Ready or not, summer, the beach and swimsuit season is coming! So what does it take to build that beach body? You probably already know many of the things you should do such as: eat clean, get sufficient lean protein, do HIIT (high-intensity interval training), squat, etc. However, if you want to look your best on the beach this summer, here are 5 other helpful rules you may have overlooked.

Log your food

Sure you can eat clean and get more protein, but if you consume too many calories, you will not lose fat. And if you want to gain muscle, you will need to be in a caloric surplus. If are you are already practicing sound nutrition habits, you can take your body composition to the next level with some food logging.

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I know everyone is busy, but this can make a huge difference. If needed, cut 10 minutes off your workout time to log your food – it will be well worth the time investment! Finally, try and avoid these bloating foods on beach day.
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Get some low reps in

When most people think of strength training, they think low reps and heavy weight. When they think of beach training, the immediately think high reps. Sure high reps can be part of your program, but don’t overlook the aesthetic benefits of heavy, low-rep training. Heavy low-rep training teaches your body to expend energy which makes your fat loss training even more effective. It also builds rock-hard, dense muscles and tone that you just can build with high reps.

Improve your posture (upper back, glutes)

While posture is important for feeling good and performing well, it has hugely underrated aesthetic effects. Get those shoulders pulled back and your chest will look bigger. Stand up taller, and you will look slimmer and fitter. Fix your anterior pelvic tilt (this is when your hips tip forward and you have too much arch in your low back) and you will flatten your lower abs.

To improve your posture, avoid sitting as much as possible and practice good posture throughout the day. When you are in the gym, improve your posture with core exercises and  give your upper back some more attention with rows and reverse flies. Then, hammer your glutes with deadlifts and hip thrusts.

Emphasize shoulders & lats

Sure pecs and abs are nice for the beach. However, building your shoulders and lats, you will make your waist look smaller and help create that athletic “V” shape. If you can safely do so, include a good amount of pull-ups, overhead presses and side dumbbell raises in your training program. One way to do this is to give these movements their own day. For example on one day, do shoulder pressing and pull-ups. Then later in the week do bench press and row movements.

Accessorize sparingly & wisely with your beach body training

When many people think beach training, they think of small, little isolation exercises (e.g. cable crossovers for guys and the inner thigh machine for ladies). While the right accessory exercises can help, spending your whole workout on them is a waste of time.

Instead emphasize big multi-joint movements in your workout (e.g. appropriate squats, deadlifts, presses, pull-ups, rows and bench press variations) and then add to them a small amount of accessory work for parts you really want to emphasize (e.g. arms, calves, glutes, medial deltoids). Also checkout alternative ways to your  beach body for ideas on exciting and comprehensive workouts.

Bonus rule 6: don’t compare yourself to others

While everyone can build muscle and lose fat, a huge factor to how you look is your genetics. If you compare yourself to other people, you can get depressed. Instead, compare yourself to how you looked last year. Focus on the things you can change (e.g. nutrition, training, lifestyle, attitude, work ethic) and seek to build your best body in a healthy, balanced way. Try our 3 beach body workouts for added variety. Then, go out and enjoy the beach this summer!

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