BY JOE WUEBBEN
It’s not too late to start working on your summer body. There’s still many afternoons to be spent at the pool, and maybe even an early autumn vacation to the beach in the works. Which means there’s time enough for you to follow our killer six-week beach body program, designed to get you shredded from head to toe. And we got just the right guy to design it for you.
Kevin Lilly is a Los Angeles–based strength and conditioning coach who works with people of all abilities, though he’s also recently gained a reputation as a go-to trainer for Hollywood celebrities and elite athletes. Guys like Lilly (and his mentor and good friend Gunnar Peterson) typically like to keep their high-profile client list confidential for privacy reasons, but two of Lilly’s early success stories are DJ Chris Lake and comedian Owen Benjamin—both accomplished entertainers in fields that aren’t exactly conducive to staying healthy and fit, what with the middle-of-the-night hours a DJ works and the exhaustive travel schedule of a stand-up comic.
Earlier this year, we approached Lilly about writing a fat-burning program for the summer that would help guys (or even girls, for that matter) build a better six-pack. What he came up with is the following six-week routine, which combines traditionalbodybuilding exercises with the same kinds of plyometric movements he uses with his elite athletes.
“Whenever any type of client comes in and says to me, ‘I just want overall body shaping, and I want to feel better,’ it’s not necessarily a strength or sport-specific goal they’re after,” Lilly says. “So my first instinct is to see what type of circuit I can put them through so they don’t feel like they’re going to pass out. My goal is to never have anyone lying on the floor. I don’t really believe in the whole ‘being dead at the end of the workout’ thing. What I’m trying to do here is bring out a program that will get people shredded and ripped in the midsection, but also overall—the whole body.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
High-intensity supersets and circuits
“When you’re building a program around body shaping, it’s about how many exercises you can do in a row without overworking any one muscle group, but keeping the heart rate up. For me, it’s chest-biceps-quads, or hang cleans-chest-biceps-quads. When you move from a chest press to a curl to a leg extension, the heart is continually going; then you let it come down for a few minutes and do it again. So it’s taking the bodybuilding concepts and targeting specific areas, but also focusing quite a bit on cardio within the weight training.”
Explosive moves, specifically cleans and jumps
“If I’m moving from, say, a shoulder press to a biceps curl, well, that doesn’t really take the heart rate up to where I want it to be for the overall goal of having the abs pop. So instead, let’s start with an explosive movement like power cleans or box jumps. once the heart rate’s already elevated, then can you handle a bench press into a curl? The program is cardio based, so, metabolically, you’re taking your heart rate to the moon and burning calories. The most success I’ve had with myself and with clients in ab development is through the power movements, basically because of the metabolic effect they have on the body.”
The push-pull method for the upper body
In this, a multi-joint pushing exercise (push dominant) is paired with a single-joint pulling move (pull minor) within a given circuit, and vice versa (pull dominant/push minor). I love the old-school way of doing 20 sets of chest in a day, then 20 sets of back the next day, but when someone says they really want to focus on getting lean, I go to push/pull. If you’re looking to spend an hour in the gym, your circuit is going to move so much more fluidly because you’re not overworking any one muscle. Push/pull will allow you to get enough volume to still shape the muscle. It’s the perfect split, providing the most work done the most efficiently.”
Lilly’s program includes four days of lifting in the gym (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for those with a standard work week), one treadmill-interval cardio session (Wednesday), and one day to do any other type of physical activity you want (Saturday). One disclaimer: This routine was not designed for the complete beginner. “This is for the guy who’s been going to the gym regularly and is ready to take his game to the next level,” says Lilly.
|Day 1||Cleans/Push Dominant/Pull Minor|
|Day 2||Jumps/Pull Dominant/ Push Minor|
|Day 3||Interval Cardio|
|Day 6||Activity of Your Choice*|
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