Summer is just weeks away, so if you haven't already, now is the perfect time to get training in time for beach season. You don't need to make this a stressful journey though, so remember have fun with it. Try a new class with a friend or sign up to an event to keep yourself motivated. Fitness can be enjoyable if you do it in a way that motivates you.

Here are my top 5 tips for getting ready for summer:

Strength training

A former NRL player on how to get the ultimate beach body

Strength training is key for achieving a toned body and it also increases your metabolism, which is great for fat burning. When you build muscle, your body burns more calories so focus on compound exercises such as squats, lunges, push ups, shoulder presses and lat pull downs when you're doing this kind of training. With summer just around the corner, it's the perfect time to start. You'll be amazed at the changes you can achieve in just a few short weeks.

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HIIT cardio

A former NRL player on how to get the ultimate beach body

Work harder and for a shorter amount of time and reap the rewards! When you work with high intensity intervals, your body keeps burning calories for up to 16 hours post-session. Plus, it increases your speed and endurance, helping you burn fat faster. Try 30 second to one minute intervals at 80 per cent or more intensity. For best results, do a HIIT workout 2-3 times a week for around 30 minutes.

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Portion distortion

A former NRL player on how to get the ultimate beach body

Cut your meals in half? Yep, that's absolutely what many people should do! Recently, I had a personal training client of mine reach a milestone of losing 20 kilograms in seven months from simply cutting his meals in half. He still eats out four nights a week and drinks alcohol, but ensures he doesn't overeat. Eat slower and drink a glass of water during your meal, as this will help you know when you're full, and therefore help you consume less. If you don't know how much food you should be consuming for your own body, speak to a nutritionist and dietitian for guidance.

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Watch what you drink

A former NRL player on how to get the ultimate beach body

People are often conscious of the calories they're eating, but less so of the ones they're drinking. Consuming fresh juice is great for health, but be aware that a lot of smoothies and juices are also high in sugar and calories. Coconut water is also high in sugar, so factor it into your daily calorie intake. Focus more on vegetable juices. 

Sleep it up

A former NRL player on how to get the ultimate beach body

In the wise words of Arianna Huffington, "Sleep your way to the top." In today's busy and tech-filled world, people are getting a lot less sleep and it's usually of a poorer quality. Sleep not only makes you feel good, but it has a number of health benefits. too. Sleep makes you less hungry, increases the body's ability to burn calories and can increase your muscle mass.  Aim for at least seven hours a night.

Related story: The number one thing stopping you from losing weight

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A former NRL player on how to get the ultimate beach body

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