You’re an enlightened man who scoffs at the pernicious notion of a “summer” or “beach” body and the standards of physical beauty it perpetuates. Yet you also can’t help but want to look a little better in your swim shorts (socialisation is a powerful thing) or, if you’re really enlightened, be a bit healthier. So, what’s a man to do? Probably some derisory bench presses, curls and sit-ups while feeling internally conflicted.
“When most men think about working out, they immediately think of chest, biceps and abs,” says personal trainer Mr Tim Walker, owner of Evolve Fitness in London (evolvefitness.co.uk), who has transmogrified the physiques of countless men. Understandable, given that these beach muscles are constantly shoved in our faces by film and TV, magazines and social media, and are what you see – or rather wish you saw – when you look in the mirror.
The three things that you should think about are muscle, fat and posture. “If you just do cardio, you’ll drop fat but you’ll also lose muscle and make your posture worse,” explains Mr Walker. “If you just lift weights, you’ll build muscle but you may struggle to lose fat. And if you only train the muscles you see, you’ll again hurt your posture.”