Ready, Set, Tone

Expert tips to tighten up and trim down for summertime

By Christina Orlovsky Page

The weather forecast may indicate endless summer in San Diego, but its beach season brings more opportunities than ever to bare your body in shorts or a bikini. If your physique has been in hibernation since Labor Day, Spring is the perfect time to get physical. Christal Rodrigues, a personal trainer at La Jolla Sports Club, mother of six, grandmother (no way!) and proud owner of six-pack abs, shares her top tips for getting in tip-top shape this season.


To Get Fit

with Christal Rodrigues, contact her at i.getufit@yahoo.com; visit lajollasportsclub.com for more information.

Eat Right

“The only one-size-fits-all approach to fitness is healthy eating,” Rodrigues says. “Nutrition is 75 percent of the equation; it reduces fat everywhere. You can build muscle all you want, but if you’re eating poorly, you’ll never see them.” To begin a healthy eating regimen, Rodrigues suggests getting in a habit of hydration, drinking water regularly. Then introduce more vegetables into your diet. “I never suggest taking things away, just adding in things that are healthy.”

Get Moving

Whether it’s paddle boarding, hiking, running or the elliptical, just do something. “My most successful clients are those who find something they love and stick with it,” Rodrigues says. To see results, do your favorite workout four times a week for six weeks.

Change It Up

“If you want to see a change, you have to make a change. Anything new you do starts changing your body,” she continues. Without mixing up your workouts, your body will get used to the activity and you’ll hit a plateau.

Strive for 85

Percent, that is. “I recommend at least 20 minutes of working really hard at something—whether it’s interval training, jumping jacks or jumping rope—making sure your intensity is at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate,” Rodrigues explains. “This means your heart rate is up, you’re sweating and you’re giving at least an eight out of 10 in output. Imagine you left your wallet on the top of your car and you run back as fast as you can before it’s stolen. That’s working hard!”

Do the Twist

“When it comes to whittling the middle, there’s one trick: twist,” she says. “The only way you can work out your oblique muscles is to twist, and most people forget to do that.” A weighted hula hoop is a great— and fun—tool to help tone your tummy.

Count Your Reps

When you reach a level of fitness with which you’re comfortable, and then you’re simply looking to maintain it, follow Rodrigues’ rule of thumb for toning: strength train three days a week, doing four sets of
12 to 21 reps per body part. “To see a change, burnout is best,” she says.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Finally, according to Rodrigues, you must stay focused on the goal— whether it’s scoring six-pack abs or simply gaining strength or coordination. “The ultimate goal of nutrition and exercise is to live a long, healthy life, free of injury or illness,” she says. “The benefit is the beach body.”