The sizzling temps are almost here, which can only mean one thing—you’re going to be hitting a beach soon. And to ensure you look as natural on the sand as Sir David Hasselhoff himself, I’ve created a four-part Made Man Beach Season Workout. Part 1 is all about setting some ground rules and laying the foundation for a killer six-pack. Follow this plan, and you’ll soon start looking as beach-ready as a Santa Monica lifeguard. Note: a tan might not hurt either.
Drink Lots of Water
This month, you should be drinking lots of water. As I mentioned last week, it’s best to consume at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Your muscles are roughly 70 percent water. To get them looking full, you have to be hydrated. And go for ice water—it raises your metabolism by up to 24 percent for 90 minutes.
Lay Off the Sauce
If you want to look ripped and lean on the beach this summer, then step up today and say, “I’m not going to consume alcohol for a month.” Make yourself a contract—hell, print out this page—and sign it. Why? Because alcohol will wreck your body. Beer and cocktails have tons of calories, and binge-drinking damages your production of testosterone, which is key for muscle growth. Now, you can still go to the bars with your buddies. Just act as the DD and load up on water. And if anybody gives you crap, just say you only drink two nights a week, and this isn’t one of those nights. Bottom line: if you want the six-pack abs, you’ve gotta give up the six-packs.
Always keep in mind: to get ripped abs, you have to have a great diet. Eighty percent of your body composition is determined by what you eat.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Your body needs six to eight hours of sleep per night. It gives your muscles ample time to recover from the day’s workout and grow. It’ll also keep your stress levels under control, which is key for proper body functioning. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, here’s a quick tip: buy purple sheets. The color will help you relax and get your Zs. And, ironically enough, make you look less like Grimace.
Keep Your Estrogen in Check
Yep, guys have estrogen. But you can inhibit it with a few powerful foods—things like radishes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, cabbage and cauliflower. They’ll help your body metabolize and remove that estrogen. Also, watch out for soy. Soy milk and soy protein can actually raise the body’s levels of estrogen. So say goodbye to Boca burgers, in the rare event you said hello to them in the first place.
Eat Lean, Get Protein
Have eggs in the morning. They’re an inexpensive source of protein, and they’ll also help with fat-burning. Push the vegetables, rather than the tortilla chips. Get plenty of olive oil and flaxseed oil. Go with the occasional lean flank steak, which has a lot of great anabolic (muscle-building) properties. And always keep in mind: to get ripped abs, you have to have a great diet. Eighty percent of your body composition is determined by what you eat.
OK, now for the Week 1 Workout, which is really going to lean you out…
Beach Season Workout, Week 1
You’ll do 10 exercises. And there are no weights involved, so you can do this workout anywhere. You’ll do each exercise for 30 seconds, with no rest between exercises. The technique here is called rapid muscle response, which involves short-burst training and the recruitment of as many muscle fibers as possible. This will help tear up your muscles and bring them to failure, which will ultimately lead to growth. But to see results, it’s important that you go hard and give it everything you’ve got. (And, obviously, stick to the program.)
Exercise 1: Body-Weight Squats (aka, Military Squats)
Do as many deep, full squats as you can in 30 seconds.
Exercises 2 and 3: Single-Leg Lunges
Do as many lunges as you can in 30 seconds with your right foot forward. Then do as many as you can in 30 seconds with your left foot forward.
Exercise 4: Jump Squats
Squat down, drop your butt as low as you can to the ground, then jump up and try to touch the ceiling. Do as many of those as you can in 30 seconds.
Exercises 5 and 6: Mr. Miyagis (aka, Front Kicks)
Put your left foot forward, your right foot back and your hands underneath your chin in a Cobra Kai-destroying, karate-chop position. Throw your right foot forward and kick. Do as many kicks as you can in 30 seconds. Then switch feet and go for another 30 seconds, Daniel-san.
Exercise 7: Rock Star Burpees
Drop to a squat with your hands on the ground, kick your legs out behind you so you’re in a push-up position, bring your legs back under you in a squat position, then jump as high as you can. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Exercise 8: Planks to Push-Ups
Get into a plank position on your elbows. Drive your body up to a push-up position. Drop back to a plank position. Keep alternating between the two positions for 30 seconds.
Exercise 9: Mountain Climbers
Get into a push-up position and alternate driving your knees toward your elbows—right knee to right elbow, left knee to left elbow. Do that as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
Exercise 10: Go Get ’Ems (a.k.a. Star Jumps)
Jump up as high as you can and perform a Jumping Jack in the air. As soon as you land, do another one. Repeat for 30 seconds.
So that’s the workout for Week 1. The entire thing will take five minutes. (Yep, you can literally get beach-ready in five minutes.) If you’re a beginner, stop after one set. If you’re an intermediate fitness soldier, rest for a minute and repeat the entire set. If you’re a fitness badass, do three sets, with one minute of rest between each. At most, you’ll only be working out for 17 minutes.
Do this workout four to seven times the first week, and you’ll be one-quarter of your way to Baywatch-level beach shape. Go ahead, buy those red swim trunks now…
Want to have a beach body all year long? Check out Jay Cardiello’s new JCore program, where you can get fit and transform your body in only four 20-minute sessions per week. Already JCore has helped hundreds of people lose as much as 30 pounds in 40 days. You could be next.