Be ‘Beach Bod’ Ready. A simple guide on how to be ready for the beaches this summer. By Dan Lawrence.
If we fall off the horse a bit in autumn and winter we all know some pretty cute ways of disguising any additional bulge around the abdominal area, a little extra junk in the trunk or a narrowing gap between the thighs.
But when spring and summer are upon us, it’s human nature to want to look and feel your best. Over recent years some temperatures in the UK have soured to the 30’C mark, meaning hiding under a baggy jumper just isn’t an option anymore, plus if answering honestly, no one would want to succumb to baggy jumpers in the summer anyway.
Put the work in today to build the foundations and have an unforgettable summer.
Here are my 5 tips on how to get in the best possible condition –
1 – Never skip breakfast –
Yes, I know you’ve heard this before, but you need to be consistent with this meal for more reasons than you may think. It’s not just going to make you less productive at work it’s actually going to mean you won’t be beach ready as well.
It is thought that when we skip meals, our gut releases hormones that act on the orbital frontal cortex (cognitive process of decision making) priming it to steer our thoughts towards fatty and sugary foods. Have you ever skipped breakfast then craved a load of sugary rubbish late morning time? This explains it.
2 – Get 7-8 hours sleep a night. Sleep is going to make me ready for the beach, really?
One huge problem associated with a lack of sleep is the increase to your cortisol levels throughout the day.
Cortisol is a hormone that is released in the body and it works to break down body tissue. When you are stressed your cortisol levels will be high. So essentially that means the cortisol will be released to breakdown muscle, having a negative effect on your metabolism and therefore hindering your fat burning potential.
3 – Devise or purchase an eating plan and plan every meal.
This is so important, food is special and I personally have a real passion for it and we all know we couldn’t do without it. If you plan all of your meals from Monday through to Friday, the ‘odd’ slip up at the weekend is absolutely fine. Though I wouldn’t say becoming fixated with calories is ideal, having an idea of your daily calorie consumption and Macronutrient breakdown (Macronutrients – Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats) will help steer you towards a better you.
4 – Perform exercises that give you the biggest bang for your buck –
Perform *big compound lifts – Squats (any variation), Press, Pull, 1 leg weighted step ups and Deadlift (any variation) for the greatest hormonal adaptations.
Targeting multiple muscle groups over multiple joint angles will have high amounts of stress on the body and it’s CNS (central nervous system) and will be far more beneficial than performing a single joint movement like a bicep curl for major body composition improvements.
*Get a coach to teach you proper form and speak about programming considerations (when to execute these movements). To show you how to perform a block/brace in order to perform these movements safely and effectively.
5 – HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – Another great bang for your buck way of training –
This is a fascinating topic and one I will sum up a lot more in depth in a future article titled – HIIT vs LISS. They both have their benefit’s, it’s all dependent on the individuals goals.
Instead of running on the treadmill for hours on end, which to be frank the majority of us don’t have the time or motivation for, HITT is a great way to go the gym and get the best possible return for your time and it goes without saying effort.
A basic protocol to start off on, using the treadmill is – 60 seconds work (70-80% max effort) followed by 120 seconds recovery (30% maximum effort) – Work: 1:2 Rest. There are a number of factors that will mean the Work: 1:2 :Rest can be changed – Participants current exercise level, participants goals, what intensity the participant wants to operating at in this current phase of his/her training, sports specific and many more.
What I would say is work to your own scale and progress accordingly by – Increasing time of work duration, reduce time of rest duration, increasing speed of work duration, increase speed/gradient of rest duration, increase how many total intervals you’ll be completing.
There is so much more available in the world of fitness, but these are my 5 key tips, that if addressed, will bring you considerably closer to your goal of looking fab on the beach and being summer ready.
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