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Sun cream – check. Sunglasses – check. A physique you’ll want to put on Instagram – ah. They say a summer body is built in winter. But hitting the sand seemed a long time away back when mince pies were on the table. Now summer is approaching and those extra helpings of brandy butter are still hanging around your waist. However, all is not lost. Follow these rules, and after four weeks of sweat, discipline and calloused hands, you’ll have burnt off your man boobs to be left with a summer body that proves you know precisely which way the beach is.

Rule number one is do not starve yourself. It is the number one big mistake that all guys do when wanting to loose weight. A crash diet won’t tighten your wobbling gut. If you restrict calories too much, your body goes into shock mode. That means anything you eat, it clings onto. Cut to 1,000 calories a day and that summer body you’re after thinks you’re starving, so stores food rather than burning it as fuel. Which means that beer belly is going nowhere. Instead, aim for around 2,000 calories a day, with every meal based around fresh lean protein. Think chicken breast or salmon fillets and vegetables. Basic rule is, if it goes in the microwave, it doesn’t go in you. You should have 40 per cent of your energy from protein, 30 per cent from carbs and 30 per cent from fats. You’ll still be at a fat-burning calorie deficit, but there’ll be enough going in to keep your engines stoked.

What your summer body does with what you put into it is dictated by hormones. Insulin, which spikes when you eat carbs, is particularly bad, turning food into fat, especially if you have a particularly sugary diet. Besides cutting out processed food and booze, it’s only four weeks remember, you need to time when you eat in order to optimise how your body handles what you put in. Insulin levels are stunted in the morning, so avoid carbs until dinner and after a workout ideally, which sends the hormone soaring and directs nutrients into now hungry muscles, not your love handles.
You need to earn your carbs, which means that on gym days, pair your chicken with a side of sweet potato or brown rice…not a bag of Haribo.

Because you can’t live in the gym, the best way to burn fat is to increase your basal metabolic rate, the amount of energy your summer body needs simply to function. Muscle is active, which means it burns calories even when you’re not moving. Ergo the more you have, the better your body is at burning fat. Even when you’re sat at your desk. Instead of cardio, switch to a total body weights session twice a week, which builds beach ready definition and strips away fat. But that doesn’t mean a quick bicep blast. The more joints you can move, the more muscle fibres you recruit and the more energy you burn. That means moves like deadlifts, rows and pull-ups, which exponentially increase your calorie count by hitting your body’s biggest muscle groups. And yes, by all means, pump your guns too just for fun.

Now, the summer body workout regime should be split between heavy metal and high intensity. You are going to need some professional guidance to help you set up your workouts but, do insist on a programme that lets you perform a weights workout twice a week, with at least two days between each session, and the same for a circuit workout. For both workouts, bear in mind that the harder you work, the better the results. Remember, you’re training against the clock here.

Put simply, getting beach ready in just a month is going to hurt. But a month of hell buys a beach ready body that, if looked after, can last all summer long.[:]