Congratulations everyone, we survived the daylight saving change, and therefore we’ve more or less survived winter. Spring is here, and therefore it’s just about time for a vacation somewhere warm. With water. And swimsuits. For some people, that’s sure to bring some butterflies. You just spent three months in what we will lovingly call “fluffy season” – aka that time of year where cookies and wine sound better than workouts and water. The good news is that a spring break body plan can still get you ready for your big vacation. You’ll need to really commit, but with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to feel confident on the beach at the end of March.
You can certainly follow a water and carb intake plan in the last few days to look a little bit leaner, but this spring break body plan is more focused on taking sustainable lifestyle choices and adding a degree of intensity. Nothing crazy – just hard work and smart choices for the next three weeks.
Spring Break Body Plan | Nutrition
You know we focus on a holistic nutrition plan day in and day out here at ISN. If you’re really focused on leaning out for an event like a vacation, however, there are a few tricks you can employ on your spring break body plan.
Count your macros
Repeat after me: counting your macros WORKS. It is not the only way to reach your goals by any stretch, but if you actually weigh and measure your food, counting your macros works wonderfully well. It ensures you’re getting the correct amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in order to lean out and look your best.
We recommend working with a coach if you’re going to go the counting your macros route for your spring break body plan. Taking a wild shot in the dark is not an option when you’re under a time crunch. Bite the bullet, pay the money, and work with a certified nutrition coach to get your plan built.
use nutrient timing
The idea behind nutrient timing is simple – you eat particular nutrients (fat, carbohydrates, protein) at specific times. If the goal for your spring break body is to look leaner, your nutrient timing strategy is focused primarily on carbohydrate intake.
You want to stack as many of your carbs around your workout as possible. If you workout in the morning, this can mean a quick dose of RedLeaf pre-workout and a piece of fruit before you workout, then a large serving of oatmeal and an omelet after. The rest of the day you will focus on consuming lean protein sources, vegetables, and healthy fats. You can mix in a bit of high fiber fruit such as any type of berry, and apples. Stay way from starchy carbohydrates except for around your workout.
The last tip is to employ intermittent fasting as you lead up to your vacation. Twice per week, preferably on your rest days, skip breakfast and only eat in an eight hour window. For many people this is done either 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, or 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Choose an eight our window and stay attentive to your nutrient timing, as well! If you’re doing intermittent fasting this means staying away from starchy carbohydrates during this time, as well.
We said this works, we didn’t say it is easy.
Spring Break Body | Workouts
Nutrition is the most important factor during your quest for a spring break body. However, you can help yourself along the way by focusing on getting effective, intense workouts in throughout the week.
Crank up the intensity
It’s important to allow your body to recover between workouts (we’ll get to that in a minute) but there is also a time to push yourself harder than usual. That time is now.
If you’ve been doing less than three intense workouts per week it is time to add a session in. If you’re already doing that, focus on how much you’re pushing during your workouts. Has your motivation waned a little bit, and you’re leaving more in the tank than you could?
If you’re really giving it your all, carry on as usual. We don’t need you throwing up in your workouts to see results.
add in cardio
We can take a cue from the body building world when trying to lean out, and add some extra steady state cardio into your workout plan. This doesn’t need to be 30 minutes of sprints. Hop on a stationary bike for 30 minutes at a moderate pace. Go for a long walk with your dog. Do moderate paced rowing until you’ve gotten a good sweat.
This additional steady state cardio will not only increase your overall energy expenditure for the day (aka how many calories you’ve burned), but also improve your recovery, as well. Recovery actually matters a lot for your quest for a spring break body. You don’t improve your fitness while working out. You improve your fitness during the recovery from working out. Helping your recovery helps your fitness. Helping your fitness helps give you that spring break body you’ve been looking for.
Speaking of recovery…
We just said recovery is super important. Let me say it again. RECOVERY IS SUPER IMPORTANT. When you are on a quest to improve how you look and feel, you have to prioritize recovery. Here are three easy ways:
- Get eight hours of sleep, or at minimum seven and a half. Turn off the television, establish a nightly routine, and make the sleep happen.
- Focus on hydration. Not being hydrated ruins your recovery (your body is mainly water, after all) so drink over 1/2 of your body weight in ounces, each day.
- Create a mobility sequence you can do daily. This can be stretching or foam rolling at the end of the night, or a mobility flow. These are found all over YouTube, and are pretty fun.
Spring Break Body Plan | The not-fun-part
If you really, really want to get your spring break body, here’s some bad news: you’re going to need to really limit the booze.
Alcohol can play an important role in connecting with friends and family. However, your goal right now is for peak performance and peak appearance. Sacrifice the beer, wine, and shots, and focus on your spring break body.
This is the year you’re proud of what you show off on the beach.