And here's how to do it right
Published 01/06/2010 | 05:00
Dubliner Darragh Hayes (28) has appeared in Men's Fitness magazine and represented designer brands Calvin Klein and Tom Ford for his Adonis-like beauty.
And he admits to training like an Olympian to achieve those chiselled abs that men (and women) lust after.
But while jelly beans or booze might help you appear temporarily pumped for photos, the personal trainer at ABS gym in Temple Bar says there's only one way to go from scrawny to brawny.
"My training programme looks more like that of an athlete. I train with intensity, lift heavy weights, eat clean and have a cheat meal every now and again.
"I am in single-digit body fat all year round. But I don't go to the extremes that some other male models do. I've seen guys drinking wine to try to dry out their skin so they look more vascular.
"Admittedly, I get a little stricter with myself a couple of days ahead of a shoot, reducing my calories and manipulating my water intake -- but nothing so severe as to end up in hospital.
"Developing this physique wasn't an overnight occurrence. To achieve the body of a cover model, you have to be in for the long haul.
"It has taken me years to hone the physique I have today. I get begrudgers who say I must be taking something and that it's not a natural achievement -- but believe me, it's all hard work and dedication.
"The only things I take are fish oils and vitamins!
"I do think Irish men are putting in more of an effort to go to the gym these days.
"Without the proper guidance though, you might as well bang your head off a wall.
"The guys who take it to extremes to bulk up between shoots have it all wrong.
"You can't sustain the lean look of a cover model by starving yourself or restricting fluids for days at a time.
"Genetics plays a part, but if you work hard enough and eat healthily it is possible to attain that physique."
-- Deirdre Reynolds