The truth about your ABS!

Let’s talk about ab moves that SUCK!

I am always amazed at the amount of people I still see at the gym doing crunches and sit-ups, while they are pulling on their heads, straining their necks (can you say neck ups?), and just doing nothing more than engaging the most superficial layer of their ab region. So not going to help you with those rock hard abs, peeps!

I know you’re probably sick of hearing abs are made in the kitchen, right? But in all honesty, not until I made this my priority in my goals – focusing on everything I ate and drank – did I really start to see my abs show up. Don’t even think about giving me the excuses like “but I had babies” or “I have gained and lost so much weight over the years that I can’t ever get my abs back” …I have ZERO tolerance for excuses. Excuses are simply your way of telling me, “Kathy, that’s cute but I don’t WANT TO!”…

So even though our foods and drinks are a huge component of attaining the abs we are seeking – what we do and what we don’t do in our workouts is also super duper important and will create those defined abs like you’ve always wanted.

So let’s break it down into FACTS first. What helps with getting a flat and tight ab section:

 #1: We start by burning off the layer of FAT first!

Plain and simple, we can’t spot reduce fat. If you simply train your abs daily you will never see (or enjoy showing off) your abs in the first place. Why? Because you most def have a six pack but it’s covered up by that sexy layer of FAT! :-/ You can’t just take part of a “30 Day AB Challenge” and expect to be guaranteed your abs to pop. No matter how many minutes a day and how many new and exciting ab and core moves you complete, you will never lose your body fat in the same order you put it on. Sad, but true. 😦

Our genetics actually play a big role in this truth. We can eat right, we can workout until the cows come home (I still want to know, where did the cows go in the first place?) but those pesky genes are going to be responsible for some of our results. One way to help speed up these results and help to change the shape of our body and abs, is in HIIT workouts. We will cover that in this post too.

LOL!! I'll take my abs with some extra FLUFF on top! ;)

I love the fact that nothing burns fat faster than some high intensity kick ass training…or “HIIT”. This not only works your body, kicks your butt in cardio, makes your muscles scream; but it also works your entire core along the way.

One way to take your current workouts up a notch, is to add 15-20 minutes of explosive movements to the start or end of your workout; or do a conditioning circuit that includes it. Check out this workout as a great example.

The next best way I like to shred body fat is to add in strength training. It’s a common misconception that women will bulk up by lifting weights heavier than their handbags…but not freaking true!!! Remember, the more lean muscle we have on our bodies, the more calories we burn even when sitting on our asses. True story. 😉 Check out this strength workout to see some great results.

I usually cycle through periods of heavier weight training (8-12 weeks) and then bodyweight training (4-6 weeks) depending on my goals, on my schedule and on my time. They are both awesome and effective ways to get a great body, burn some fat and show off your amazing abs!!

#2: Train your entire core section to emphasize those abs

If you really want shredded abs, you need to stop doing the moves you learned in P.E. classes. The truth of it is, you seriously need to focus on strengthening ALL OF YOUR CORE in order to see the abs pop like you want. That means doing moves that use your lower back muscles, your deeper core stabilizers and the layers of ab muscle that protect your organs and keep you standing taller. An example for this is when you take on a new workout or push harder through a tough run, you will feel sore in your core (I like to rhyme every time..lol) even when you didn’t get on the ground and complete any traditional ab moves.

 

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Our bodies are kind of awesome and and protects us against building too much muscle on one side of our body versus the other side. It protects us because of the fact that too much muscle on one side of the body will put added stress on our bones and start to pull us out of alignment.

Still think you can outsmart your body? Dude, it’s freaking INTELLIGENT!!

So be sure you’re adding moves that target your lower back (aka: back core) as well as the different layers of abdominal muscle too!

7 Weeks Out!!!

To get started:

Sign up and complete my 30 Day Ab challenge HERE and then get started with the next program that will help you advance by signing up below for my ONLINE BOOTCAMP CHALLENGE to help you start shredding those abs!

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Eat Your Way to GREAT Abs!!!

When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one’s going to see it if it’s covered by a layer of flab.

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a Beachbody fitness program, you’ll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

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1. Get plenty of protein
Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily Shakeology shake can be a perfect addition.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.)

2.Reconsider your carbs.
Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos, and save the cake for your birthday. If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber.
Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals…You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge.

4. Enjoy some yogurt.
Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss.

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core.

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.) Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and drink less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.

7. …With two exceptions.
It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s an added bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but we’re throwing it in for free.

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Are YOU Ready For Summer? I Have an Idea….

581616_10151415831828881_158702634_n (1)Guess what?  There’s only 6 weeks left until summer!!!!

I heard you all gasp with surprise, right?  I know!! It’s time to get into serious mode and move towards our beachy body goals.  What are you going to do?

This is something I’ve done some thinking about lately.  It seems like with each new challenge I take on physically, I need to rebalance once again.  It was grueling on my body to train and run my first marathon this past February; and I lost more muscle mass than I anticipated.  No worries, hit some heavy weight training with Beachbody’s Body Beast program and BAM! muscles are heeeere again!!!! 😉

Now, it’s time to focus once again on my core, balance and flexibility; along with cardio and strength moves tied into a wonderful package of awesomeness.  (seriously, I think my body is addicted to my “rumble roller” and it feels like I’m getting a deep tissue massage every other day!)

The X2 program is amazing; but I need a change up on the food plans.  Ordinarily, I’d follow the plan laid out for me; but what can I say? I’m a bit of a rebel…

So, with all this thinking and planning; I’ve decided to do a 14 day FAT-LOSS meal plan; complete with some additional exercises to mix into my regular plans.  Sounds exciting, right?

Well…actually I’d love to have a few others to take this on with me and see how it goes.

Who’s game?  I mean, if you already have your meal plans, training and accountability all laid out for you between tomorrow and SUMMER; then go for it!!

But I’m thinking you’re a bit intrigued…

Post below if you are keen to take this on with me; or at least get some deets!!!!