Celebrity trainer Ben Lucas shares his top 5 tips
There’s a reason why Ben Lucas is one of Australia’s most highly-demanded personal trainers, boasting a celebrity clientele including actress Cassie Howarth and model/singer Erin Holland. One thing that all his clients have in common? A killer bikini bod with long, lean muscle tone and washboard abs.
They are also all very busy individuals, so Ben’s philosophy on exercise and healthy eating is to work smarter, not harder, so the lifestyle can fit it into their hectic schedules. “Perfect!”, you’re probably thinking, and let’s face it, who isn’t time poor these days? Just don’t let it be an excuse to slack-off on the health front.
So what are the secrets to getting a killer bikini body without spending hours a day at the gym? Ben chatted with FIT to share his top 5 tips to achieving the body of your dreams, while fitting it into a busy lifestyle.
Forget what you may have heard about strength training making you “bulky.” It’s simply not true! Working with weights is a key aspect to getting a trim and toned body, plus a host of other health benefits. “Strength training is a great way to add definition. It boosts your metabolism, strengthens your bones, ligaments and tendons and gives your body tone and shape,” says Ben. “Unless you are eating like a body builder and putting in several hours each day, you are not going to bulk up!”
The perfect partner to strength workouts is cardio. It’s great for getting your heart rate up, improving cardiovascular endurance and burning fat. “Every time I do a strength session, I aim to also do a cardio and yoga for balance. Hill sprints, interval sprints and HIIT training are all excellent,” advises Ben. The benefit of doing high intensity bursts is that it burns more fat, so incorporating this into your exercise routine is great for getting your body bikini-ready.
When it comes to sticking to a healthy eating regime, one of the biggest traps that people fall into is reaching for something quick and less healthy when they are tired and hungry, for lack of a better option. “If you are a busy person, then I would suggest that you prepare 3-days worth of meals in advance, if possible. This will mean that the meal is accessible when you come home and you are far more likely to stick to the plan,” advises Ben. You know what they say? Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail!
REST AND RECOVERY
Resting your body is just as important as exercising. If you don’t allow for recovery, you will be burning the candle at both ends, which ultimately causes stress in the body. In turn, the hormones associated with stress make it harder to lose fat. There’s also the risk of overtraining your muscles. “Eating well and recovering properly is essential for building lean muscle. I think it's important for us to listen to our bodies - if you are working out hard every day despite being tired, all your hard work will most likely have a contrary effect,” says Ben, who advocates having 1-2 rest days a week.
CUT THE RUBBISH
Snacking can be great if you make healthy choices, however Ben sees too many people going down the opposite root. “Cut out the unhealthy snacks. One piece of chocolate here, a couple of chips there - it all adds up. Food prep is important to my clients so that they don’t end up eating the junk food on set.” Instead, make sure you always have some clean options on hand for when you really need something between meals, such as fresh fruit, homemade trail mix, or a natural protein bar.
Ben Lucas has been in the fitness industry for 18 years. Prior to opening Flow Athletic he owned 3 successful personal training businesses and was an NRL player for the Cronulla Sharks. He is a regular voice on health and fitness in the media. Ben has several high profile clients who are fans of his dynamic and results-driven training methods.