Sound the alarm, summer’s here. Pools, beaches and their accompanying shirtless pics have all washed ashore. But if you don’t have your ideal beach body — whatever that may be — don’t panic: Just buckle your seatbelt and be brave, because “Body by Browning’s Summer Bod Bootcamp” is here!
You’re about to see that you don’t have to bust your ass all year for results. The following techniques have been verified by pros to create quick change by shocking, detoxing and pushing your body into overdrive. They’re designed for a standard “beach body goal,” which usually means fat-burning. (There is, of course, no such thing as an ideal body type, as personally I find “Dad Bod” just as hot.)
When combined, these three tips are a surefire way to quick body-shaping. But they’re brutal and not for the faint of heart. If you’re clutching your pearls already, stop reading. Otherwise, get ready to start some hardcore sacrificing, sweetie.
Here are the three keys to creating your own summer bod or beach body:
1. Lift heavy.
Remember: Muscle burns fat. The concept is based on the “After Burn Theory.” According to the American Council on Exercise, heavy lifting can “place an increased demand on your anaerobic system,” which can rev your metabolism, even while you’re at rest. Some experts say this method can allow you to burn up to 50 calories a day just by existing.
So for now, keep your exercises to an 8-to-10 rep max. That means you need to be begging for mercy around the last rep. This encourages more muscle fibers to tear, which creates more lean muscle mass.
I usually grab weight that’s 10 pounds heavier then I normally lift. If you don’t lift a lot or need to work on your strength, start with 5 additional pounds. After about two test reps, you should be able to determine your maximum weight. Disclaimer: The more you lift, the more demand on your body. Make sure to watch your form or consult with a pro if you’re dealing with an injury.
2. Jog before breakfast.
Perhaps the holy grail of fat burning dedication is “fasted cardio.” This means you wake up and go directly to the treadmill. No, I did not stutter. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Oh yes, and do not eat. While this may feel like prison, the results can be absolutely phenomenal.
The concept behind doing cardio on an empty stomach is that your body will have no choice but to seek out stubborn fat to burn. According to experts, multiple studies have shown fasted cardio burns more fat than traditional cardio.
Last summer, all that pizza started to finally catch up with me and I somehow booked a tropical vacation in August. I bit the bullet and sleepwalked every morning to the treadmill. OK, I actually went to Starbucks first. After three weeks I felt confident as I sashayed my beach body along the shore.
Try 20 to 30 minutes at a moderate-to-high intensity and you’ll have your beach body in no time. I like doing 10 minutes on the elliptical to get my heart rate up and then torch it with 20 minutes of interval sprints.
3. Limit your carbs and cocktails.
When I say limit, I’m being nice. Nothing can impede progress of your summer bod like carbs and sugar. Let’s keep it simple. Processed carbs lead to increased body fat. (Yes, bread, that means you.) Try and limit your carb consumption to complex carbs like oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potatoes. It’s best to keep them minimal and at the very least none two to three hours before bed. It may feel like hell for a few weeks, but the body has a way of adjusting.
Now let’s talk about booze. It’s one of the principle reasons I observe otherwise fit people not meeting their beach body goals. They slave away at the gym, eat like a bird and still struggle with results. One thing still lurks in the shadows: that relaxing drink(s) at the end of a hard day.
Alcohol may be liquid, but don’t get it twisted — it’s extremely high in calories. Two to three glasses of red wine can average about 300 calories, also known as those same calories you burn in your morning cardio. It also can lead to poor food choices, like late-night pizza or fast food. I’ve never met anyone who leaves the bar and says, “Girl, let’s go get a salad!”
According to fitness expert and certified nutritionist Jennifer Campbell, booze can cause more than just weight gain. “Alcohol can lead to irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause bloating. Also, excess alcohol can cause fluid retention which can give a puffy appearance.”
I’ve found a manageable yet effective solution for my clients starts with a temporary elimination of beer and wine and allows for all hard alcohol. And I encourage them to limit the amount they drink and the frequency of drinking alcohol by roughly 25%.
Keep in mind, all of these methods involve large demands on your body. So it’s best to consult with your medical doctor first if you have any current health issues. Good luck and remember: If you fall off the wagon, keep going. See you at the beach, bro.
(If any or all of these tips were useful to you, please tag me in your beach body and summer bod pics! @sethenator)