Perform for summer

Prepare your body for summer so it can work hard rather than just look good, says PT Adam Smith.

From beginners to seasoned gym-goers, this full body workout is designed to shred fat, increase your strength and boost your overall athletic performance. It’s not a quick fix for a summer body, but a way to improve your body so you can enjoy your best summer. I’ve selected a mixture of compound and isolation exercises, which will enhance your results in the gym and challenge you in different ways.

For optimal results, ensure your form is good, stick to your tempos and keep the RPE to 5-7. What’s RPE? It’s the rate of perceived exertion, a way of measuring the intensity level of your training sessions. RPE works on a scale of 1-10: 1 being very easy, 3 moderate, 5 hard, 7 very hard and 10 is maximum effort. It’s a great way to self-regulate your training sessions.

You also need to know your training caloric intake and ensure you’re adequately hydrated and getting enough sleep.

 1  Deficit snatch grip deadlift

3 sets, 4-6 reps, 5-7 RPE, 5-0-1-0 duration/tempo, 90 sec rest

You’ll need a 10kg weight plate to stand on. Grab the barbell with a wide pronated grip at about a 30-degree angle from your shoulders, keeping the level of your hips lower than your shoulders. Push into the floor as you stand up, keeping nice and tight through the upper back and spine in extension. Keep the bar very close to your body while pulling your hips through. At the top of the movement, shoot hips backward and reverse the movement in a controlled manner until you come to rest on the floor.

TIP: The depth of the deficit is dependent on your flexibility – you can drive your heels into the floor with an external intention to engage your glutes better.

 2  30-degree incline barbell bench press with pronated close grip

3 sets, 4-6 reps, 5-7 RPE, 5-0-1-0 duration/tempo, 90 sec rest

Adjust the bench to a 30-degree incline. Grab the barbell with both hands in a pronated grip, shoulder-width apart. Unrack the bar and lower to your chest in a controlled manner, then press straight up.

TIP: Make sure you set up with shoulderblades squeezed back and down and sternum pushed towards the roof in order to take advantage of the stretch at the bottom of the movement.

 3  Chin-ups with neutral close grip

3 sets, 6-8 reps, 5-7 RPE, 4-0-1-0 duration/tempo, 75 sec rest

Place hands about shoulder-width apart in a neutral grip position (palms facing each other), with arms extended and your body hanging freely. Pull your chest to the roof and point your elbows to the floor as you attempt to get your chin above the bar, then lower in a controlled manner.

TIP: If you’re unable to lift your own body weight, you can use an assisted chin-up machine. Also drive your sternum to the roof with shoulders back at the top of the movement.

 4  Elevated front foot dumbbell split squats

3 sets, 6-8 reps, 5-7 RPE, 4-0-1-0 duration/tempo, 75 sec rest

Place a step in front of you and put your front foot on it. In a downward diagonal fashion, lower your body and push your knee as far forward over your toes as you can, trying to get your hamstring to touch the calf of the front foot. Make sure you push your hips through so your torso is perpendicular to the floor. Repeat on other leg.

TIP: Always control the descent and try to keep the back leg as straight as you can by coming up onto the toes. Make sure you keep the front foot heel down as you shift your weight forward – depending on the flexibility of your hip flexors, this will dictate how high/low you need the step to be.