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The summer is fast approaching. While having the perfect beach body is neither a necessity nor an obligation, many people still feel compelled to try a little harder during the months leading up to summertime, if only to prove to themselves that they’re capable of getting in shape. Luckily, this is also the time when Mother Nature comes to your aid with great weather that’s just perfect for exercising outside and living life to the fullest. So give yourself the best chance to succeed by following these five foolproof tips for a super summer body:

1. Adapt your diet to your goals

People generally tend to discount the importance of a well-put-together diet in their efforts to achieve physical improvements. But time and time again food has been shown to have a tremendous impact on the human body. Things like eggs, fish, whole grains and fruits and vegetables can keep your body lean while giving it all the nutrients it needs for engaging in demanding physical exercise. Remember that quantity is up to you: people who want to gain mass while have to eat significantly larger quantities of any given food type than people who would rather lose weight. Of course, everyone has different needs, so it’s always best to consult a professional dietician before embarking on a steady diet.

2. Invest in some good quality protein shakes

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Even if you carefully plan your meals and always buy top-notch ingredients, chances are that your body simply doesn’t have the resources for quick growth. Which explains why most nutrition and training programs will include the use of protein powders that can help repair and grow your muscle tissue organically? The key here is in learning how to detect which protein shake might be right for you. As a general rule, you should opt for the supplements that contain no more than 7 to 10 ingredients centered on natural, high-quality protein sources. Stay away from hyped-up products that promise you the world, and feel free to enlist the help of a professional nutritionist to aid you in making the right choice.

3. Plan your workouts

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Sure enough, any genuine progress cannot be reached just by regulating your food intake. Like it or not, you’re also going to have to push your body a bit as well. In this regard it’s best to split up your long-term workout plan into five distinct stages. The first is the acclimatization phase, when you start of small and try to get your body used to increased exertion. The second should focus on building muscular endurance, while the third is all about gaining strength leading to hypertrophy. Finally, the fourth stage should prioritize acquiring physical power, allowing you to move on to bigger and better things down the line.

4. Get enough rest

If working out and eating right are the hard parts, then getting enough rest should be simple enough. Yet some people still tend to underrate its importance in the grand scheme of things and often end up overexerting themselves in order to reach their objectives. There are three main types of recuperation: the quick rests that come between sets, the period immediately after a workout is finished, and the days and nights following a completed session. Taking frequent breathers is just as important as getting eight hours of sleep per night, while forcing the issue may lead to burnout or even injury in the long run.

5. A tan can work wonders

More than any other season, summertime is associated with the idea of lying in the sun and getting tanned. Even a less athletic body tends to look best when covered in a brown sheen, which partly explains why so many men are getting in on the tan craze. But the dangers of exposing your body to UV radiation have been well-documented by now, so it pays to be ahead of the curve and simply opt for some tried-and-true self tanning products that can give your skin a new look in no time. Choosing the right tanning product is essential, of course, and men are advised to go with mousses, liquids or sprays rather than the messy creams that have the habit of clinging to body hair.

As you can see, getting in top shape before summer arrives is not as hard as it might first seem. Through dedicated care and perseverance, anyone can radically transform his or her body in just a few short months. As the season of relaxation draws ever closer, start doing your part today in making the following summer one a truly unforgettable one.