If you want a better beach body by the time summer rolls around, then now is the time to get to work on it. No matter what level of fitness you’re currently at, you can make some solid improvements in a matter of months, provided you’re willing to put in the work and be disciplined about what you eat.
There’s all kinds of fitness advice out there, and it’s often difficult to know who you should listen to. Keeping it simple is almost always the best approach, and the following four beach body tips will help you do just that.
Get Your Diet as Clean as Possible
Plenty of fitness experts will tell you that abs are built in the kitchen, and this is true, to an extent. Although working out is important, you’ll get subpar results if you’re eating a lackluster diet.
If your goal is to get nice and lean for summer this year, then you’ll need to be strict with what you eat. You can still enjoy your meals, but you should be consuming only natural foods and avoiding sugar, junk food, soda and anything with high sodium content. As hard as this can be, you should also keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. It’s bad for your metabolism and will slow your progress.
Do More Cardio – Especially High-Intensity Interval Training
Building a beach body means losing fat for most people, as even those who are in good shape may want to tone up a bit more and take their bodies to the next level. What you eat is a big part of fat loss, but cardio is also very helpful for that.
Aim to do cardio workouts, such as running, swimming or cycling, at least two to three times per week. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are a great choice for giving your metabolism a boost, and they take less time than lower-intensity cardio workouts. With HIIT, you’re simply alternating periods of high and low-intensity cardio for a predetermined amount of time. As long as you really push yourself during the high-intensity portions, you’ll get an incredible workout.
Make Compound Movements the Basis of Your Workouts
No beach body would be complete without some solid muscle mass, and that’s where resistance training comes in. The type of resistance training you do makes a world of difference here. The best exercises for muscle growth are compound movements that stimulate several different muscles at a time.
Popular examples of compound movements include the bench press, power clean, squat and deadlift. While isolation work, such as curls and crunches, are good supplements to your workout, the backbone of an efficient, effective routine are those compound exercises.
Don’t Skimp on Your Rest
It’s one of the most common mistakes people make. They do great in the gym, they eat healthy, and then they compromise their results by sleeping just four or five hours a night during the work week. When you’re busy, it’s tempting to cut down on your sleep so that you can get more done, but this isn’t good for your body.
There’s a reason the recommendation is eight hours of sleep per night. That’s what the average adult needs to perform at their peak during the day. The acceptable range is anywhere from seven to nine, although this also depends on genetics and your lifestyle. Athletes who get tons of physical activity during the day need far more sleep than most people, and you may want to up your rest if you’ve been hitting the gym hard lately. What’s most important is that you make sure you’re getting at least seven hours per night.
You’re not going to completely transform your body in a couple months, but you can certainly lose some fat or gain more muscle before it’s swimsuit season. There’s nothing complicated about what you need to do, either. Eat right, exercise with cardio and compound movements, and go to bed early enough for a full night’s sleep. You’ll be well on your way to the kind of body you want.