Careful… don’t want to be at the centre of a ‘Beach Body’ scandal now do we! OK, all sarcasm aside, there is a serious question in this, how do you feel you’re getting on for this summers beach body look? Yes, with all the negative press Protein World got off the back of their beach body campaign, I may be best steering clear of such questions, but since these are my opinions and not those of the company…I’ll proceed regardless. Achieving a ‘beach body’ is subjective, what one person considers a pleasing, aesthetic beach body may be completely different to another person’s, but for the sake of this article I’m going to be looking at achieving that Baywatch body that is universally accepted as a ‘good looking, fit physique’ for the sand (or should I say stones) and sea of the great British beach.
Major factors in getting toned
So to loosely define toned, I mean the act of maintaining or increasing lean mass (i.e. muscle) whilst simultaneously burning off fat. The process of reducing your level of body fat gives a ‘toned’ look whereby you can see the definition between muscles such as your abs and biceps. So when it comes to losing that fat there are two main things to do, eat right and train hard.
Eating right is a little vague right, so make it easier for yourself and keep it realistic by achieving nutritional balance first and foremost. If you manage to consume a whole food protein source (not that processed stuff), a starchy carb source and approx. half of your plate with vegetables, then you won’t go far wrong. But to be more specific, an optimal meal would consist of a chicken breast, 1 medium/ large sweet potato and some fresh or frozen mixed vegetables. Seasoning the meat is a great way to increase palatability i.e. make the food less boring, and even adding small amounts of gravy to the potato is acceptable in the pursuit of a summer body. Do not get entangled in this ‘must be bland’ fallacy when it comes to healthy eating for tone and definition, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Keep sugar based sauces such as sweet chilli sauce and hoi sin sauce to a minimum, and steer clear of fat based sauces like tikka masala and carbonara in the time leading up to the summer months. If you can get the good stuff right, and keep the not so good stuff to a minimum, then you’re on the right path.
This is subjective, it varies from one person to the next, but research suggests that high intensity bouts of exercise interspersed with small rest periods is ideal for burning fat. This is known as HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, a good example of which is a full pace run for 30 seconds followed by a 60 second walk, then straight back into the 30 second sprint, followed by 60 seconds of rest for say 10 working rounds i.e. 10 sprints and 10 rest periods. This form of training is understood to trigger the use of fats for energy better than steady state training methods such as LISS, or Low Intensity Steady State training. Combine this cardiovascular type of training with high intensity resistance training methods such as supersets or a metcon in Crossfit and you’ll start to see that definition is a month or 2 depending on your level of bodyfat to begin with.
Strategically adding a few supplements into your healthy eating and training regime is similar to adding the icing on the cake… but with a little more nourishment! Supplements are designed to ‘add to’ your regular dietary intake and NEVER to replace it, but there are some supplements such as Diet Proteins and Fat metabolisers that work cumulatively with healthy eating and exercise to shift that stubborn layer of fat. Consider PhD Nutrition Diet Whey which contains as much high quality protein as most of the out- and- out proteins on the market, and/ or a strong, well- balanced fat metaboliser/ burner like Grenade Thermo Detonator or Muscletech Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite