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Are You Ready to Take It Off?

funny bikini teeIt’s easy to get “fluffy” during the winter. We pile on layers of clothing, hiding extra layers of fat we may gain. Before we know it, spring rolls around and it’s time to pull out the bikinis – and we get our little wake-up call.

Eeeeeek! Suddenly everything is exposed – and the thought of putting your winter body on the beach can be a scary thing. You have 3 choices. One, you can continue to hide and just never even put on a bathing suit. Two, cover up, like this lady, and put someone else’s body on with one of hese hilarious bikini tees. Or, three, you can lose the fat – and the clothes, and feel good in your bikini this year!

It’s time to take it OFF!

Hot-Muscle-Shirt-Guy1-187x300Diet. You’ll never see abs (unless you buy them on a shirt) if you don’t diet. The only way you can lose weight is reduce your caloric intake. You can do that by guessing, and trying to just eat better, or you can do it by really budgeting your calories. Of course I suggest the latter because it’s guaranteed success.

Cardio. The next thing on your list to tackle is cardio – and lots of it. You need to burn off that stored fat from the winter. So, go for a jog or hit the gym to do your favorite cardio machine or high-intensity aerobics class.

Protect your investment. If you are trying to lose weight, the next focus is trying to make sure you don’t replace the calories you BURN with calories you EAT. If you burn 300-400 calories in the gym, you can erase that with one latte and reduced-fat coffee cake, so be careful not to sabotage your hard work in the gym.

1o Diet Tips to Get You Bikini Ready

If you don’t know where to start with dieting, here are 10 simple tips to apply to help get you started.

117656608985424083_ryna4OoR_c_large1. Keep meals to 300-350 calories for women, 400-450 for men.
2. Keep snacks to 100-150 calories for women, 200-150 for men.
3. Eat something (doesn’t have to be big or fancy) 5-6 times a day.
4. Wait at least 2 hours to eat after meals.
5. Never go over 3 hours without eating something (even something small like a few almonds)
6. Never eat more in one sitting than you can burn in one workout.
7. Eat on salad plates instead of dinner plates.
8. Eat with salad forks and small spoons instead of large silverware.
9. If you DO mess up, count up the calories so you know how much your mistake “costs” you. (this will not only be good information for you to learn, but it is also good motivation not to mes up again). Out of site, out of mind.
10. Drink a LOT of water.

Abs on Fire Workout

awesome absWhile you work to improve your eating and lose the body fat, here is a workout @stevepfiester put together to sculpt your abs so when your do lose the body fat, your new great abs can start peaking through!

15 Med Ball Throw
15 Russian Twist
15 Oblique Crunch L
15 Oblique Crunch R
15 Side Plank Pulses L
15 Side Plank Pulses R

CLICK HERE to watch the instructional video to learn all the moves and follow along with Steve.

Will Work For Abs: The Six-Pack Secret

Body Parts that Count: Part 3 – Abs & Core

In this blog series I’ve been talking about the 3 muscle groups I feel should be a woman’s focus: Shoulders, Glutes & Abs. Today we discuss the abs.

“Diet doesn’t make you fit.
      Exercise doesn’t make you skinny”

Steve Pfiester said that yesterday and I thought, that needs to be a t-shirt. No, a Billboard. No, a whole national advertising campaign! Honestly, people need to hear this!!! We’ve all seen overweight people who are physically fit and we’ve seen plenty of out of shape skinny people. Why am I going on this tangent when the topic is abs? Well it’s simple. You can have abs (shoot, you may have them right not) but if you don’t combine training with diet together, you’ll likely never see them.

Will Eat for Abs
You’ve seen the homeless guys holding a sign “Will work for food”? Well, will you eat for abs? Will you eat (and not eat) what it takes to get the abs you want? Just like many of those guys have no intensions of actually doing any work to get their money, many people in the gym have no intensions of eating what they need to be eating to get their abs.

Honestly, doing a few crunches is the easy part. It’s the other 23 hours a day that are hard to control. As Alfonso “The Angry Trainer” Moretti says, “Abs are made in the kitchen“. If you want to shave off the fat covering your abs, you need to shave off some calories. Once you can actually see your abs, the shape of them, how tight they are, and how big each cube is is up to your training.

Will Work for Abs
It may not seem like it, but this is the easy part. However, some people still have a lot of questions about how to train them. How often can you train your abs? What type of workouts are best for abs? So many questions, so little time.

Non-weight ab exercises, like traditional crunches or situps, can be done daily. However, weighted abs need rest and repair just like your biceps, so they need a couple of days of rest in between.

Steve Pfiester, for instance, does non-weighted abs in between sets while training other body parts through out the week. Then he has one day solely dedicated to traps, calves and abs, where he does his weighted ab exercises. This way he’s always hitting them to keep them tight and tone.

This is also why I like functional training, like push-ups, planks and mountain climbers, because it keeps my core tight in between ab days. Believe me, if you do pushups on a regular basis, you will definitely notice your abs and core tightening.

Weakness Becomes Strength
I have to admit, abs are not my best feature. Unfortunately, the body parts you hate the most, typically are the body parts you don’t like to train the most too. It should be the other way around, but we are human and we like doing things we are good at. We like training our best looking body part, we enjoy working our muscles that are the strongest and we prefer to do the exercises we have already mastered. That’s why our weaknesses often stay a weakness – but they can become your strength.

If you really want to change your body, work the parts that need to work the most. Do the stuff you hate the most (like cardio) and force yourself to do programs, like our BCx Boot Camp, that keep your training balanced and keep you doing stuff you’d most likely skip if you were doing it on your own. The more you do it, the more you’ll like it because you’ll become stronger and you’ll begin to see the work pay off.

Workooout, “I’m sexy and I know it” (sing along with me!)
Here is one of our ab circuits from our brand new BCx Boot Camp Express workout at FitStudio. Click on the picture below and go to Day 6 to view the entire workout, including instructional video.

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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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