Summer Bodies are Built in the Winter

The month is June, you have a big vacation planned for the second week of July, and you look in your bathroom mirror wearing your bathing suit, and you simply don’t like what you see. Why didn’t I start sooner, you think? Sound familiar? Every year, we have clients who come out of the woodwork in late May and early June looking to drastically transform their bodies in four to eight weeks for their family or couples beach vacation. This unveiling of the body stresses people out to no end. Wondering how you will look in the pool, by the pool, or in the ocean? I’m here to tell you that unless you keep your body fat low and are always at most five to ten pounds away from your ideal body appearance, you will need way more than four to eight weeks to unveil the chiseled look you are going for.

You need to expend 3500 calories through a reduction in caloric intake or burning calories to lose one pound of body fat. Sounds simple enough, right? For now, we will assume all things are created equal, but honestly, it is way more difficult than that, assuming you want a well-muscled physique under the body fat you lose. That way, you will look like a Greek god or goddess when the body fat comes off. Let’s give a few examples.

Example A (TODD): Doesn’t currently work out at all and wants to lose 80 pounds in 8 weeks for a Caribbean cruise in August.

Caloric Debt: 280,000 calories (3,500 x 80)

Amount of Calories Needed to Burn or Under Consume Daily: 5000 calories per day.

Odds that Todd will achieve his goal: impossible


Example B (MARIA): She keeps herself in good shape and wants to be 3% less body fat and have a better arm tone in 12 weeks for her college reunion.

Current calorie intake: 2800 calories

Caloric Debt: 2500 (300 calories x 84 days = 25,200 caloric deficit to lose about 7lb of fat)

Programming: Add one additional day of shoulder and arm strength training into her routine.

Odds that Maria will achieve her goal: Highly Likely


Example C (SUMMER): She works out sometimes but always gets in shape right before vacation season and wants to lose 12 pounds in 8 weeks before she goes on a girls weekend to Mexico.

Caloric Debt: 42,000 calories (3500 x 12)

Amount of calories needed to burn or underconsume daily: 750

Programming: Burn an additional 500 calories per day and reduce calories by 250 daily.

Odds that Summer will achieve her goal: moderately likely if she can be disciplined for 8 weeks.


Those three examples show you the impossible, highly likely, and moderately likely outcomes of success related to getting in shape for summer. The best time to get started on a summer body is now; the second best time to get started on a summer body is as soon as possible. Something that I want to drive home is the fact that there is never a bad time to start exercising, and the better in shape you keep yourself all year round, the better your odds of being able to be dialed in when you want to be. The keys are strength training, solid nutrition, adequate water intake, and managing stress while getting high-quality seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

Summer bodies are built in the winter, and it’s almost February, so get to work!

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