Want to turn heads this summer? Cover model and highly sought fitness coach Jen Jewell has you covered with her game plan for building a show-stopping physique! Rather than focusing on dropping weight—a common trend among the bikini-clad crowd—she suggest you focus on building muscle to achieve your dream physique.
Muscle adds attractive curves to all the right places, giving you the fit look you desire. The increased muscle mass also revs up your metabolic rate, helping to burn any excess fat you may have in the process. The end result? A complete summer makeover!
Get to work on your desired beach body with Jewell's top muscle-building tips and workouts!1
Start With Your Diet
While you might think the first change you should make has to do with pumping iron in the gym, that's not the case. When it comes to putting on lean mass, nutrition is everything.
"Embrace carbs and protein!" Jen explains. "More often than not, I hear about women skimping on carbs because they think adding too many of them will cause a sudden surge in body fat." It's time to bust that myth. Sure, overdoing anything isn't good, but carbs in moderation are OK—heck, they're even essential.
A big believer in simple, sustainable steps, Jen recommends you focus on including sufficient carbs and protein in your post-workout meal, since it aids recovery and muscle building the most.
Carbs are important for performance, and protein is important for muscle growth. And no, supplementing with shakes won't make you bulky. So, how much should you aim for?
"As far as protein goes, I go for 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day, " Jen says. Aim for roughly 25 grams of protein after your workout, and spread the balance across your other meals.
Your overall carbohydrate and dietary fat intake will vary based on your total energy needs, exercise intensity, and exercise duration, but it's safe to aim for 30-50 grams of carbohydrates after your workouts to replenish your energy and jump-start recovery.
What's the best thing to eat before a sweat session? For your pre-workout meal, Jen recommends sticking with foods that are low in fat and contain easily digestible carbs—meaning carbs low in fiber. They'll provide a fast source of energy for the session at hand.
Jen also opts for a high-glycemic carb post-workout to help quickly replenish muscle glycogen (stored energy) levels. Some options include rice, bread, potatoes, and fruit. Have a sweet tooth? Fat-free candy like pixie sticks and gummy bears are another great option! Pair your carbs with a fast-digesting protein like Cellucor COR-Performance Whey for optimal results.2
Ditch the Light Weights
"In order to build muscle, you're going to have to challenge your body and stimulate your muscle fibers in a new way, " Jen says. "Kick those light weights to the curb, and get ready to really work it!"