SHAPE UP FOR SUMMER CONTEST 2012see contest rules
The Shape Up for Spring Pre-Cycle (two weeks)If you're new to exercise, obviously my first piece of advice is to check with your doctor and make sure everything is running the way it should. It's not worth injury to get a beach body, and you may just be in shape to do some light walking to start out.
For a lot of us, getting into competition mode means breaking the habits of the last few months. Winter is brutal for many of us, especially in the north where it's often preferable to hang out inside and cozy up with a nice cup of hot chocolate. The net result, sadly, is a few months of general laziness, interspersed with a series of holidays (starting with Thanksgiving, we also have to roll through Hallowe'en, American Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Superbowl Sunday, and in my house my kid's birthday) that seem custom made to stuff us full of everything we DON'T need to be eating (and drinking).
This is often the reason those promisory New Year's resolutions go unfulfilled. There's just too much temptation around, and if you're already in the habit of falling off the wagon, your food addictions won't be tamed so easily. This is why, instead of targetting the New Year for our contest we've decided to target the launch of beach season. Four months is lots of time to cut back on the inches, and there aren't any significant holidays between the beginning of March and the end of June.
The best part is, you'll be in good enough shape that the likely barbecue and beer you'll be gorging on for Canada Day or Independence Day won't do a lot of damage. One day of free-for-all binging won't offset four solid months of awesomeness.
You're welcome to use absolutely any strategy you like. For myself, I plan on doing a strict set of graduated exercise routines designed to kickstart my metabolism. For those of you who are new to exercise, or (like me) just getting started up again after a long winter of "assal horizontology," my plan is super simple...[read more]