"You can’t sprint all the way, Charlie.” Truer words were never spoken than this quote taken from the movie CARLITO’S WAY. While we strive in living a healthy lifestyle year-round, it is near to impossible to maintain a truly peaked physique for very long. One might be encouraged to think of exercise as a slow and steady race rather than a last minute sprint.
There are however, those special occasions whereby lower levels of body-fat and somewhat prominent abdominals are a must. In my role as trainer, I am frequently posed the question, “What can I do in the last week to look my best?” My retort is always the same: “It is impossible to play catch up but a tweaking or sharpening of the pencil is always possible, provided the pencil was in steady use prior.” Make sense? It will.
Is it really possible to noticeably alter your physique for the better in one week? Most deVinitely! I’ve worked with athletes whose physiques’ changed for the better in mere minutes right before their very eyes. And it wasn’t through pseudo-science, wrapping their bodies in layers of clothing, strenuous running, drinking wine or any other such nonsensical tactic in an effort to showcase more muscular deVinition that worked, but rather the application of good old–fashioned common sense.
What follows is a list of “defining actions” that I have personally used to further tighten my physique in record time. These last minute “tactics” are merely tips that have personally worked for me in the past and absolutely are not meant to replace solid and consistent healthy patterns of training and nutrition year-round. Furthermore, unless genetically blessed with very low body fat levels (Ectomorphic) it is ill advised in maintaining a perfectly peaked physique yearround. Rather, remain sharp or within striking distance so that when the time arrives to Vloor the pedal, one need not play catch up but rather coast in conVidently and effectively to being one’s best. For those of you who may be inclined to add the use of a diuretic supplement to your regimen, be cautious in not using said supplement for more than a few days, as important nutrients and minerals vital to body functions may also be Vlushed out. A steady lifestyle of diet and exercise is a more long-lasting and healthier approach to the lean equation.
1. TAN - A golden tan will result in a physique that is dramatically leaner as compared to a pale one. Whether from the sun, tanning bed or painting system, a deep tan brings out the cuts. Adequate protection is recommended. I personally used a combination of JAN TANA products and PRO TAN for my competitive wins.
2. ASPARAGUS – Acts as a natural diuretic and helps the body rid itself of excessive water as well as helping to clean out our gastrointestinal tract. I serve mine either steamed or microwaved.
3. SPRING WATER – Drinking at least a gallon of water per day will further help the body tighten up – the more one takes in the more one flushes out. Keep in mind that distilled water is essentially dead water or water devoid of naturally occurring minerals, which our bodies need for proper function.
4. LOW SODIUM – Sodium’s role within the body helps to regulate the body’s fluid balance. Excessive intake of salt is a prime factor in developing water retention. By lowering sodium for a few days prior to an event, the body will appear noticeably leaner and vascular. This combined with regular water and asparagus intake has shown to temporarily tighten up the physique. It is not recommended to maintain very low levels of sodium for long periods of time as intense cramping may occur.
5. STAGGERED CALORIES – The body attempts to maintain a state called Homeostasis – essentially a state of being. By providing the body with the same caloric allotment day in and day out it quickly becomes accustomed and may actually halt one’s metabolism. By alternating one’s calories day to day, the body will continue utilizing fat as an energy source. (Provided the calories are low in sugar and fat.)
6. CONDIMENTS – May make a meal tasty but will blur deVinition in one’s physique nearly on impact. Ketchup, Soy Sauce and other such condiments high in both sugar and salt should be curtailed when seeking maximum cuts. Limit them a few days prior to your event.
7. BLACK COFFEE/HERBAL TEAS – Have shown to cause a diuretic effect on the body and thusly increase muscular definition.
8. WEIGHT TRAINING/CARDIO – Most tend to limit their weight training and increase their cardio expenditure when attempting to “peak” for an event. This is a mistake as precious muscle is often lost as one is usually on a restricted caloric intake at this point and the over-inclusion of cardio results in a soft and Vlat appearance to the muscle. MORE WEIGHTS, LESS CARDIO.
9. THIOMUCASE – This is a product I have personally used prior to competition. A topical cream, it has shown to temporarily release water from fat cells provided I was already lean prior to its usage. Applied to the abdominal area, I did notice a harder appearance to my midsection.
10. TARAXATONE – Everyone always asks me what product one can buy from a supplement store for that last minute edge in showcasing his or her physique in its best light. Designed to shed excessive body water, Taraxatone is recommended for a maximum of 5 consecutive days and comes loaded with warnings. Adequate hydration is a must. This is a product I have personally used and do not in any way advocate its use or abuse. It is included here amongst this list of 10 actions I have personally taken in bringing my physique into ultimate condition.
For those of you who are intrigued yet hesitant to begin an exercise and nutrition lifestyle, I urge you to contact me. We all had a beginning including myself and most certainly would have beneVited from a trainer.
Thank you for your continued feedback and questions.
Happy 4th of July weekend!