When looking at the world's most impressive, roid-free rigs, it's hard to find a common theme. Hemsworth, Efron, Statham, Jackman, Jonas, McConaughey... their diet plans vary from vegan to paleo, training advice is extremely conflicting, and sustaining their bodies year round seems near impossible for the everyday dude.
While all inspirational blokes when it comes to health and fitness, and universally jacked, the information about their health by their training is confusing, to say the least. But the one leisure pursuit they all have in common? Surfing.
Put it down to coincidence, but it seems hard to deny the sports success in contributing to year round 6-packs and lean muscle, especially when it comes to athletes and actors. Even notorious beach-bum Zac Efron has made his comeback after a lengthy break, by first hitting the waves in his latest Instagram post.
The physiological effects of surfing on the human body are an almost perfect blend of body weight resistance, core work, cardio conditioning, and salt water therapy (it's a thing).
Paddling for waves improves your cardiovascular fitness in a similar fashion to swimming, whilst simultaneously building your shoulder and back muscles, and that's before you hit your legs and core whilst stabilising yourself to jump up and ride a wave. And if you're not at the 'standing' phase of your surfing journey, you can still simulate the experience on land with an effective workout, a tool Hemsworth and his mates regularly turn to.
However the benefits of surfing transcend the physical, and are most likely key behind some of the success experienced by these MH men. Surfers are generally known for being high on life (as well as being fit), and now there is even quantitative research to validate their constant state of stoke and physical wellbeing. In an enourmous study, the US Navy embarked on research to determine the effects of surfing on their personnel. Having spent over a reported US$1 million on the research, you can guarantee that the results are going to be solid. And the current insights look positive, with suggestions that surfing offers both physical and mental therapy.
Australia has almost 40,000 kilometres of coastline, so there's plenty of opportunity to get involved in the sport that is carving these fitness icons. Head to some of our favourite beaches, or search out your own private piece of paradise to get shredding... the water and your body.