For the past 6 years me and 3 of my best girlfriends from college (ASU) have taken an annual trip together.
We graduated in 2002, and after turning 30 we decided to make this trip a tradition.
Here’s the 7 step workout routine I’ve perfected the past 6 years.
My 7 Step Workout Formula for Beach (and Bikini) Confidence
(A quick outline of the workout & diet, before I list the 7 Step Formula.)
For me, the ideal workout schedule is to train M-F in the gym and then just go for a walk on the weekends.
These workouts last around 1 hour, but feel free to tweak depending upon your schedule.
Here’s the general setup:
- Mon: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps & Intense Cardio
- Tue: Back, Biceps, Abs & Medium Cardio
- Wed: Legs & Easy Cardio
- Thu: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps & Medium Cardio
- Fri: Back, Biceps, Abs & Intense Cardio
Why It is Structured This Way…
What I’ve found is intense cardio on a treadmill, stepmill, or elliptical is a great workout for the legs without building bulk.
I do a “legs only” workout on Wednesday as well…
…but my legs also get a great workout on Mon & Fri from the intense cardio.
(The one day per week leg workout combined with cardio creates a sleek and toned lower body.)
For sets and reps each workout?
Keep it simple.
- 2-3 exercises per muscle group
- 2-3 sets per exercise
- 8-10 reps per set
- Choose exercises you enjoy
The goal is to complete the lifting portion of your workout in 30 minutes or less.
I’ll explain how to do the cardio as part of the 7 Steps.
Diet and calories?
As far as diet goes, you will have to adjust calories based on how much weight you are losing.
(Here’s a link to the slightly controversial diet I’ve just started and having outstanding results with.)
How many calories to eat per day?
A good starting point is to multiply your target weight X 10.
So if your target weight is 130.
You would want to eat roughly 1,300 calories per day.
Here are the 7 steps which are pure bikini magic 🙂
1) Drink One Cup of Coffee, on an Empty Stomach, 30 Minutes Before Working Out.
(Make sure it is black coffee with no added cream or sugar.)
The ideal way to into your workout is on an empty stomach, with about 100mg-200mg caffeine in your system.
You will hear people claim that it doesn’t make a difference whether you train fasted or with food in your system.
Here’s why training fasted matters.
It’s because of stubborn body fat.
- Is more sensitive to insulin than normal fat.
- Is less sensitive to adrenaline than normal fat.
- Has less blood flow than normal fat.
Fasting lowers insulin levels. Your adrenaline levels also rise when in a fasted state. This covers the first two issues with stubborn body fat.
Poor blood flow will be taken care of through exercising while fasted.
Note: Genetically blessed women like Victoria’s Secret Models, probably don’t have to worry about this. So irritating!
2) Spend the First 30 Minutes of Your Workout Training for Strength
(This woman has killer arms. Wow!)
Don’t get hung up on the type of resistance training.
Free weights, machines, and bodyweight training all get the job done.
Why train for strength?
This sends a signal to your body to hold on to the muscle you have.
If you don’t train for strength while dieting, you will lose fat AND muscle.
Training for strength while losing weight is what improves shape and body composition.
…it’s what make you look your best in a bikini.
Just follow that M-F outline I have above… and you will be set!
3) Perform 10 Minutes HIIT After Strength Training
(Treadmills, Rowing Machines, StepMills, Exercise Bikes…all work well for HIIT.)
My favorite 10-minute treadmill HIIT routine:
- Walk for 1 minute
- Jog for 1 minute
- Alternate 5 times (10 minutes total)
Pretty simple right?
This is what I consider Moderate HIIT.
This is what you would do on your “Medium Cardio” days (Tue & Thu).
How do you make it Intense?
- Walk for 1 minute
- Sprint for 30 seconds
- Alternate for 10 minutes
This is what you would do on your “Intense Cardio” days (Mon & Fri).
For Wednesday, your “Easy Cardio” day, you will just walk for 30 minutes total.
4) Follow the HIIT Cardio with 15 Minutes of Slow and Steady Cardio
(Now it is time to walk at a slow and steady pace on a treadmill or elliptical.)
HIIT cardio creates a unique window of opportunity.
Not only does it burn calories, it releases fat from fat cells into the bloodstream.
…but this fat gets redeposited back into the fat cells unless it is used for fuel.
This is why only doing HIIT isn’t the best idea for getting lean.
HIIT is best for RELEASING body fat.
Slow and Steady Cardio is what will burn this fat.
So you will want to walk at a slow pace on a treadmill or elliptical for 15 minutes.
5) Finish With One 5-Minute Burst of HIIT
(This 5 Minute Finisher Should Only be Done 2-3 Times Per Week.)
Finishing with one short round of HIIT, will provide an additional boost in growth hormone (GH).
GH helps to maintain muscle while burning body fat.
Growth Hormone declines as you age and training this way can boost it to more youthful levels.
Keep it simple:
- A 30 second sprint
- Walk or peddle slowly for 1-2 minutes
- Repeat 3 times
Almost any cardio machine will work.
Just do this 2-3 times each week to make sure you don’t become overtrained.
6) Wait One Hour After Training to Eat
(Santorini, Greece is definitely on my bucket list!)
After training, your growth hormone levels are still elevated.
You are still burning body fat at an accelerated rate 30-60 minutes after working out.
That fat burning will stop when insulin is spiked from eating.
If gaining muscle is top priority?
Eat immediately after training.
If losing body fat and getting lean is your top priority, wait one hour before eating.
I typically just drink water and rehydrate during this time.
7) Drastically Lower Your Fat Intake 6-8 Weeks Before Your Trip
(This model has the perfect amount of ab definition in my opinion.)l.
I realize the ketogenic diet is wildly popular right now and people are eating more fat than ever, but did you realize that your body rarely converts carbs to body fat?
It takes extended EXTREME overfeeding of carbs for this to happen.
Almost every bit of fat you see on your body is from the dietary fat in your diet.
We’ve known this fact for decades.
Instead of limiting fats in our diet… the trend these days is to limit carbs and increase fats (odd if you think about it).
Even if you like keto, you will get extra lean switching up to a high carb ultra low fat diet for 6-8 weeks.
This is the approach I’m following now and it is working well.
You might be thinking…
We tried that in the 80’s and 90’s and it didn’t work well.
We ALMOST had it right in the 80’s.
We simply didn’t reduce fat ENOUGH.
What happens when you reduce fat to the 8-10% range and boost carbohydrate intake?
You get a diet where it is close to impossible to put on body fat.
So if you are having a tough time losing the last bit of fat, give this method a try.
Questions, Comments, or Anything Else?
Please Comment Below.