Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Staying Motivated in the Gym..........Part 3

Previously on My $0.02---------------->Staying Motivated in the Gym.......Part 2

And in our first installment-------------> Staying Motivated in the Gym....Part 1

NOW....Part Tre........ The Return of...err...the...uhh...My.....$0.02...Yeah! That's it! That'll do...just nicely....

Oh yeah, Junk food and fast food is the devil. Avoid sugary simple carbs (cakes, pies, candies, donuts, pastries) more than 2x a week. Notice I don't say cut them completely. Very few can go cold turkey and the cravings will stockpile and ultimately sabotage your dicipline and eating habits and you fall victim to binging. What helps me is getting those halloween packs with all the fun sized candies (I LOVE CHOCOLATES!). Just discipline yourself not to have TOO much fun and finish the whole bag in one sitting. Stick with complex carbs (wholegrain, breads, pasta, veggies). More small meals combined with increase complex carbs will speed up your metabolism.

At least once a week 0r once a month, on a weekend or day off, fast for about 4-6 hours....8 if you can. Drink lots of water and fruit juice (REAL fruit juice please...non of that "drink"). Your body has so many natural ways of spring cleaning itself.

Now we discussed eating habits, exercise time:

-Football or any sport 3 times a week is an excellent start. Overall cardio is key. You cant just target the core (I wish), you need to lower your overall body fat %. Everyone has abs, the muscles are there....it's just that some have more fat over them than others.

-You're better off finding a simple routine that you can do everyday instead of working out 3 times a week. Either before you go to bed or when you wake up. However, if you have an intense ab work out, do not do it every day. Like every other muscle, you need time to recover. Stretching helps.

-on weekends or days off, try doing a several small workout (like a quick burst or 25-40 reps) every hour 5-10 times a day.

-there are a billion ab exercises, switch up your routine frequently. It will be a shock to what your body is used to and nothing promotes development like keeping your body guessing

-do core workout on an empty stomach for maximum results.

-your core (not just abs) is composed of 12 families of muscles. I hate traditional crunches, would never recommend doing more that 30 of em at a time.

-make sure your workout has variety. I used to hear insane stories about ppl doing 400 crunches or situps...for what? Look up the record for most situps in a minute and everyone trying to break that record and see if you're impresed by the physiques.

-dont worry about even sets. The key is to feel the burn, high numbers, back to back. Go till you feel like you want to stop then push for 10 more...and keep pushing for another ten...and another ten... People who excel in anything physically command their body to go beyond thier limits instead of quitting at the first sign of discomfort.....which is what most of us do.

-weights are not necessary. Cons: If you over do it you may cause serious back damage and it cuts down the amount of reps you can do. Pro: It helps develops and strengthen muscles IF used in moderation and with light weights. Its good to develop muscle bc muscles burn fat constantly, long after the work out, even when you're not doing anything. I suggest cable pull downs or LIGHT weighted decling crunches.

-do chains of exercises back to back that target different parts of your core. You need to make sure each workout targets your upper abs, lower abs, obliques and highly overlooked, lower back and back. Too much ab work can upset your back if you're not careful.

Suggestions (my favorites)
oblique v-ups
horizontal leg raises
suspended leg raises (hanging from a pull up bar)
decline crunches
cross crunches
air bicycle
hip raises (bent or legs pointed straight up)
cable crunches
cross body knee raises (hanging from a pull up bar)
Swiss ball crunches

try doing any 10 of these back to back (each 10-30 times depending on your level of fitness) for a minimum of 100 reps straight with about 30 seconds in between.

Standing cable curls or tricep extensions, squats, lunges, deadlifts really help develop your core in addition. Except for bench presses, I try to do all my exercises standing up to work my core and build my stability. There is no magic dust, no x-factor (shout out to lauren hill) it takes a multitude of things I discussed in 1-3 to make the whole. Exercise without eating right is like forming voltron with just one lion, however, you can maintain a very slim slender core without exercise just based on the foods you eat.

I wont recommend any workout programs bc quite frankly... nobody's paying me to and I doubt they'll cut me a check. I saved this gem for the end as a gift/treat for my loyal readers. A lot of ppl have the excuse "well I hate to get on the floor" and as do I. If you do it right and not cheat yourself, there are many ab workouts you can do on your bed, in a chair on a bench. Personally I do an intense workout right on my bed (granted my bed is firm, I do gym, and floor exercises as well) that is very affective.

Bottomline, you have to want it. I type this for myself (I need reminders too) and ppl who really want it. There is nooooooooooo and I repeat NO easy way to a nice slim core, let alone a 6 pack. Tony Horton has this quote which fully personifies my stance on core workout:
"I HATE IT!!! But I love it!!"


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