Starting Monday, there are 14 weeks (99 days) until June 1st.
Summertime is soon. I know it seems far off, but it will be here before we know it. And while I really would prefer not to contribute to the “get your bod beach ready” noise that the fitness industry relentlessly bombards us with at the this time of the year, I know that slimming down for the summertime is a goal that many of you have. In fact, it’s one of my goals too.
I softened up a bit between the end of November and now. I indulged in a few more desserts than I’d care to admit. My exercise routine became a little lax. But now that I’m training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 18th and I’m dreaming of some sunny summer rays, I’m ready to get back into tip-top shape! Change doesn’t happen over night, it takes planning, hard work, and dedication. Which is why if we want to be our fittest, fab-est selves come summertime (and beyond!), we have to get to work now!
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in shape for summer. But before we get started with this 14 Week Summer Slim-down Boot Camp I want you all to understand and remember that the only opinion about your body that matters is your own. I don’t want this to be about getting a “bikini body” like what you see on TV or in magazines. All of that is just an illusion anyway. I don’t want you to compare yourself to anybody else or worry about attaining unrealistic beauty standards that are perpetuated by the media.
This challenge is first and foremost about getting FITTER and STRONGER, about incorporating an exercise schedule into your day-to-day routine, and about eating healthier by developing a better relationship with food. It’s about creating a healthier, happier you. And if you just so happen to be rocking a super lean and fit body by the end of it all, well then that’s just a nice little bonus perk! But the main goal is to have all of these things to stick with you, even after the next 14 weeks are over, so that you can continue to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain your health indefinitely.
That being said, let’s get down to it! Here’s how this 14 week challenge will work!
The main focus of the boot camp will be your exercise routine. At the start of each month I will post your workout calendar. The calendar will be a pre-planned outline of your weekly workouts. It will include strength training, cardio, and flexibility training (i.e. stretching or yoga).
Three of your workouts each week will be with me via a YouTube video. I will be uploading a new workout to my YouTube page every Monday. Since cardio (running, elliptical workouts, biking, swimming, etc.) is much more straightforward, and weight training typically requires coaching, your workouts with me will focus mostly on the strength training portion of your exercise routine. Each new YouTube workout will be incorporated into the calendar for three of the seven days that week. For the remaining five days of each week, you’ll complete the other prescribed workouts (cardio and flexibility). And don’t worry, there are rest days! Also, I will share my favorite yoga and stretching routines with you for your flexibility workouts in case you aren’t sure what to do.
Note: You can adjust the calendar to work with your schedule. For example, if a YouTube workout with me is scheduled for a Wednesday but you can’t get it done until Thursday, that’s fine. The goal is to complete as many workouts as you can, learning to make them fit into your day-to-day schedule. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a few workouts here and there. The important thing is that you remain consistent and that if you miss a day, you’re right back at it the next! (Also, if you are first coming across this during the middle of the program, it doesn’t matter! Just join in and pick it up wherever we are! I will be updating this page with the new workout calendars and YouTube workouts each week.)
Nutrition and Healthy Eating
I thought about writing out meal plans for this program, but after thinking about it I felt that it would be too restrictive. Instead, I want you to focus on eating intuitively and keeping a nutritious diet. (Head over to my Recipes Page or follow me on Instagram for daily clean, healthy eating inspiration and ideas!)
So, regarding the food we choose to eat over the next 14 weeks here are the 3 main rules to follow:
1. Eat nutritious foods.
2. Do not restrict yourself.
3. Keep a food journal.
If you have specific weight loss goals and feel that counting calories will help you stay on track, you can use the BMR and macronutrient infographics that I’ve added to the bottom of this page to help you determine your daily caloric needs. (I recommend the My Fitness Pal app for keeping track of calories.) Otherwise, I recommend that you simply keep a food journal and start to work on becoming more conscious of the things you’re putting into your body by writing down everything that you eat each day.
I will be keeping a food journal as well (as if my Instagram account isn’t already basically that), and I’ll be checking in to share my progress and insights with you all via a YouTube video blog each Friday.
Within the coming weeks I will be uploading a video blog to YouTube titled “How to Use Social Media to Stay Motivated.” I know that many of you already use it as such a tool and I’d like you to continue doing so during these next 14 weeks, using the hashtag #HungryRunnerBootcamp anytime you post about your experience or progress. If you don’t use social media much yet, I encourage you to create an Instagram or Tumblr account where you can share your progress with others. It will not only help keep you motivated and accountable but it will inspire others too! As you all continue to share your progress, I’ll pick my favorites and share them with everyone! (On Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube!)
Phew! OK, I think I covered everything!
Here is your first workout calendar for the remainder of February! (Don’t worry, Friday’s and Saturday’s workouts are coming with the March Calendar soon!) Pin it, print it, hang it on your wall…Put it somewhere that you’ll see it so you’ll be reminded to workout!
*Update: Your March Workout Calendar is ready! Here it is:
P.S. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with this yet. I promise to explain what it is and how to do it, plus provide sample HIIT workouts at a later date.
Treat your workouts like an important appointment. Remember this saying: “Workouts are important meetings you scheduled with yourself. Bosses don’t cancel.” In other words, train LIKE A BOSS!
The Boot Camp officially starts next week, on Monday the 25th, with our first YouTube workout that I will upload on Monday morning!
Who’s with me?! Leave a comment to let me know if you plan on joining in!
And In the meantime, here are some helpful nutrition and calorie guidelines to help get you started if you plan on keeping track of your calorie and/or macro nutrient intake. (This part of the Boot Camp is completely optional, though!)
–How to Calculate your BMR for weight loss-
- Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the minimum number of calories that your body needs to function at rest.
- Your AMR (Active Meabolic Rate) is the amount of calories that your body needs in order to carry out daily activities, such as exercise, work, and really anything that requires movement.
If you would like to find out how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat your body needs each day, use the following information to calculate your macronutrient distributions.
Source: “ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer: Third Edition”; Walter R. Thompson PhD, FACSM (Senior Editor); 2010