by Bev Ratcliff

Summer bodies are built in the winter.

Yes, yes, I know–you drank too much, ate too much, generally did too much, but isn’t that the point of the festive season? Well, it’s over now and those extra few pounds you’re carrying around is the greatest tool in your toolbox.

If you’re anything like me, that workout you were flying through a couple of weeks ago has a whole new cardio twist to it now. It isn’t pretty. Yes, before the holidays we were cranking out those chin-ups, doing burpees with the greatest of ease and loading up our jump squats with sandbags, weren’t we? Now, my sandbags are attached firmly under the skin, and as much as I may moan, I honestly couldn’t care less. All excessiveness was absolutely worth it, and now I’m going to make the extra LBs work for me.

With a couple of weeks of an easier workout schedule, your physical and mental self will get a well-earned rest. Muscles will recover from the tiredness December brings. The extra fats and calories consumed will bring some added benefits: connective tissue repair and hormonal up-cycling, not to mention a few extra few mornings of sleeping in (hangover or not). All of this will hopefully fire up your mental state, because there’s only so much time off anyone can take in New York City, right?

You are now primed and ready to go.

Put your extra poundage to use and get back to work with gusto. Yes, at first we’ll huff and puff a bit more, but lets change the mindset. Think of those extra calories at your bidding to burn in the next few weeks of training. Think of the muscle that is now being forced to adapt and grow, the body working harder and getting hotter, adding that little bit of extra thermal kick to your workout. Your new built-in weight vest is going to tackle every twist, hold and leap. Your ankles, knees, hips and shoulders will delight at the new momentum variables, and the best bit is–you don’t have a choice!

What you create in the winter is what you’ll see in the summer. Training is fun when it’s seasonal: In the winter we build, in the spring we put that new strength into athleticism, and in the summer you’re ready to lean up that body and see what you have created.

No more begrudging the holiday pounds, put them to work and embrace that weight belt!

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