Much like the abs article this is going to be a little article on misconceptions and the philosophy of training. From about here on out until around September you will undoubtedly hear the phrase “summer body” being passed around conversation and social media. Most of the talk you will hear will probably pass along the lines of this…
“Hey Will do you want to go to the beach tomorrow- its going to be a lovely day”
“I would love to Tom but I am not summer body ready”
Sound familiar? And even if it does not I am sure that situation has appeared in at least one conversation you have had.
Today I will tell you why you should never ever use the term summer body- the implications of it and the psychological damage it does.
First of all I will talk of the implications that the phrase brings. The very first word is the word summer. Its a summer body. So this would imply that your condition peaks over the summer and that the other three seasons of the year exist simply to work towards the glory of summer. This is fine if your a bodybuilder or power lifter whose meets and shows are often around the summer time. But what if your an athlete such as a football player whose season is during the winter? It would not make sense to peak in the summer because thats not beneficial to you. This is especially important if you play a sport and something to bare in mind. Secondly when I say “peaking in summer” chances are you think of someone like this…
This is fine if your a bodybuilder but what if your a rugby player? If you put Chris Bumstead on a rugby pitch he would struggle. Therefore some thought about what your sport-specific “peak” may look like. The last assumption I will break down for you is a mental one. With mental health mentioned everywhere we go now it is important to remember that the “peak” may not be a physical one. The benefits of exercise are not just limited to what you look like, a huge benefit is found in the brain (as you can read about here).
And that brings me very nicely on to the physiological damage caused by your “summer body”. As with the little dialogue at the top of the article, much of the woe caused by your “summer body” is actually not having one at all. You are worried as to what people may think, their judgements of you. This leads to a culture of suspicion and a culture of which training is done not for yourself- but for others. It is not self-improvement it is improvement in the eyes of others. We can not change how people think, but we can change how we think- so stop comparing yourself to others and focus on your personal improvement. This want to compare one another will undoubtedly lead to depression, anxiety and potentially eating problems as well.
Overall this obsession with our “summer bodies” will cause serious damage and will effect our relationships with others and exercise. So I beg of you please stop using this phrase and instead focus on getting a little better each day.