For decades the term “beach body” has been penetrating the ears of many people aspiring to build the mainstream version of a dream physique. This is not that bad since some 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 reaching epic proportions. 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 you don’t need a specialized beach body routine. The phrase “beach body” is actually a marketing term (packaging) that I am going to translate for you in this post.
First, what is a beach body? A body shaped like a beach?
The primary characteristic of a legit “beach body” is the presence of lean six-pack abs. Your body cannot be considered “beach” if you have a fat gut leading the way when you walk.
The other part of a complete beach body is extra muscle mass at the right places. For men, the right places are the arms, chest, and lats whereas 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 this is not true. The principles behind the final product are as simple as it gets.
Despite what the purposefully complicated programs out there preach, you don’t have to do all kinds of jumping jacks and Zumba dancing to become ripped. You can get there by performing a couple of basic exercises (squats, pull-ups, dips) and dieting. Those two elements will allow you to lose weight while building up your strength.
Note that I said “building up your strength”, not “building muscle while losing fat”. For the most part, you cannot build muscle and lose fat at the same time because you have to be in a caloric deficit if you want to get lean. I don’t believe in similar miracles unless we are talking about somebody who is untrained or on steroids.
Of course, the mainstream industry will rarely admit this because they want you to think that you are building a sickening amount of muscle mass by doing drop sets of knee pushups 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 afterward, it’s game over. If you want to continue getting stronger, you will have to switch to a specialized routine with better focus and programming.
The after photos have a large role in the brainwashing that takes place in the beach body cult. People in the after shots are usually leaner which makes them look 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 lighting 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 come with “beach body” training are also factors limiting growth.
The next aspect of beach body workouts that painfully needs to be exposed is core training.
According to the beach body experts, you are supposed to do hundreds of reps to create a criminal burn in your midsection. It’s hard, but is it effective?
Honestly, you don’t have to perform 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 does not make your abs more defined.
Having said that, 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 skinny with a nice set of six pack abs than fatsos squatting heavy weights for the sake of squatting heavy weights.
I see the appeal, but you also have to be aware of the antics that come with the beach body mindset.
Ultimately, it’s better to learn the driving principles behind physical improvement instead of hoping that the flashy images and the never-ending hype have it all covered for you.