Thursday, February 11, 2010
Aquiring flat and toned abdominals is probably one of the most desired physical improvements that the majority of my clients pursue. There are common myths about how core exercises affect the fat that surronds our midsection. Performing endless crunches, elbow planks and roman chair sit ups to name a few; don't appear to remove the subcutaneous fat that lies beneath the surface of our skin. Here is the real skinny on how to reduce those subborn fat deposits that prevent us from acheiving this much desired goal.
Before I continue, allow me to point out the difference between uncovering the abdominals and conditioning the abdominals. Uncovering involves fat loss in the midsection, while conditioning involves training the midsection. These are two entirely different things. Never train abdominals with the intention of losing fat around the waist. Approach your abdominal training as a part of your overall core conditioning. Let's face it, what do people ask for more than anything? A flatter stomach! What do trainers and fitness enthusiasts immediately focus on when fat loss in the abdominal region is the challenge? You guessed it, abdominal exercises. Wrong!
In the absence of dieting and/or improving your fitness lifestyle in other areas, if you were to do nothing but abdominal exercises you would show no results when it comes to revealing those invisible abs. This may be one of the single biggest reasons beginners lose their motivation to train. They exclusively do tons of abdominal work and never show signs of improvement. When a person does see fat loss progress while training abdominals, it is almost always because there are other newly added components of their fitness program that are responsible. Specific to fat loss, abdominal training alone is nearly worthless.
Imagine if you will, impermeable sheaths of tissue separating subcutaneous fat stores from muscles throughout the entire body. For our purposes, these sheaths separate subcutaneous fat from its underlying muscles making it impossible for localized fat to move directly across to trained muscles. Now imagine the cardiovascular system being able to transport fat to muscle. When muscle energy is expended and is being replaced in any location in the body, under the proper dietary conditions, fat burning hormones and enzymes circulate to every fat cell the vascular system can reach simultaneously. Hence, there is a general fat release throughout the body, not localized or isolated fat release as some still believe. Frequent, low to moderate intensity full-body workouts with a moderate amount of aerobics thrown in, coupled with an effective diet, will go a long way to improving general fat loss to include that waistline. (NFPT, May 2008)
Check out the link below for exercises to tighten up your midsection
Saturday, December 6, 2008
To further enhance my progress I educated myself on biomechanics and how they play a major role in how our muscles react to stress from different angles. Training with the same traditional ho hum movements each workout actually handicaps your progress as the muscle adapts to this one dimentional method and cease to further respond. Using a variety of different angles and exercises enable muscles to continue their positive adaptations. This method of training is commoly known as the "Confusion Principle", where the muscles are constantly being subjected to new and different techniques to enhance increased lean muscle fiber size.
Now for my arm workout: First of all I dedicate one full workout to arms only. Separating them from other bodyparts, and trainng bi's and tri's together in a single workout made a big differnce because I could achieve greater intensity. When you train arms after other body parts like chest or back, you just can't get the same degree of intensity or pump as when you train them on their own day.
I generally perform 3 sets of 4 exercises using heavy weights. Heavy means using a weight with which I'd do no more the 8-10 reps and periodically throwing in a set of lighter weights and performing 12 reps. For triceps I would basically follow the same format but increase the reps to 12-15. Adjust your poundages to accomodate the rep range so that the last 2 or 3 reps are challenging to complete. The following is an example of what one of my arm workout routines would look like.
Proper form and execution of each exercise is paramount. Stand tall, retract your shoulders and engage your core by drawing in your belly button. These simple techniques will ensure neutral alignment and proper posture minimizing any chance of injury while producing the best results.
Standing barbell curl - 3 sets-8 reps - 100 lbs
Preacher curls - 3 sets-8 reps - 90 lb dumb bells
Concentration curls - 3 sets - 10 reps -40 lb dumb bells
Lying tricep extentions - 3 sets - 10 reps - 100 lbs - barbell or e-z curl bar
Standing cable extentions - 3 sets -12-15 reps - 120 lbs
Dips - 3 sets - 12 reps - Bodyweight or with weighted belt
Live with Passion!
Malcolm Roberts, CFT-ACE, CPT-NFPT