James Haskell’s Body Blast: Top fitness tips to get your beach body
Yesterday I wrote about how difficult it can be for you to maintain your New Year’s fitness resolution. It is easy to start with great gusto and then find your motivation and willpower both dwindle. I gave some tips for how to stay strong and also how to avoid picking up some bad habits that will inevitably sabotage your long-term goals.
The summer is really not that far away now. For those of you who want to be in tip top shape for the warmer months, it is vital that you put in the hard work now. Hopefully you are in a positive frame of mind and ready to get back on the healthy wagon (if you had fallen off it) and I have some more advice for getting the best results from all of your hard work.
I am a big advocate of preparation. When I talk about preparation I mean having good healthy food to hand when you are hungry. For example, when you wake up in the morning and you make yourself breakfast, (you should be having breakfast every day – that’s another thing to start adding in to your new regime), look to double up your cooking. So if you cook 2 eggs normally then cook 4 eggs, and take two with you in a Tupperware box to eat later. Same with chicken or other food, if you’re cooking eggs, you can poach some chicken in some hot water at the same time and take it with you. Just always try and help yourself save time. There are some key bits of kit that you can buy yourself to save time and reduce excuses. Things like a rice cooker, Tupperware, and slow cooker. All of this will help you when you’re out and about and the cravings come on, which they do (I get them all the time even after eating well for a long time)!
Make training fun
The next tip I would suggest for you is if you’re going to start training, look to do stuff you’re going to find enjoyable. Do not fall into the trap of going out and running, everyone thinks the first thing they should do is go for a run. It’s what I did when I was younger, and yes you feel good but it’s so boring and will take ages to get results. I drive through London and everyone is running everywhere. It takes very little thought and actually isn’t that good for you; pounding the pavement all the time. I can’t stand long distance running. Some people really enjoy it, but for the rest of us, if you want to get body composition goals it’s not the go-to exercise. If you want to get ripped, get toned, lose weight, you can’t just do running. You need to get yourself into the gym, or if you can’t get into a gym there’s plenty of stuff you can do at home. An example of this is the much-flaunted HiiT style of work out, or High Intensity Training as it’s known in full. It’s basically circuit training, but don’t tell anyone. HiiT sounds much cooler. These can be simple sessions done using your own bodyweight, so you don’t need to have a gym membership. They can be as short as 10/20mins and are very intense. Doing some circuit training at home or in the gym is excellent. I doubt anyone ever got an amazing six-pack and into unbelievable shape by just running. They might get super lean and endurance fit, but I just can’t see it happening, so try and avoid that as your first step. I mentioned playing sport; this is a great way of getting into shape as part of your program. Find a team sport, or a martial art that you like. Boxing and jujitsu are great, as well as five-a-side or rugby with your mates.
Find a fitness partner
Find a partner to embark with you on your new training regime. They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Don’t go through all the torment on your own. If you’ve got someone to train with, you are much more likely to succeed and they will push you as you will push them. When you can’t be bothered to get up and train, your partner should be there to help you get ready. Set yourself mini challenges as this is going to be integral in helping you get results. If you’ve got a wife, partner, husband who could do with getting in shape, then get them to join in with you. Get the household involved in your new fitness training. That means that, for example, the food you have in the house is going to be good, not a mixture of healthy and junk. If both parents are healthy then this transfers over to the kids. So everybody is a winner.
Use the right equipment
If you’re going to start training, get the right equipment. Don’t go out with your old green flash trainers and start lifting weights. You need to support your body. If you have never trained before you need to look after yourself. So investing in some reasonable equipment is a good idea. You don’t need to get all the gear and no idea, but you need to get a few bits to look after yourself. Getting injured is a huge reason that people fail when starting out on their training regimes. Don’t let that be an excuse for why you fail. I would suggest you look at footwear for the job you are trying to do, don’t get all fashion conscious. Functional is always going to be better. I wear various shoes when training: weight shoes, Vibram 5 finger shoes, Crossfit shoes and normal trainers. One rule to remember is that just because you buy all the smart fitness gear and wear it all the time, it doesn’t actually get you fit! I love walking around town spotting people just strolling about in leggings and training tops. They have clearly never ever been near a gym and never intend to go near one. You have to actually do the work. There is no pill or bit of kit that will do it for you… Well not yet anyway.
Track your progress
Another thing is be sure to track your progress; there is nothing better than seeing small improvements to know that you are heading in the right direction. However that doesn’t mean standing on the scales. Get off them; they are not your friend. I will tell you why: you could finish your entire transformation and weigh more than when you started. However you will look 10 times better. So with the scales confined to the attic what should you track? Very simply do it all by eye. Take photographs and take measurements before you start. You can then see your body change. I would then look to repeat this every three weeks. It’s important that you take the photo in the same place at same time of day, or at the very least with the same kind of light. This photo would ideally be in your underwear. You then put them up somewhere where you can see them and use them to keep you heading in the right direction. Measurement wise I would look at chest, thigh, waist and biceps. Again, you should measure these about every three weeks.
I hope you find these tips interesting. I am going to put lots more on my YouTube channel about health and fitness. If you haven’t been on there yet then you need to have a look https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJameshaskell
We also have a series of videos called Master Class, which show you how to do exercises properly. We’ve got tips and recipes that will help you, if you sign up to my mailer at www.jhbodyfire.com you will see all this delivered to your inbox. We will help you through this journey. We want you to be fit. I have even released my own supplement range to help you achieve your goals. If you want to find out more about it then please have a look at www.jhbodyfire.com . I also have some special training packages in the pipeline that will help you get into shape. So watch out and be ready to download them. Please remember, being healthy and fit is about hard work, keeping things simple, and doing sensible things. If someone is selling you a miracle, it’s probably not a reality, so try and avoid it. Good Luck. I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions @JHBodyfire on twitter.