Fit and fine: Fitness in the festive season
The festive season is right round the corner. Partying, going on a holiday with friends and family will soon be the order of the day. Fitness routines and diet control, more often than not go out of the window at this time. So if you follow the general trend of not working out and generally going easy with your diet, you might emerge in January as having done major damage to your fitness goals whatever they might be!
It does not necessarily have to be like that. Of course you cannot come across as a party pooper and not partake of the festive mood, thus I believe in this the season we need to shift to a maintenance mode. The aim would be to do as little as possible to preserve – muscle mass, low body fat, cardio vascular fitness and or strength but still have fun. In other words, enjoy the best of both the worlds.
Let’s lay down some ground rules about how we go about executing a sane training and diet plan for the year-end festivities. We know that if you cut down your workout time to a third, you can still maintain fitness. This means that if you did three sessions of cardio per week, now you can do one session to maintain your cardio vascular fitness. If possible, use interval training to keep up the cardio fitness. Similarly, for muscle hypertrophy and strength – cut your training volume to a third but keep the intensity up. Do not make the mistake of lowering the weight and doing more repetitions, rather go as heavy as you can while cutting down sets or days per week.
Nutrition is the biggest problem when we are in the mood to party. My recommendation is to load up on protein – if you are non-vegetarian then go for the barbecue section of the menu, if you are a vegetarian, look for cottage cheese (paneer) and soy options. This is a good time to include a quality protein shake in your daily intake as a good way to increase protein in your diet. This would help cut down the junk people end up eating at parties.
The workout plan
•Hit the gym three times a week.
•This week – two full body workouts, one high intensity interval work out.
•Next week – one full body strength workout, two cardio sessions – one high intensity interval and one easy session.
•Leave the body part splits when you have more and switch to full body workouts.
•Use exercises like squats, bench press, deadlift, pull/chin ups and rows as they are the best bang for your buck exercises. Also they can be loaded as heavy as you want.
•Go to failure on each set and keep the repetitions between five and eight. Warm up with one set and go all out on the next set. Move to the next exercise. Rinse repeat.
•Your workouts should not last more than 30 minutes. So make every set count!
Now go and get it done.
Author bio: Kamal Singh is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist who has been coaching for 15 years
From HT Brunch, December 15, 2019
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