It's hard to believe that summer is almost here. After one of the most brutally cold winters in my memory, I, for one, welcome the warming sun, greening fields, flowering parks and the excitement and energy of the season. Memorial Day, a day to pay tribute to our war heroes, has on a much lighter note signaled the start of the summer season. Someone somewhere also deigned it a day one could officially "start wearing white" again. So, for all those who took advantage of wearing slimming black in the cold, dark days of winter, get ready to bare and share in the more revealing clothes of late spring and summer. Before you pack for the beach, plan your family barbeque, or just mentally make that transition into summer, ask yourself, ARE YOU READY? Have you done everything in your power to make this summer one in which you 'll be presenting your best you? Let's GET KIRSCHED for the summer.
Now that your wardrobe of (slimming) winter black is packed away and replaced by summer whites and pastels, it is time to make an honest assessment of your winter's training and nutrition regimen. It was a long rough winter and if you're like me, there may have been a couple of lapses in your exercise and nutrition regimen. Not to worry, because I will give you the prescription to KIRSCH whatever body part needs that special something. For each of the following express workouts, you will perform the entire circuit without rest in between each exercise. You will do 15-20 repetitions of each exercise (if you've got more in the tank at 15, then push it to 20). Take a 2-3 minute at the end of the circuit, make sure to stay hydrated and repeat the circuit one or two more times.
If you feel that your legs, thighs and/or rear end need more definition, I suggest doing the following Legs and Thighs circuit:
1. REVERSE CROSSOVER LUNGES TO A LATERAL LUNGE
2. PLIE TOE SQUATS WITH MEDICINE BALL FRONT RAISES
3. SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS
4. SUMO LUNGES WITH SIDE KICK TO A SQUAT JUMP
5. REVERSE LUNGE TO A HIGH KICK
6. PLATYPUS WALKS
If you want to get in on the "crop top" trend, then I suggest doing the following Crop Top circuit to tighten your abdominal muscles:
1. STABILITY BALL KNEED TUCKS (FORWARD AND TO THE SIDE)
2. STABILITY BALL PIKES
3. LYING OBLIQUE CRUNCHES
4. STABILITY BALL HANDOFFS
6. SIDE PLANK WITH OBLIQUE CRUNCHES
If your arms, shoulders and back need more shape and tone, below are the best moves for the Shoulders and Back:
1. SPIDERMAN PUSHUPS
2. SINGLE LEG SHOULDER PRESSES
3. PALM TREE LATERALS WITH DUMBBELLS
4. SHADOW BOXING WITH DUMBBELLS
5. PLANK WITH DUMBBELL ROW TO TRICEPS EXTENSION
6. DIAMOND PUSHUPS WITH HIP EXTENSION
On the days you want to switch up your cardio, try the following Quick Cardio Blast workout -- you actually do burn calories on the dance floor.
1. BURPEES WITH A PUSHUP
2. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
3. BOX JUMP SQUATS
4. SHADOW BOXING
5. SWITCH LUNGES
6. PLYOMETRIC PUSHUPS
To support the intensity of these circuits, you will need to pay careful attention to your nutrition regimen as well. I've always advised my clients to follow my A, B, and Cs Rules of Nutrition. The whole notion of diet has really come under a lot of scrutiny lately. My beliefs -- set out in The Ultimate New York Body Plan in 2004 -- for the most part still hold true. I believed and still do that we need to limit consumption of processed foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners and added saturated fats. I will say that I have mellowed a bit since the early 2000s. As a single father of soon-to-be 5-year-old twin girls, we live a life of balance and good choices (sometimes the best of what is available). I have taught my daughters to listen to their bellies. I tell my clients the same thing -- connect your brain and your belly. Are you really hungry? If you stop to ask yourself that question, more often than not, you will not finish what you were eating. Here is list of my favorite things to eat and /or snack on in the summer:
• Farm-fresh greens -- kale, rainbow chard, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, summer squash and cucumbers.
• Fruits -- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, cherries and cantaloupe
• Fresh basil, mint, rosemary, dill and parsley
• Chicken, fresh wild fish and shellfish, and steak
• Treats -- granita (instead of ice cream), homemade frozen fruit pops
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR WHEN YOU WANT LIVE IT UP A LITTLE
• Pizza -- opt for thin-crusted wheat, add a little protein (chicken) and veggies (spinach, mushrooms, broccoli)
• Alcohol -- choose red wine over white and champagne; sip don't slug; drink plenty of water as well. Before you go to sleep, have a glass of coconut water (for the hydration and the potassium)
• Sandwich -- make it an open face so you can lose a slice of bread; go gluten-free; avoid the ketchup and mayo!
• Dinner -- start off with a big mixed green salad with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice; drink 1-2 glasses of water with lemon (it will help curb your appetite).
• Dessert -- the old me would just say no. I have evolved, so I'm going to say, "make smart choices" and taste, don't clean the plate. A bite of something won't totally sabotage your hard work and may just be the reward you need at the end of the day.
• Sleep -- you've got to get your beauty rest. Sleep deprivation can cause a spike in your cortisol levels that has been shown to cause weight gain and in particular, belly bloat. So, to avoid the bloated belly and baggy, tired eyes, make sure to get adequate rest.
I hope you find these tips and prescriptions helpful. Have an amazing Memorial Day and stay tuned for many more blogs this summer.
In Good Health,
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