From scrawny to brawny: 10 tips to get buff for the beach and beyond

From working your legs hard to eating healthy fats, these tips will help get you on track towards your perfect beach body in time for summer

beach body men
Rest days are key if you want to get your perfect beach body Photo: TerryGeorge/Flickr

Sun’s out, guns out! The British weather’s improving (kind of) and so beach season approaches.

Many men are cursing letting themselves go over the winter months, hiding under layers of clothing and insulating with belly flab, but these tips from Bulk Powers are designed to help rid you of that spare tire and feel better about the way you look.

This isn’t a list of quick fixes or cheats for an overnight transformation, but stick at it and you can expect real results that last.

1) Get organised

You’re pumped to get started, but before you rush into anything, make a note of what you’re working with. If your goal is to lose weight, what do you weigh now? If you’re looking for a bigger chest, what do you currently measure in at? Set out your goals, long-term and short-term, and use them as motivation and something to work towards.

2) Get even more organised

Plan your workout sessions around your goals so you can successfully target specific muscle groups on specific days. Keep in mind how much physical time you can dedicate to working out, and allow for unavoidable calendar events potentially getting in your way – what do you think your partner would say if you chose the gym over a romantic meal? Exactly.

3) Choose your workout

Targeting shoulders encourages a broad, powerful-looking physique and shrugs, delt raises and the military press will help get you there. For a defined chest, the good old fashioned bench press or fly is a great start and you can give your abs a serious crushing with cable rotations, modified crunches and the plank – go spiderman for added burn!

4) Raise your heart rate

Not every guy’s favourite activity, but an hour or so a week of moderate to vigorous cardio is great for burning calories. The more intense your exercise, generally the more calories you burn, but keep in mind that your body can only respond to so much high-intensity activity. Taking a brisk walk on non-training days will keep you active without burning out.

5) Never skip leg day. Ever

If you’ve worked hard and got yourself a well-defined upper body, but have skinny legs sticking out the bottom of your board shorts, the buff beach body look is somewhat spoilt. Use multi-joint moves like squats, lunges and step-ups to hit quads, hammies and glutes. Remember to engage your core – for more intense workouts and stronger legs, you need a sturdy core.

6) Lose the moobs

Get ready to whip your shirt off on the beach by making smarter food choices. We’re not talking mountains of salad without a carb in sight, but choosing slow release carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, nuts and porridge provides your body with a steady supply of energy between meals. More slow release energy means less insulin, the hormone responsible for fat storage. Note: Alcohol is not a slow-release carbohydrate.

7) Fat is your friend

Healthy fats (like avocado, coconut oil and natural peanut butter) help minimise inflammation, decrease the risk of some Cancers and help with regular hormone production. Between 20-30 per cent of of your total calorie intake should come from healthy fats, and consuming that amount can actually help maintain lower levels of body fat. Note: Alcohol is not a healthy fat.

8) Aid muscle growth with protein

We tear our muscle fibers during exercise and it’s protein that helps re-build, strengthen and repair those tissues making them bigger and stronger. You’ll get a good dose from lean white meat like turkey or chicken, also fish and eggs. If the equivalent of six chicken breasts a day sounds a bit much, protein powders are handy and come in lots of flavours. Note: Alcohol is not a source of protein.

9) Allow yourself time to rest

This tends to be easier for some than others, but if you can keep yourself from training a couple of days a week, you’re allowing your muscles time to repair and grow. Think about it; without time off from the gym, you’ll not have the necessary energy to train at your best at every session. Programming in one or two decent days’ rest means you can expect better results in the long run.

10) Keep tabs on your progress

Making big changes to your lifestyle isn’t easy and on tough days, reviewing how far you’ve come can make all the difference. Remember where you started and be proud of what you’ve achieved as well as looking to how much further you want to push yourself. Keep motivated with training plans, weigh-ins, or even just noticing how great you look in your trunks now!

The information on this website is intended for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used as such.


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BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard

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↺ Article History
• Last updated on November 11, 2018
• First published on April 25, 2015
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