The Ultimate Summer Workout Plan


Summer workout plan

Who doesn’t want to have a beach-ready physique? We have all the tips and the summer workout plan you need to help you get that physique as long as you put in the effort and stick to the plan.

With summer just around the corner, I hear all sorts of people in my gym saying, “damn” when they look in the mirror. More often than not, this is in relation to their goal for the summer. You know the kind. It almost always involves having a six pack and biceps worthy of recognition.

Many people, most notably the ones who join the gym as a New Year’s resolution with the goal of getting in shape, end up quitting. Although gym owners appreciate the revenue, I’m sure that most of them would rather have people talking about the success they achieved at the gym to get even more business to come in.

One problem is that most people want a magic bullet that automatically grants them a six-pack and guns. The truth is that there is no such magic bullet. Another issue is that someone will invest in a theory and stick to it religiously, like low-carb dieting to lose fat. Lastly, people will invest in a trainer, but then once the hour with the trainer is over, they go back to their old habits of eating junk, drinking soda, etc.

Ideally, when one decides to get fit, it should be a gradual lifestyle change that shifts from binge eating and watching too much TV to going to the gym three or four times a week and eating clean food with smaller portion sizes. But, life isn’t always ideal and people have their vices. Any good trainer or coach will recognize this.

I get it…

I like to drink beer and watch hockey on the weekends, but I know that the amount of beer I drink is directly related to the size of my (thankfully nonexistent due to my eating habits) beer belly. That hour I would have spent trolling YouTube for hockey highlights and videos of the sweetest goals scored, biggest hits and all that is instead spent either at the gym or making good, clean, healthy food.

All this said, here’s your ultimate summer beach body plan, just in time to start.

This Is The Diet

This Is The Diet

Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first. From there, we can get to the exercise.

You hear it all the time: Diet, diet, diet. 

But what is the right way to eat to trim down for the summer?

There’s a method that really is quite simple. It’s called carb cycling. In short, carb cycling is eating carbs on your training days (days you lift) and not eating them on days you don’t lift.

Another rule for carb cycling is to make sure your carb intake takes places within two hours on either side of your workout.


So the carbs either get used if you have them before your workout, or they replenish your glycogen (storage form of carbs that your muscles need to work) that became depleted during your workout.

Here’s a sample day using carb cycling. Assuming you work out in the mornings, which is another tip for getting in shape in time for summer, when you wake up, start the coffee machine (caffeine is your friend on this plan as it promotes fat burning and also makes your heart beat a little faster, which translates to more calorie burn during the day) and make yourself some oatmeal. For flavor, honey and banana make great additions and also offer some carbs themselves. A small bowl is all you need.

Then hit the gym, shower up and eat a piece of very sweet fruit after, like mango, pineapple or banana. You could also throw a bunch of fruits in a protein shake with a little honey.

For the rest of the day, focus on eating lots of lean protein (chicken, fish, lean beef) and leafy green veggies. About 35% of your plate should be protein, 15% healthy fats (like cooking oil or butter) and 50% leafy green veggies. Your best options for that are spinach, arugula, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens. They all offer huge health benefits and lots of fiber. This is good for your bathroom habits, in turn helping to eliminate waste from your body (when you go to the bathroom, both #1 and #2 help you get rid of fat).

Another very important distinction to make is the difference between being satisfied and being full. Eating until you’re full is a surefire way to eat too much. This leads to storage of extra nutrients in fat. Eating until you’re satisfied, or not hungry anymore, is eating just enough to make sure you replenish what you lose during the day, but not so much that your body is forced to store it in fat.

Eating slower is a good trick for identifying this point for you. Also, listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry and don’t eat when you are not. Just because everyone else is eating dinner doesn’t mean you have to as well.

The last point I want to make on the diet is that it’s important to have a cheat day. I usually pick Saturday because that’s when people like to get dressed up and go out. So pick a day and do whatever you want on that day, but be prepared to get back to your diet on the next day and hit the gym hard.

The Bench Press

The Exercise Plan: It’s About Time

As mentioned, working out in the morning can make a huge difference in terms of fat loss and muscle gain. Doing your weightlifting in the morning means your heart beats a little bit faster all day. That results in more calorie burning and, in turn, more fat burning.

Also, it wakes you up mentally to work out in the morning so when you get to work you’re ready to go, instead of chugging coffee to keep you going. Try to keep your gym workout routines to an hour or less. The faster you move, the more you burn.

In terms of what you should be doing in the gym, we need to think about efficiency of the workouts. 

An efficient workout is one that focuses on compound lifts – ones that use multiple joints. Things like squats, bench presses, rows, chin-ups, deadlifts and the like are examples of compound lifts. Ideally, you would lift four days a week, so here are the four workouts that will get you ready for summer.

Workout 1

Plank 2 minutes

Power Clean* 6×2

Deadlift 5×5

Romanian Deadlift 4×8

Physio Ball Hamstring Curl 4×8

Pull-up 5xAs Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

Underhand Bent Over Row 4×8

Face Pull 4×12

*Only if you know how to do it the right way.


Workout 2

Plank 2 minutes

Push Press Walkout* 4×4

Front Squat 5×5

Back Squat 4×5

Dumbbell Lateral Step-up 3×8 each side

Bench Press 5×5

Dumbbell Incline Press 4×8

Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4×5

*Only if you know how to do it the right way.


Workout 3

Plank 2 minutes

Hang Clean* 6×2

Sumo Deadlift 5×5

Good Morning 4×8

Single-Leg RDL 4×6 each side

Chin-up 5xAMRAP

Bent-Over Row 4×8

Lat Pulldown 4×8

*Only if you know how to do it the right way.


Workout 4

Plank 2 minutes

Drop Snatch* 4×3

Back Squat 5×5

Bulgarian Split Squat 4×6 each side

Walking Lunge 4×6 each side

Dumbbell Bench Press 5×5

Close-Grip Incline Press 4×5

Barbell Overhead Press 4×5

*Only if you know how to do it the right way.

I’ve included a plank with each workout to give you some core training and make you more stable. This will in turn make you stronger, meaning you’ll be able to lift more and get bigger as well. Feel free to do any additional core training as you like, and I would definitely recommend doing so.

Do Some Cardio Training

The Cardio You Need

As far as cardio goes, there are a couple of options, and yes you do need to do it. Remember, this is like a crash plan, because summer is just around the corner, so the cardio is essential. I recommend sprinting, but not like the 40-yard dash sprinting. Here are three suggestions on what to do.

Sprint Workout 1

Set a timer for 20 seconds. In that time, sprint 100 yards. Rest for one minute and repeat 10x for a total of 1,000 yards sprinted.

Sprint Workout 2

Set a timer for 40 seconds. In that time, sprint 200 yards. Rest for 90 seconds and repeat 5x for a total of 1,000 yards sprinted.

Sprint Workout 3

Set a timer for 60 seconds. In that time, sprint 300 yards. Rest for two minutes and repeat 4x for a total of 1,200 yards sprinted.

All these sprint workouts are used by pro sports organizations around the world to condition their athletes, so they’re pretty grueling but very effective. Try not to do two-a-days.


This can be counterproductive. What I mean is do your sprint workouts on days that you’re not lifting and lift on days you don’t sprint. If you feel like doing some cardio on the same day you’re lifting, jump on the bike or on a treadmill for 15 minutes at a moderate pace, but no more.

arm workout routine

The Exercise Plan: Train To Maintain

I’m well aware that many people either go away over the summer, get long weekends where they go somewhere or live in a place with a lot of summer activities that can be conducted shirtless for guys or in bikinis for girls. The one issue that seems to pop up amongst most that go away over the summer or go to the beach on weekends is that they can’t maintain the physique they built in the gym in the off-season.

That is why these next few workouts will serve to help you maintain the physique you’ve worked so hard on. Ideally, you’d just stick to the workouts detailed before, but I completely understand that doing that is not always possible, especially if you go on a vacation. Here are the maintenance workouts, split into two different plans consisting of two workouts each.

This Is Maintenance Plan 1

Workout 1

Deadlift 3×5

Romanian Deadlift 3×5

Chin-up 3×5

Dumbbell Row 3×5 each side


Workout 2

Back Squat 3×5

Walking Lunge 3×10 each side

Barbell Bench Press 3×5

Barbell Incline Press 3×8

This Is Maintenance Plan 2

Workout 1

Sumo Deadlift 3×5

Good Morning 3×6

Pull-up 3×5

Underhand Bent Over Row 3×6


Workout 2

Front Squat 3×5

Bulgarian Split Squat 3×6 each side

Dumbbell Bench Press 3×8

Barbell Overhead Press 3×6

For maintenance cardio, you don’t need to kill yourself with the drills I detailed. Twice a week, go for a two-mile run and aim to keep your time less than eight minutes per mile. The other option is to find a 25-yard patch of ground you can use to run and do 50-yard sprints in less than 10 seconds, repeated 10 times for a total of 500 yards.

Flex Banner


Remember when I said there was no magic bullet?

I stand by that statement. This is hard work, but it will get you close to where you want to be for the summer. Still, you have to stick to it religiously. That’s as close to a promise as you can get. Remember one more thing: If it doesn’t work, that’s on you. What that means is if you stick to it and give it your all, you will reap the benefits over the summer.

Also, those maintenance workouts will keep you strong and healthy so when the off-season hits again, your maxes won’t decrease that much (you’re bound to get a little regression without testing and being in the gym four days a week) and you’ll be ready to go. And, now you know what to do for the off-season to make sure you’re even better when the next beach season comes around again.

Happy lifting!

By Michael Schletter, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D


  1. It is important to make plan for a workout. Because it makes balanced in your workout routine. So my workout schedule for week is pushups, air punches, triangel-pushups, crunches, cross-crunches.

  2. I’ve been going to the gym 5 days a week for the last 6 weeks. I am doing 20 minutes on a treadmill and 45 minutes to an hour on weights. I am finally seeing a gain in muscle mass but I can not lose the spare tire no matter what I do. It’s not a lot but why can’t I lose it, between the gym time and only eating 1700 calories I feel it should be gone by now. Also I know I’m almost 50 and my metabolism isn’t what it used to be but I just don’t know what else to do. Can you help please

    • Hey Kevin,

      Thanks for stopping by… How long have you been stuck in your plateau? I don’t know your stats but 1,700 calories seem a little low. Try switching it up a little, maybe doing 30 minutes of cardio 30 minutes of weights. Also make sure you are doing interval cardio and not steady as it will be easier to cut body fat around your mid section.

      Terry Asher

  3. What is your workout routine?
    I’m going to start going to the gym, so I’d like to get some feedback about effective workouts. Whats your routine?
    Update: Routine as in, lift weights, run the treadmill, etc.


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