Blame steroids. Or cut-off tees. Or The Situation. Whatever, or whoever, the culprit is, the weight room has fallen out of vogue, replaced by supposedly more sophisticated body-sculpting methods. And while spinning classes, boot camps, and yoga deserve to be front and center in the minds of educated fitness buffs, if you want to get in the best shape of your life, experts say, you can’t ignore the basics. You need to add six classic total-body exercises to your weekly regimen—the pull-up, bench press, squat, farmer’s walk, military press, and deadlift. “These six are beneficial because they involve functional movements you use in everyday life and they work multiple muscles at once,” says Melanie Piccolo, a private trainer at Reebok Sports Club/NY. But just because you know the moves doesn’t mean you know how to get the most out of them. “You can’t just saunter into the gym, pick up a few weights, and expect to morph into Ryan Gosling,” says Jason Ferruggia, a strength coach and the author of Muscle Gaining Secrets, who designed this plan. But do them right and there’s a big payoff. “When you perform these moves with a heavy weight, you gain strength and add muscle everywhere,” Ferruggia says. That new muscle, in turn, increases your resting metabolism rate, the key to getting rid of stubborn fat and revealing muscle tone—just promise to keep your shirt on in the bar.
Nothing’s gnarlier than red, itchy spots that pop up on your neck after shaving. It’s embarrassing, and (sorry) it looks amateurish. Bring the razor super-close (think: Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris in Skyfall‘s seductive-shave scene) with these six easy tips.
Soften the beard. Shower steam opens up your pores and softens whiskers, making them less resistant to a blade.
Exfoliate. A facial scrub will keep dead skin from clogging up your blade and lift facial hairs up so you can get a cleaner cut in fewer strokes.
Stay sharp. Blunt blades require more pressure on the skin to get the job done, which can lead to irritation. Replace your blade after every five to seven shaves or as soon as you feel it slightly tugging on your skin.
Protect skin with an oil or cream. Pick a product that contains dimethicone or a natural lubricant like coconut or argan oil to reduce drag. Gels and foams are mostly air and don’t provide enough glide.
Shave with the grain. It takes longer, but shave in the direction your facial hair grows. Can’t tell by looking? Rub your hand against your whiskers and shave in the direction that feels smooth, not prickly.
Moisturize. Ingredients like tea-tree oil and propolis are great natural antiseptics and help heal irritation and nicks. Look for aloe and chamomile to soothe skin and reduce any redness, and avoid products with alcohol if you have sensitive skin.