Summer is finally here and, for many, a week or two lounging about on the beach isn’t far off. But do you feel beach ready? Do you feel confident joining the swim short and bikini clad revellers knowing full well that 99% of the beach is envious of your physique?
If you’ve bulked in the winter and are now in the cutting stage of your training, then now is the time to step it up a notch. If you’re planning on dropping body fat and haven’t started adjusting your diet and training, then today is the day to start! Of course, some will be far more focussed on strength than having sharp abs– in which case, you’ll be at the beach looking big and strong!
The first step when trying to gain ‘beach envy’ is to work out what you need to improve. Below are a few common flaws that are normally concealed in clothes but can be exposed in a pair of swim shorts (yes, swim shorts, no Speedos here!)
Carrying too much fat:
Having a lean muscular physique is an altogether different challenge to looking big in clothes. If you’ve been bulking, lax with your food choices or are naturally endomorphic, chances are you’ll want to drop a few pounds before the summer.
The main thing is to start now – you’ve around 8 weeks until the beginning of August. At 1lb fat loss per week, that’s over half a stone of fat that you can drop – revealing your hard earned muscle.
Common mistakes are embarking on a drastic diet and losing muscle as well as fat. Try to structure your diet and training until your holiday, so you have clear and definitive targets.
Cardio wise, consider combining high intensity interval training with the commonly used low intensity, longer duration exercise. Research suggests increased calorie expenditure and total fat oxidation, which is exactly what you’re after.
If you follow a sensible eating plan and increase your calorie expenditure, it’s a case of being consistent with it. If your abs don’t come through straight away, you just need to plug away at it and peel the fat away.
Not enough muscle:
If you’re a natural ectomorph or are new to training, then you may be more on the slim side. Realistically, you’re not going to put on a huge amount of muscle before a summer holiday. However, if you’re structurally small, even a couple of pounds of extra muscle will make a difference. While you may not see it so clearly in clothes you certainly will in swim shorts!
If you’re currently pretty lean, then consider bumping your calories and protein up and focussing on compound lifts such as bench/squat/deadlift/military press. This may help you gain that little bit of extra muscle which will look all the more impressive in swim shorts.
Everyone has seen the guys with massive upper bodies and tooth picks for legs. If that’s you, then the fashion of longer swim shorts will hide any lack of quad and hamstring development. However, your calves will be exposed.
Although, for many, calves can be a very stubborn body-part that doesn’t mean you should give up. Try training calves 2-3 times per week; focus on a full contraction with both high and low reps (high reps for standing raises and low reps for seated is a popular choice due to the types of muscle fibres in that part of the muscle).
Most people tend to focus on chest and abs for holiday. While these are the ‘show’ muscles, your back is also important. Chances are, 50% of people will see you first from behind – wouldn’t it be a bonus if they were already impressed before they had even seen your chest/abs…and hopefully your handsome good looks too!
Try incorporating a combination of deadlifts, with some rowing and some pull down exercises for overall back development. An example could be:
- Deadlifts: 5 sets of 5 reps
- Pull Ups: 3 sets of maximal reps
- One arm db row: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Impressive chest and abs with developed back and shoulders will make you look impressive from the front, back and the side!
While the above isn’t an exhaustive list, nor does it go into huge detail on rectifying problem areas, it does give you a few things to focus on so that, come your summer holiday, you’ll be in the 1% of people that is sporting an all over impressive physique!
The Beach Body Bundle comprises of the following products: Complete Lean Mass 2.5kg, Whey Protein Isolate 1kg, ThermoLean, CLA 90 x 1000mg Softgels, a BULK POWDERS™ Blender Bottle and a 75ml Measure. It has been designed to last an entire month and you can even see an example of how each product should be used on both training and non-training days in the ‘directions’ tab below!