Get a beach body
The busy man's guide to stripping fat and getting ripped in time for your beach holiday
It can be hard to see summer coming. Blame the British weather. Even when winter has finally faded, it's still cold enough for you to hide under layers of clothing and nurture the rings of warming flab around your belly. Then, all of a sudden, summer's here and it's time to get down to the beach and get your shirt off. That, frankly, is a terrifying prospect because that spare tire you're carrying is going to make you look like a whale.
What you need is a fast-acting, time-saving, muscle-pumping, belly-busting training plan that will whip you into beach-ready shape without taking up too much of your busy day. That's exactly what we've got for you.
Here's the plan
What follows is a super-intense, three-week workout and eating plan. Every second day you'll do a short training session that uses minimal equipment (so no queuing at the gym) and shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes to complete, plus warm-up and warm-down periods. On the days in between you can rest and recover.
Don't think, however, that a short session means an easy one. For this plan we've devised some fiendish 'Monster Moves' - multiple exercises combined into a single unit, done without rest. Performing just one repetition of one of these Monster Moves can take up to 15 seconds and involve almost every muscle in your body. The result is that you stress lots of muscle fibres and make your heart work hard to pump blood around your body. This will torch calories and raise your metabolism so that you continue to burn fat even after the workout has finished.
How to do it
There are only six exercises in the entire training plan, but they are big and complex so practise them first, paying close attention to the form guides, to get the hang of them before doing your workout proper.
Start by warming up with light cardio work and dynamic stretches. Then do the first Monster Move, maintaining a steady tempo and doing as many reps as you can before you need to take a rest. If you find you are doing fewer than five reps before burning out, then adjust the weight you are using and slow the pace.
Rest for two minutes before moving on to Monster Move 2. Do as many reps as you can without losing form, then rest for another two minutes before going back to Monster Move 1. Aim to keep up this pattern for 20 minutes. End with a few minutes of cardio, such as running, to cool down.
Five minutes to warm up, 20 minutes doing Monster Moves, then five minutes to warm down.
Do a session every second day, alternating between workouts A, B and C. Rest on the days in between.
Pick a weight that you can handle comfortably, erring on the light side at first. Aim to increase the weight slightly as you progress.
Do a few minutes of light cardio followed by some bends, lunges and presses to get the muscles working.
Maintain a brisk, steady pace throughout without compromising good form. Slow down if you feel you are burning out too soon.
Rest for two minutes between Monster Moves.
Do as many reps of each Monster Move as you can reasonably manage before losing form. Aim for between five and ten reps of each.