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The team from SW Fitness (image supplied) The team from SW Fitness (image supplied)

Fitness

How to get that beach body for summer

The team from SW Fitness (image supplied)

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I caught up with Steve White of SW Fitness to see if he could get me beach-body beautiful.

If I want to bring my A-game to my gay beach vacation, what role does nutrition play in that? Or should I just focus on bicep curls and ab-crunches?

The key to achieving the beach body is both diet and training — you won’t achieve your goal unless you eat clean and train hard.

Firstly, make sure your diet is low in carbs and high in protein, with a splattering of good fats — your body will change if you eat the correct amount of calories and percentage of macros.

Secondly, when you train, train hard and effectively. It’s okay being in the gym for 1.5 hours, but if you don’t do it properly you won’t make those changes.

If I know I’ve got a big event coming up — like the pool party at Circuit Barcelona — what’s the best way to prepare for that to make sure I’m looking good and feeling confident?

People think that it’s just about training — it’s not, it’s about strengthening the mind and the body will follow. Training is about internal strength and self esteem, the stronger the mind the more focused we become. A trainer can always help you with this — even having a gym buddy will help push you and ensure that you challenge yourself.

The key is to work slightly out of your comfort zone. At first it can be difficult, but over time, pushing harder and going that extra mile will help you achieve a huge amount.

Do last minute emergency diet or fitness measures have any impact?

People think that there are quick fixes to get results — sorry, there isn’t. Unless you’re a genetic freak, it all takes time. Stripping fat takes months of good training and a very controlled diet.

Guys who are very focused generally don’t drink too much — it’s not only bad for you, but it can inhibit your training ability and restrict your progress.

High caffeine intake won’t strip your fat, it will just make you jittery which isn’t a nice feeling, However a strong coffee can help you train a little harder.

If I’m trying to sharpen up my beach body, which are the best exercises to focus on in the gym?

The big compound exercises are the ones you should be focusing on — hit them hard at the start to build the bulk, then move on to isolation exercises that help develop the shape.

Depending on your experience, you can split the body down. I’d recommend back and triceps, chest and biceps, shoulders, and then legs. Throw some spin or HIIT sessions in to the mix to help reduce your fat level.

Dont forget the core and ab work to help make sure the body foundations are strong.

Are protein shakes after a workout a good idea?

It’s very important to get that protein fix within 15 minutes. Protein synthesis uses protein to help repair and grow after your training session.

A combination of protein either from a shake — or even better a natural source — plus some carbs will ensure your that training session wasn’t wasted

What are some of the foods that I should try and avoid or minimise?

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There are two types of carbs, simple and complex. Try to stick to the rule of anything brown — like brown rice and whole-wheat — are good. Anything white and starchy are bad. Big no-nos are white potato, white pasta, and white bread — they are all forbidden.

Complex carbs take longer to breakdown and provide slow release energy, therefore are great for the metabolism.

However the worst carb is sugar — a simple carb. This is the devil carb — you just don’t do it. It’s basically fat. From fruit juice to chocolate, it’s packed with the stuff that we absorb the quickest.

Do I need to also be taking supplements?

If you’re eating a well-balanced, controlled diet, then you should be okay without additional vitamins. However, Glucosamine is good for the joints — especially if you’re stripping fat, as you can deplete your body which can be hard on the system.

I take a pre-workout to give me a little boost before training, and usually drink BCAAs while training — it just helps deliver a little bit more energy.

I generally try not to take too many supplements as they can be too much on my little tummy, and you don’t want that when training heavy.

Any other hints or tips for getting myself beach body ready?

Stay focused on the prize. You should always strive to be your best at everything — especially your health and fitness.

Train hard and train smart. Get guidance from the professionals if needed.

If you feel you’ve pushed as hard as possible, and tried your upmost to achieve your results, then you should stand tall and be proud.

Don’t forget to get a tan before going — burning on the first day is not clever and certainly not cool.

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Fitness

Friday Fitness Freak

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Image sourced from stock photo library
Image sourced from stock photo library

What do gay men eat for breakfast?
We recently did a survey on the breakfast habits of gay men around the world — one of the clear results is the high proportion of men who start their day by eating breakfast cereal (48%).

What’s wrong with cereal?
Quick and easy to eat, and often quite tasty, it’s not difficult to understand why breakfast cereal is such a popular choice.

The problem with breakfast cereal is that is even if you opt for something that is low in sugar and high in fibre, you’re subjecting your body to a big intake of gluten.

The paleo diet
There’s obviously quite a bit of debate and conflicting research among nutritionists, but most guys who are super-serious about their diet and fitness, tend to lean towards the “paleo” approach which advocates limiting the intake of gluten in favour of a high protein and vegetable diet.

Eat like a caveman
In simplistic terms, you’re trying to replicate the diet of your genetic ancestors — the thinking is that when a “caveman” started the day, they either snacked on some of the left-overs from the night before — lean wild meat — or they grabbed some nearby nuts and berries until they were able to hunt for some more meat or fish.

What’s wrong with gluten?
As it’s a relatively new introduction to the human diet, in evolutionary terms, there is quite a bit of evidence suggesting that gluten can be difficult for the body to digest and process and may result in gluten sensitivity.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhoea, or it may present with a variety of extra-intestinal symptoms including headaches and migraines, lethargy and tiredness, attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity, schizophrenia, muscular disturbances as well as bone and joint pain.

What should you eat for breakfast?

  • If you’ve got time — fry up some eggs or a small steak with some spinach on the side.
  • If you’re in a rush — grab a handful of nuts and some berries and stop for something more substantial when you get to work.
  • It’s time to look beyond breakfast cereal.

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