Train for a beach body – Part I

Gorilla Sports model and expert PT Tim Chase explains why you should start training NOW to get the beach body you want in time for summer. Read the first of his three part series on how to train in the winter to get the body you want in time for summer. 

Train smart for a beach body (Part 1)

Although it is very early in the year and most people are still recovering from the winter blues, it is definitely the right time to start preparing for the summer. Whether you want to look good on the beach, impress the opposite sex, fit into your summer clothes or simply feel better about yourself then NOW is the time to start sculpting your body.

When it comes to training for a beach body, the majority of people will need to reduce their overall body fat percentage and increase their lean muscle mass.  The key is to find the balance between full body weight training, cardiovascular exercise, rest and a sensible diet.

Structuring your weight training programme

The purpose of incorporating weight training into your beach body program is to increase your lean muscle mass and your metabolic rate. Simply put, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn daily.

Follow my 10 tips on how to structure your weight training for the best beach body results:

  1. Train using weights for ideally 3-5 sessions per week. This really does depend on how much time you have to train per week.  The less weight sessions you perform per week, the more body parts you will need to train per session.
  2. Aim for 30-45 minutes of weight training per session. This ensures you provide enough stimuli for your muscles to grow, but not too much too cause a negative effect.
  3. Take rest days. Your muscles may feel like they have recovered from the last session, but it takes much longer for your central nervous system to repair and catch up. A lack of rest can lead to overtraining, fatigue and negative results.
  4. Balance your training. Make sure you train all areas of your body throughout the week, including your legs. However, train your weak areas more than your stronger areas to bring balance to your look.
  5. Choose big compound movements first. Train compound movements (e.g squats and bench presses) before moving onto smaller isolation movements (e.g bicep curls) during a session.
  6. Select a rep range of between 8-15 reps. Stick to this rep range to focus on gaining lean muscle, rather than performing lower reps for power or higher reps for muscular endurance.
  7. Perform 2-5 sets per exercise. Perform more sets on your weaker areas and fewer on any overdeveloped muscle groups to assist with your transformation.
  8. Rest for 45-90secs between sets. This period will provide enough time for your muscles to recover enough to perform your next set.
  9. Don’t go to complete failure on big compound movements. This is due to the stress this can place on your central nervous system. Keep a rep spare on movements such as squats and deadlifts, but do go to failure on smaller movements such as curls.
  10. Women should lift weights. My advice applies to women as much as men striving for that beach body look. Females will not get big and bulky due to their low testosterone levels. Lifting weights when combined with a good nutrition plan will result in a lean, toned physique and not a bulky appearance!

Extra tips

  • Work out what days and times you are free to train, and decide what body parts you are training in each session.
  • Change your program every 6-8 weeks to keep progressing. You can alter your exercises, reps, sets, rest time and rep tempo, but try to stick within the ranges given for optimum results.
  • Train legs more than once a week to really boost your metabolism.
  • Don’t focus on abs, but focus more on big muscle groups, so legs, shoulders, back and chest.
  • Focus on the body you want to achieve to keep motivated.

So what are you waiting for, incorporate weights into your beach body program and see the results. GOOD LUCK!

For more advice please contact me on Twitter: @Tim_Chase1