Summer training

Summer is upon us, and if you are planning a beach holiday, this is the right time for all you gentlemen to start preparing yourself to feel and look good sans a shirt on the beach. More often than not, we talk about the ladies getting great beach bodies, but in this column, we are reversing the trend and talking about the men first.

In the past few weeks, I have talked at length about push-ups and pull-ups which are great to help you start shaping up for the beach body. This weekly routine for 2 to 3 strength workouts complemented by an equal number of cardio sessions and some nutritional discipline should get you in the shape you would be proud to show off. When doing the strength or resistance workouts, you can do a combination of the following exercises.

The bench press is the best way to bulk up your chest and increase the separation between your pectoral muscles. Be careful of the weight you start with; always be clear about the weight you can lift and the weight you think you can lift. Start with lighter weights and build your momentum to heavier weights to avoid injury. Try to perform a rep range of 5-8 reps, doing 3-4 sets per workout while you work your way up to bench pressing your maximum amount of weight.

Bicep curls are terrific for enhancing your bicep peak, making your arms appear larger and more defined. When performing this exercise, take your reps into the higher rep range of 8-12 per set and do 2-3 sets per workout cut down the rest time in between sets to maximise the results. You can complement the four exercises mentioned above with barbell deadlift, if you own a bar and set of weights to go with it. But if you are beginner at working out, be very careful with this exercise and improper technique and posture can result in injury. Bend at your hips and knees and grab the bar using an overhand grip. Your lower back should be slightly arched and your arms straight. Without allowing your lower back to round, stand up with the barbell. Pause momentarily, and then lower the bar to the floor. Do five reps. What really makes arms look good are well-defined triceps. Tricep extensions will quickly bring out that horseshoe shape and make your arms look great in sleeveless shirts. Aim for 8-12 reps with 2-3 sets, with rest periods of only 30 seconds.

Now that we have covered the upper body, let us not neglect legs. Lunges will help you develop your quadriceps as well as rounded glutes. This movement pattern is going to really bring out your quad sweep, making your lower body look very powerful. In addition to that, lunges also hit the glutes, giving you definition. If you are used to doing lunges already, make the workout more challenging by taking the rep range higher into the 15-20 range, performing 2-3 sets per workout and resting 60 seconds in between.

A well-rounded approach to nutrition and determination to stick your workout plan will help you achieve a body ready for the beach in two months. And even if you don’t end up on the beach, a fit and healthy body is always going to hold you in good standing.

(The author is a wellness expert and runs a fitness centre in New Delhi)

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