With swimsuit season nearly here, many people may be wondering about the quickest way to get in shape.
As an elite personal trainer at Fit Athletic Club Solana Beach, Brian Mahon knows it's important to avoid the hype associated with workouts that tout results such as "Get the best abs for summer with these 13 sexiest exercises!"
Rather, he said, there's no "best one exercise, one best workout, or one best diet for anything."
Instead, he said, variety and frequency in workouts will get you in shape quickly.
"All exercises will get you there, and it's best to mix up your routine," he said. "Never stick to the same routine. Try to do something new and change it up. You should exercise longer and more frequently as you adapt to it."
Every time you work out, he said, the routine should be different, such as doing dumbbell training one day, kettle bell training the next, followed by cable training, etc.
Also, he said, many people who want to get in shape quickly wonder if cardio or weights will help them meet their goals faster. He said a combination will achieve results in a shorter amount of time.
"A great plan could include supersets for full body," he said. "Train your quads; then hamstrings; then abs to lower back; then chest to back; and then biceps to triceps. It leaves a symmetric/athletic look without any muscles being under- or overdeveloped."
An example would be to do three sets of 20 reps of resistance training, which also gives the benefits of cardio because there's no rest between sets. During each workout, he said, pick a different exercise, such as devoting Mondays to lunges and quads; Tuesdays to leg extension and quads; Wednesdays to squats.
"Training the muscle groups differently each day adds variety to your workouts and prevents overuse and boredom," he said.
Typically, he said, it takes about six weeks to see real physical change.
Another method that can lead to a quick shape-up is through high-intensity interval training, or HIIT workouts, which have become popular in recent years. These types of workouts involve cardiovascular training where short, high-intensity intervals are combined with longer, slower intervals used for recovery. The idea is to boost athletic performance and improve the ability of the muscles to burn fat. The workouts are short, typically spanning 20 to 30 minutes and adhering to a 2-to-1 ratio where recovery intervals are twice as long as work intervals.
He also suggests trying a class at a health club with an instructor who can demonstrate the right way to perform each exercise so risk of injury is lower.
"Having a guide in-person helps you increase your activity levels more than, say, watching a video alone at home," he said.
Brian Mahon is no stranger to what it takes to get your body in shape for beach season. As an elite personal trainer at Fit Athletic Club in Solana Beach, Mahon works with clients year-round to get them in the best shape possible. His suggestion for getting beach body ready? Variation. Mahon joined photographer Brogen Jessup at the Fletcher Cove Beach Park to demonstrate some exercises that he suggests be included in people's fitness routines.