So You Want Flat ABS???

So you want a SIX PACK? Or you want a flat tummy? Or you are tired of hiding your belly due to the layers of skin; muffin top; etc that embarrass you.

Here are some top mistakes most people make when it comes to flat abs. Thank you to Bodybuilding.com and the info from by Slyvon Blanco on the following article’s tips.

“Below are 10 of the biggest ab training mistakes I see people make. I could say I “always” see people make them, because that’s how people talk about abs, but that’s not technically accurate. I mean, everybody has to blink sometimes, and every once in a while I have to go get a drink of water. But aside from that, yeah, it’s pretty much constant.

But if you can minimize—or completely eliminate—these mistakes, you might just see your abs pop out sooner than planned. 😉

AB MISTAKE 1: FORGETTING ABOUT COMPOUND EXERCISES

If you strictly perform isolation ab exercises, you’re making a huge mistake. Compound movements like deadliftssquats, and overhead presses engage every inch of your core. Don’t forget to include them in your training program.  Remember that your core is worked with every move you do so don’t just isolate it to the same, simple ab moves.

AB MISTAKE 2: DOING AB EXERCISES FIRST

Your abs are part of your core area, which helps stabilize your body. (see above) If you fatigue them early in your workout, you will have a hard time doing other ab-intensive exercises like squats.

And just so we’re clear, the role that your core plays in squats is to protect your spine, so you want them to have a full tank at that point. Save your ab training for the end.

AB MISTAKE 3: THINKING YOU CAN OUT-CRUNCH YOUR DIET

The secret to visible abs is no secret at all: Lower your body fat percentage. This doesn’t happen by doing hundreds of reps of ab exercises—nor thousands, nor millions. You can train your abs all you want, but if your diet isn’t in check, you’ll never see that six-pack.  (this could easily be placed as #1 as far as I’m concerned!)

AB MISTAKE 4: HAVING A FULL WORKOUT JUST FOR ABS

All you need is 15 minutes. If you’re already doing compound exercises like squats and deadlifts, one or two ab exercises for 2-3 sets each at the end of your workout is sufficient.

“YOU CAN TRAIN YOUR ABS ALL YOU WANT, BUT IF YOUR DIET ISN’T IN CHECK, YOU’LL NEVER SEE THAT SIX-PACK.”

AB MISTAKE 5: TRAINING THEM EVERY DAY

“But Arnold worked the abs every day!” Save it. Abs are just like any other muscle in your body. That means they need time to recover. When they get worked hard, a couple of days’ reprieve is necessary, in my opinion.

If you can crunch yourself into submission one day and then wake up the next morning ready for more, take it as proof that crunches aren’t actually working your abs as hard as they should be.

Try a harder movement and tell me if you’re up for repeating it tomorrow.

AB MISTAKE 6: ONLY DOING CRUNCHES

I heard the question you just screamed “So what’s better than a crunch, maaan?” There are dozens of exercises that are much more effective than the traditional crunch.

In fact, the traditional crunch is one of the least effective ab exercises you can do. And just because you can’t perform these other movements for hundreds of reps doesn’t mean they’re not effective. Trust me, this one is:

PIKE ROLL-OUT ON A FITNESS BALL
WATCH THE VIDEO – 01:56

 

AB MISTAKE 7: NOT FOCUSING ON FORM

Again, abs are just like any other muscle in your body. So why are you writhing around like you’re on fire to work them, when you’re a stickler for form on your squats and presses? Focus on form and make sure your abs engage in every rep.

When you start doing more advanced and effective ab movements like the pike roll-out, you’ll discover that they’re pretty much impossible to perform sloppily.  Also, try taking a Pilates class and see how effective those moves are and how fast you burn out and need a break. Working effectively and focusing on form and CRUUUUUUUNCHING the core will only get you the results sooner.

AB MISTAKE 8: FORGETTING ABOUT YOUR LOWER BACK

The core has a front and a side, but it has a back, too. A lot of people neglect the lower back muscles (erector spinae), so make sure to train them just as you would with every other muscle.

If you want to have a strong core, treat your lower back like your abs. Train it hard and smart, and you’ll feel as strong as you look.

AB MISTAKE 9: ONLY WORKING IN ONE ANGLE

Your obliques, transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and erector spinae are all part of your core, but they’re different muscles with fibers running in all manner of directions. You must train them in more than just one angle.

Complex, difficult movements like windshield wipers can work the whole team at the same time, but if you’re not there yet, don’t take it as an excuse to revert back to middle-school-crunch tests.

Seated twists (spinal rotation), hyperextensions (spinal extension), side bends (lateral spinal flexion), and planks (isometric/stabilization) are all movements that target your core in more comprehensive ways than the typical crunch (spinal flexion).

AB MISTAKE 10: USING INFOMERCIAL AB GIZMOS

 

AB CIRCLE PRO COMMERCIAL – AS SEEN ON TV
WATCH THE VIDEO – 03:18

Seriously? That thing brings you about as close as possible to kicking your own ass. And if you really think that wiggling from side to side is enough to make you lose 10 pounds in two weeks, you’ve got the kick coming!”

Here’s Kathy again….

So, there you have it!! The 10 top mistakes you may be making in working harder than you should on getting the abs you want. Now, women, wouldn’t you want to know about how your hormones are wreaking havoc on your goals now too? Stay tuned…

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Choose Your “HARD”


It’s HARD to keep up with your goals, I know. I get it.

If it feels as if things have been a struggle lately, I just wanted to let you know that I do understand.

Yesterday , I made another trip to the grocery store (as my kids seem to be eating us out of house and home these days! Seriously!!)  As the young man scanned my food items he made a comment regarding how healthy I eat.  I took another quick look at the items on the conveyer belt; fruits, veggies, eggs, Greek yogurt, water bottles, almond butter; to name a few), my modest reply was “I try”. (honestly, every waking moment is filled with thoughts and plans of the next meal, workout, sleep, etc.)

He shared that he doesn’t have time to eat right and indulges in quite a bit of candy and unhealthy food options.  He also stated that stress can keep him from making any changes.

I proceed to share how eating right and exercise go hand in hand in making life more simple.  Planned foods, workouts to increase energy and lessens missed work due to sick days.  This was followed by a list of “buts” – I’m a student.  I have loans.  I’m on a fixed budget, I work long hours….

But wait, I can help! 😉

With a reassuring smile I share that I get it, I am also a very busy business owner, I have 3 children, work long hours, have endless lists to conquer each day of the week and yet, I am still able to fit in my daily workouts and healthy meals; even if it’s just 10-15 minutes on certain days.

I saw a glimpse of hope and humor in his eyes and he asked; “But what kind of exercise do you do and what do you eat every day?”

I quickly explain that short bursts of strength training mixed in with some cardio moves can be done anywhere and with either body weight or some basic dumbbells.  I also have access to dozens of workout programs, nutritional products and support that can bust through most excuses that get in the way of success.  

It’s at this time in our conversation that I hear a woman standing in line behind me interrupt with her quite popular opinion:

She very loudly announces that it’s just not that easy.  She explains how losing weight costs a lot of money and it just doesn’t always work –

She continues to explain that she’s “tried everything” and her weight has remained unchanged, and if anything, she’s only gained more weight.

It was difficult to not look at the food items she was buying that day; and many were packaged and processed choices.   

I gave the young cashier one more reassuring smile, wanting to spend more time giving him tips on what he can do while at the same time just wanting to remove myself from the negativity of the confrontational woman behind me.

As I left the store, I had a feeling of heaviness and disappointment.

I knew that I had been instantly judged by someone who only saw my current physical appearance and only heard me share one small piece of advice for results.

The truth of the matter is that you have to work super hard at this EVERY single day!!! I too, have to work and I too, sometimes still struggle!  

What I’ve learned hasn’t been an overnight fix, but has taken over 20 years of battling and learning and growing.  I made the decision that this is more important to me than just giving up and giving excuses.  Who cares about our excuses anyway? The only people who do; are the same ones who have settled for the same excuses and enjoy complaining about all the reasons why it won’t/can’t work. 

I struggled on and off before I had ever started on my fitness and health journey.  I focused on how the scale wouldn’t budge; day after day.  I focused on how I would have unbearable food cravings that would sabotage my efforts of cutting back on calories.  It seemed as though NOTHING was ever going to change!

The reality was that progress was DEFINITELY happening.  It was just happening much slower than I wanted it to happen.  In our instant gratification lives, we expect change to happen tomorrow.  We want to be the fittest and thinnest person immediately.  But once I realized it wasn’t going to happen as fast as I wanted, I also decided that what I was doing WAS working in smaller ways.  The key was to keep doing the daily habits and it would show up in a BIG way soon enough!  Time would pass regardless, so why waste valuable time feeling miserable?

I Think I Can!!

 

 

 

I struggled to reach a higher level of fitness to be my very best to compete in my first fitness competition at the age of 40 – and now I’m almost 42 and still reaching and growing and changing in so many ways.

The amount of discipline and hard work were intense at times and SOOO out of my comfort zones! I felt at times that I was in a separate, more lonely world.

Not everyone understands the level of intensity when training for a competition of any kind.  The reality is that it doesn’t have to be THIS extreme!

Once I had accomplished my goal of competing, the thought crossed my mind to keep going. But honestly, my mind and body were a little bit “broken”.  I felt that my sanity needed me to take it back to a more “natural” state again and settled into my life without constant training, preparing, resting and repeating.

I began to struggle due to the depletion that had been done and reverted to some overly fun “treats” that lasted a bit longer than they should have.

Needless to say, I started to put my weight back on (and quite quickly this time around) and found out I had gained 20 lbs in a short amount of time!  It was time to get serious again and in a balanced and healthy “non-competitive” mode.

This has been my mindset ever since and has stuck with me until now.  I must say it’s humbling to admit that I have my own struggles – as a coach/trainer, since I should be the example- BUT I realized that by sharing with others that I have my own issues, I become more relatable.  I now enjoy sharing my weaknesses and how I have worked to overcome them; and still succeed regardless of regular challenges and struggles.

What I’m trying to say is that I understand that it can be hard.

I get that putting yourself out there to make a change is seriously frightening.

We don’t want to let our trainer/family/friend/etc down.

I know that putting money down to make the necessary changes can feel uncomfortable.

I also want you to know that I also have my ups and downs and scary moments.  The difference is that I just do it anyway.  Take a deep breath and jump in with both feet.  The hardest step is to start.  Once you get started and push past the discomfort , you notice a shift.  It’s gradual and it may take a little time before you realize it’s happened; but it DOES come.  You WILL surprise yourself if you push forward no matter what.

Having support only keeps you moving with more confidence and helps keep you focused on the goal.  I have shared all of this with you today to show you that yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s scary…but that goes for any goal you choose in life. 

The important word in all of this is “CHOICE”.  We all have them.  

“You must make a Choice, to take a Chance or your life will never Change.” 

Own the fact that your results and where you are today, are a direct impact of the choices you have made up to this point.  No excuses or denying it will change this fact.

The beauty of it all, is that you get to choose your “HARD”….

Which will it be?

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