Women, who complain about unfair and unrealistic body expectations, obviously haven’t been in the midst of a gay pride festival at the height of summer. While models are usually content to keep to catwalks and glossy magazine covers; any gay man looking to step out, for some of that famed down under sunshine (behave), is constantly met with examples of his physical inadequacy.
Yes, we all love the occasional burly bear but the truth is that most of us have an innate appreciation for the pleasures of a chiseled six pack, toned arms, legs and a V-line to die for (looking at you emen8). So if you’re worried about stacking up this season, here are some tips and tricks to get your body ready for the summer.
Avoid the Thirst
Yes, we recognize it’s a difficult task when you’re spending all summer hanging around beaches, and pool parties; but we’re actually talking about hydration this time around. Getting at least 10 cups of water is necessary, especially if you’re staying active, which you will be if you follow this guide.
When you sweat, your body loses vital nutrients and salts; these have to be replenished in order to maintain your chiseled torso. Without proper hydration your body cramps up and you become dehydrated, but worst of all your muscles retain water; and there’s nothing that kills a six pack quicker than bloating.
Get the Right Nutrition
The key to weight loss is diet, not exercise – unfortunately no amount of sit-ups will fix a daily routine of Macca’s and Snickers bars. While fads like Keto and gluten-free are all the rage nowadays, the best way to get ready for the beaches is to stick to a healthy, balanced meal plan.
Instead of drastically cutting calories, try reducing your intake by about 1/6th of your regular allowance. This will prevent your body going into starvation mode, which leads to stored fat and a dwindling metabolism. By just cutting out snacks, evening carbs and junk foods instead, you can make sure you’re burning fat, not muscle.
In terms of what you should be eating, plenty of fruits and vegetables are of course a must. They provide vital nutrients such as zinc, chromium, vitamins D, and B12 all of which boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. Because you’re going to be working out a lot more, you’ll need to stock up on lean proteins to build muscle, add pork, chicken, fish and healthy nuts into your dietary routine. Instead of three large meals, try 5-6 smaller ones; a handful of almonds or a protein shake should be plenty to tide you over until dinner.
Work Your Butt Off
It’s the part most of us loathe, getting up and getting active. But you needn’t fear, spending hours and hours in the gym isn’t necessary to get great results. Instead look to make your workout as efficient as possible.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the most effective form of exercise for weight loss. Basically it involves alternating between short, intense burst of energy and longer more controlled periods of exercise. For example, if you’re using the treadmill then try running flat out as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then go back to jogging for 2 minutes; repeat this a couple of times and most amateurs will already be ready to drop. This type of training is great for stripping away fat and increasing muscle definition, and works best when paired with 60 minutes of moderate exercise such as swimming, every week.
For muscle tone and definition strength training at least twice a week is imperative. Compound routines that work the entire upper or lower body through your core are the best for busy people who don’t have the time to dedicate to each muscle group. Squats, deadlifts, and full body exercises such as pushups and burpees will kick your metabolism up a gear, and turn you into a Greek God well in time for the summer.