Make no mistake this is not a shred for summer episode. But after training clients for a decade, I know that summer comes with resistance to the gym, more time outside, perhaps more adult beverages, and social gatherings. And fitness can take a backseat. But it 100% does not need to. It can actually become one of your favorite seasons to exercise during!
So, today’s podcast will cover some of the barriers that we commonly see when it comes to completing lifts and adhering to programs through the summer months.
How to make workouts shorter
As with most situations in fitness, it depends. You can cut off sets and reps every exercise prescribed, OR cut off the last super set or one exercise. Typically exercises are programmed in order of largest, bang for your buck, highest demand – metabolically, and from a neuromuscular standpoint. So, you can either get the most out of those first few sets or supersets OR you can opt to shave off one set of everything in the workout, as mentioned first. Neither option will make or break your results.
How to modify based on equipment
It’s easy to call it quits if you’re not at your normal gym or home gym. But YOU HAVE OPTIONS. Remember to think of movement patterns rather than SPECIFIC EXERCISES. If you don’t have access to a barbell – let’s say you’re at a hotel and only have a smith machine or dumbbells – that works! Let’s say you’re supposed to do back squats – you can change the pattern slightly to work in a smith machine for the same sets and reps, or choose to add volume (maybe 1.5 to 2 times the reps with a goblet squat). These are things we cover inside Annie’s Secret Lab of Brain Gains for Built By Annie members. There are so many options for modifying and still getting close to the programmed stimulus!
In general you want to mimic the same movement pattern – So think of movement families like squat, hinge, vertical push and pull and horizontal push and pull. Then you have bilateral (both limbs working at the same time) or unilateral (single limb). You want to match pattern and ideally bilateral or unilateral. Those tricks should allow you to modify nearly any exercise. This does come with some experience and a slightly higher training age. But truly something is typically better than nothing!
Best practices for skipping a workout
If you find you are skipping a workout per week or more than two per month, then be sure to alternate which lift you have to miss. Ie if you find you can never quite get that 4th or 5th lift in and it’s always overhead press, we want to be sure you choose to skip your strongest lift one day, and maybe bench press another week, etc. So that we’re not constantly missing a certain set of movement patterns and muscle groups.
Do you actually need to skip it completely? Or can you get in just the warm up and main sets? or just the accessory work? Better to get SOME stimulus than to completely miss that stimulus for a whole other week.
Can you tack on combine it with another lift, like discussed earlier.
There are so many ways to get the most out of your program this summer without skipping. Though it’s totally fine to miss a workout here and there!
Mindset shifts to consider
Busy times ARE the best time to follow a plan and structure because they free up brain space and decision fatigue while allowing you to still work toward your main goal
Is the goal weight loss? maintenance? feeling good? Your expectation will drive your reaction to results that happen.
I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
The name's Annie & you're reading my thoughts. Let's get acquainted.