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Weekly Ab Workout Plan

Ab WorkoutSometimes I get in a rut with my workouts and need to freshen them up with something new. For some reason, when I have a workout in writing, I am more apt to stick to it than if I just wing it each day. It’s like, as soon as it’s in writing, I HAVE to complete it. This goes for my daily workouts, as well as an overall plan.

So, I asked Steve to write me up a workout just for my abs that I could incorporate into my weekly routine. I HATE working abs, but really need to work them more. Here is what he came up with – BUT, before you check out the workout, read Steve’s blog today on abdominal and oblique muscles. He explains each muscle, why we work it, how often we can work it, why we work it with and without weights, and what each muscle does for our physique! It’s GOOD STUFF!

4-Day Workout Program:

Each week, pick 3 days of A OR B Workouts and 1 day of C OR D Workouts
Click on the exercise to view video instruction. 

High Rep Day

WEEKLY AB WORKOUTImprove resting tone, muscular tone, decreasing waist size, increasing definition.
REST: Recover for approximately 30 seconds between exercises.

(A)
25 reverse cross leg crunch left
25 Oblique Crunch left
25 side elbow plank hip pulse left (NOTE: don’t let your hip touch the floor like this girl does)
(repeat right)
X3

Super Set
25 decline sit ups
25 decline crunch 
X3

(B)
25 creverse cross leg crunch left
25 reverse cross leg crunch right
50 cartwheel with PVC (these are done much faster than the video)
25 reverse crunch (or roll up)
X4
25 ball pass (8-12lbs)
X4

High Resistance Day

Build hypertrophy and definition of rectus abdominus and serratus anterior.
REST: allow for more rest/recovery between sets (1min)
(C)
15-20 Rope crunch
15-20 angled roman chair
15-20 hanging abs
X3

(D)
15 plate crunch
15 decline weighted plate crunch
15-25 abdominal machine (hammer strength)
X3

Are you full of FAT or full of CRAP!?

There are several reasons we can feel fat and disgusting – some of us feel fat because we truly have more body fat than we should, but then there are many times we feel fat because we’ve simply eaten too much.

Think of it this way, when you  eat a huge meal, it has to go somewhere. We’d like to think we could burn it off, but after we absorb the nutrients from the meal, we still have plenty of waste to deal with. The colon can hold 5-10lbs of waste in every foot of large intestine. That’s a LOT of weight.

Not only is it a lot of additional weight, but if the diameter of the colon is about the size of our wrists, you can imagine how that would make your pants tighter too. So the more you eat, the heavier and thicker you will feel. Then your full tummy makes it nearly impossible to maintain a flat tummy no matter how hard you squeeze your abs tight.

If you have the habit of eating large meals all the time, eventually you stop even trying to hold your stomach in and you just begin let it hang out all the time. While your tummy pooches out from being full, you’re storing more body fat from the excess calories you are eating too. The double whammy leaves you feeling fatter AND getting fatter.

If you didn’t have enough motivation to eat smaller meals before, this information should give you the motivationyiu need to keep your portions down now. You’ll find it’s easier to hold your stomach nice and flat, and you’ll begin to lose all the Body fat you stored from overdoing it in the past.

Eating too much can:
1. Make you sleepy.
2. Cause weight gain.
3. Make it difficult to hold your stomach flat.
4. Stretch abdominal muscles loose.
5. Take so much energy to aid in digestion that you are not as alert or sharp.

The Secret Behind Flat Abs

Uma Thurman caught letting it all hang out.

My #1 Flat Abs Tip is NOT an exercise. We crunch, sit up, lift, squeeze and burn our abs up hoping to make improvements, but there is one extremely important thing many people don’t do when they leave the gym that can sabotage it all – they don’t hold their stomach in.

Of course Uma Thurman, photographed left a few years ago, is not a fat girl by any means. But if she had been standing up tall and holding her stomach in, she would have even looked more slender and fit. Unfortunately the paparazzi caught her in a not-so-glamorous pose and now this photo continues to float around the internet, which stemmed the question “is this just another weird bikini shot or could she be pregnant?”

The idea behind training your abs is not JUST to build cubes of muscle that show through the skin and look like the coveted six-pack everyone dreams of having, but ab exercises also shorten and tighten the muscles which flatten the stomach. However, if you leave the gym only to eat huge meals that expand the stomach area, stretching back out the muscles, you are defeating the purpose of an awesome ab workout.

Here are a few things you can do outside the gym to train your abs to stay nice and flat.

6 Tips to Getting (and KEEPING) Flat Abs:

1.) Train your abs daily. Non-weighted abs can be done daily at home. The more you tighten them up with exercise, the more they’ll STAY tight.

2.) Keep meals small. If you’ve ever eaten a HUGE meal, you know how difficult it is to hold your stomach in. It’s MUCH easier to do this when you keep your meals and snacks small and manageable.

3.) Avoid loose clothes. Lose clothes say to me “relax! be sloppy! Let it all hang out!” Fitted clothes say “Shape up! Stand up straight! Suck it in! If you want to be held accountable, let your clothes help!

4.) Check yourself. Many times we don’t realize just how poor our posture is and how little we really are maintaining a flat tummy. Look in the mirror and use your muscles (opposed to just sucking wind like kids do when trying to hold their tummy in) to flatten your stomach. Hold that for as long as you can. At first you may not be able to hold it for long, but eventually your muscles will get stronger and tighter

Kyphotic Posture

5. ) Create triggers & reminders. Your body learns it’s resting tone. For instance, have you ever seen how a cop walks aroundwith their arms bowed out? That’s a learned behavior as they have to position their arms where it doesn’t swing and hit their gun belt. Over time, their body assumes this new position as their resting tone. You can do the same thing with your stomach. The more you practice it, the more you remind yourself with notes and set triggers, the sooner your body will learn this new posture as it’s resting posture and it will just become a natural position for you.

6.) Practice good posture. It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to keep your stomach flat if your hips are rolled under and your shoulders are hunched over. Try it! Go look in the mirror and see how your your entire posture effects your belly. Elongate your body, flatten your stomach, stretch out your neck nice and tall, stand up straight, roll your shoulders back, lift your chest up, and curve your hips out (which delivers a nice perky looking bottom) – and see how much better you look!! Practice makes perfect!

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“I WANT ABS!” 5 Mistakes that Sabotage Success

“I do sit-ups – I do one sit-up a day. I do the first half when I get up in the morning and the second half when I go to bed at night”, Comedian, Mark Lowry

Everyone wants abs. Whether you want a chiseled six-pack or just want a flat tummy, fit abs are one of the most coveted body parts. The problem is many people are doing the wrong exercises, investing in the wrong fitness tools, and focusing on the wrong things.

Here are 5 common mistakes I see all the time:

1.) People think that abdominal exercises will get rid of belly fat. Wrong! Diet and cardio get rid of belly fat, not abdominal exercises. Yes, you will have shapely muscles UNDER the fat, but if you actually want to SEE your abs, you need to control your eating and burn some calories!

2.) People invest in fitness gadgets that are worthless pieces of junk. The Ab Belt, Ab Lounge, Ab Rocker, Ab Flex and hundreds of other crazy contraptions promising to carve ice cube abdominal muscles. If you really want to invest in something, invest in a good abdominal video, hire a trainer, or take an abs class at your gym so you can learn how to do abs correctly instead of wasting your hard-earned money on useless apparatuses. It’s like Read the rest of this entry

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