Monday, March 17, 2008

Ab Workout and Fat-Loss Errors to Avoid

If you want to discover some areas where you may be going wrong in your ab workouts and your attempts at losing stomach fat, I have an interview for you here that you'll want to read.
In the interview, we discuss the topic of abs training and the biggest myths and mistakes we see in this field.

Here's a copy of the training portion of the interview below. We'll discuss the nutrition aspects necessary for losing enough body fat to carve out those six pack abs in another article.

CB: Okay Mike, so where does the average man or woman go wrong when it comes to training abs?
MG: Most people are probably going to be surprised with this answer. In their quest for 'six pack abs', the biggest mistake I see people making is wasting WAY too much of their time training their abs directly... pumping away with all kinds of different abs-specific exercises.
I'm sure you know what I'm referring to. The person is trying so hard to get those abs to show, that they're spending almost all of their time in the gym with hundreds of reps of various crunches, leg raises, twisting exercises, etc. Meanwhile, all of that wasted time directly training the abs could have been better spent on a properly designed full body workout program that would elicit a much better metabolic response and increase the fat-burning hormone levels in their body as well.

After all, losing the stomach fat that is covering the abs is the MOST important aspect for most people to finally be able to make their abdominals visible. Unfortunately, pumping away with hundreds of crunches and leg raises does NOT cause much of a metabolic or fat burning hormonal response.

This is the main focus of my Truth about Six Pack Abs book... full body workout programs and proper nutrition to strip off that stubborn belly fat and reveal the six pack that's hiding underneath!

Of course it wouldn't be an abs book if I didn't focus on ab development too, but I make sure firstly that the most important concepts for lasting body fat reduction are understood.

CB: Do you see any gender differences in mistakes they make? And more importantly, do you see any gender differences in the response to various types of ab training?
MG: To be honest, I don't really see any need for men or women to train differently. Bottom line... the best exercises are the best exercises regardless of gender.
However, in regards to mistakes I see between genders... Yes, I tend to see women more often are deathly afraid to use weight training with anything but really light weights. That is a shame, because THE most effective way to gain control over your body fat for life, is to maximize your lean muscle that your body carries, as well as working that muscle hard through intense resistance exercise regularly.

It's important for women to realize that regular strength training using heavier resistance will NOT "bulk them up" (as long as caloric intake is controlled), but rather is one of the key secrets for losing body fat and staying lean year-round. As a matter of fact, some of the leanest females that I've trained over the years are the ones that aren't afraid to work hard with the weights.
I also notice that most women (and a lot of guys too) spend way too much time with slow cardio workouts. This is simply not necessary, and the way I combine high intensity resistance training into full body routines provides enough of a "cardio" workout in itself usually. We'll get back to this in a minute though.

CB: What about old school sit-ups? Do you use these? Are they good, bad, or does it "depend"?
MG: Sit-ups are a controversial topic. I don't think they're good or bad per se, but rather "in between". I didn't include them in my workout programs. I simply don't feel they are necessary, and I think there are much more effective abs exercises to focus on. Personally, I almost never do sit-ups except occasionally for a little variety every now and then.

CB: Give us a weekly sample ab training program. How many days per week? What are a couple of the best exercises you'd pick? How many sets? Reps? Rest?
MG: Well, first I'd like to point out that the full body exercises that make up the majority of my programs indirectly work the abs and the entire "core" area to a fairly decent extent. However, I do include abs-specific exercises into the routines generally about twice per week. The "abs-specific" portion of the workouts generally only take about 5 minutes at most with very little rest between exercises.

Once people are past the beginning phase of gaining some initial ab strength, I try to get them away from the exercises that are too easy, where someone can do 50 or 100 reps, as is frequently common with standard crunches. Instead, I like to focus on higher resistance exercises that actually stimulate the muscle fibers to a much greater degree.

One example of a higher resistance abs exercise is hanging leg raises with a proper "pelvic curl up". It's funny but usually someone that has been wasting so much time with hundreds of reps of crunches can usually only do a few solid reps when they first attempt some of these higher resistance exercises.

We also make sure not to neglect some rotational movements, as well as some work for the deeper muscles like the transversus abdominis.

CB: What do you use for burning fat, intervals or slow cardio workouts? Or both? Any gender differences here? Or differences between fitness levels (beginner vs. advanced)?
MG: In most cases, my answer is definitely intervals... or as I like to call it "variable intensity training". In general, I think slow steady pace cardio is a waste of time, especially if the goal is lasting fat loss.

I think people need to get away from this thinking about "fat burning zones" and calories burned during the actual workout, and look at the bigger picture of what you're doing in your workout to stimulate the greatest metabolic response in your body... and the best metabolic and hormonal response is achieved through variable intensity training and strength training, not slow steady-pace cardio workouts.

Now I will say that if someone is really deconditioned and can't handle higher intensity exercise routines just yet, this still doesn't mean that they can't simply use lower intensity routines, but still use it in a "variable intensity" fashion, by alternating between higher and lower exertion levels throughout the workout.

That wraps up the "abs training" portion of the interview. We'll discuss the nutrition aspects that are necessary for losing enough body fat to get visible six pack abs in a separate article.

Make sure to grab this free report detailing over 27 specific metabolism boosting secrets at Best Ab Workout, Abdominal Exercises, Fat Loss

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Three Best Ab Exercises - that aren't Ab Exercises!

Instead of the typical ab exercise routines that we see so often with crunches, situps, leg lifts, etc... I like to give my readers better options for metabolism-boosting high intensity workouts that work their entire body while also working their abs.
I'm going to show you an example today of one of my favorite ab workouts that doesn't include any direct ab exercises at all. It's in a tri-set format (similar to a super-set but alternating between 3 exercises).

Here goes:
1a. Renegade Dumbbell Rows1b. Front Squats with Barbell1c. Mountain Climbers on Floor
A good rep scheme to use with this could be 3-4 sets of 8 reps for each exercise, or more sets for less reps, such as 5 sets of 5 reps of each exercise. Mountain climbers can be done for a time interval (such as 30 seconds) instead of "reps".

Renegade dumbbell rows are done starting in a pushup position with the hands on 2 dumbbells. You then row one dumbbell up while stabilizing your body with the other arm. Bring the dumbbell back to the ground and alternate the rowing arm while stabilizing with the opposite arm. This stabilizing effect during the rows creates incredible work for your entire midsection core area. Trust me... you'll feel it in the abs!

Front squats are done similar to back squats, however with the barbell in front of your body on the front of your shoulders instead of resting on the upper back as in back squats. You stabilize the barbell on your shoulders by crossing your arms and pushing your fists into the bar against your shoulders while keeping your elbows out in front of the body. This takes a little practice at first, so you will want to seek a professional trainer at your gym to help you with the form. Front squats require extreme stabilization strength from the abs due to the barbell weight being shifted to the front of the body instead of the back. Even though this is mostly a leg exercise, you'll feel this one in the abs big time!

Mountain climbers are done by starting in a pushup position and then shuffling your feet in and out so that your knees are moving in under your chest and then back out to starting position. It sort of resembles climbing a mountain but flat on the floor. If you want an advanced version, you can also shuffle your hands 8-10 inches forward and backward in addition to the leg movements. This really makes it a full body exercise and MUCH more difficult than standard mountain climbers.

After finishing each exercise, rest about 30 seconds before starting the next exercise. Rest about 1-2 minutes after completing each "tri-set" before repeating.

This will give you one of the best ab workouts you've ever had without even doing any direct ab exercises. You'll see what I mean after you try it!

If you are tired of failing to get visible six pack abs, consider losing the traditional ab exercises and bogus ab gadget machines, and find out the real fat loss for abs truth at Best Ab Exercises & Workouts for Abdominals
Make sure to grab this free report detailing over 27 specific metabolism boosting secrets at Best Ab Workout, Abdominal Exercises, Fat Loss

Monday, March 3, 2008

Six Pack Abs

With this article, I want to show you why you might be struggling to lose that stubborn stomach fat that is covering up your abs. These are the main reasons most people just can not seem to get those six pack abs that everyone desires. If you haven't already seen me around online somewhere, I'm the creator of one of the most popular abdominals and fat loss programs on the internet.

So in this article I want to highlight for you the main points and strategies that I use to make this program one of the most effective programs in existance for fully developing your abdominals as well as getting rid of that stubborn stomach fat that is covering them up.

Pay attention, because once you get this stuff right and start using these techniques regularly, you'll be showing off your ripped abs in no time flat, whether it's at the beach, at the pool, in the bedroom, wherever... Just think how great it's going to feel when people are complimenting you on your washboard stomach!

Alright, here's what make's The Truth about Six Pack Abs different:

1. The main focus of this program is NOT abs exercises... And, better yet, this program consistently get's better results by NOT focusing on abs exercises!

I know that sounds counterintuitive, but the fact of the matter is that abs exercises are ok, and you do need to do a certain amount of them to develop the abdominals as best as possible. But to be honest, most people that are trying to get better looking abdominals waste WAY too much time training the abs directly. What you really need to focus on is burning off the extra fat that is covering them up.

Let's get this straight right now... Abs exercises do NOT burn fat away from your abs! This can only be accomplished through a much more effective full body training routine that maximizes both your metabolic response and your hormonal response to your workouts. This is the main focus of my Truth about Six Pack Abs Program.

Now don't get me wrong. It wouldn't be an abs program if I didn't show you the most effective exercises for developing your abdominals. I also give you detailed instructions and photos on how to do them right. But like I said, the main focus of this program is the secret method that I use to compile the full body training routines and maximize your fat burning effect.

This is the main reason that this program will be much more effective for you than any other abs programs you've ever tried before. You've got my word on that.

2. This program uses none of your typical boring monotonous cardio routines.

In fact, you don't have to do any typical cardio if you don't want to! I actually recommend against it.

Seriously, almost every program out there tells you that you must do endless cardio exercise regularly to lose the body fat that is covering your abs. Most of them tell you to do 30-60 minutes of cardio exercise 3-4 days/week in addition to your strength training routines.

The truth is that this is not only unnecessary, but it can actually be counterproductive if you're really trying to get as lean as possible, as quick as possible. I go into this in much more detail in the book, but basically this all comes back to the aspects of your metabolic rate, how much lean muscle you have, the hormonal response in your body from the exercise, and the residual calorie burn in the hours and days following your workouts. And normal boring cardio routines are all wrong when it comes to maximizing these effects!

Now you're probably thinking that since I'm against typical boring cardio routines, then that must simply mean I'm a proponent of interval training. Yes, as a matter of fact, I believe interval training is MUCH better than typical cardio.

However, I also use a special exercise combination and sequencing in my Truth about Six Pack Abs Program that gets even more powerful fat loss and muscle defining results than interval training. And that's saying something, because interval training kicks butt! You'll find out how this system works inside the program.

Want proof that you don't need typical long-duration steady-pace cardio?

Well, first of all, I actually took a course recently that was devoted to scientific research into why steady-pace cardio exercise is actually not that effective at strengthening the heart. The focus of the research basically boiled down to the fact that the heart needs to be trained in a wide variety of ranges to actually be truly strengthened and ready for all the various stresses that life throws at it. Not only that, but steady-pace cardio was also proven in the research studies to be far less effective in the long term at reducing body fat stores.

To give you a real life example... Personally, I haven't done what most people would label "cardio" in probably well over 5 years, and I'm actually leaner now and have a lower bodyfat % now than years ago when I did cardio regularly. Not only that, but my heart is in the best condition ever, as I now consistently have the resting heart rate of an elite athlete at about 50 bpm (remember that lower is better). My resting heart rate used to be in the mid to upper 60's years ago when I used to do typical cardio and strength training routines like most people do.

This improvement in both body fat % and reduced resting heart rate is the direct result of the unique training methods I used in developing the programs in The Truth about Six Pack Abs.

3. This program does NOT revolve around having to use supplements or "fat-loss" pills.

Trust me when I say that for the most part, about 95% of supplements are a complete waste of your hard earned money. I've been approached by supplement companies in the past looking for me to promote their products for them, and offering me a lot of money to do so. Well, you know what I do? I tell them to shove it! Seriously, I won't promote something to my readers that I don't honestly believe in.

The fact is, I've learned over the years through my own experience, as well as hundreds of my clients and friends experiences with supplements, that they are really just selling you the dream that their pill or powder will be some "magical" solution to your struggle with getting that lean ripped body that you've been wanting for years. In reality, most supplements do nothing at all to help you improve your body.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not totally bashing supplement companies, but like I said, about 95% of the products they promote are worthless, and won't create any noticeable changes in your body. I will admit that there can be a place for meal replacements for people that can't find the time to prepare or pack all of their real food meals. I also admit that I do think a high quality, fast digesting protein like whey protein can be useful to mix into your post-workout smoothies.

But the fact is that real food is always better for you than processed supplements (as long as you pick the right "real foods"). Anybody that tells you otherwise has either been brainwashed by all of the propaganda and super-hyped up ads that the supplement companies have spread throughout every magazine on the planet, or they have financial ties to selling supplements in some way themselves.

I have dedicated myself to not being lured into the lucrative world of selling supplements. Even though I could make a lot more money selling supplements than by selling my abs program, it's just plain against my morals to rip people off like that.

Frankly, it amazes me that most people are more willing to spend $30, $40, even $50 or more on a bottle of pills or powder than to spend $30 on a comprehensive training and nutrition guide like this Truth about Six Pack Abs program, which will set them up for life on training programs and dietary secrets that will keep them lean and ripped for life. The only thing that bottle of pills or powder is going to do is give you expensive urine! You make the choice.

4. This program does not revolve around using any fancy "ab machines" or "ab gadgets".

In case you were suckered into buying any of these worthless ab belts, loungers, rockers, or any other worthless ab gadget or machine, I have bad news... You were ripped off!

The truth is that most of these machines and gadgets are not the best way to develop the abdominal muscles. Sure, some of them may help a tiny bit with strengthening the abdominals, but they are far less effective than some of the best floor, hanging, and standing abs exercises.

Also, more importantly, virtually all of these abs machines, belts, and gadgets do absolutely nothing to burn fat off of the abdominal area!

Again, losing the fat that's covering up your abs can only be accomplished with a smart nutritional program, and a well designed progressional training program that increases your metabolism and stimulates your fat-burning hormones in your body. Achieving this is simple once you understand the secrets I reveal in the Truth about Six Pack Abs program.

5. This program does not include some sort of fad diet or gimmicky diet trend.

None of that here. I promise you won't be given any more crap about needing to eat "low-carb" or "low-fat", or low or high anything, for that matter. The nutritional secrets I reveal in this program go against all of the authors and companies out there that are trying to lure you in with another one of their gimmicks.

The fact is that they need to come up with some sort of different "angle", so that their diet program appears unique and gives the media something to talk about. That's why there's always some gimmick, like low-fat, or low-carb, or high protein, or the "colors diet", the "low glycemic index diet", the fasting diet, the cabbage diet, and so on.

Instead, I wanted to give you the truth about what it really takes to eat a nutritious diet that not only will have you burning off that stubborn belly fat, but will also have you feeling full of energy every single day. If you don't already feel energetic and alive every single day, then you are missing out, because it is an awesome feeling!

The great thing is that once you start eating balanced and healthy all the time, you virtually eliminate cravings altogether. Personally, I used to crave sweets constantly before I adopted the nutritious diet that I currently eat. Now, I can honestly say I can't remember the last craving I had. It had to be more than 5 years ago... no joke!

Not only that, but I actually enjoy everything I eat way more than I used to years ago when I ate a lot of junk. Does that mean that I never eat burgers, or pizza, or beer? Of course not... We all have a social life. In fact, there are actually very healthy ways and variations to preparing healthier burgers and healthier pizza that I occasionally use.

I hope this article has given you some insight as to where you may be going wrong with your exercise and nutrition plans in striving for those elusive abs. See below for more info on losing stubborn stomach fat and developing ripped six pack abs.

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