We usually start thinking about getting ready for the beach when the weather warms and the summer months get closer. Women are ready to get their bikini body so they can walk on the sand with confidence. Ladies, hopefully this article can help you if that’s your goal.
Let’s first dispel a few myths you may believe in regards to getting your figure in bikini condition:
Myth #1: Doing cardiovascular training or aerobics is the key to losing fat.
Stair climber machines and treadmills can have their place in your overall training program, but this should not be your primary strategy for body transformation. Resistance training should be the key instead. Lifting weights is a much more efficient strategy for building a lean, feminine body (more on that later).
Myth #2: “Fat burning” supplements are helpful.
The supplement industry markets all kinds of pills that are supposed to help you lose fat. But most of the time these “fat burners” are nothing more than caffeine tablets. Caffeine does tend to blunt the appetite and can even help with lipolysis (breakdown of fat). But you would do just as well taking generic caffeine pills or having some black coffee.
Myth #3: Abdominal training is the key to a flat, bikini-ready stomach.
You’ll also see a lot of advertisements for exercises that promise to give a flat stomach or even visible abdominal muscles. Abdominal training is useful, but your overall body fat level is the most important factor in how your belly looks. You’ll need a comprehensive workout and diet plan in order to achieve this look.
Now that I’ve dispelled the myths let’s look at some solid strategies for a bikini body.
Bikini Body Strategy #1: Diet
No matter how hard you train you won’t see results (fat loss) without getting your diet in order. One of the first keys is to eliminate all liquid calories (sweet drinks) with the exception of skin milk. It’s fine if you want to use diet
drinks (they are harmless, despite the hysteria you see online). The next key is to increase your intake of lean protein like fish and chicken. Protein helps you to feel full and builds muscle. Try to eat about .75 grams to a gram of protein per pound of body weight. You don’t have to eliminate carbohydrates, but cut back on them as needed to hit your daily caloric intake. Most trainees find that they have an easier time getting leaner on low to moderate carbs.
Speaking of calories: maintenance level calorie intake is usually about 15 calories per pound of body weight daily. Most trainees will see pretty good weight loss at 10-12 calories per pound of body weight daily.
Keep something else in mind here: there is more than one effective approach to diet. Any of them work as long as you can stay in a calorie deficit long enough to achieve the weight loss you want.
Bikini Body Strategy #2: Resistance Training
As I’ve mentioned, training with weights is the key to transforming your body. It burns calories and builds muscle, giving you curves in all the right places. Here are just a few exercises you should include for different body parts:
Hips/thighs: squats and lunges are great for shaping your legs and building your gluteus maximus. You can also include variations like goblet squats. Hip thrusts are great for doing some extra work on building/shaping your butt.
Chest: Dumbbell bench press or push-ups train both the chest and triceps. You can do the standard barbell bench press, but I have found that female trainees do a little better with the dumbbell variation (the barbell can be painful when it rests on a woman’s chest).
Shoulders: Overhead press (barbell or dumbbell) trains the shoulders and triceps. You can add lateral raises if you want to do extra work on them.
Back: Pulling motions help you shape your back and there are several variations to choose from: barbell rows, dumbbell rows, lateral pulls, etc.
Arms: Any type of curling motion will train your biceps, while tricep push-downs and kick-backs will train the back part of your arm.
Abdominal: Planks are an excellent exercise to train the abdominal muscles. Crunches are simple but effective movement.
Bikini Body Strategy #3 Cardiovascular Training
Cardiovascular workouts can be added to your weight training to maximize your results in the gym. You can either do it after you lift weights or on days that you don’t do resistance training. Intensive, interval-type training or traditional cardio (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) both have their merits. Interval training is time efficient and burns calories in less time. More traditional cardio can be done when you have less energy. It’s more of a personal preference, and regardless of what you may have heard, either one can be very helpful.
Wrapping it Up:
How long will it take for you to be ready to wear your swimsuit? That depends on several factors. You may just need to drop a few pounds or you may have significant weight to lose. Regardless of where you are starting, these tried-and-true steps should help you achieve your desired look if you consistently stick with it.
Those are the basics. I’d highly recommend you check out Jen Ferruggia’s workout/diet program if you want a more complete, step-by-step guide to getting your body summer-ready. Check out this bikini body program review if you’d like more detailed information on her plan