Summer has arrived, the weather is hot and it’s time to head off on some beach holidays. Your bags are packed, your friends are ready, but is your body ready for the summer rays?
Don’t worry if it’s not, there is still time to start looking good before summer is out.
Abs are made in the kitchen…
You’ve probably heard this overused saying before, but the fact is it’s true. No matter how much you train, if your eating habits are really bad it’s a lot of wasted effort.
You don’t have to give everything up and live on chicken and broccoli, leave that for the body builders and stage competitors. But you do have to be smart about your food choices.
Use the 80/20 principle…
If you eat well 80% of the time, the other 20% you can have a few treats. That’s only if the 80% is really good though!
The best way to start is by seeing what you’re currently doing, which means a little tracking on your part. Get the My Fitness Pal app and add everything you eat and drink into it for 1 week.
Often the results might surprise you, you’ll find out exactly how many calories you’re consuming a day and which foods would be better off switched out for something healthier.
After you’re done tracking…
Pick 1 or 2 things to change each week. Making small changes is easier. For example, if you went out drinking 3 nights of the week and had 3 pints of beer each time, that would be a major thing to change. Even changing the beers to vodka, soda and lime would be a great help.
Top Tip: Look for the smallest change that can have the biggest impact. Sweets, chocolates, cakes, crisps, fizzy drinks and alcohol are the biggest areas which will make a difference.
OK, so that’s your challenge for the first week after tracking. Make sure you’re clear on what foods and drinks you need to switch out.
Let’s now take a look at what kind of training to do to get you in the best shape for the beach.
The best beach body training ideas
Most people will probably want to lose a bit of body fat and build some muscle, so we need to look at workouts that will do both of those.
Fortunately, weight training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle at the same time.
This doesn’t mean you need to start training like a body-builder with a Gold’s vest and a weight lifting belt. All it means is that you need to start using resistance to make your muscles work harder when they move.
Adding some secret sauce…
Here’s the thing. Lifting too many weights without doing explosive, body weight style HIIT training or athletic style movements will make you look big and bulky.
If you want a more athletic look, you must include some athletic style training. You can easily do some sprinting outside, play touch rugby or pretty much any sport to cover that.
If you don’t want to join a sports club, go to one of the HIIT, spin or body pump style classes at your local gym.
Failing that, you can easily find plenty of home HIIT workouts on YouTube to do. They’re quick and easy to do, usually not needing any equipment.
Top Tip: When you complete any kind of short HIIT style workout, you need to give 110% to it. They’re short but to be effective they need to be done with very high intensity.
So, how does a week’s training look?
It could look something like this:
You can find the exact training details and workouts to follow over here. It’s a 3 day weight training plan and 1 session of HIIT per week, plus some fasted cardio if you really want to improve your results.
This has been shared with the permission of Rob Jackson from Minimal FiT.
Does fasted cardio actually work?
The jury is still out on this one, but there is more than just the science to think about in this case. There are a few other reasons to use fasted cardio other than whether it’s an only fat burning workout:
- It gets you up and moving without the workout being too intense
- You do it first thing in the morning so the body gets a boost of hormones released naturally by exercise
- It helps to build good habits of exercising
The bottom line…
In order to get in great beach body ready shape, you need to get moving with a range of exercise from weight training to fasted cardio to HIIT.
Try it out for 3 weeks and see what happens.
And don’t forget to make improvements on your food choices too, as you can’t outtrain a bad diet.