Beat the Dog Days of Summer With New PRs and Friendly Competition

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Real Athletes. Real Coaches. Real Knowledge.

Here in the northern hemisphere, the summer is still going strong, but many of us have hit a slump in our training routine. The progress you made over the winter and through the spring is slipping away as lazy days give way to lazier nights and too much barbecue and beer replaces our clean food, protein shakes, and water.


Summer should be fun, but that doesn't have to mean ditching the gym for a three-month-long gains-wrecking party. Here are some fun ways to get yourself back on track.



New Personal Records Contest

Start a PR contest with your friends, and then compare how you do with your entire peer group.


See how many new PRs you can set before September rolls around and your schedule fills back up. What better way to spend a few extra hours a week than shoring up your weak points, right?


King of the Mountain - Lifting Style

Start the party in the weight room. No, don't drink and deadlift. Instead of pre-gaming the barbecue with beers, bring your friends to the weight room to create a deep calorie deficit and ravenous hunger for that delicious protein with a little workout one-upmanship.


Here is how it works:


  1. Make sure everyone is warmed up before starting. Always play safe and respect your limits.
  2. Two players go head-to-head in each round. Each player loads a barbell or chooses a kettlebell or dumbbell that represents about the same percentage of 1RM. This allows any two people to compete on an even field.
  3. Toss a coin - the winner chooses whether to go first or second.
  4. Whoever starts chooses and performs an exercise for however many reps he likes.
  5. Player two must match or beat the player one's effort, then it goes back to player 1.
  6. You can choose a different exercise, but that means you also have to do at least one more rep to "take control" of the match.
  7. Reps never go down within a round, they only stay the same or increase.
  8. If you one-up the other player and they can't follow suit, you win the round.
  9. Each round winner immediately begins a new round against a fresh opponent, but gets to choose the new starting movement and reps.
  10. The overall winner is the one with the most rounds won at the end of the allotted time or after a predetermined total number of rounds.


There are plenty of strategies you can think of to make this game even more fun - baiting the other player into upping the reps and then switching to a move you dominate with is one of my favorites.


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Detoxify and Restore Training Program

Go big or go home, right? If you're tired of feeling sluggish and weak and want to kick your energy and strength back into high gear, then try this twelve-week program created by Dan Treccia.


Dan created the Detoxify and Tone program to help your body cleanse itself through hard, smart effort in the gym and renewed attention to your nutrition needs. Expect to improve liver function, decrease body fat, and build muscle over the three-month process.


Your Turn

Now you've got options, from a quick afternoon of friendly competition to three entire months of building new strength and healing the damage done by indulging a bit too much. Whichever you choose, you can feel good that you are treating your one and only body with the respect and care it deserves.


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Photo 1 courtesy of Shutterstock.

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