10 years ago by

S#!@. Mother-f#$%&!

It’s swimsuit season.

I didn’t realize quite how un-swimsuit ready I was until I was invited to the beach over the long weekend. I happily accepted and spent the weekend dreaming of popsicles, Rockaway Tacos and the sun. On Friday after work, I tried on my my swimsuit and well, things could’ve been a little bit…better. There was no way I was going to be bikini ready by Monday (unless I found a Groupon for a full body transplant) but I figured, better late than never to get to work.

So I went and asked my friend Lauren, she’s a personal trainer (and a fitness model, so she really gets it), to tell me the best and quickest ways to get in shape for the summer. Now, maybe I’ll be ready by next weekend?

What is the quickest way to get in shape for the summer swimsuit season?

I would focus on total body resistance training and cardio workouts to increase lean muscle and burn fat. You also want to think about doing exercises that target the biggest muscles in your body (ie. your legs and butt) so that you are getting the most bang for your buck with your workouts (hello, squats).

What type of workouts are the best? What types of classes get you in shape fast?

Circuit training and high intensity training are great ways to maximize your time and the benefits from your workouts. You can do both of these types of workouts one on one with a trainer or in a class setting. There is a new boutique gym in town called Tone House that uses intervals and resistance to challenge your whole body in their classes. It is an incredibly challenging workout and I would definitely recommend a class like this for getting swimsuit ready in record time.

If you’re at the gym, is there any kind of machine/exercise you should avoid?

The machines your choose should correspond with your main goals. If you are looking for a total body workout, one machine you should definitely pay attention to is the row machine. This is a machine that is often overlooked, but very effective at challenging your body as a whole. I like to introduce my clients to rowing in the workouts we do together and encourage them to incorporate it on their own as well.

What are the best things you can do on your own (at home)?

Body weight training is something you can do anywhere including your very own living room. Plus, you don’t need any equipment. Think squats, lunges, push ups, planks – all of these are great foundational exercises that can be done pretty much anywhere. And once you master the basics you can increase the intensity by adding balance, stability elements and/or eventually plyometrics (think squat jumps, plyo-pushups, burpees, jumping lunges).

How often should you be working out?

Ideally, 6 workouts a week would be great! Especially if it’s crunch time! Aim for 2 – 3 high intensity workouts and the others can be moderate intensity or lower (think steady cardio or yoga).

Normally, working out 3-4 times a week is a good goal. You’ll get the results you want and have time to rest and recover in between.

Is there an average time frame in when you should start seeing results?

Generally, 4 – 8 weeks is a good time frame to expect seeing initial results. Of course everyone is different, so each persons progress will vary. It is also important to take into account other factors such as sleep, nutrition and hydration that are critical components to getting you bikini ready pronto.

What is your summer workout plan? Do you go to the gym? Do a class?

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Shot at modelFIT in NYC. Lauren is wearing pants from Garbe Luxe and shoes by Nike.


Add yours
  • To that I would add, do not expect to look like the model in the photos. She is a model after all, that body type is very unusual.

    What I would say, is that it always feels great to be healthy and in the best shape you as an individual with a unique body can be in.

    And finally, spend at least as much time worshipping your own personal temple as you do criticizing it.

  • work out, clean eating and a tan! :)

  • Raquel Zarin May, 28 2014, 1:12

    Thanks Judith!!

  • Segolene June, 19 2014, 5:43

    I have copied that down, wrote it in big letters and pasted it on my computer and on my bathroom mirror.

    It is time to do this. Thank you.

  • This is a great post. :) I agree to allow TIME. Most people want to get swimsuit ready a few days before a big trip or outing to the beach. I’m big on working out from home (working mom of a little girl) so I do Pilates at home. A little bit everyday. I have a bunch of free workouts on my site that may be of interest to the women who can’t get to the gym 6 days a week.

    Thanks again for sharing this article. Can’t wait to get out in the sun! xo

  • ghazal May, 28 2014, 10:45

    Hi Robin – Could you please share your website info for the free workout videos. I’m a mom and can’t seem to find time to go to the gym. I’d love some new ideas to change out my living room workout routine.


  • Trés trés interessant, merci!


  • Eunice May, 28 2014, 9:43 / Reply

    Wow Elle est TELLEMENT BELLE!!! Finalement une fille foncée sur le blog ca fait du bien!!!!

  • Beautiful girl!
    What a body!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • Great, inspiring post! Such a beauty…
    xx, Kristi

  • Getting lean is 70% diet! One can lean out fast eating 6 meals a day consisting of lean meats, low carbs, and lots of veggies. It’s a tough diet, but it definitely works, especially in tandem with the resistance and interval training mentioned in the interview.

  • Très belles photos! Je veux le même ventre que Lauren…
    Moi aussi j’ai eu cette sensation de maillot pas comme il faut… voir sur mon blog

    Du coup, c’est remise en forme et running presque tous les jours! + comme le dit Lauren petits exercices qu’on peut faire n’importe ou, devant les enfants qui se demandent quelle nouvelle lubie a percuter le cerveau de leur mere….
    Un bel été a venir avec un corps de Deesse….

  • Great inspiration, her body is sick.


  • What a gorgeous girl and beautifully toned body!

    And here I am, slouching on the couch, oops! I feel caught :)
    I’m planning to take op step aerobics again – at home – with the help of Lucy Johnson’s video’s. She’s awesome and cool I think.
    Not necessarily for beach season, but to get moving again – I’ve been slacking off!

  • I’d like to recommend that anyone who has access to a Bar Method goes for a class. I have worked out and played sports my entire life and have always been pretty lean. But NOTHING changed my body as quickly as Bar Method. It toned muscles that I didn’t know needed toning (or knew that they existed), improved my posture and has me feeling stronger than I ever have. The two studios in NY are amazing, the teachers are so motivating. If you don’t believe me, you can ask my wedding photographer who said I had “guns”! :)

  • MissPimpin May, 28 2014, 10:29 / Reply

    ça y est, tu m’as stressée avec ce post …
    non, je n’ai pas l’air bien dans mon maillot !
    non, je ne fais rien pour y remédier !!!!!
    non, je n’ai pas envie de faire du rameur !!!!!!!!!
    oui aux chips et aux glaces !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Leslie May, 28 2014, 10:59 / Reply

    Alex, I am 30 years old and have never been in such good shap as I am now…
    I am talking about six pack ( that I always dreamed of having, and toned body)
    There is a website that gives you FREE workouts every day, they are high intensity
    Check them out:



  • Non, non et non! La meilleure technique bikini: apprendre à s’aimer. Je dis non au stress du maillot de bain, et non aux éternels diktats imposant un régime et du sport avant d’avoir le droit de s’exposer. Fuck it. Ca m’énerve. Bravo Misspimpin, fredoooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!!!!!

  • like many others I find this kind of remarks quite frustrating, Alex…
    You don’t need a bikini-body, you already have a body and you definitely shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
    Just enjoy you weekend at the beach with your friends !! and if they make remarks, they’re no real friends.

  • Marie May, 31 2014, 9:34

    Merci !!
    Oui, il commence à faire beau, je met des jupes, et non je ne stresse pas.
    Les formes (le gras), c’est joli. Et je continue de manger ce qui me fait plaisir à ma faim.
    Je ne vois pas exactement pour qui je devrais me priver. Si je ne suis pas sportive tout l’années, pourquoi l’être soudainement pendant 3 mois.
    C’est drôle cette manie de vouloir changer son corps par crainte de le dénuder et de révéler à tout les monde que NON, NOUS NE SOMMES PAS MAIGRES.
    Comme si le reste de l’année c’était plus ou moins toléré, mais pas quand on montre 95% de sa peau.
    En prenant un peu de recul, on peut se rendre compte que c’est le regard qu’on anticipe qui fait nous sentir mal, et il serait bon de réfléchir d’où vient cette auto-persuasion qu’on sera laide ou honteuse avec un corps mou. Réfléchissez quelques minutes comment ce processus s’est construit chez vous.
    Je vous souhaite un bel été à toutes :) (et tous)

  • nastassia May, 31 2014, 10:22

    I agree with you… quite sad that we need a 4 to 8 weeks training in order to love the way our body look!
    I don’t blame this article at all, as it is just a reflection of how conditionned women are in our society when it comes to body image (and I do include myself in that!)
    We have reached a point where we no longer want to be beautiful, but perfect, which is by definition bound to failure
    Our « modern » society as managed to create an ideal of beauty which is virtually unattainable (except maybe for 1% percent of the women of this planet, and for the short 15-30 y. o. span), thus generating insecurity for most women.
    I like fashion very much, and do enjoy to dress up, feel pretty etc., but when we subject ourselves -consciously or not- to this unreachable ideal we see throughout magazines, aren’t we forgetting that our body is much more than a look: able to give life, allowing us to feel and be moved, to connect with others…

  • Lauren May, 28 2014, 11:17 / Reply

    Don’t forget about eating the right foods! As they say, “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.” And drink lots of water!!

  • In view of the swimsuit I mostly go out for a run – I live in a not so busy area and am surrounded by nature within no time so that’s a winwin. Also some youtube Yoga videos help me out, and I use my boyfriends’ kettlebell :)


  • Margaret May, 28 2014, 11:22 / Reply

    I know it is hard not to hold ourselves to the standards for what a female body should look like that we see set everywhere in the media – I fall victim to it all the time – so I really am not criticizing anyone’s desire to work out or look however they want. But with mother’s day just passing, so many people were posting vintage pics of their moms on FB, many of them good time pics at the beach, and I was struck by how beautiful and sexy so many women were because they looked normal and relaxed with their soft bellies, full butts, and thighs. Maybe just being comfortable with your body is the best way to get bikini ready. Admittedly that may take longer than high intensity interval training – but that’s my goal this summer.

  • Danielle May, 28 2014, 2:52

    Completely agree!

  • Merci des conseils de ton amie ! C’est vrai que l’épisode tant redouté du maillot approche à grand pas…
    Bises !!

  • Andrea May, 28 2014, 11:35 / Reply

    Discipline, discipline, discipline. Je fais de la gym pratiquement tous les jours + marcher + courir (un peu). Mais pour le bikini body il faut faire comme lors de mon dernier séjour à Marrakech: tomber sur un hôtel où on se rend compte que la cuisine est sale et ne rien manger pendant deux jours ( a part une pomme et une barre de protéines) avant de changer pour un hôtel avec une piscine sublime. On ne meurt pas de faim en deux jours mais effet ventre plat garanti!!!

  • Alexandra May, 28 2014, 12:07 / Reply

    Comme Misspinpin et Mamzette, un mari + des enfants + un job = arrêter de ne penser qu’au 2 semaines de vacances en maillot de bain dans lequel de toutes les façons je ne ressemble en rien à Giselle – et je m’en fiche totalement – car le bonheur c’est d’avoir le luxe de pouvoir le mettre se maillot de bain au bord de la mer avec mari + enfants (et les glaces, l’apéro, le rosé etc).

  • l’effet “la plage arrive” est un truc de dingue et me rend (presque) folle tous les ans! va falloir que je m’y atèle une bonne fois pour toute ça évitera le stress quelques semaines avant!

  • Everybody is talking about the body shape but I think what’s more important is the skin!!! This is what I am afraid of. Anyone else here who came out of winter with that horrible strawberry skin? And what about stretch marks or killing yourself becoming a hairless bikini body? Oh swim season is such a stressful time…

  • One thing I try to avoid before swim season is muscles building like you do at body-pump because it makes me look so bulky and strong (in not a good way). I instead turn to Ballet Beautiful because well… the results are more beautiful

  • Marie-Charlotte May, 28 2014, 1:36 / Reply

    Pour moi, c’est nordic walk every day… 7,5 ams, soit 1h15… Très efficace pour affiner, cramer la cellulite. J’ai envoyé promener les bourrelets de mes 49 ans, lissé mes cuisses… Je recommande!

  • Summer is here!! Although here is LA, we haven’t had much of a winter. I have recently made more of a lifestyle change rather than go on a strict ‘diet’. I have been eating healthy, limiting dessert to once a week, loving my Saturday mornings at Soul Cycle, runs and Ballet Beautiful workouts. It may be taking more time to getting to my goals, but I am enjoying the ride!

  • Cela fait un bon moment que je n’ai pas commenté mais …Wow Lauren est magnifique!
    Garance je constate depuis plusieurs mois une vraie diversité dans les choix des filles photographiées, ça fait du bien. Ce n’est plus ponctuel ou exceptionnel comme ce fut le cas auparavant, mais définitivement assumé et intégré dans le blog. Je sens une vraie volonté de ta part (et/ou celle de la team Studio Doré), j’en suis donc d’autant plus ravie, ça mérite d’être souligné :)


  • Verdun May, 28 2014, 2:42 / Reply

    Blogilates! This is a pilates channel on youtube which I really enjoy and highly recommend. The trainer has tons of free videos, plus she makes it really easy and accessible with weekly workout regimens to avoid plateauing. She has a beginner’s calendar as well. The best part is the trainer is really fun and motivating. I don’t know; she’s just somehow really different from the other trainers I’ve seen. Woop woop!

  • Theresa May, 28 2014, 3:03 / Reply

    The adage “summer bodies are made in the winter” comes to mind when reading this. I think that staying in decently good shape year round is really the key and maybe just kicking it up a notch before summer. The thought of a crash course in fitness right before swimsuit season stresses me out!

  • Zathura May, 28 2014, 3:51 / Reply

    Wow she looks amazing! And such great tips on work out methods. However I have made peace with the fact that I am never going to look like that because I love food too much, and just the kind of food that is bad for you. Steak, fried chicken, risotto, pizza, any kind of pasta. Much Kudos to the ladies who have the strength of will to keep away from those!

  • Yes, the warm weather give me impetus to move my body. Great!

  • Annette May, 28 2014, 4:10 / Reply

    I’m exhausted just reading that…does that count as a workout? :-) :-)

  • in the past few months I have been working out more than I ever have in my entire life.
    Part of the reason is that weight I gained after my move to New York last year (you know what I am talking about Garance ;-) ).
    I work out at least 6 times a week. yoga, pilates and running. I found that the more I work out the more I want to eat clean and be reeeally good to my body. I love seeing how my body is changing and that motivates me even more.

    I don’t believe in dreading going to the gym and killing yourself during your workout. it is all about finding the right kind of work out. because if you don’t love it you will never understand what it means to be on a yoga-high / runners-high…… it’s the best!

    yes sometimes it is a bit harder to drag your but on the treadmill but I have some good little tips ;-)

    and…. as always… thx Garnace!

  • princessglee May, 28 2014, 7:44 / Reply

    Someone commented that the girl in the picture is a model. Is she? She looks great!

  • Elle a un corps incroyable cette jeune femme… Chaque année je me dis qu’il faut que je me mette aux exercices de musculation ! Je vais m’y mettre c’est décidé ! Avec pour commencer le ventre comme cible, et les fesses.

  • liloups May, 29 2014, 4:39 / Reply

    Totalement dans cet esprit là! Je fais du footing, des squats et des exercice de renforcement du dos à la maison, du cheval, du golf et du badminton!!! C’est vraiment une envie de me décrasser et d’être bien dans mon corps, et puis alterner les sports c’est super aussi je trouve, parce-que le sport en salle… ça peut être répétitif, et puis ça tend à mettre un peu trop la pression : il faut que je fasse tant de machin et de trucs, alors que si on réserve un terrain de badminton pour 1h, on se défoule pendant la partie, on s’amuse et on ne pense même pas aux calories!

  • Bernadette May, 29 2014, 5:30 / Reply

    I’m already stressed out only by reading this post.

  • Real, practical and honest fitness tips! Merci!

  • Hannah May, 30 2014, 4:23 / Reply

    I started doing Ballet Beautiful for ca. 40 minutes 3-4 times a week 3 months ago, and I am so much more toned and tight! I used to hate wearing shorts, but now my legs and butt look so great I kind of want to show off:P I really recommend it, but it is that kind of workout where you have to be really persistent because it builds lean muscle. I have not lost any weight, but maybe gained like 0,5-1 kilos. But I think it is worth it because my legs and abs look so much more defined.

    Now I have started to add some cardio, like jogging, 2-3 times a week to increase my fat percentage a little as well. And I try to eat as much veggies as possible and drink 3 liters of water every day.

  • Ophélie July, 2 2014, 8:40 / Reply

    Merci pour ces conseils très utiles ! Pour les courbatures j’utilise après ce coussin masseur issu de la médecine chinoise, un truc top pour lutter contre le mal de dos qui m’handicape quand je pars en vadrouille l’été

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