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With the Summer just getting into swing, you may think it’s too late to get your beach body this year. Don’t give up yet though – there’s still time with this 5 week Slim Down Plan.
There is a degree of truth in the saying “A Summer body is made in the Winter.” To get in absolute tip top condition, you need to be working hard year round. However, if you’re thinking that with your holiday just round the corner, getting in shape just isn’t possible this year, and you’ll have to wait until next to get your dream physique, hold it right there. In just 5 weeks, you can make some seriously impressive changes, if you knuckle down and work hard.

Instead, try a mixture of weight training and interval cardio workouts.

Train with weights twice per week, focusing on exercises which work multiple muscles groups at a time. Freeweights are your best choice, as these recruit the stabilizing muscles more than machines, and place more stress on your core muscles, meaning that you burn more calories while performing them. You needn’t fear that weight training will make you big and bulky either. Training with weights is actually an incredibly effective method of burning fat, boosting metabolism, and building strength. Perform the following routine twice per week:

-    Squats, using dumbbells, a barbell or your bodyweight – 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

-    Lunges – 2 sets of 12-15 reps per leg.

-    Push ups – 4 sets of as many reps as possible.

-    Chin ups, dumbbell rows or lat pulldowns – 4 sets of 8-10 reps.

-    Plank – 2 maximum holds.

-    Reverse Crunches – 2 sets of 20 reps.

Rest 45 to 60 seconds between each set, and if you’re not sure of any exercises, ask a trainer at the gym to help you out. You should aim to use a weight which is challenging, but that enables you to still perform all the reps with good form. Have at least one day between sessions.

While traditional steady state cardio may not be the best way to burn fat for your Summer body, high intensity interval training, known as HIIT, is a great way to torch the excess blubber.

HIIT involves picking two intensities, and alternating between them. Let’s use the treadmill as an example –

After a 5 minute warm up, run at a 10 minute mile pace on a very slight gradient for 45 seconds. Then increase the gradient by 50 percent, and up your speed to a seven minute mile pace. Do this for 15 seconds, then reduce the gradient and speed again. Repeat this protocol between 8 and 12 times, depending on your fitness levels.

Do two of these HIIT workouts every week, using whatever exercise you fancy – treadmill, recumbent bike, stepper, etc., or get outside and run some hill sprints, or go swimming.

Finally, do as much low intensity activity as you can too. Gentle walking, jogging, and everyday chores and activities all burn calories too, and won’t impact your recovery, so keep moving as much as possible.

Follow the plan to the letter, and you’ll be amazed at the changes you can make. In just 5 weeks, your new slim, toned, lean body will be ready for the beach.