Ignore the deluge of workout advice that typically appears when the sun finally rears its beautiful head in the summer months, because anyone with an ounce of training and nutritional knowledge will understand that the beach body is really honed during the winter months.
It is sorely tempting to gorge on biscuits and add an additional layer of body fat to keep out the cold, but with a bit of restraint and a determination, you can achieve a ripped and functional body that looks oh-so sweet in a pair of teeny tiny board shorts.
Richie Norton is not only a former professional rugby player, Instagram celebrity, master of meditation and training coach, he is also a self confessed beach bum that likes to escape to the surf when his mind needs clearing. He's also one of the coaches on the FIIT online workout programme.
If there's one man that can guide you towards an enviable beach body, it's Richie, aka The Strength Temple. "Rather than simply aiming for a surf-worthy beach body, it's best to create and complete a workout that an experienced surfer would look for," he explains.
"The upshot here is that you not only shred fat and build muscles in all the right places, you also improve your range of motion and mobility, which will actually help if you fancy hitting the water in the future," he adds.
How to perform the ultimate beach body workout
Similar to endurance training or a workout geared-up to improve stamina, this session will mix strength and cardio exercises, as well as limit the amount of rest between high intensity and compound exercise.
A word of warning: there is a high number of burpee-based movements in this workout, which has the ability to send the heart rate sky-rocketing, so listen to your body and take the workout at your own pace.
"The plan here is to involve plenty of twists and rotations, engaging the core throughout and a focus on controlling your bodyweight. The benefits will improve range of motion, mobility and conditioning, which I've found has really helped surfers and other board sports enthusiasts," explains Richie.
The great thing about this regimen is that you won't need bags of expensive, technical equipment to get the most out of it.
A reliable pair of trainers (you could do it barefoot if you really want), a training mat and a decent amount of elbow room to allow for each movement is really the necessary requirements here.
However, throwing in a smart watch or fitness tracker, coupled with a heart rate monitor, will give you a better picture of the amount of effort invested and will allow for tweaks to be made to reps and rest periods in order to crank up the difficulty over time.
A word on nutrition
Good nutrition is just as important as exercise and if you are bingeing on McDonald's after every workout, you aren't going to see that popping six pack in a hurry.
"Most people like to cut out carbohydrates to lose weight, but it’s so important when starting out to have a balanced diet of healthy fats, protein and carbs," explains Mandie Nugent, a KBFF Body Fitness competitor, qualified personal trainer and USN nutrition ambassador.
A workout like this is going to require a lot of energy, so ensure you are getting a good amount of carbs through healthy foods, such as brown pasta and sweet potatoes, the day before the session.
Drink lots of water and ensure the diet is rich in protein to aid muscle growth and development after you've finished pummelling the gym.
Struggling to get enough protein in the system? Check out some of our favourite protein powders for quick and easy muscle building.
The Beach Body Workout by Richie Norton
"Try this workout with a 45 second active phase and a 15 second transition time," Richie explains.
"Complete the full sequence with controlled form, keep muscles primed, core engaged and reps slow but meaningful. Repeat for as many rounds as possible and allow just enough time to recover between each full set using nasal breathing techniques between the circuit," he adds.
A word of advice, you'll want to make sure you take on plenty of water to remain hydrated throughout this one, as it is a pretty intense cardio workout.
Burpee Star Jump
From a plank position, explosively shift both feet forwards simultaneously and land either side of the hands. Then, with core tight and all the major muscle groups engaged, launch into a full spread star-jump with arms and legs out.
Land with soft knees and repeat this as many times as possible in the 45-second time slot, remembering to focus on solid form rather than performing as many baggy reps as possible.
Jumping Split Lunge in Cactus Position
Start in a split lunge with one leg in front of the other, front foot firmly planted on the floor, rear foot resting on the balls of your feet.
Remember; don't make the stride overly long, as you'll only lose power and balance, but bend the front leg so it is at a right angle with the floor below, knees never hovering over the toes of your front foot.
To enter the cactus position, simply raise your arms with palms facing forward, like you're pushing an invisible wall. Elbows should be bent in a 45-degree angle (like a cactus) with the chest open, scapula retracted but engaged.
Once firmly set in this position, transition by swapping the leading leg with an explosive jump - that's one rep. Performa as many as possible in the time slot.
This move engages so many key muscle groups, including the abs, and promotes excellent balance.
Burpee with Push-Up and Pop
Yes, it is another round of burpees, but this exercise shreds fat like no other out there and results in a well-honed, balanced body if performed correctly.
Start in a classic press-up position and focus on explosively bringing the feet forward before launching into the air. The focus here should be on the 'pop' from press-up position to squat position, ready for that explosive leap.
Practice this transition a few times before starting the workout, but the movement should be smooth, considered and explosive, with everything engaged and working in harmony.
Once the transition is mastered, you can then add on the killer element of the burpee, the explosive leap, and smoothly transition back into that starting press up position.
Repeat for 45-seconds and be prepared to witness that heart rate soar.
Up-Dog to Downward Dog
This is a classic warm-up move used by surfers, as it engages all of the key muscles used when paddling, popping up and shifting weight around on a surfboard.
From a plank position, push your butt back to enter the downward dog pose. This will see legs straight at around shoulder width apart, butt in the air, arms straight and palms flat on the floor.
Lower your head and imagine you are making a perfect triangle with your body. Then, engaging your core and back muscles, lower the chest down towards the floor, hips high, and push up so the back is arched, eyes pointed to the ceiling.
If performed correctly, this transition should be extremely smooth and should resemble a bird swooping low and gently kissing the ground before taking off again.
It will also work the shoulders, biceps, triceps and core as the bodyweight is shifted around the various muscle groups. Remember to keep the core tight and focus on breathing technique throughout. Namaste.
Burpee with Pop Rotation
This is the final set of burpee-based heart rate-destroyers, I promise. From a plank position, explosively shift the feet forwards to land either side of hands but this time, during the leap phase, you add a 180-degree rotation into the mix, so you land facing the opposite direction from which you started.
Use your arms to help achieve the rotation that's required, but also engage the core muscles to twist the torso. Don't forget to alternate twisting directions with each rep, in order to work all of the muscles and prevent dizziness.
Frog Push-Up into Downward Dog
The initial phase of this movement is similar to a burpee, in so much as you start in a push-up position. But here, you should land with feet around should width apart, engaged back muscles and a nice, long spine with eyes to the ceiling.
If performed correctly, you should look like a frog chilling on a Lilly pad upon completion of the first phase. Now, spring back into a plan position and push back into a downward dog position.
Smoothly transition back to the original push-up position and repeat the entire movement to complete a sing rep. Fit as many into 45-seconds as you can and take a well-earned rest to finish this set.