The worst feeling in the world is to make progress toward a goal and then take two huge steps backwards because you weren’t prepared. Summer is only a few weeks away, and we’re all feeling the pressure to whip ourselves into shape! Here are 5 of the most important rules for getting lean and looking your best!

 

  1. YOUR TRAINING SHOULD BE PROGRESSIVE

 

If you start your training program at 100% effort, you’ll have nowhere to go when you’ve hit a plateau. Now, I’m not suggesting that you slack off at the beginning and then rush to the finish line. I’m telling you that if you design your training program and diet to accommodate your current weight, body-fat level, strength, and endurance, you’ll be able to make more progress for a longer period of time.

 

  1. SO SHOULD YOUR DIET

 

The reason crash diets aren’t a healthy or effective long-term solution to weight loss is that they only produce results for a short period of time before they actually make you look worse than when you started. You should always taper your calories and macronutrient levels according to the progress you make. You can’t expect to make continual progress by sticking to a static diet and training program.

 

  1. KEEP CARBS AROUND WORKOUTS

 

You have the power to choose whether your body is in a fat-burning or muscle-building state. Whenever you want to flip the muscle-building switch, you just need to eat carbs. Carbs will signal your body to release insulin, which helps you build or preserve muscle. For best results, only eat carbs at breakfast, pre, intra, and post weight training.

 

  1. TRAIN TO BUILD MUSCLE

 

Even if you’re a woman who would like to keep a slender look and just lose some unwanted fat, it’s in your best interest to train for muscle mass. Your hormone profile won’t allow you to get “huge” or “manly” and your fat-loss results will dramatically increase. Long story short: If you have more muscle, your food will be used to support that muscle rather than be stored as body fat.

 

  1. DON’T ALWAYS DO HIIT

 

I know, I know. It’s the most effective kind of cardio! You’re right, but if you do it too frequently, you won’t be able to recover, your performance will suffer, and you’ll risk getting injured. Doing HIIT 3 times a week is plenty for most people, and the rest of the time you should be employing other methods when it comes to training for fat loss.

 

 

BONUS: DON’T LOSE MUSCLE WHILE DIETING

 

If you lose all your muscle while dieting, your metabolism is going to suffer and you’ll end up with skinny-fat syndrome! Don’t worry ­— I made this mistake for years until I figured out how to prevent it from happening.

 

One key to maintaining full and shapely muscles is taking BCAA powder at key points throughout your day. I sip it between meals and always drink it while training. I won’t train without it anymore because I can just see the difference in my performance in the gym and the way my body looks.

 

by Kelly Turner

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