Combine weight training and cardio for the ultimate beach body.
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A chiseled chest, broad shoulders, wide back, six-pack abs and shapely calves are all a man needs to look great in swimwear on the beach. If only it was as simple as it sounded. Getting into great shape and achieving your ideal beach body is certainly within reach, but it may take a little time to get there. Also, remember that you need a carefully structured, beach-body-specific workout routine.1.
Train your upper body three times per week and your lower body once. While the muscles above your waist are the most important for the beach-body look, you still need leg training, otherwise you risk looking skinny underneath your swim shorts.2.
Give yourself 12 weeks to get the look you want. Getting into great shape doesn't happen overnight, so trainer T.R Goodman of "Men's Fitness" advises giving yourself 12 weeks and splitting this up into three, four-week phases. Phase one will build a solid foundation; phase two is dedicated to gaining strength and size and phase three is dedicated to getting that last little boost and dropping body fat.
Perform six exercises in each upper-body workout. Split this into one chest move, one shoulder move, two for your back and one each for triceps and biceps. Strength coach Mike Robertson suggests performing these as supersets, where you pair two exercises together and perform them back to back. This increases your workout volume and may also increase calorie burn, leading to faster fat loss.4.
Pick multi-joint moves for your chest, back and shoulders and isolations for your arms. A sample routine could be a bench press supersetted with dumbbell rows, wide-grip pull-ups supersetted with barbell shoulder presses and cable curls supersetted with overhead dumbbell triceps extensions.
Hit your legs once a week. When working your legs, multi-joint moves are once again key, note trainers Joe Wuebben and Gunnar Peterson on Muscle & Fitness. Employ the superset approach here, too. Start your session with squats supersetted with stiff-legged deadlifts, then move on to dumbbell lunges with lying leg curls and finish off calf raises supersetted with a plank.6.
Complete four sets of 10 to 12 reps on every exercise in each session in phase one. Start with moderately comfortable weights for sets of 10 in week one and gradually increase the weights and reps until you're at four tough sets of 12 in week four.7.
Increase the weights in week five, but drop your rep ranges down to five sets of five on each move. Aim to lift heavier, or add reps over the four weeks until you're at five hard sets of eight in week eight.8.
Change your workout format slightly from weeks nine to 12 by performing all the exercises in your sessions as a circuit minimal rest in between. You may need to go a little lighter here, but you'll get a challenging blend of strength training and cardio, to really give you a boost over the last four weeks. Complete eight to 12 reps on each exercise and go four times through the circuit, resting 90 to 120 seconds between rounds.9.
Add cardio into your routine to assist with fat burning. Strength coach Dan Trink of Peak Performance in Manhattan recommends two different cardio workouts. The first is a treadmill sprint workout, where you sprint for 200 yards, rest, then sprint for 150 yards, rest, then sprint for 100, 75 and 50 yards again with rest in between. You should rest for twice as long as it took you to complete the sprint. Secondly, Trink suggests a rowing workout, where you row for 500 meters, rest for three minutes, row for 300 meters, rest for two minutes, row for 200 meters, rest a minute and finish with a 100-meter row. Perform these once a week each, either after a weights workout, or on separate days.
- Well-equipped gym
- Combine your training routine with a healthy diet containing lean protein, vegetables, nutrient-dense carbs and healthy fats at every meal. If you need to gain mass, increase your calorie intake and serving sizes. If you need to lose fat, eat a little less and drop your calorie intake.
- Check with your doctor before starting a new workout routine and book yourself in for a gym induction if you're not familiar with weight training.