For most lifters, there's a difference between their everyday "walking around physique" and the physique they want to have when they know their shirts are going to come off.
Think about it: You train hard and watch your diet most of the time. To most observers, you're a "fit guy." But when you get invited to a pool party, schedule a tropical vacation, or even meet a new woman that you hope is going to see you naked in a couple of weeks, you probably want to fine-tune your physique, and your overall looks.
Here are a few non-drastic tips that'll make a significant difference:
- Finish in a puddle. Finish every single workout with 10 minutes of gasping for breath. Doesn't matter much how you do it, as long as you're lying in puddle of sweat and fighting oxygen debt afterward. See how far you can run on a treadmill for 10 minutes. Do intervals on the dreaded stairmill. Add some bike sprints, battle ropes, or kettlebell swings. If you're able to stand up at the end of 10 minutes, you didn't go hard enough.
- Bring your carbs down to about 100 grams per day. This will accelerate fat loss and help you dump some "bloat" and water weight while still providing enough carbs so that you don't feel like a lukewarm dog turd. Consume the biggest chunk of these carbs in the peri-workout period (before, during, and after training). These should come primarily from your workout nutrition drinks. The rest of the time, think protein and fats.
- Lightly reduce overall calories. If you already have a handle on your diet, you'll just want to drop a few hundred calories per day, nothing crazy. No need to count, just drop the snack you have before bed for example. Or cut those calories from your evening meal. Try not to eat a couple of hours before bed. (More info on that here: The Meal That Damages Metabolism.)
Looking great goes beyond body composition. Sorry if this gets a little metro:
- Whiten your teeth. It takes years off your face. And yellow teeth are nasty.
- Get a light spray tan. Hey, it helps.
- Grow a scruffy beard. A study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, which questioned over 8,500 women, showed that most of them find this level of beard growth more attractive than clean shaven or heavily bearded... at least if they were looking for fun and sex. So if your goal is to look all sexified for an event, ditch the razor about 5 days out.