For decades the term “beach body” has been penetrating the homes of many people aspiring to build the mainstream version of a dream physique. This is not that bad since the popular programs are very demanding and definitely better than spending your evenings stalking co-workers on Facebook while adding fat cells to your frame through hardcore cake abuse.
However, the beach body cult is now reaching epic proportions and far too many brainwashed monkeys are following the steps without asking questions. People have fallen into the trap of extreme marketing and no longer base their actions on logical principles.
The truth is that building the so-called beach body does not require the usage of a specialized beach body routine. If anything the saying “beach body” is nothing but a marketing term (packaging), which I am going to translate for you in this post.
First, what hell is a beach body? A body shaped like a beach?
The primary characteristic of a legit “beach body” is a somewhat visible set of abdominal muscles. This condition technically equals low bodyfat levels. In simpler terms we are talking about a frame that has little fat on it. Your body cannot be considered “beach” if you have a fat alienesque gut leading the way when you walk. The other part of a complete beach body is having some muscle mass at the right places. For men the right places are the arms, chest and lats while for women it’s the lower body. That’s it. There is nothing more to the look of a classic beach body.
Many paid experts will try to convince you that serious science is required to enter beach body mode, but it’s not the case at all. The principles behind the final product are as simple as it gets.
Despite what the purposely complicated programs out there preach, you don’t need to do all kinds of jumping jacks and zumba dancing to reach ripped status. You can get there by just doing a couple of basic exercises (squats, pull-ups, dips) and diet down. Those two elements will allow you to lose weight while building up your strength. Note that I said “building up your strength” and not “building muscle while losing fat”. That’s because I don’t believe in such things unless we are talking about somebody who is untrained or on steroids. For the most part you cannot build muscle and lose fat at the same time because in order to get lean, you need to be in a caloric deficit. Building muscle while losing fat is like trying to add files to a hard drive while deleting others. Unless two people or a machine are doing it, I don’t see how it can work.
Of course, the mainstream industry will rarely admit to this, because they all want you to believe that your are building sickening amount of muscle mass by doing drop sets of knee push-ups and presses with light dumbbells.
Sorry, but most of the beach body programs are conditioning work – not strength training. In the beginning they build up your strength, because you are an untrained weakling, but afterwards it’s game over, and if you want to continue getting stronger, you will have to switch to a specialized routine with better focus and programming.
The after photos also have a large role in the brainwashing taking place in the beach body cult. People in the after shots are usually leaner, which makes them look more attractive and more muscular, but ultimately they aren’t any bigger. It’s an illusion. The amount of muscle mass on them is about the same compared to day one. When you add in some lightning and angle manipulation, you can make a fragile person appear massive.
The main reason why the guys in the after photos are not that big is that naturals cannot build a lot of muscle mass in a few months. I would go as far as saying that naturals cannot build a lot of muscle mass in years, but that’s another story. The lack of focused progressive overload and the caloric deficit that comes with beach body type of training is also a factor limiting growth.
The next aspect of beach body workouts that painfully needs to be exposed is core training. Oh, man, those routines really do come with some serious stomach hell, don’t they? You are supposed to do hundreds of reps and afterwards the burn in your mid-section is almost criminal. You feel like your abs are about to retire and leave your body for good. Still, don’t get too excited, kids. Just because something is hard that does not make it effective.
Believe it or not, you don’t need to do 10 different exercises for every portion of your abs. All you need is a caloric deficit and maybe a few basic movements. Forget about the burn. The burn makes your abs neither leaner nor stronger. It just burns them.
With that said, I can see why the general population is more attracted to beach body programs instead of the alternatives coming from the permabulking department. Most people would rather be the skinny person with a nice set of six pack abs doing push-ups in the park than the fatso squatting heavy weights for the sake of squatting heavy weights. I certainly see the appeal, but that does not change the fact that you also have to be aware of the antics that come with the beach body mindset.
It’s a bit like the opposite side of the medal – you are lured into joining another cult, and this is actually a big deal. I think it’s much better to just learn the driving principles behind physical improvement instead of hoping that the flashy images and never-ending hype have it all covered for you.