30 Ways to Get Absolutely Shredded for Summer

Man Surfing on Beach

Ah, spring: It brings longer days, warmer rays, and the inescapable certainty that—at some point in the very near future—you’re going to have to take your shirt off in public. If you have yet to shed the comfy layer of adipose you acquired over the past few months, relax: There’s still plenty of time to do it—and to add some muscle while you’re at it.

In honor of Men’s Fitness’ 30th year, we’ve compiled 30 of our most effective get-lean tips to kick-start your beach-body plan. And though a concerted program of both diet and exercise is most effective for shedding fat, we’re not going to weigh you down with specific diet-to-exercise ratios. Just keep in mind that losing weight should be part of a holistic strategy that leaves you stronger, fitter, and healthier overall. Now, get ready to rule the summer.

1. Do your best Michael Phelps imitation

Don’t just splash around, swim. It’s low impact and can burn 900-plus calories an hour.

2. Go heavy on squats

The more muscles you can recruit with proper form, the stronger you’ll get and the more fat you’ll burn.

3. Train with a stronger pal

His ass-kicking will work you harder and get you stronger.

4. Go on the prowl

Combing cardio and weights—like pushing a prowler, jumping rope, or doing circuits—burns max fat.

5. Run ten 100-yard sprints

You’ll burn up to 500 calories and sleep like a rock at night.

6. Eat off a blue plate

Seeing food on a blue dish—as opposed to red or yellow—reduces appetite, studies show.

7. Buy nuts (peanuts, pistachios) unshelled

You’ll eat half as many if you have to shell them yourself.

8. Chew mint (or sugar-free mint gum) after meals

The flavor tells your brain it’s time to stop eating.

9. Do power yoga

It can burn 344 calories per hour.

Power yoga can burn 344 calories per hour

10. Train fasted once a week

Skipping a pre-workout meal—aka intermittent fasting—works to keep adrenaline high and blood sugar low.

11. “Drown” your appetite

Dehydration can make your body think it’s hungry, so drink 130 fl oz of water per day.

12. Start skimming

Ditching cream and sugar for skim milk and no sugar can save you 105 calories a cup. Drink two cups a day, and that’s 76,650 calories a year.

13. Use only ellipticals with handles

You’ll recruit muscles in your arms and burn almost double the calories overall.

14. Get egg on your face

Among people who skip breakfast, 30% are more likely to be obese, says the American Heart Association.

15. Shop till it drops

Your weight, that is: New gear can inspire you to lift harder, get leaner, and recover faster. Try these:

  • Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit: Ditch the running shoes when lifting—you’ll work heavier and safer wearing sneakers with a flat sole, supportive heel, and airy, superlight upper. $160, nike.com
  • Crossrope Bolt: With its aluminum handles, ball bearings, and two weighted ropes, this jump rope can’t be beat for burning calories or flying through double-unders. $59, crossrope.com
  • Moji Curve Pro: This freezable, portable massager has four stainless steel balls for a 360-degree massage that helps break up gnarly muscle knots for improved mobility. $50, gomoji.com

16. Berry the past

The resveratrol in strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries can help you drop pounds by turning flabby white fat into calorie-torching beige fat, reports Washington State University.

17. Use panko to crush that crust

Panko flakes soak up less oil than breadcrumbs, so they’re perfect for coating proteins like pork chops and chicken.

18. Learn the dirtiest menu words

Alfredo, butter, breaded, battered, crispy, fritters, golden, refried, loaded, pan-fried, covered, and—the all-time filthiest ever: smothered. Avoid them all.

19. Then learn the (c)leanest menu words—and use them religiously

Grilled, baked, lightly sautéed, primavera, marinara, roasted, and—the Messiah of Menu-dom—steamed.


20. Booze smart

Order cocktails with soda water and fresh lime juice instead of sweetened mixers, which can add 150 calories to your glass.

21. “Garçon, a doggie bag, please!”

Ask the waiter to serve you half your entrée and pack half to go.

22. Scare the shit out of your muscles

Aww, they’re too timid to work out with unfamiliar gear like SandBells or truck tires? Tough. Make them do it anyway—the changeup will help your body recruit more muscle fibers.

23. Treadmill line?

We don’t need no stinking treadmill line. Do box jumps or burpees while you wait.

24. Try the “burns twice” diet

Hot spices rev up your metabolism and help you eat more slowly.

25. Honor thy fava

All beans, really: They’re protein- and fiber-packed and can melt fat.

26. Choose the right supps

Supplementing wisely can help you fight cravings, shed water weight, and have more energy to train.

  • MHP XPel: This powerful herbal diuretic was engineered to eliminate excess water retention, reduce bloat, and aid fat loss.
  • Inspired-Bar: Mark Wahlberg’s all-natural bars supply mega protein and nutrients while sticking to the strictest quality and safety guidelines.

27. Give yourself half a break

Cut rests in half. You’ll send your muscles and cardiovascular system into overdrive, and burn more fat.

28. Be a HIIT man

Turn your body into a fat-burning furnace by alternating sprints with jogs.

Alternating sprints with jogs can help you burn more fat

29. Iron things out with her

Training with your sig-o can boost the odds you’ll stick to a workout by as much as 34%.

30. Think of each meal as a jealous lover

Don’t let anything distract you from your food. Doing something else—watching Netflix, working, watching Netflix while working— during a meal can cause you to eat 50% more, says the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


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