Body not-so-beautiful

I've taken an unscientific poll around the gym to see exactly what bits of their body people would most like to change.

In our celebrity culture, we are inundated with pictures of Brad's abs, JLo's bum, and Shane's hairline.

Enhanced or not, mega-stars in their 20s, all the way to their 70s are looking smooth, pulled, and perfect. They're doing it, and therefore we want it. So what body part would you change if you had the choice?

I wanted to see what others out there thought about their bodies so I took an unscientific poll around the gym to see exactly what bits people would like to change. Male and female alike, I asked the super fit, the average, and the overweight. And the results?

Women are consistent across the board – it's all about bum and tummy reduction. Whether it's a weight loss gym member or the slim, lean, and firm yoga lover, women aspire to have the tight glutes and lean torso of a 20 year old.

Us guys are the ones that get picky. We want perfect abs, broad shoulders, bigger arms, v-shaped torso/hips, a sculpted chest, wider lats, and bigger calves. We want it all. When asked to narrow it down, most guys say, 'arms and abs, mate.'

I faced up to this exact question a few years ago after seeing my gut extend well north of my belt buckle, and I made a complete lifestyle overhaul. I put down the beers, took up a specific exercise regime, and followed a healthy food plan over a 40 day period. I specifically wanted a smaller gut, but I inherently knew to reach my goal, I would have to train the entire body and properly nourish it.

I reached my goal, and I am pleased to say I am sticking close to it. I don't aim for perfection but rather my own Happy Healthy Zone. It's the feeling and knowledge that I am a fit and healthy man. It's not perfection, and it's not an exact weight or bicep circumference – it's a stress free happiness with my body and health because of the new lifestyle choices I make. And it is all natural.

When I asked the men and women from the gym if they would undergo surgery to help them reach their goal, across the board they also said 'no'.


And yet Australians spend a fortune looking glam, with $745million spent on plastic surgery procedures in 2010, $115million on lap band surgery, and $550million on cosmetic procedures. That total is just north of $1.4billion, and per capita we're out spending the Yanks.

We reported on one case a few months back, with Australian paparrazo Darryn Lyons' surgically enhanced six-pack torso.

So if you want to know how to do it without getting under the knife, here are a few tips.

Abs: How do you get perfect abs? There are a million ways to skin a cat; get it? You can do ab exercises galore, but remember your nutrition and fluid intake is just as important as the thousands of reps you perform with your abdominals. Nutrition creates the window to see ab muscles. And chances are, you're already spending too much time doing crunches – spot reduction doesn't work, so make sure you're doing functional, full body movements to lean up.

Bum: Reduce it and firm it up with varied lunges, squats, and deadlifts. It's a shame how many women want a tight bum, but all they do is spend time on cardio machines that don't effectively activate their glutes. So learn to perform deadlifts. Same to the guys – a massive upper body with pencil legs ain't a good look.

Arms: There are too many bicep and tricep exercises to list, but the main thing to remember when it comes to arms is: tempo. The eccentric phase (down phase of the exercise when a muscle lengthens) of a bicep curl should be 4 seconds. And the concentric phase (up phase when a muscle shortens) should be 1 second. Exercising your triceps are equally important in hypertrophy training.

No matter the body part you would like to change, if you're after perfection, I hope you will give yourself a break and just find your Happy Healthy Zone. Because here's some news: if Hollywood (or The Jersey Shore) hasn't called by now, they probably won't.

So get over it.

What body part would you change and to what extent would go to get it done? (Yes guys…we already know you'd love two extra inches in 'height' but let's keep it clean, shall we?)

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