Whether you prefer a bikini, square cut, board shorts, or choose to hit the beach in the buff, you cannot deny that swimsuit season is upon us. Here are a few training strategies that will pump vitality into your workouts and help you to spring into a new season of sun and fun in South Florida.

Always remember that a great fitness program is built upon a sound nutritional plan. Try thinking about everything that you put into your mouth and reflect upon the image you want to portray in that new swimsuit! Eat plenty of lean protein like chicken and fish to build muscle. Cut out refined sugar and starches and consume low glycemic index carbs such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to ensure that you have plenty of energy. Processed foods and saturated fats are out!

If you are bored with the same old weight training and cardio routines, so are your muscles…and when they are bored, they refuse to grow bigger and stronger. Never rely on only one type of free weight equipment or cardio station during a workout. In every workout, combine dumbbells, barbells, and cables. Your muscles need a variety of forms and movements to be challenged, breakdown and grow. For example, when blasting chest, you may want to do barbell flat bench presses, dumbbell incline presses and cable crossovers. As far as cardio goes, begin with a recumbent bike, switch to a Precor and try out the stair stepper when you are bold enough. Calculate your target heart rate and work your way into the fat burning zone and keep it there for 20 minutes or so.

Stretching your muscles is great for injury prevention and it can help you build muscle. Like any muscle movement, stretching helps in its own way to break down stubborn muscle fiber, prevent the build up of painful adhesions, and build new muscle. Remember to stretch and tightly flex after each set of exercises the muscle group you have just worked.  Light overall stretching session before and after your workout, is a must.

Turn the heat up on your cardio by adding a burst of power and speed at brief intervals. This is basically what interval training is all about. If you’re on a treadmill or Precor, for example, this will mean bumping up to a minute of intense activity at a higher speed every 10 minutes or so according to your ability. These high intensity intervals interspersed into your already challenging routine will help you reach a higher level of cardiovascular fitness. This is also a great way to burn fat and tone up those leg muscles.

As with any form of hard work, it is good to reward yourself as you see progress happening. Therefore, go shopping! Replace those tired, baggy, sweat stained, workout clothes with gear that shows off that body of yours.

Photo by Ben Mack from Pexels