Published: Jun 20, 2014 9:20 AM EDT

Fitness Friday - Summer Strength Training


Summer officially begins tomorrow and many people are scrambling to tighten and tone up before heading on vacation, or just putting on their bathing suit and heading to the beach.

If you’ve been searching for the secret to getting a sexy and fit body this Summer, look no further. Wink News Fitness expert Mike Drumm says to look your best and feel confident in your bathing suit, the key is strength training. So avoid the deprivation diets and hours of cardio and focus on making your body stronger. Afterall, Fit is the new Skinny!


MIKE: You don't need a starvation diet, or a sarong wrapped over your behind to feel confident in your body and sexy in a swimsuit this season. The secret recipe to your hot body this summer is a combination of high intensity cardio bursts with muscle-burning strength moves. So if the only six-pack you’re showing off is the one you drank last night, don’t head straight for the dreadmill, go pick up some weights!


Get Started Today


There is no time like the present, right? When you start strength training you can start to see muscle definition as soon as a few weeks! Especially if you’ve been doing little exercise, or only cardio. That means now is the optimal time to dive into your new strength-training routine. Just be careful not to overdo and do too much too fast, or you will be too sore to work out!


Strength Training is Good, is Cardio Bad?


Absolutely not. There’s really no negative, other than I think it can get boring! Traditional cardio is about aerobic activity and the main focus is to burn calories and fat by moving. Resistance training’s on the other hands main goal is to raise the rate at which we burn calories by creating more muscle. Strength training, with or without weights, focuses on sculpting and shaping the body, and can be done in as little as 20 minutes a day if done the right way. I see so many clients who are doing just cardio, and are not getting the results they want. When I introduce them to resistance training, they get results. Period.


The Fear of Building Muscle


Even just hearing the words strength or weight training can conjure up images of bodybuilders or with massive muscles. But what many people, women, in particular, fail to realize is that just by lifting weights you aren’t going to bulk up. First, men naturally have more testosterone which helps them build more muscle mass. Even then, it is really difficult. You also have to eat a lot to build that kind of muscle.


Speed Up Your Workout (and your Progress)


If you want to tone up fast, give yourself only a short 10-30 second rest period between sets. This will keep your heart rate up, and the less room your body has to calm down (safely and without exhausting yourself), the more calories you'll burn in a shorter amount of time. That’s why HIIT training is so popular right now. People are getting the results of Strength Training and Cardio combined in one quick and efficient routine. I would start with a little more rest then work time, 20w/30r and progressively decrease rest.


Work More than Mirror Muscles


Men might not be as hesitant about strength training, but they can tend to over train the chest and back, or “mirror muscles” thinking that’s the best way to get in the best shape. Why is the mirror-muscle workout a mistake? Because it often leads to muscle imbalances and postural problem. Instead, the focus should be more on the muscles you don’t see in the mirror, the hamstrings, glutes, and Back. Correct posture, full range of motion, and functional strength can only be maintained when muscles are in balance.


Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avoid these problems. Just be sure to devote equal time to your opposing muscles. When you do a push exercise, like a bench press, do a pull exercise (like a seated row) to balance it, and keep the number of exercises and sets equal for both sets of muscles. And that hard work shouldn’t end in the weight room.


You Can’t Out Exercise Your Diet


Unfortunately nutrition is the hardest component of health and fitness for most people. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. So kiss goodbye the days of justifying what you eat by saying you burned 500 calories during an aerobic class earlier that day. If you go and have two tablespoons of peanut butter, you wiped that class out. So on top of adding resistance training to your routine, I recommend 3 balanced meals a day and two snacks. The meals should consist of fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.


The 2 biggest diet mistakes I see are either eating far too few (