Keeping Lean without a Gym
It’s been a rough year for most of us. Physically, many have fallen behind with seemingly endless quarantines, curfews, and social safety measures, blocking us from our favorite gyms, parks, and other favorite places for exercise. Keeping a fit and lean body may even seem elusive to many at this point. Betancourt is here to assure you that the solution is and has always been within you all along. With our simple guideline, you can say goodbye to your quarantine-stress-eating-what’s-going-on-what-day-is-it body and welcome back the lean figure you once proudly strutted through the gym, without the actual need for a gym. As you follow the steps to keeping a lean physique, remember the most important rule is to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
STEP 1: VISUALIZE YOUR GOAL
The first step toward any real goal is to always make a plan. This means laying out what you want, where you’re at, and listing resources that will help you fill in the blanks. With that said, setting a realistic goal for yourself is vital to your success.
Asserting your goal into a diary, visual board, or sticky note can essentially take it out of your head and allow you to face it with a more grounded eye. Maybe a 100 pound drop + shredded abs is too far of a goal to reach, however, losing 50 pounds twice and following an ab exercise app weekly probably isn’t.
Remain cognizant of what your current routine entails and how your fitness goal will fit into it. Find yourself bombarded by work and kids most of your week? Consider moving your fitness routine to early in the morning before the chaos starts. Make sacrifices in the parts of your routine that do not add adversity to your lifestyle if given up, such as sleeping in or tik tok dance practice.
Once you’ve mapped out where you can fit a regimen into your routine, it’s time to hold yourself accountable. A daily reminder of the goal you set for yourself, from yourself, can be a helpful way of staying on track. Try something like the goal template below in either a note or voice message set to go off on your phone daily:
“Hey [your name], it’s me, You. Just reminding you of your goal to [lose/gain] [XXX pounds/kilos] by [realistic date]. Remember, to do this, you need to [reduce/increase] your calorific intake and burn [daily calorie burn goal]. Keep at it, I believe in me!”
Both an affirmation and reminder from yourself can help ensure you have enough consistency to get into the necessary habits to maintain a lean body. Take this same philosophy into your diet and you’re golden!
PLAN OUT YOUR DIET
Even with a gym at your disposal, 80% of your results will depend on your diet. That is just the way the cookie crumbles and you need to make sure this is where you give yourself the most discipline. You cannot truly manage anything unless you measure it, so keeping a food journal can make all the difference in your goal to lean out. We recommend an app such as My Fitness Pal to keep record of your caloric intake, which you can cross reference with where you should be to reach your set goal weight.
Another suggestion we’d make is to list out your favorite foods and their calorie content. Laying this out will help you plan out your meals so you do not have to sacrifice certain foods entirely, but rather time strategically so you’re never overdoing it.
When it comes to strategizing your diet to meet your caloric needs for leaning out, keep a general rule of consuming 10% above your daily recommended calorie intake to gain muscle, and 10-20% below to burn fat. The more complete and clean meals you can include in your planning and prep, the better it is for maintaining a lean physique.
- Include Proteins – beef, turkey, chicken, salmon, tuna, greek yogurt, eggs
- Include Carbs – sweet potatoes, white potatoes, rice, quinoa, sprouted bread, fruit, vegetable (kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peppers, carrots, squash, eggplant, etc.)
- Include Good fats – almond, almond butter, avocado, coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil
As we recommended in the last section, plan around your routine – prep meals if and when you can. Find the chaos of the day getting in the way of getting a good meal in? Rather than grabbing a quick burger for lunch, eat small bites and curb your appetite to offset for a large, more complete dinner.
STEP 3: KEEP YOUR EXERCISES SIMPLE AND INTENSITY HIGH
Exercising to maintain a lean body is not as necessarily complex as one would think. When it comes to integrating it into a gym-less routine, simplicity definitely is your road to harmony. Rather than going nuts on purchasing home gym equipment, we suggest keeping the focus on body weights and calisthenics.
- Jump Squats
- Mountain Climbers
With simple exercises that require little room and equipment, there is plenty opportunity to increase intensity and set numbers. With each exercise add 3-5 more reps and 1 extra set each week to everything you do. Also keep your muscle memory confused enough with variations in the order that you go through your exercise set. Breathing through your teeth and dropping the speed of your movements may also help increase focus and intensity on most muscle groups. Weekly, you want to vary your focus so you finish your week with time dedicated to your whole body, ensuring you also fit cardio at least 3 times, if possible.
And there you have it, as simple a guide as you can make it. Without a gym that generally isolates you from the distractions and mindsets you have in your life, it can be tough to get into a home routine for leaning out – so keeping it simple is where you will find yourself easily falling into good habits. Fit it where you can, keep it as clean as you can, and always shoot for doing a little more than you did last week. Also remember that supplementation is available for burning fat, gaining mass, or leaning out.