an excellent, far more challenging and interesting option to road running, yet unless you’re prepared to come home dripping wet, covered in mud and frozen to your core, it really is a summer-only activity.

Find some woods or a trail near you and go to town. This really is making the most of the great outdoors.

3. Circuits

Do you usually hit the gym for a circuits class once or twice a week? If you do, it’s time to change your training venue.

Do you really want to be stuck in a boiling hot studio, surrounded my other sweaty gym folk as you go through yet another round of jump lunges, pushups and burpees?

Go to your local park, and do your circuit routine as usual this summer. You can guarantee it’ll be a lot more fun, and the change of scenery will probably spur you on to do more rounds and make your circuits harder, without you really feeling in any more pain than usual!

For an extra challenge, walk to the park and carry some equipment with you – brisk walk with a kettlebell, medicine ball or pair of dumbbells is guaranteed to give you a good warm up, plus you’ll have more equipment to choose from when you’re there.

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