How To Get Swole on Short Notice | Fitness tips of the day

Picture this — your schedule and the weather finally come together to grant you a relaxing day at the beach. You’ve got your chair in-tote, your perfect shades and board shorts for the occasion and are just about to take your top tarp off to catch a few rays … then you look down at a winter’s worth of detraining and suddenly question whether your frame will ever be worthy of outdoor fun again.

Now, we’re not brushing off the fact that the best beach bodies are made in the winter, and there’s consequences to forgoing the gym. But still, there are some remedies to help that physique look somewhat musclebound before catching your next tan.

Zain Skalos, former Men’s Physique competitor and lead personal trainer at Pittsburgh’s Union Fitness, has a few tips for getting a quick pump before beach day. While these tidbits of vein-bursting insight won’t replace a proper workout regimen, they can help with hardening up key muscle groups before showtime. Be mindful, too, that a pump will only grant you a little bit of time to flex your stuff — after a while, your normal, non-training physique will rear its head (see why those winter gym sessions are important yet?).

How to Pump Up Before the Beach

Start Your Prep Work Early

To make sure this bandage of a training session takes effect, you’ll need to schedule your steps accordingly. Give yourself roughly one and one half hours before your beach day to get a few sets in along with a quick meal. For example, if you plan to soak up the sun at noon, start your process no later than 10:30 AM.

Eat Intelligently

According to Skalos, you should aim to eat a quick meal roughly one hour before getting into your pump exercises. While proper carbohydrates like rice and sweet potatoes and proteins such as fish or chicken are intuitive choices, he also recommends a dash or two of a certain mineral. “I’ve noticed that salt will tend to give me a better pump.”

You can also look to add some healthy fats like avocado to your pre-workout meal. These, combined with slow-digesting carbs, can help extend that pump longer and lead to more time showing off those guns rather than covering them up. Just don’t take your eating too seriously — you don’t want to ingest a ton of food and leave yourself bloated.

Focus on Key Muscle Groups

After giving your stomach some time to digest, you can then start your pre-beach routine. While 30 minutes before the sun and sand is a good watermark to shoot for, the closer to showtime you can work out, the better. “It might be more noticeable,” Skalos says.

As far as areas to focus on, you want to aim for muscles that can actually pump up, i.e., your chest, arms, shoulders and back. “The shoulders and back would be good because it gives you more of a V-shaped appearance when pumped,” he explains. “So it could make the waist appear smaller.”

While you may be inclined to grab a quick six pack before the beach, your abs don’t operate that way. Countless sit-ups before the sand will only leave you with a bloated midsection and tired core.

Make Do with Little Equipment

Okay, so now’s the time to get your blood flowing in the right direction. To help get your frame pumped properly, Skalos recommends a routine of push-ups and banded exercises, if you have the stretchy workout tool available. For your chest-targeting push-ups, “Rep out as many as you can until you get to a point where you’re close to failure, where you start to feel all that blood flow coming into your chest,” Skalos says.

For those anchor arms and rock-hard biceps, utilize a resistance band and curl for 15–20 reps. Make sure to squeeze your muscle at the top of the lift while maintaining control of your movement throughout the exercise. After your completed set, take a quick breath and then hop into another 15–20-rep set. You can also flex your chest and triceps in-between biceps curls to help ensure those areas are still getting as much blood flow as possible.

Finally, for softball-sized shoulder caps, perform some overhead presses with either your band or a heavy(ish) household object like a gallon of water or a detergent jug. Skalos recommends keeping your resistance bands close by, though, as this workout tool is prime for working those smaller muscles. “Using bands can help protect the shoulder since you’re not doing too much weight and you can really isolate it for a good pump,” he says.

Finish Strong

Round out your swole session with another set of any of the previous three workouts, and if any muscle group needs extra focus, hit that one up again to make sure it’s pumped properly. Hopefully, this quick fix is enough to get you through your fun in the sun. If not, maybe it’s finally time to get your money’s worth out of that gym membership.

Of course, your physique isn’t the only thing that can be visually improved before hitting the sandy shores. Below are a few must-haves for setting off any get-up … with or without a musclebound frame.

Ray-Ban Aviator Classic Sunglasses


Ray-Ban Aviator Classic Sunglasses

One of the world’s most iconic sunglasses was originally designed for American pilots in 1937. These shades feature a classic gold frame, a variety of lens colors and 100 percent UV protection to shield your peepers as you scan the sea for the best place to flex.

Outerknown Apex Trunks


Some call Michael Jordan the Kelly Slater of basketball. No surprise that these boardies from the legendary surfer are high performance. Made from 100 percent recycled polyester, they wear light, dry fast and look fantastic half-covering that body part whose day you skipped.

Rainbow Luxury Flip Flop


As hot as your bod is looking, the sand can be even hotter underfoot. Stay cool with these classic flip flops that are sure to last eons longer than your beach day pump. The closed-cell memory foam not only helps accentuate every sand-filled step, but also molds to your foot over time for a personalized fit.

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