Worried you look like Buddha in swimming trunks? Relax – we’ve hooked up with Sly Stallone’s personal trainer Gunnar Petersen to break you into shape…


There are a number of basic rules you should adhere to if you’re going to make this hell work…

Train in the morning,” says Petersen. “No one calls for a beer at 7am, but they might at 7pm, which can kill your inclination to visit the gym.”

Do each exercise three times (ie for three sets), for 12 repetitions each, except where specifically stated. Only use a weight where you know the last rep (ie number 12) is going to leave your muscles wobbling like Michael J Fox. And no doubt screaming, “Doc! Doc!”

Once you’ve done an upper body exercise (for three sets), don’t have a break. Instead, do a lower body exercise. “This process pumps blood from one end of the body to the other extremely quickly, forcing your heart to pump harder,” says Petersen. “This, in turn, gives you an added cardio workout.”



1/ Incline bench press

“Prop up a flat bench on a 45-degree hilt, sit back and then hold two dumbbells at chest level,” says Petersen. “Then, ever so slowly, pump them up until your arms are locked, then bring them slowly down.” Feel like your arms are about to rip off? Good. Only 35 more of these bastards to go.



2/ Narrow dips

Lowering your entire heft then pumping it back up is tricky, but it’ll guarantee the back of your arms will swell. “Still, be sure to point your elbows towards the ceiling while keeping them pinned to your sides.” Er, pint?



3/ Overhead press

Stand with legs shoulder-width apart with your dumbbells at ear level then press up. “At the top,” says Petersen, “push your index finger towards the ceiling. This added touch forces your shoulder muscles to work that bit harder and therefore grow even more, leaving you looking even wider.”



4/ Squats

“This exercise works the legs, the backside and your calves,” says Petersen. “But it also forces the rest of your body to work under the strain, giving you an upper body workout too.” Keep your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Also be sure to keep your back straight. Now, dip two-thirds of the way down, and power up. Hear your shorts rip. Accidentally break wind. Pretend no one heard.



5/ Pull-ups

Head to this contraption and just bash them out. “You can use either an assisted machine in the gym to help alleviate the weight or a hanging bar.” But the real sign of a pro? Pulling your body slightly to either side on alternate pulls, forcing each of your “bat wings” to work harder.


3) Nutrition: Cut up like Stallone

Once again, obeying these rules is crucial. And while you may feel a bit grouchy in the first couple of days, just remember that it’s only for a very short period of time.

Eat only meat, fruit and vegetables. No bread. Cut those portions of fruit and vegetables down gradually through the day.

Only eat meats after 4pm. “Don’t try to justify eating junk food,” says Petersen. “As in, ‘Oh, but M&Ms are just peanut and cocoa, and cocoa’s a natural plant.’ Or, ‘But chips are just potatoes!’ They’re not. They’re fried, heavily calorific and have barely any nutritional value whatsoever.”

Drink 12 cups of water per day to flush out toxins so nutrients can be transported properly to muscles, thus helping “the guns” to swell.

And now the one you really didn’t want to hear: cut out the beer. If you must drink (well, of course you fucking must), go for wine due to its relatively low calorie count. Before being relentlessly mocked by your mates.

And that’s your lot. There are no tricks and no incentives to buy weird protein pills. Instead, it’s short, sweet, and should ensure your gut doesn’t make little kids cry.