We are in the midst of a particularly nasty type of heat wave in KC where the temps have reached and exceeded triple digits almost every day this week and last.
It almost makes me miss the NE USA until winter when Noreasterns come ripping into town and cover everything with a sheet of white for days.
If you are one of the lucky ones to be slogging through stifling temperatures this summer, here are some unoriginal training tips to help you deal with the heat while you work hard to craft a body.
A simple concoction of sea salt, lemon, stevia, and a gallon of water. I am not particularly fond of BCAA as a training product but if you choose to use them, that is fine.
I personally like this mix:
1 gallon of spring water
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (use a whole lemon if you like)
1 packet of Stevia
In the hot months, you sweat more and this concoction helps hydrate you in a fast and pretty delicious way. Make a gallon of it and adjust to taste. Give it a try for a week and see how you feel with it before you decide whether it is for you or not.
- Eat less “heavy food”
I am about to go bro in here, so gather round your evidence based crew and listen to the sounds of PubMed fingers rattling.
Every person reading this article has one or several food items which are “heavy” for them.
Bread? Steak? Wings? Chips? Depends… for me it is fatty meat and cheeses; without a doubt. When it is hotter outside, eating heavier food items will render you feeling like two men beat you down with rubber hoses covered in funnel cake grease.
Stop and think about that mental image for a minute and continue.
I have ZERO clinical or scientific evidence to back up this claim, and quite frankly if I actually took the time to search for this on PubMed I would beat myself down instead because training and eating isn’t 100% science, it is an art form meant to be crafted into what is a masterpiece for you.
Copy paste time:
“Training and nutrition isn’t 100% science, it is an art form meant to be crafted into your own masterpiece” – Jay Ashman 2018
Save and use it, just not on reddit because they will demand a citation.
But, if you know you have food items which just sit in your gut in a way which makes you feel “off” after you eat them, despite being delicious and satisfying; the summer months are the time to eat much less of them and more food which won’t make you feel like a sluggish bag of syrup.
Easier said than done, correct? Well if you are reading this blog you probably understand the concept of moderating your intake, or WANT to get a better grasp on it. This is your chance to learn a huge lesson in this subject.
Write down 2-3 food items that make you feel like a battered boxer after 10 rounds.
Eat much less of them during these hot months.
It will probably carry over to the cooler months.
Moderation is starting to be learned.
- Eat fresh fruit
Again, here comes more bro.
Fruit has a “cooling effect” on you. Fruit is also mostly water. Fruit tastes great, fruit won’t weigh you down, and fruit is voluminous because you can eat more of it while eating less.
What the hell does that mean?
One pop-tart (52 grams) – 39 grams of carbs
One pint of strawberries (357 grams about) – 27 grams of carbs
You can eat MORE and eat LESS.
Of course if all you care about is shoveling calories in your face with no real care to eating like a human being, by all means, ignore this advice. Eat the pop-tart instead, it tastes great.
As far as the cooling effect of fruit goes, this goes back to some quackery and questionable science that is essentially impossible to prove, but the bro factor can be a factor just like the above with eating heavy food.
There is one little bit of evidence that lays a little light on this matter:
It says that the relationship is dependent on nutrients and macro distribution, but clearly more evidence is needed to make this definitive claim.
As for the art form of it all, eating more food that is generally lower in macro density, higher in water content, cooler in temperature (like fruit and fresh vegetables), and easier to digest is a no-brainer overall. Add that to the possible mental benefit of having a “cooling effect” and you have a win/win.
Science be damned I guess.
- Cool, damp towel
This will be super helpful at the gym and after it. You will look like an idiot with an extra cooler but at least you will cool off faster and push harder.
This is actually backed with some science so we can leave the land of the bro and into the land of evidence.
This essentially says that cooling off your body with a neck towel increases the time it takes to train to exhaustion.
That is the quick and dirty conclusion, you can dig more if you want to.
The issue with the cool towel is keeping it cool. We can beat that right now.
Walmart or Amazon – buy a fillable water jug. The type you used to have as a kid when you played a sport and took a cooler to the game. The flip up cap kind.
Place ice in the cooler before you go the gym
Place a towel in the cooler, preferably a hand towel, not a beach towel. Don’t be dumb about this.
When you start to feel warm, put it on your neck for rest periods. Do cardio with it on. You can even buy specially designed cooling towels if you want to splurge a little bit.
This is a cool little tweak and it may help you in the hot months during training sessions. Give it a ride.
- Lose excess bodyfat and keep it off
Let’s save the obvious for last.
If you are heavy, you are hotter. Period.
Muscle or fat, doesn’t matter. Size generates some impressive amount of body heat which means you will feel like an oven when the temps rise.
I am not expecting anyone to lose muscle mass, because that is silly to ask. If you are a jacked and lean guy, you will just have to adjust a little to manage the heat but you will still be better off than a person who is carrying around too much adipose tissue.
If you are carrying extra fat, you have no excuse. You can afford to be leaner and feeling cooler in the summer months is yet another smashing reason to lose the extra fat.
Let’s add that to the list:
- Look more muscular with less bodyfat
- Clothes fit better
- More confidence
- Less visceral fat
- Look better naked
- Feel less like a convection oven
Let’s hear from you, either in the comments or on the post you read this from.
What are some ideas you have to manage training and nutrition in the hot months of the year?
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