Bikini season is here! Celebrity personal trainer Matt Roberts reveals his top tips to help you get your perfect beach body...
If you’re hoping to finally see some sun and hit the beach this summer then you’ll want to be looking and feeling your best. Boost your body confidence with the help of celebrity personal trainer Matt Roberts, who has put together a pre-holiday beach body training programme especially for Native Monster readers
Set yourself a realistic goal and time frame
It’s important to stay focused during your summer-fit training programme. You already have the motivation of wanting to look good on the beach, or feeling more confident in a bikini, but think of other things you may want to achieve. Whether it’s weight loss (1-2lbs per week maximum), inch loss from your tummy or thighs or just a sense of feeling more toned, pick something measureable and achievable to help you stay on track.
Fire yourself up to burn fat
The key to continuously losing fat is to make it the most efficient fat burning machine possible. This is done through increasing your metabolism (the rate at which you consume energy) by pushing the body beyond its comfort zone and using your muscles to burn off the calories. High intensity interval training (short bursts of high activity followed by short rest periods) is a great way to achieve this result. Your training sessions should focus on full body resistance work so that one area is not becoming over tired as this increases the risk of potential injury. Combine your resistance work with a cardio element and you’ll be in the best position to archive the body you want for summer.
Squat, lunge and step-up variations are the key exercises for toned, beach-ready legs. Using the front (quads), backs (hamstrings) and bum (glutes) all in one exercise allows for maximum effect on many lower body parts. Look to perform three sets of 12-15 repetitions of an exercise, ensuring you can complete this correctly using body weight only before progressively adding any weights.
A pert and perfectly formed bottom is a key focus area for many women. Although leg exercises will hit the glutes, you can also look to isolate these muscles to work on their own. So squat it out to really tone your behind.
Many people are under the perception that by powering out 100s of crunches they are going to tone their waist and drop inches. It’s true that any form of core exercise will tighten the abdominal area, but if it is sitting under layers of fat around your waist then your efforts will never be seen. It is important that you look to incorporate an element of cardio exercise into your training programme to work on reducing weight around the waist and really get the work you have done on the abs to show through.
Cardio is key
As well as increasing muscle through resistance and weight-based work to sculpt a beach body, we also want to get that lean look many celebrities sport in their summer holiday snaps. Cardio exercises (swimming, running, cycling, skipping or any other exercise that elevates the heart rate) go a long way to contributing to the removal of fat from the body. This in turn makes the muscles more defined and shapely.
The most effective type of cardio training for fat burning is interval training. This is short bursts of intense effort at a more maximal level followed by periods of rest. It has been shown that the harder and more intensely you work out the more energy your body needs to recover, which consequently means that you are burning more calories.
Losing length and foregoing flexibility
Most people neglect stretching and flexibility as part of their training. However, the longer and more flexible the muscles are, the more defined they can appear. It will also help improve your posture – a lengthened torso can immediately add height and bring in stomach muscles. So you feel thinner and firmer just by the way you stand.
Remember to rest
As important as it is to commit to your training day schedule it is also key to factor in rest and recovery days. It’s on these days that the body is able to adapt to the demands you have placed on it, repair and recover ready to come back stronger for the next session. A tired and over-trained body can lead to tightness and potential injury. Consequently you may not be able to complete the training you have set yourself before the fast-approaching and well-deserved holiday.