The countdown has begun! We’re 90 days to Trinidad Carnival 2016 –  fete tickets are dropping, new songs are being released, costume balances are being paid off,  and now it’s time to work on what goes INSIDE those costumes.

We are thinking about the Greatest Show on Earth and understandably we want each piece to be the best it can be, including our bodies that will be on full display since ain’t much clothing involved in many of our costumes.

No matter where you are now and where you want to end up, it has to start with the first step and then another...... the more steps you take the easier it will get because you’re getting into a consistent routine & the fact is – you can see the finish line and have the ability to envision looking/feeling your best when you Cross De Stage b/c we already down in the 90’s.

So...... time to carve Yuh Bess Carnival Body.

We all have different shapes & sizes (that’s part of the beauty of Carnival) so this isn’t a one size fits all routine to get the same result, but it definitely is a process that can work for all of us.  Hell, it took me nearly 2 decades of working out to finally accept that no matter how hard I tried I’d never look like Mr. Olympia.... it’s just not my body type – I can be lean & fit but I’m never going to be built like Hercules. So, whatever your body type is, it’s about accentuating what you’re born with & feeling good – inside & out.

Come Carnival season it’s all about toning & trimming. Fellas, if you were thinking you still had time to both add mass and shred, sorry….maybe if you targeting Cropover but not TnT 2016.  Ladies, this isn’t about dropping a massive amount of weight in a dangerous method nor do you have to worry about getting “too bulky/muscular” (it’s actually a lot harder than your think to add mass), but there is a big difference between being smaller and softer vs firm & fit when cutting weight.

For the next 30 days it’s about upping the cardio – we talkin real work ON TOP of the free weight workouts.  Take your pick during the 5 days of 30 minutes of cardio – run a 5k, stairmaster (has the potential for the highest caloric burn of any cardio machine in your standard gym), elliptical machine, incline treadmill, stationery bike, swimming (1,600m), kick-boxing, etc. Personally, I have to mix it up because I get insanely bored doing the same thing again & again and I’d rather do calculus problems than cardio.... but it’s necessary to be carve up, plus:

#1 my heart feels better
#2 my energy level rises when I condition regularly
#3 I want increased stamina for the 18+ hrs a day wuk up I gonna do in fetes & on d road
#4 keep it real, who doesn’t like to feel good/look good and have know yuh got some of dem extra eyes yuh wanted to catch come Carnival time?

1st of December.... ish gets real --- time for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 6 days a week – specifically a HIIT 100 regiment (fatiguing a major muscle w/100 reps before going into the rest of the exercises for that muscle group), along with the cardio routines listed above for now “only” 20 minutes a day.  This is all about higher reps while decreasing the recovery time between sets each week that leads to cutting fat & toning your muscles which I’ll do for all December and January (technically, it’s a 6 week training program ... I just extend it a bit to shred/define a bit more, especially since there are a few holidays that happen in the middle & if you were to fall off d wagon w/a cheat meal or even a cheat day you’ll reach new heights & make sure you actually hit your goals having done this for a full 8 weeks.

If you’re not already in the gym on a regular basis I don’t advise you attempting to do what I’ve outlined above – I’m a former 2 sport collegiate athlete and have had a chance to build a respectable base & a chance to learn about what works/doesn’t work along the way.  If this is new to you, it’s gonna hurt for a bit/you’ll be sore for the first week or so but after that you’ll be past it and seeing/feeling the gains (typically faster than veteran gym rats).

Let’s keep it simple if you’re just getting started & focus on the steps below:
  • Get a professional trainer (you’re investing in your health & well-being)
  • Get a workout partner (more accountability & encouragement)
  • Set up a clear/consistent schedule (time block – workouts 5-6 days a week -- I do early mornings b/c everyday life can't get in the way at 6 am)
  • Set incremental goals (cardio – length of time, level of resistance, caloric burn … lifting – weight & reps)
  • Join a fitness support group (there’s plenty of them on FB – even a few oriented around being fete fit/having a Carnival Body)
  • Focus on how you feel (not the scale, how’s your energy level? Clothes getting looser? Progress in the mirror?)
  • Consistent Cardio (time on task over time gets d best results.... there are no shortcuts)
  • Lifting/Weights burns more calories than cardio & firms up muscle mass.... so do it!
Next up, we’ll hit the 2nd half of the equation to achieving yuh Bess Carnival Body...... Meal Plans.... Because it’s time to eat clean – starting NOW.

Until then, crank up the cardio & keep counting down – Carnival Soon Come!

-Jouvert Mike