Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but if you’re a bodybuilder or just someone who takes their fitness very seriously then you may find it can actually be quite stressful as well. You’ll be offered huge amounts of dinner lathered in sauces, you’ll be force fed cake and sweets, and you’ll drink lots of mulled wine while being ‘merry’. And even if you wanted to stop the gluttony, doing so would ensure you were branded a Grinch and a ‘health freak’. Unfortunately it’s just not acceptable to refuse more Christmas pudding…
So does that mean that you’re necessarily doomed to put on weight when Christmas comes around? Or is there something you can do about it? Fortunately if you know how then it’s possible to stay in great shape over Christmas and actually to use the holiday somewhat to your advantage. Read on to discover how…
Tip 1: Bulk
If you’re someone who takes your muscle mass seriously then you will be familiar with the cutting and bulking cycle. The best way to acquire a bodybuilder-like physique is to spend periods bulking up and adding ‘mass’ only to then ‘cut’ that mass off with lots of CV and lower amounts of food so that it becomes defined.
And if you’re a smart bodybuilder, then you will have figured out that you can time these phases to coincide with particular points in your life. For instance, if you’re feeling unwell and can’t eat: perfect time to cut. And if it’s Christmas and you’re going to be forced to eat tons of carbs? It’s time to bulk!
Tip 2: Top Up on the Good Stuff
While there’s a lot of cake and potato going around at Christmas, there’s also a fair amount of protein and veg which can help you in the gym. Turkey is actually a fantastically lean source of protein with a very favorable amino acid profile, so if you’re going to pile anything onto your plate in huge amounts it should be the turkey. That way people won’t notice when you don’t take as much potato.
Tip 3: Fitting it In
Next up you need to think about how you’re going to fit your training in around all this jollity. Just as you can’t say no to more Christmas pudding, you’ll also find that everyone gasps if you tell them you’re not going to spend the day with them but will instead be doing chin-ups in the garage.
Thus you need to find a way to fit your training in around the festivities. Chances are that the gym is off limits (it’s probably closed at Christmas anyway… losers) so you need to come up with some workouts you can do at home. If you can find a convenient tree branch or invest in a $5 pull up bar for your doorframe, then this can include batches of pull ups which are a great full body workout. Alternatively, you could stand two chairs opposite each other and do dips. Do 10 set of 10 dips this way and you’ll find that you get a major burn in your pecs in no time at all. It’s fast, it’s efficient and it’s intense.
Another option is to go running in the morning. For some people don’t mind this – they think it’s kind of romantic as you’ll be running out in the crisp air and greeting all the other locals as you jog by. Few people will be awake this early so you’re not ‘missing out’ and if anyone says anything you can always tell them you’re listening to carols on your iPod…
Tip 4: Bring Them Along
Another option is to bring the family along or otherwise involve them in your training. Granted they probably won’t be up for a 6am run, but you can probably convince everyone to go for a long walk to look at the lights or even to play a friendly game of football. Failing that, bring out the Wii or the dance mat and you can get everyone burning calories together and loving it.
Oh and why not ask for protein shake for your Christmas present? Perhaps they even do Christmas pudding flavor…
About the Author: Jamie Watson, the author of this post, works at Christmas All Year, an online shop that offers quality Christmas decals. Through his blog posts, he enjoys sharing information related to health and fitness. He loves spending Christmas holidays with his family and friends.