A fool proof guide to looking buff on holiday: Boys’ edition

Grit your teeth and wax your chest

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You’ve spent all year so hungover you can’t even open your eyes, not to mention go to the gym. And it shows.

It’s as if you fell asleep in a mind numbing lecture for one second, and all of a sudden your holidays are here. All your pals look massive, their guns the size of your thigh, and you resemble a down-trodden, pasty, 15-year-old.

But don’t get too down about it, there’s still time to have a last minute body makeover. Soon you’ll be back to puffing your chest out and strutting down the beach trying chat up every girl in sight.

What to eat

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Summer diets don’t need to be boring, and Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at Nutri Centre, recommends how to cook tasty food without piling on the pounds.

“The main thing here is to avoid meat which has been overly processed. Sausages and burgers are the main culprits, and will contain fillers such as cereal binders, soya protein and maltodextrine – a food additive made from starch.

“They may also be high in added fats you may not want to include in your diet, especially if they are from cheap sources which may be hydrogenated. Avoiding processed meats is no hardship because there are still all the great tasting fresh meats to enjoy.

“Choose from on the bone or filleted from chicken, beef and pork. All are great choices. Freshly grilled meat is delicious as it is, but if you want to add some flavour then marinades and rubs add some healthy extra flavour.”

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If you’re bored of meat, there’s always the option of a fish dish. Shona suggests: “Fresh fish is great for your health and tastes amazing straight from the BBQ, as all fish is healthy you can chose whatever you fancy.

“When grilling fish on the BBQ it is important not to burn it, this is because there is a link between heterocyclic amines a carcinogen found in grilled meat and fish, with a higher risk of breast, stomach, pancreatic and colorectal cancer. Fresh fish simply grilled on the BBQ with a squirt of lemon is simply divine, but another delicious way to cook a fish on a BBQ is to create a fish pouch.”

What exercise to do

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It’s often hard to pin point the exact exercises you should be doing to achieve your beach six pack. A lot of the time it feels like you’re putting in all the effort and getting no result.

Rebecca Patrick, personal trainer, said: “For abs I’d advise doing crunches, toe touches and Russian twists. With legs you want to do squats, leg press and use leg resistance machines such as V-squat and abductor.”

You can’t have toned abs and buff legs, but then have a pathetic set of arms. Rebecca added: “Try biceps curls, triceps curls and the fly machine.”

The best way to prep

There’s no shame in wanting to look good on your holidays, and there’s nothing worse than rubbing sun cream all over your hairy chest. The prospects of having trimmed or a hair-free body are so enticing, sometimes you just have to take the plunge and get your wax on.

Kirsten-Anne, beautician from Catriona Craig Bespoke Beauty salon, told The Tab: “Chest and back are common requests we get for men pre-holiday. But men also frequently ask for facials at the salon.”

Daniel Bester, owner of Daniel Beauty, said: “The most common treatments for men are back and shoulder waxes, mainly because men sometimes don’t want to look like their ape ancestors. I would recommend they come in a week before they head on holiday so they have time to heal, and for the rash to go away.”

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Sun bed anyone?

Daniel added: “The most effective treatments are a full wax. We also offer back, crack and sack for those who like a little less hair in the bedroom. It’s like when women get a Hollywood wax, guys can get it too. The only problem is it is less comfortable.

“Waxing can last four to six weeks, so it’s well worth doing. Some men shave the next day, but the problem is the hair comes in like a beard and very thick. With waxing the hair comes in gradually and is very fine. Shaving always runs the risk of cutting yourself.

“I wouldn’t recommend a spray tan since it’ll just wash off in the sea and pool over time. Chest and stomach spray tans are the most popular. Body builders get a spray tan which enhances the look of their muscles. I know some men think it makes them look more handsome.”

What to wear

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Not much by the look of it

Fashion trends are continually changing, and it’s easy to get lost with knowing what’s cool and what’s completely not. Paul Carrigan, model, said: “For the beach I would wear a scoop neck vest and some gym shorts, keep it casual. What’s really in for this summer is bomber jackets and light leather.

“On your feet you should wear sandals with a thicker sole, and if you’re enjoying your summer in a not so hot country, try boots with a thicker sole too. My staple piece would be a denim jacket. I’ll wear skinny jeans, long t-shirt and denim jacket. You can’t go wrong.”

Helena McKelvie, model and student, also added: “Go for speedos if you have the body, or are confident enough to pull it off, but otherwise probably a no no. Socks with shoes if you do it right. A lot of designers were doing it last season and it looked alright, but if it’s like middle aged sandles and beige socks that’s probably a no as well.”