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feature - issue 418

 

Feel your best while wearing the least

Drew Rowsome puts two masters of the erotic arts together to come up with the quickest fitness fix possible. Benjamin Paley, fitness trainer by day and Boylesque TO dancer by night, and Drasko Bogdanovic, fab photographer and creator of the book Persuasion of Men, have definite opinions and advice about getting naked in public.

‘It’s easy to get caught up in a body image, especially in gay culture,” says Bogdanovic. “Even though some things are unachievable, if they have the confidence to take their clothes off… I love photographing guys in that position and making them feel sexy. Confidence is erotic and sexy.”

“When I started performing, I was 20 pounds lighter and nowhere near as cut,” agrees Paley. “Guys who let their inhibitions go, even if they’re heavy and have no muscle — personality is half of any performance or photograph. Finding yourself and being yourself, even if it’s by being funny, is sexy. When someone tries to look sexy by peering over their nose… That pouty model face doesn’t work for me; it looks like I’m constipated.”

“All those classical, almost cliché, poses can work,” says Bogdanovic. “When you do something that’s omigod ridiculous, it sometimes really works in the photo.”

However, both agree that a bit of body care can enhance the sexual product. The mid-section is the area Bogdanovic most frequently finds problematic. “Not all guys have the flat belly they want. And the lower back above the hips affects the bum area from some angles,” he says. “And some guys don’t work their legs enough. They take their pants off and it’s skinny legs.”

“That’s the most common problem,” agrees Paley. “Upper body, upper body. Tiny little legs and a massive upper body. However, you do want your chest and upper back to look thick. It gives you a manly and powerful feeling onstage. It doesn’t matter what your belly looks like if your chest protrudes. That V-shape everyone wants.”

So how can guys work those problem areas quickly and gain the confidence to doff their duds? Paley quickly volunteers to strip down and provide demonstrations and descriptions, and Bogdanovic dives for his camera.

TEN STEPS TO NEARLY NUDE GLORY

Need to look your best for dancing in your scanties or posing for erotic photos? Benjamin Paley explains how, with photos by Drasko Bogdanovic

Squat...
... or you ain’t getting squat from your workouts. There’s no better all-around exercise for building muscle and burning calories than the squat. It will give your thighs some sexy defi nition, rev up your hormones and firm up your glutes so you have a rump to be proud of.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. With your back straight, and keeping both feet firmly planted on the floor, bend at the knees, bringing your butt down so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then push through the heels to stand up, all the while being sure to keep your back straight. Perform 50 repetitions.

Lunge
The lunge is another booty buster that will give you an eye-catching, shapely butt. It also works all the muscles in the legs for a great all-round lower-body workout.

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Then take a long stride forward with your right foot while leaving the toe and ball of your left foot firmly planted. Bend your right knee and allow your body to sink so that your back knee almost touches the ground. Then push back off the ball of your right foot to the starting position. Be sure to keep the torso upright throughout the lunge. Repeat with the left foot. Perform a total of 50 (25 per leg) using only your own body weight.

The Basic Pushup
Pecs attract peckers. If I’m going to feel sexy, I want my pectorals to be practically dancing with muscle when I’m onstage. One of the oldest and simplest exercises around, the pushup is still a great way to tone and define your chest and shoulders and develop stability and strength in your core.

Start with your hands and knees on the ground. Your hands should be a few inches outside of your shoulders. When you are ready to begin, lift your knees up so your body is resting on your palms and your toes. Your body should form a straight line at this point. This is not a go-go stage — your butt should not be waving in the air. Lower your body until your chest and nose are an inch or two off the ground, then use your shoulders and arms to push yourself up. Perform as many repetitions consecutively as you can. For an added push, drop to your knees when you can’t do any more from your toes. Continue doing pushups from your knees until your chest and shoulders fully give out.

The Mountain Climber
No matter how many crunches you do, you’ll never see a six-pack unless you burn off that layer of flab covering your abs. The newest thinking about fat-burning is that short, high-intensity intervals are most effective. So instead of jogging at a slow pace for 45 minutes, try doing this simple but intense exercise to burn nearly as many calories.

Start in a pushup position. Keeping your hands firmly planted on the ground and your body nearly horizontal, bring your right leg forward, bending the knee so that your right foot comes to rest a little below your waist. In a quick jumping motion, while keeping your hands firmly planted on the ground, switch the position of your feet so that your right leg is fully extended in the pushup position and your left leg is tucked under your body with your left foot a little below your waist. Repeat for one minute.

Bicycle Crunches
Tired of the same old crunch? This crunch works your abs even harder and makes you use your obliques as well, so your love handles become something to handle rather than hide.

Lie on your back with your legs extended and place your hands behind your head so your elbows are sticking out. Lifting both legs off the floor, bring your left knee into your chest while keeping your right leg extended and hovering off the floor. Crunch up, leading with your right elbow so that your right elbow and left knee meet in the middle of your body. Then switch so that your left elbow meets your right knee while your left leg is extended and off the ground. Repeat for one minute.

Bent-Over Row
Bend over. Now row. I know — not what you were hoping for. But this will give you a sexy upper back that ripples with muscle.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Choose a weight that you can lift eight to 12 times. Straighten your back, bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from your hips so that your back is almost horizontal and your arms are hanging straight down holding the dumbbells. Be sure to keep your back straight while bent over. While maintaining the bent-over position, pull the dumbbells toward your body so that your elbows come towards your torso and your upper back helps you lift the weight. Pull up until your elbows come an inch or two above your bent-over torso then release your arms back down to a hanging position. Repeat eight to 12 times.

Triceps Dip
Sixty percent of arm thickness comes from your triceps muscles, not your biceps. These dips will build your arms so they fill out your T-shirt sleeves.

Sit on a bench or chair and place your hands on the bench below your shoulders, fingers pointing forward. Once you have established this position, your palms can rest fi rmly on the bench with your fingers hanging over the side of the bench. Straighten your arms and support yourself with your hands while you walk your heels out till your legs are fully extended and your butt comes an inch or two in front of the bench. Then bend your elbows and lower your body toward the ground. When your arms form 90-degree angles, push yourself back up, completely straightening your arms. Repeat as many times as possible. Make sure your elbows don’t drift out away from your body — keep them pointing straight back as you dip.

Toe-Touch Crunch
Work your abs from top to bottom with this variation on a crunch.

Lie on the ground, face up. Keeping your legs straight, lift them so they’re perpendicular to the ground and hold them in that position. Fully extending your right arm, reach up and touch your toes (or come as close as you can). Then reach up with your left arm and touch your toes. Repeat for 45 seconds or until you can’t stand the burn.

Superman
You can do it; put your back into it. This exercise will help you develop a sexy, toned back, and it’ll work the glutes and hamstrings while you’re at it.

Lie on the ground facedown with your arms fully extended above your head. Contracting your butt, lower back and upper back, lift your arms and legs off the ground as high as you can. Lower your limbs but don’t let them touch the ground. Then contract and lift them as high as possible. Repeat 20 times, then hold the limbs as high as possible for 20 seconds.

Frog Pushups
I like my meat raw, my men rough and my shoulders round. These modified pushups will sculpt your shoulders and add a little extra zing to your triceps.

Drop to your hands and knees. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders and your knees should be under your hips. Curl your toes under and lift your knees off the ground so your body weight is resting solely on your hands and toes. Keeping your knees bent and close to the floor, bend your elbows back towards your feet and let your whole body tilt forward so your head — but not your chest — comes close to the ground. Then, using the strength in your shoulders, straighten your arms and return to the starting position. Perform as many repetitions as possible.


Slow-Count Eccentric Biceps Curls
More than any other muscle, the biceps responds well to eccentric tension — the tension put on the biceps as you lower the weight. So for this exercise, focus on that part of the motion to get the bulge you’ve always wanted. No, not that one — the one on your arms.

Pick up a set of dumbbells that are 60 to 70 percent of the weight you would usually curl. Stand and hold the dumbbells at your side, palms facing forward. Keeping the back straight, as in a normal biceps curl, curl the dumbbells up. Instead of letting them down quickly, lower them slowly while counting to 10. This will put much more tension on the biceps than normal curls. Perform 10 repetitions.


EXERCISE SEQUENCE
Start your workout by warming up for five minutes on a treadmill, with a jump rope or with simple jumping jacks. Then perform each of the exercises listed two to three times. For a faster, more challenging, workout, cycle between different exercises. For example, first do squats, then pushups, then bicycle crunches before resting and repeating. Finish off your workout by cooling down for five minutes with a slow treadmill walk or light aerobics and then stretch.



Enjoy what you put in your mouth


Maybe eating properly isn’t sexy. But seeing the beginnings of a six-pack in a formerly flabby stomach sure as hell is. I like to eat an unhealthy snack as much as the next guy, but when I’m preparing for a show, I try to follow these five simple nutritional rules to lean down and tone up so that I can look as sexy as possible onstage.


1
PROTEIN, PROTEIN, PROTEIN

No matter how many push-ups or squats you do, you won’t build an ounce of muscle unless you give your body the protein it needs to build and repair muscle after a workout. Try to have protein within an hour after you work out — protein shakes are good for this. And eat some source of protein at every meal. Healthy, lean sources of protein include salmon, chicken breasts, tilapia, lean steak, eggs and low-fat dairy.

2
EAT EARLY AND OFTEN

Never skip breakfast! This meal not only fuels you for the rest of the day, it revs up your metabolism, helping your body burn fat and build muscle as soon as it wakes up. After breakfast, try to eat a small meal or snack every two to three hours. Not only will this help to curb excessive hunger and cravings, it will keep your metabolism working throughout the day. Some great options are a handful of almonds, an apple or a few sticks of celery with a tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter.

3
AVOID SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES

Most of the excess calories that our bodies turn into fat come from simple carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta and potatoes. The easiest way to lose weight and lean down to your sexiest self is to cut these things from your diet as much as possible. Replace bread and pasta with salads and grilled vegetables. And replace the potato with its healthier cousin, the sweet potato. Not only will you consume fewer calories with these choices, you’ll be getting more of the essential vitamins your body needs to function properly.

4
DRINK UP

No, not that tequila shot the boy who’s been staring at you across the bar all night bought you. We’re talking about water here. No single thing is more important to your health and metabolism. Without it you can’t build muscle or burn fat. So for best exercise results, keep yourself well-hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you to work and make a conscious effort to drink from it throughout the day.

5
AVOID PACKAGED AND PROCESSED FOODS

Chances are that if a food comes in a box and has ingredients you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize, it’s not good for you. Most processed foods have some form of added sugar, salt or preservative that makes them taste better and last longer in the package. They’re great for your taste buds — but bad for your gut. The quickest way to a flat stomach is to put down the packaged stuff and pick up something healthier in the produce aisle.



Benjamin Paley is a fitness trainer and the mad genius behind Boylesque TO. Info: benjaminpaley.com, boylesqueto.com

Drasko Bogdanovic is the
fab guy photographer, and some of his hottest work appears in his first book, Persuasion of Men. Info: draskobogdanovic.ca

Drew Rowsome is an associate editor at
fab and a big fan of the erotic arts, but he only shares his expertise privately.



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