There’s something quite alluring about seeing a toned body stepping out of the water.
For years James Bond girls walking out of the ocean and glistening in the sun or rows of Olympic swimmers surrounding the pool have been seen as iconic images: The pinnacle of human appearance.
Now, while the water may provide a great effect, these things wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective if the people in question didn’t have elite physiques, to begin with.
Understandably then, many guys aspire to achieve that swimmer’s physique for themselves but often struggle to recreate it. After all, these guys are elite athletes whose lives literally revolve around fine-tuning their bodies.
That said, with enough dedication, it is definitely achievable, as they are only human, after all.
Even if they may not seem it.
That’s why today I’m going to give you 5 tips to get you well on your way to achieving that physique you desire—AKA: Ottermode.
1. Resistance Training
When the base of the physique you’re after is built on solid muscle, there’s just no way around it: You’re gonna need to hit the weights.
You don’t need to be constantly upping your 1 rep max like a strongman or hitting 6 or 7 exercises per muscle like a bodybuilder, but you do need to be building muscle.
Make sure you incorporate a lot of big compound exercises and ensure there aren’t any areas of your body that get left out.
Training around the 10-12 rep range should give you the ideal combination of building well-toned muscles while simultaneously increasing strength.
One of the main aspects of a swimmer’s physique is just how lean and ripped they are. No matter how well-built your muscles are, you simply won’t be able to achieve this look without keeping your body fat incredibly low.
One of the best methods for doing this is cardio, as it burns an incredible amount of calories, helps to burn fat, and increases metabolism.
These will all keep your body in fat-burning mode long after you’ve stopped.
As you’d imagine, swimmers get an incredible amount of cardio just from swimming alone, which helps them define their physiques without necessarily focusing on it.
Luckily, you don’t have to do quite the same amount in order to look the way they do. You aren’t looking to compete for a living, after all.
Three to four sessions per week, of around 30-40 minutes each, should be sufficient to get all the benefits you’re looking for from an aesthetic standpoint.
Try to pick something that uses your whole body if possible, such as rowers, elliptical trainers or, shocker, actual swimming. That will give you the bonus of helping to further tone your whole body at the same time.
Check out our review of Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred program to find out if this routine will fast-track your Ottermode physique.
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I’m sure anyone who’s read my articles in the past is probably getting sick of hearing this by now, but the fact remains: Whenever you want to make successful changes to your body, you simply have to have your diet on point.
While most will think eating big is much more akin to bodybuilding or strongman competitions, remember that one of the most successful swimmers of all time, Michael Phelps, claimed to eat 12,000 calories per day while competing.
This is simply because, despite not looking to build masses of muscle or strength, they still burn a huge amount of calories through their daily routine.
Now, you likely won’t need anywhere near that, as you’re not looking to become a competitive swimmer.
You just want to look like one.
Your priority should be on eating the right foods. Eat good sources of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates to fuel your muscles and minimize fat gain.
When looking at overall calories, you want to be just slightly over your daily maintenance. This will ensure your muscles have everything they need for the appearance you desire.
While the first three options may have seemed obvious, this might be less so.
Flexibility plays an integral role in both a swimmer’s performance as well as their appearance.
Firstly, being flexible is important when looking at a swimmer’s posture.
If it weren’t for their composed stature, with shoulders back and everything in perfect alignment, they wouldn’t have that elegant appearance that we’re looking for.
Secondly, having greater flexibility improves the range of motion that a muscle can be worked through. This is what enables swimmers to develop the smooth, rounded muscles that are so synonymous with their physique.
A regular stretching routine or maybe even giving yoga a try will both go a long way to helping you reach your target.
Flexibility also plays a great part in their ability as a swimmer, as the more flexible they are, the easier and smoother they will be able to glide through the water.
That brings us to our final point.
Shocking, I know, but believe it or not, actually swimming will help you to develop a swimmer’s physique.
It’s obvious from the get to go but makes even more sense when you break it down, as it encompasses all of the other physical aspects on this list.
It’s a cardiovascular activity that has you working against the resistance of the water while twisting and stretching your body.
It allows you to get a lot of these benefits in a way that is very kind to your body too.
The water’s resistance is not going to hurt you as weight could, there’s no impact like you would get from running or jogging, and the warmth of the water makes your body more malleable than when stretching cold.
This allows you to add more to your workouts without putting your body under too much additional strain.
It also helps to refine the physique in the exact same ways as the people you are trying to imitate, which is always the best way to recreate it.
How to Go “Ottermode”
While I’m sure nothing on this list has been earth-shattering, sometimes it’s the little tweaks that can make all the difference.
It’s not just knowing what to do.
It’s knowing how to do it.
Now you know:
- How you should be lifting
- How you should be getting your cardio
- How you should be eating
- How to stretch efficiently
- How to swim (if you don’t already know-how, you’re going to need to learn!)
Don’t get me wrong, the physique you’re after is still a lofty goal, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve.
That being said, with the information you now have, there’s no reason you can’t accomplish it if you truly want to.
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