Let’s cut to the chase – it’s April 9th, which means if you’ve been procrastinating on ”getting in shape for summer”, you’ve got only a couple of short months before the weather heats up and the clothes start coming off.
Or maybe you’ve been waiting for something to come along to help shift your training into a higher gear?
No matter where you’re starting from, what we’ve got for you today is a sure-fire way to help you build shapely, toned limbs, a tighter core, and a strong body from head to toe. Since we’re moving into crunch mode, this workout plan is going to focus heavily on fat burn, quickly fatiguing your muscles, and improving your conditioning. Sticking with these workouts over the next several months should do wonders for your body and get you ready to sport those board shorts or that bikini with pride.
What is “Your Best Beach Body”?
There’s certainly going to be a lot of variation here, but in general, what does this mean to you? Strong legs? Tight butt? Toned arms? Flat stomach? Sounds about right to me.
Of course, your starting point is going to dictate exactly how much progress you make by the time it’s beach/pool season, but don’t let that discourage you. Whatever your starting point may be, expect to be absolutely amazed by the progress you make on this workout plan. Keep in mind, this workout plan was designed to deliver fast and steady results IF you manage to stay consistent, don’t miss training days, and continually push yourself and your workouts outside a zone of comfort.
Why This Workout will Work
The reason so many total body plans or “bikini body” plans fail, is because they simply place to large a focus on the cardiovascular aspect of your training. Workouts are traditionally total body days – meaning you’re working out the majority of your muscles in one training sessions. The problem is, you aren’t hitting these muscle groups hard enough to bring about the real change described above.
If you really want strong, curvy legs, and a pair of arms that don’t jiggle when you walk, it’s time to take a more focused approach with your training. This workout plan is designed to be a split-schedule routine, which means you’re splitting up body parts on different days. By splitting body parts up, you’ll be in a better position to really blast those muscles, making sure you’re fatiguing things enough on the cellular level to promote growth.
The one constant however, will be cardio. Most days have a cardiovascular element which will tie in with the strength work you’ve been doing. Working out in this format should help you make some fast gains, but most importantly, consistent gains. The onus however, is on you to continue to challenge yourself. You simply cannot carry on with the same weights/cardio intensity the entire time you’re on this plan. Make it a personal goal to challenge yourself; bumping the weights and intensity of your cardio every week. Doesn’t matter if you’re only increasing ever so slightly – the point is you’re increasing, which means you’re improving…whether you can see it right now, or not.
I know exactly what you guys are looking for. I understand the “look”. The “look” is simply a body with a low fat percentage and muscle in the right places, giving it an athletic appearance. This isn’t necessarily difficult to achieve, although it does take effort on your part, both in the gym and out. In order to build a lean, athletic physique, you’re going to have to build some muscle. You aren’t building muscle starving yourself every day. You also aren’t building muscle making a mid-day lettuce and balsamic vinegar salad your biggest meal of the day.
For men and women alike, one of the hardest things to let go of, is the idea that increasing caloric intake will cause fat gain. Let go of this, forget about it, it’s not important. If you’re training in a way this workout plan requires, your caloric needs are going to increase. If you’re training to build muscle, your caloric needs are going to increase. Know this; understand it. You’ve got to fuel yourself appropriately while you’re training like this – it’s the only way you’re going to make real progress. Grill up those chicken breasts ahead of time, make a pot of vegetarian chili, do whatever you have to do to make sure you’re getting enough protein AND calories. Remember, muscle doesn’t establish itself out of thin air. Your body needs to have a steady supply of the building blocks necessary to form lean muscle mass – so make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to help you grow!
I also want you to completely, 100%, forget about the scale while your on this workout plan. Simply take measurements of your waistline, arms, and legs. Do it once, write it down, and forget about it. While your weight may not fluctuate much over the course of the next 8 to 12 weeks, your physique is no doubt about to get a complete makeover. Your weight isn’t important – how you look and feel is the true indicator of your health.
Your Best Beach Body Workout
Day 1 - Today is all about pushing your muscles to the max. We’re targeting your “pull” muscles today, i.e. back and biceps. We’re also using the advanced training technique of reverse pyramid sets, so be sure to watch out for them. When you come across an exercise using a decreasing rep format, be sure to increase the weight roughly 10-20% on each subsequent set. By this token, your last set of 8 reps will be using the heaviest weight – your first set of 12 reps will be the lightest. The pull ups at the end of today’s workout are KEY. We’re going to completely fatigue your back and bicep muscles with this complex exercise. If you need to use assistance, go for it, just make sure to gradually reduce the assistance as you progress.
- Lat Pulldowns 3 sets of 12/10/8
- Single Arm Barbell Row 3 sets of 8 (go HEAVY here – you want to nearly reach failure on sets 2/3)
- Close Grip Pulldowns 3 sets of 12/10/8
- Plate Curls 3 sets of 8 (go HEAVY!!)
- Dumbbell Pullovers 3 sets of 8 (you should get the idea by now)
- Plank Rows 4 sets of 8
- Farmer Walks 5 sets of 60 seconds (hold heavy dumbbells in both hands and walk in a straight line across the room and back)
- Wide Grip Pull Ups 80 repetitions in as few sets as possible.
Day 2 – Today is going to focus on hitting your “push” muscles, i.e. chest, shoulders, triceps. On any strength training day, make sure your giving your muscles a little squeeze at peak contraction. Put all of your energy into moving the weight, while focusing on your form and being in tune with your muscle contractions. Making real muscle progress is more than just picking up and putting down a weight. Feel the muscle move the weight, and work out with a clear goal of making that muscle stronger and more defined. Take this mindset into today’s workout.
- Dumbbell Bench Press 5 sets of 8 (heavy again here, lets start today’s workout STRONG!)
- Incline Bench Press 3 sets of 12/10/8
- Flat Dumbbell Flys 3 sets of 10
- Around the Worlds 3 sets of 12
- Hang Snatch 3 sets of 10
- Over/Under Barbell Shoulder Press 3 sets of 10
- Skullcrushers 3 sets of 12/10/8
- Underhand Tricep Press down 3 sets of 15 (might want to go a little lighter here)
- 80 Push Ups in as few sets as possible (go from your knees when/if you need to)
Day 3 – Today is all about blasting some fat with a HIIT cardio routine + tightening that core with some ab work. Go HARD on the sprints, and take deep, slow breaths on the jog/relaxed portions so you’re ready to go when it’s time to sprint again. On the ab work, make sure you’re starting out with heavy weights on the first two exercises to really get yourself fatigued – then going slow and controlled on the body weight core work.
- 10 minutes outdoor or treadmill running (30 second sprint/30 second jog)
- 15 Breakdowns/10 Kick Outs/5 Mule Kicks/rest 30 seconds repeated 5 times total
- Decline Plate Crunch 3 sets of 15-20 (holding a plate, crunch up, twist back and forth at the top, then return to start position)
- Cable Crunch 5 sets of 15-20
- Bicycle Crunches 3 sets of 15-20
- Cross Body Crunches 3 sets of 15-20
- 10 minutes outdoor or treadmill running (30 second sprint/30 second jog)
Day 4 – Today we’re putting a major focus on continuing to keep your metabolism high and your fat burning engine rolling. We’re getting on the bike OR row machine (your choice) for 45 minutes of HIIT cycling/rowing. Shoot for splits of :45/1:15 as you tear through body fat and further tax your major muscle systems.
- 45 minutes HIIT cycling or rowing (:45/1:15 split)
Day 5 – Prepare for some serious soreness later in the week, we’re going after your legs hard today. Today’s workout may look short, but trust me, it’s intense. We’re using primarily compound exercises to achieve our goals of building lean muscle in your butt, hamstrings, and quads. When a strength workout like this is combined with explosive plyometrics and HIIT cardio (as you’ve been doing above) the results are simply astounding.
- Barbell (or smith machine) Squats 5 sets of 8-10
- Deadlifts 3 sets of 10-12
- Quad Extension Machine 3 sets of 12/10/8
- Seated Leg Press Machine 3 sets of 8-10
- Lying Hamstring Curls 3 sets of 12/10/8
- Calf Raises w/weight 3 sets of 15-20 (use a smith machine and stack with weight)
- Cable Crunch 3 sets of 20
- Up/Down Planks 3 sets of 50
- Cross Body Crunches 5 sets of 15-20
Day 6 - We’re wrapping up this 6 day workout split with some long sprinting, which is in contrast to the shorter sprints we did on day 3. Today, we’re looking to sprint (or run as fast as physically possible) 800 meters (1/4 mile). The next 800 meters will be completed at a relaxed jog. The following 800 meters will be ran at a sprint or near sprint….you get the idea. Repeat this 800m(fast)/800m(slow) cycle 10 times for five miles of HIIT Long Sprints. If you can’t handle that distance right now, start with something more achievable and work your way up.
- 800m fast/ 800m jog repeated 10 times total.
You asked for something intense, you got something intense. This six-day beach body makeover workout is designed to help you trim fat fast, build lean muscle, and completely change your physique in short order. As always, continue to push yourself to lift heavier weights, run faster times, and generally improve your athleticism. After all, if you want to look like a conditioned athlete, you’re going to have to start acting like one.
Remember to fuel yourself accordingly, and please, for the love of God, don’t be afraid of food. Without food, all of your efforts in the gym are wasted. Don’t waste your efforts – capitalize on them.
Stick with this routine for 8-10 weeks solid, and you’ll no doubt be closer to that beach body you’ve been dreaming about all winter long. Any questions, comments, or just need some help with this workout? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to get back to you.