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Here’s why you should continue your strength training this summer.

By Ryan Hawkins

Here’s why you should continue your strength training this summer.

Now comes the time of the year where gym goers and fitness enthusiasts like to start to head outside and take advantage of the beautiful weather! And with reason, there are many health benefits from getting outside including the synthesizing vitamin D, fresh air, phytochemicals from the trees and much, much more.  But before you throw out your gym membership, you should take a few things into consideration.

Over the past 10 years of training people from every walk of life including the weekend warrior, the soccer mom, the CEO, and the professional athletes, one thing remains certain. The long winters and short summers make it difficult for people to be disciplined! Everyone has a thousand activities for them or their kids, BBQ’s, Terrace’s, backyard parties and, don’t forget, the boat! From a fitness professional’s point of view, people do not make the time to keep up their training program, and whatever results that were achieved throughout the other seasons, are lost. Of course, we understand that the sangria, beers and hamburgers are very tempting and nearly impossible to resist.

This could easily be prevented by keeping 2 or 3, 60 minute sessions/week at the gym. The amount of time invested in your health will keep you from gaining excessive weight and spending too much time on Candycrush.

But don’t get me wrong, there are many people who do stay very active during the summer, and get a lot of exercise:  runners, bikers, swimmers and so-on. I applaud you for getting out and making time to include your health and physical fitness! However, you are not completely saved. After training many competitive triathletes and marathoners, the summer months often bring a grueling training schedule, with a lot of cardio, and people often put their weight training routine to the wayside. For these people, the critical issue is they start gouging into their hard-earned muscle mass, which is directly related to their metabolism and performance. For those triathletes and marathoners who think muscle mass is not necessary, we have another article and many testimonials coming for you!

An exemple of a winning combination could be 1-2 hour weight trainings per week to maintain your strength, power and muscle mass, as well as your other cardiovascular events outdoors, not more than 4-5 hours per week to avoid overtraining.

The heavy training schedule and less strict dieting during the summer months bring for these athletes an average 5-6 pound loss of muscle mass by the time they come back in September or October. This isn’t optimal, not only for performance and their strength, but also their metabolism, which slows down when losing muscle mass. Combine that with multiple studies that prove muscle mass is one of the greatest predictors of longevity, and you have a strong case for keeping the weight training in the summer season!

Ryan Hawkins

Level 3 personal trainer & Naturopath