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5 steps to get your summer body in 2024

Updated: Jun 5

Fit man with surfboard

Summer is about four weeks away and many of you are ready, or have already begun, to focus on your summer body. That said, you may not be sure where to focus your time and energy. The main areas on which you need to focus are

1. Have a plan

2. Give yourself time

3. Make nutrition a priority

4. Focus on resistance training

5. Be consistent

There is nothing sexy about the list, and nothing magical about it either. These are not quick fixes. These steps are necessary components to help you reach your summer body goal but also to maintain it, so that when next summer rolls around, you already have your summer bod or something very close to it.

1. Have a plan

Something we regularly come back to is the importance of planning. Even a loose plan is better than no plan. Plans take guesswork out of the process and allow you to focus on the listed tasks, by just doing the work. You do not have to think about what you need to do for the day, as the task is listed in front of you.

In this instance you need and exercise and nutrition plan. This applies whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or both. And yes, you can do both at the same time with the right plan. Planning may not sound sexy or fun, but think about it, you are not a fitness expert. You do not know what to do. Even the fitness personalities you see on YouTube, Instagram, and other internet places follow a plan. If those people follow a plan, and they are experts, should not you follow a plan too, since you do not have the knowledge they do?

Look, we follow plans, our clients follow plans, and the successful people you see follow plans. You need a plan, and ideally you need one created by a professional.

2. Give yourself time

One of the biggest issues we see is people want quick results. We get it. The desire to be at the end goal is there and putting in work for an extended period is not fun. But you will not get there without putting in the work.

It is not uncommon for clients to come to us with a timeframe goal. This is okay unless the duration is unreasonable. For example, a potential client came to us, noted she wanted to lose a specific amount of weight in 30 days. We told her it was not likely to happen. She did not sign-up. Here is the thing—in our conversations, she noted she had wanted to lose this weight for six months and had been looking for a 30-day plan that long. Think about that. Instead of putting in the work for six months, she kept looking for a 30-day plan. In six months, she could have lost the weight.

Our point is the process takes time and you cannot avoid this. Spending time looking for a quick fix is going to waste time and money as well as cause frustration. All this can be avoided by committing to a plan, giving yourself the time, and putting in work.

3. Make nutrition a priority

Want to lose weight? Focus on nutrition. Want to build muscle? Focus on nutrition. Nutrition should be a priority for improving body appearance, whether a person wants to build muscle, lose weight, or change body composition. This idea applies regardless if a person wants a full body change or is attempting to target specific areas of the body.

Nutrition plays a vital role in all we do, including physical performance, mental performance, and the way the body looks. There is a reason a person who regularly overeats looks fat and a reason why people with lean physiques count macros or take some similar approach—for the best physique and performance, nutrition must be a primary focus.

Now, this does not mean you have to follow a specific strategy, such as Paleo, Vegan, If It Fits Your Macros, or another such nutritional approach. You do have to utilize some approach, ideally one that fits your schedule, food preference, and of course, your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit. If you want to gain weight, you must be in a calorie surplus and engage in resistance training. Determine the strategy that works best for you and follow it. Not sure what to do, let us help. You can start by reading these blogs

If you want a nutrition program created for you, look here.

4. Focus on resistance training

Cardio does not equal weight loss, a leaner body, or an improved overall body composition. Cardio can help create a caloric deficit, improved cardio function, and provide enjoyable workouts. Resistance training will help build muscle, create a caloric deficit, and prevent muscle loss during weight loss, which by proxy promotes fat loss.

These points make resistance training the ideal workout methodology for persons trying to achieve a summer body. While cardio has a place in a program, it should be for improvements in cardio, nothing else. To achieve your summer body, focus on resistance training.

The exact approach used may not matter, given you do not turn resistance training into a cardio event and that you use enough weight. For example, if you can dumbbell squat 50 pounds for 10 reps, but always use 25 pounds for 10 reps, you are not using enough weight. The body will not progress with this approach and will actually regress. Worse yet, if you use the 25 pounds and then circuit the squat with other exercises at below ideal loading, you are turning resistance training into a cardio event, not using enough load on any exercises, and will not reap the benefits of the resistance training.

For an example resistance training program for beginners and an example fitness program for beginners, view this blog. For a simple but effective bodybuilding (isolation training) program read this blog. For a simple but effective powerlifting program, read this blog. To see one cross-training program I used, see this blog (this is not what I currently use, but is still a good example).

5. Be consistent

Steps 1-4 do not matter if you are not consistent. Any training or nutrition goal takes time, and over that time you must consistently put in the necessary work. If you are not consistent, the process will take longer or you will never reach your goal.

You cannot expect that one week of working out and focusing on nutrition will lead to change in performance. This is unrealistic. You cannot expect that working out one day per week and eating good one day per week for six months will build muscle. This is unrealistic. You cannot expect that working out five days a week, but continuously overeating will lead to weight loss. This is unrealistic. You must put in the necessary work consistently over time or the process will take longer or you will never reach your goal.

Final thoughts

There are no shortcuts. There are no magic pills. There are things that can help you succeed quicker. There are things that can help you make the process more efficient. Regardless, if you want your summer body, you will need to have a have a plan, give yourself time, make nutrition a priority, focus on resistance training, and be consistent.

Now put in work to reach your goals.

Headshot of Nathan DeMetz

Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.

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