The Seasons

So, the sands of time have run out, the clock struck twelve, and the windows opened wide. You had a goal to lose ‘x’ amount of body fat, it failed, so now that it’s September, your new goal, for the one-hundredth time is to put on some lean body mass. Excellent, so you know you have a much easier time putting on muscle mass than you do losing body fat. Not only that, now that it’s September, you’re also a huge football fan and it’s game time from now until January. Hey, I get it, I love football too. In fact, despite me being a Browns fan, I look forward to the new season each and every year. You’d have thought I’ve learned my lesson by now, but I’m the most stubborn guy you’ll ever come across, so don’t be surprised. So, once September rolls around, every day keeps getting shorter as my sleeves start getting longer, and soon we’re be subject to daylight slaving. Man, I love that song, especially when football season hits. But I have news for you: it’s April, and not September, so we have to hit that fat loss goal this year.

Why am I talking about football already, or better yet, the football season? I’m doing so because the NFL season begins in ten days, which is also my twenty-sixth birthday. This should serve as an omen to NFL fans everywhere, that the NFL season begins on my birthday, and it hasn’t done so in quite some time. It starts on that day, April 27th, 2017, and the fact that I’m a superstitious person that will be taking part in rituals that involve luck, this means things will be different for my Browns this season. No, really, they will be, because I know the rituals. See, it all began with my great-great grandmother, whom I believe had an encounter with a Romani and ever since then, the ritualistic traditions have been passed from generation to generation. I’ll be honest, I really don’t know any, but I know people who do, and if you’re a Browns fan, you must use them to your advantage over this very trying two decades.

Since it is indeed April, we are going to start our shred process now and I’m going to go over many of the common mistakes I’ve seen during my experience. For starters, if you’re serious about shredding up and keeping it so you can be “Shredded for Christmas,” you need to look at what I like to call opportunity cost. This is defined by having two opportunities, but choosing the better of the two for your own personal benefit while you forgo taking part in the opportunity of lesser benefit. So, is it going to be bar at midnight on a Saturday or since you happen to work at nine in the morning on Sunday, do you forgo that barhop so you can hit the gym fresh on Sunday before work? This choice should be obvious and if you make the wrong, spur of the moment choice, you’ll never see that goal come to life.

So, do you want to know more pitfalls? Have you ever heard of cheat meals? In the summer, we have something called cookouts, and a lot of them at that. In fact, the more friends you have, or in my case I have very few friends but a family full of party animals (and I’m not one for get togethers), the more likely you are to fall into this scenario. The good news is that you can always bring your own food to have grilled, or simply cook it beforehand. This is what I do, and I honestly couldn’t care less about the strange looks I attract. Hey, I feel way better and more energized after eating the cleaner food over the mainstream, typical cookout food. Always and forever, no matter what, I’m taking lean meat over regular ground meat, grilled over fried in the chicken category, and whole wheat over white. If it’s a low carb day, I’m not even going to eat buns, but I may bring some low carb tortilla wraps. As for condiments, I simply use just enough, which may be a serving size, unless it’s mustard or hot sauce, and if I want something sweet, I have Kind, Quest, or Atkins Bars at my disposal, depending what I’m in the mood for. I’m making this too easy, aren’t I?

Right, so I’ve covered a workout and nutrition scenario, but what about the weather? I get it; you don’t want to be in a gym all the time and you want to be outside more. Okay, so you’re just like the rest of us. Look, you still need to be in the gym, because that’s where the heavy weights are and this needs to remain part of your program regardless. This, you must realize, and this has to stay an integral part of your program, and I don’t care what time of year it is. However, you can most definitely do cardio outdoors, or even do a street workout, or something similar. I love doing sprints outside, hit up the track, do stadium steps, interval runs, listen to the song Beauty of the Beast while doing so (it’s a personal matter), and run around town. Typically, I do this when I go home to the Steubenville area, which usually occurs once a week because I know the terrain and locations well when it comes to outdoor workouts. I do love South Park too, but it gets way too crowded, and the Wintersville track I always open. Or, other times I’ll simply walk outside and perform sprints, gazing into what I call the Lost Horizons (this is a very long story on why I call the Steubenville slash Wintersville “skyline” the Lost Horizons but you can ask me about it, because the story is quite interesting and somewhat fitness-related). I typically love scenery as well, especially forested scenery on a foggy, overcast summer morning, and this another reason why I prefer outdoor cardio, really until it becomes too cold out for me to do so. And I love scenery on trails, be them small bike trails, or large trails such as the Panhandle (in West Virginia), or Montour up here in Pennsylvania. You can also make up some awesome workouts that will take your body to the limit, such as a bodyweight circuit every quarter mile, for five miles. Talk about a calorie burn.

Lastly, I’d like to consider time as a factor, because with five months until break-up season begins, along with the occasional divorce, which is the dating game’s version of NFL Free Agency (where the upcoming Christmas season is the contract offer in many of these scenarios), time is really going to go faster than we think. It’s already April 18th, and I haven’t even started to find my groove yet this year despite my current streak of 124 two-a-days’ worth of workouts starting December 26th of last year. That is 248 intense workouts, my friends. My advice to you is if you haven’t started to get serious yet, the sand has begun to fall, and I don’t know what you’re waiting for. September will be here before we know it and the Browns will be 0-5 before I know it.

So, your goals for the summer should be to shred up for a change, quit procrastinating, eat right, even at cookouts and family functions, start scouting your free agency targets, and finally fulfill that New Year’s Resolution you’ve been talking about since you graduated high school. This post is for all of you who peaked in high school and let the rest of us who didn’t lap you. Right, so I’m going to go do my cardio, plan my day accordingly, watch my body fat drop, find a way to make my pasty skin tan so my definition shows, and be at my very best this year in 2017.

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