Ab Exercise and Transformation Contest Updates

Merry Christmas, or Happy Festivus, whatever you choose to celebrate. I hope you have an amazing holiday filled with all the family, friends, and traditions that make you happy.

My Christmas gift this year was discovered during a visit to the vet last week…you see, ol’ Bally the dog had a checkup for his ears, and I was given a summary with his birthday on it…I did the calculation and realized he’s only turning 5 years old this year…I thought he was turning 6. So I’ve been given another year of Bally. Very happy about that. I don’t need much more. That makes for a great 2011 already…

…and I hope yours is as well.

To get you started, I’d love to help you transform your body in the 10th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest here.

Now let’s get into the TT Workout and tips…

Click here to listen to the call…

Starting with…

Monday – Dec 20

Transformation Tip of the Week:

No matter how busy we are and no matter how difficult it is, somewhere out there is someone who has it worse, and they’ve made it work. So if they can do it, then we can find a way to do it too, no matter what “it” is.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong

Now to improve your abs workout

I want to show you how to INSTANTLY improve your ab workouts by 40%.

To do that, we go to one of the world’s leading experts on back pain.

His name is Dr. Stuart McGill, and back in 2004 I drove my ol’ 1997 Nissan Maxima from Toronto to Waterloo to buy Dr. McGill a hamburger and ask him about the best ab training methods.

Dr. McGill showed me a few unique exercises, told me a cool story about how he was helping an NBA player rehab his back, and then he told me not to do situps or any other exercise where your spine is flexed forward.

Now you’ve probably had a sneaky suspicion that all those crunches were a bad idea, and here’s proof that you were RIGHT!

In fact, on one website, Dr. McGill is quoted as saying:

“…when the spine is fully flexed, we’ve measured the spine losing up to 40% of its ability to bear compressive loads. In other words the spine is strongest when in a neutral position.”

There you go – REMOVE crunches and situps and your ab workouts will instantly be 40% better for you.

What Dr. McGill is saying is that we want to AVOID crunch and situp type exercises, and focus on total-body ab exercises where we brace our abs in a neutral position – rather than flexing (and breaking) our backs.

Dr. McGill continued by saying, “Too many bad backs are created by misinformed people thinking they need to train the rectus with repeated full flexion exercises. There are much better and safer ways to do this.”

Exactly.

Tuesday
•    Get 30 minutes of fun activity – now grab a Green Tea and do this week’s research review.

Reference:
Willardson, JM, Behm, DG, Huang, SY, Rehg, MD, Kattenbraker, MS, and Fontana, FE. A comparison of trunk muscle activation: Ab circle vs. traditional modalities. J Strength Cond Res 24(12): 3415-3421, 2010

Canadian and American researchers studied muscle activation of the abs during 3 torso exercises and the Ab Circle device.

12 subjects (6 men, 6 women) for 6 exercise conditions, including: abdominal crunch, side bridge, bird dog, and Ab Circle levels 1-3.

For the rectus abdominis, the abdominal crunch elicited significantly greater activity vs. the Ab Circle level 1, and the side bridge elicited significantly greater activity vs. the Ab Circle levels 1 and 2.

For the External Oblique, the side bridge elicited significantly greater activity vs. the bird dog.

The results of this study indicate that the trunk musculature can be activated to similar or even greater levels by performing the 3 traditional trunk exercises vs. the Ab Circle. This was particularly evident for the side bridge exercise.

This proves Dr. McGill’s tips.

Wednesday Workout Tip

Don’t be this guy => Orgasm guy

Orgasm guy was at the gym today. He is very annoying. Every repetition of his “oh so intense” reverse crunches must be a mess in his pants. Don’t be that guy (or girl – women are just as bad).

Bottom line: Train hard, but train quietly.

Trainer Thursday
•    Do 30 minutes of fun activity…

The Proper Warm-up: Part 1
You’ll start with a general bodyweight mobility warm up. When they’re doing these exercises – and any exercise – a great tip is to have you or the client touch any muscles that the clients are having trouble activating (always discuss touching and make the appropriate decision about who should touch and cue the muscle).

If the client is doing a one-leg hip extension, tell the client to put their hands on the muscles that should be working (glutes and hamstrings). This will help them activate the correct muscle. Another example is during a seated row. You can touch the lats and rhomboids to make them aware of what muscles should be working.

Research actually shows that when you touch muscles they have better activation, so you want to be doing that any time there is confusion about what exercise is working what muscle group. Clients should be made aware of what muscles are working in every exercise.

Clients always ask, “Where should I be feeling this?”, so pre-empt that question with an explanation any time you demonstrate an exercise.

Facebook Friday

This week we look at Triathlon training…submit your question on the TT Facebook page here.

Q: Lovin the belly off. The workouts, intervals, and diet. Never been able to stick to anything like this so well. Thanks! But now I’m so obsessed that I’ve entered an off-road triathlon. 3/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 5 mile run. It’s 5 months away so I’ve got plenty of time to work up to it. I’ve read just about everything you’ve posted so I know you’re not too keen on cardio. How do you suggest I prepare for this. Lengthen my intervals? Run or ride on the off days? I’m buying everything you’re saying on the the intervals for fat burning vs the cardio but isn’t there any value to increasing my cardio stamina? BTW my wife is enjoying my results as well!!! .

Answer:
Great work.

You can do more cardio in preparation.

I’m not against aerobic training for performance, I’m just against choosing cardio over strength and interval training if you only have a short amount of time to lose fat.

Most importantly, you should practice your swim technique and get acquainted with the transitions you’ll need to make during the race.

How to do a triathlon and turbulence training at the same time.

As for the mini-T, if you want to do your best in it, your best option would be to first schedule your Tri training, and then work 1-2 strength training sessions into your week (only 1 set per exercise) and 1 interval session in (done at the start of a regularly scheduled cardio session).

Hope that helps.

Social Support Saturday!
•    30 minutes of fun activity…

Build confidence and destroy your fears by taking action. Have the courage to face your faults and then look at “correcting your faults” as being another way to make you successful.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

“Be confident. There is no one who is not attracted to confidence. Women dig it. Men love it. Confidence adds hair, drops ten pounds, and takes off ten years.” – Larry Winget

Sunday – Plan, Shop & Prepare
•    30 minutes activity and plan, shop, & prepare

How many calories should I consume for weight loss?

For the answer, we turn to Alan Aragon’s formula found in the Dec 2010 issue of Men’s Health magazine. First, we’ll need your “Target Weight” and “# of weekly exercise hours”. Let’s say you want to get to 180 and you’ll be exercising 4 hours per week.

Calorie Intake = Target weight x (10 + # weekly exercise hrs)

= 180 x 14
= 2250

By the way, Aragon suggests subtracting about 350-750 calories for a missed workout.

Also…I encourage you to read the rest of the report, “How a fat nation can slim down” in the Dec. 2010 Men’s Health issue. And of course, entering the 10th TT Transformation Contest here.

Next week!
•    Training Tips – Training to Failure & 10-Minute Training
•    Research Review – Resistance Training, cholesterol, and diabetes
•    Nutrition – Morning Nutrition Ritual for 2011

  • Interesting post on managing time set aside for exercising. Thanks for the tip on waking up at least an hour earlier in the morning to work out before getting ready for work.

  • Thank you for discussing ways to exercise your abdominal area. Its helpful reading about different exercises that aid in abdominal development.