It's that time of year that everyone wants to be outside, whether it's at the beach, at the park, or taking your fitness routine outside. Who wants to be couped up inside when you can be outside making new friends from the neighborhood boot camp. Chances are there's one going on in your neighborhood or it's about to start.

And just like that, Springtime is on its way out and Summer is just around the corner! Wait, did you just realize that your body is still stuck in winter mode? No worries. There’s still 4 weeks before Memorial Day weekend! You can hit the workouts hard and burn the extra calories AND get a little boost along the way with the Summer Shape-Up Package.

How much do I eat? How many calories? What percentage of macronutrients should I be eating? These are all common questions in the fitness world. I touched on BMR in my second article, but I will hit on that a little more here as well as try to find the macro ratio's we should target. It's certainly a wise practice to balance between macronutrients, but a single perfect ratio for everyone just doesn't exist. Ok so let's start with step one: finding your BMR.

You may already be immersed in a fitness plan which enhances your physical strength and flexibility, improves performance, and keeps your physique in tip-top shape. But being physically fit confers a multitude of mental benefits which you might not be aware of. As a matter of fact, the link between physical health and mental health is so strong that people who brush off regular exercise as a time-consuming task are depriving themselves of optimal health and well-being.

Building muscle requires an increase in calories. To gain weight you must eat more calories than you burn each day. But if you go overboard and eat too much, you’ll kick-start the fat-storing process. So the key is to eat just enough to facilitate the muscle gaining process but not so much that you’ll add fat along with it. One way to do this is by controlling portion sizes when eating. For most meals (not including postworkout), aim to get 40-60 grams of protein and 40-80 grams of carbs, depending on your size; bigger guys weighing more than, around, 225 pounds will shoot for the higher end. Dietary fat should be as low as possible, except for healthy fats (from nuts, olive oil, fatty fish), which can amount to 5-10 grams per meal.

Amino acids are the buzz in the health and fitness industry, and many people take them for various benefits. There are so many different options available with some being “essential” and some described as “branched chain.” What part do they play in the body and what benefits do they provide?

The Mind in Muscular Development

In my opinion, no dialogue on training would be complete without discussing the mind’s role in the equation! It would be a true disservice to the readers of Industry Insider not to include what may be the most important element in your pursuit of reaching the outer limits of your genetic potential.

If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, you’re most likely going hard in the gm, avoiding fast food dieting fads, and probably focusing on squeezing more protein into your diet to fill you up and build lean muscle. What you probably haven’t been thinking about….Micro-nutrients. And while it’s common to zoom in on whole grain carbs, “healthy” fats (like olive oil or nuts), and lean protein when trying to conquer weight loss, not as many think about micro-nutrients.

In honor of each and every traumatic brain injury survivor, as a fellow TBI Survivor, I praise you with my utmost respect.

Given the adversity and obstacles in my life, I have also experienced the bright side. I am so fortunate to have been blessed with opportunities in my career that have enabled me to pursue my dreams. However, it’s by the result of multiple traumatic brain injuries, that I’ve pursued a purpose driven life and career. Having a positive mindset, your-eye-on-the-prize momentum and winning attitude ensures you focus!

If you're like me, than you go into each workout knowing that you're going to get a solid session according to your program and you're going to crush it, and you're going to be smart about it. So, with that said, the occasional "beast mode" throw down is not only a physical test, but a mental one as well.