Intense And One Of The Best Abs Workout

What I have outlined below is a very intense abdominal workout. You are encouraged to follow this but remember without a strict diet the training will not mean much. When training your midsection, I feel that you should either start with lower abdominal exercises where the legs come towards the chest (leg raises, knee-ins), and then finish with upper abdominal exercises where the chest comes towards the hips and oblique muscles (sit ups, crunches, machines, side crunches). The abdominal exercises for your lower abs are usually harder, which is why I believe that you are better do those exercises first in your workout. Another way to use this approach is to alternate between a lower abdominal exercise and an upper abdominal exercise, and then finish up with your oblique muscles. Let’s discuss the best exercises to maximally develop your abdominal muscles. Hanging Leg Raises: I believe that hanging leg raises for your lower abdominal muscles are like doing squats for legs and bench press for chest. This exercise is the hardest exercise for the abs, but it will also give you the best results. The hardest part of this exercise is to contract your legs up with your abdominal muscles, and to not let the rest of your body become involved in the exercise, causing your body to start swinging. This will take some practice as well as concentration. I would also recommend that you use wrist wraps with this exercise so that you don’t have to worry about your hands slipping off the bar. For sets and reps on this exercise I recommend starting off with two to three sets, while aiming to get 10-15 reps on each set. If you can do more reps per set, I wouldn’t recommend going over 20 reps, and if you can I would advise that you try putting a very light dumbbell in between your feet to add some resistance to the exercise. This would allow you to keep your reps in the 15-20 range.

Decline Crunches: Decline crunches are the second best mass builder for the abdominal muscles. Similar to the hanging leg raise being the hardest exercise for the lower abs, this exercise, when performed at a steep decline is the hardest exercise for the upper abs. When performing this exercise you want to keep your lower back really tight and keep your chest up through out each rep. As far as hand positioning goes I like to keep them across my chest if you are not holding a weight plate. Breathing technique is also very important with abdominal training to get a maximal contraction on each rep. On the negative portion of the rep you should be taking a deep breath, and then exhaling at the contraction while squeezing your abs. For this exercise the sets and reps should be similar to the hanging leg raise. However, with decline crunches I feel the reps should stay in the 15-25 range for two to three sets. What I like to do with this exercise is perform the first set with no weight for 25 reps. On the second set I will hold a 25 lbs plate and perform 20 reps. For the last set I will go up to a 45 lb plate and do 15 reps, then drop the 45 lb plate and grab the 25 lb plate and do another 15 reps, then do another 15 reps with my own bodyweight.

Cross Bench Knee-Ins: This is somewhat of a difficult exercise to describe on paper but I will do my best. For cross bench knee-ins (seated flat bench leg pull-ins) you position your body across a bench and place your hands with an underhand on either side of the bench. Your butt should be positioned at the far edge of the pad, almost like you’re going to slip off and keep your legs out in front of you. You then want to balance your body with your hands and your legs while keeping your abs tight. Now what you want to do is perform a knee-in in the position you are in. In the contracted position you want to bring your chest towards your knees and squeeze your abs for a hard contraction. This exercise will target the lower abdominal region as well as the upper abdominal region. I feel that this exercise should only be used with bodyweight, keeping your reps in the 15-20 range for 2-3 sets. If you are really strong with this exercise you could place a light dumbbell in between your feet to add some resistance, but I would still try to keep your reps up in the 15-20 range.

Kneeling Rope Pulley Crunches: Another great exercise that targets the upper abdominal region is rope pulley crunches (cable crunches) with added resistance. This exercise is pretty easy to explain, you basically just kneel in front of a cable station while holding the ropes over your head. One key point is to make sure your knees are in the right position in front of the cable stack or you will not feel the exercise correctly. When you’re set correctly in front of the stack, you then pull down on the ropes while contracting your abs. At the end of the rep the ropes should be pulled down on either side of your head, then slowly let the rope come back up to stretch your abs before performing another rep. For sets and reps I feel that three sets of 15-20 reps should be sufficient on this exercise. Start your first set with a lighter weight and work up to heavier weights through out the set. If you want you could even perform a triple drop set on this exercise going from a heavier weight to lighter weights, but I do not feel it is necessary if you already performed a triple drop set on the decline crunch.

Cable Side Bends: The last exercise in this workout is cable side bends for the oblique and intercostal muscles. For this exercise you want to have a handle attachment on the cable, with a moderate weight on the stack. You then want to grab the handle and take a few steps away from the cable stack so that there is tension on the cable. Using the handle on the cable you want to pull down and squeeze your side to contract you oblique muscles. After you perform one set for one side of your body turn around and perform another set for your other side right after. I do not feel that a lot of oblique work is necessary but this is one exercise that I find valuable to add to your workouts. For this exercise 2-3 sets of 20-25 reps should be more than enough to finish off this abdominal workout that I’ve outlined is a pretty detailed, intense and one of the best abs workout. However if your diet is not on point you can do this workout for years and still not see one visible abdominal muscle. I suggest performing this workout twice per week, and coupled with an effective fat loss diet you should see your abs poking through in no time. You have to remember though, everyone has their abs; they’re usually just covered with a thick layer of fat. So get to work!

How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time – My Top 3 Tips For Advanced Level Bodybuilders

These are my top three tips for advanced level bodybuilders, who are looking to breakthrough to the next level of bodybuilding. This article uncovers the principles, which you need to follow in order to breakthrough. Follow these principles closely and with persistence and you simply can’t go wrong!

Tip No1: Workout 2 times every week:

The more advanced bodybuilder you become, the more you build your muscular structure. The more well-built you are, the more you need to challenge your body. The more you challenge your body, the more rest you need to take between workouts.

Therefore, at the advanced level you need to give your body 2-3 days of rest between workouts. Therefore, it would be nest if you set two days in the week, in which you do your routine every week. For example, you can exercise every Monday and Thursday, thus having 2 days of rest on the weekend and 2 days of rest midweek. This amount of rest should give your body sufficient time to rebuild itself, and at the same time it would not be too long.

Tip No2: Alternate between two diverse workout routines:

If you have read my articles on the beginner and intermediate levels, alternation between two diverse workout routines is the common thing in all of these routines. It is really important to alternate between two routines to give your body some variety and to challenge it in the proper way.

The difference between the advanced level diverse routines and those of the previous levels is that these routines constitute of a lesser number of exercises – 8 and again have 1 sets of each with 8-10 repetitions. The idea here is that since the intensity of the exercises is going up, then you can not do as many as before. You can see the gradation for yourselves – we started with 12 exercises at the beginner level, went down to 10 at the intermediate level and are now at 8 at the advanced level.

Tip No3: Alternate between the two routines for 12 consecutive weeks:

We said it already in the intermediate level advise, but in case you have missed it – consistency is key here! So, after you start the advanced level routine, you need to go with it for at least 12 consecutive weeks. Just do it!

Consistency is key, and that is for a good reason. The goal of this alternating between the two routines is to give your body variety, but to do so in a directed manner. In other words, you should not put your own routines in the mix, but go with the ones that are suggested here. As in the intermediate level, you should start with legs, then go through the upper body and arms and finish off with calves and abdominals. Follow this system closely for 12 weeks, push your body to the limit, and then you should have some good results to show off!

These were my top 3 tips on how to breakthrough at the highest level – the advanced level. As with the beginner and intermediate levels we covered before, consistency is key here. What is distinct in the advanced level is the growing intensity and reduced frequency of the exercises. Of course, there are more details to this system, which could not be covered in a simple article, but those details are discussed in the proper book, a review for which you can find on my website. Otherwise, enjoy exercising!

The Benefits Of Weight Training

Don?t underestimate the health benefits of weight training. The results of overall health improvement, metabolism and body toning are tremendous. More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits and finding their way into fitness centers lining up waiting for exercise machines. Lifting weights is no longer a bodybuilder?s hobby. Men, women and young adults alike lift weights and realize the advantages.

The major benefits of a strength program include looking trimmer and more youthful as one ages; increased metabolism and weight management; reduced stress and depression; prevention of the onset of diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Many people have the notion that lifting weight is only for athletes or people who want to look good at the beach. But, what about the person who would like to pick up a 25 pound bag of dog food or the grandparent who would like to be able to carry his or her grandchild?

One of the greatest myths of weight training is the fear of bulking up or developing large, masculine-looking muscles. Muscles don?t just happen. It?s incredibly difficult for men who want to develop large muscles to do so, let alone for women who have 1/10th the testosterone of a man. If, by exercising hard, a woman develops some muscle size, it will be minimal and will improve her figure. Your level of testosterone, body/muscle type and hard work at the gym is the only way muscle can be increased.

Weight training isn?t only about the results that you can see in the mirror. Muscles support the skeleton, protect internal organs, move the body, help to maintain balance and help control metabolism. The stronger the muscles the better the body performs. Strength is important for the body from aesthetics to function. Resistance training is really about training hard, building strength and enhancing the body?s structural integrity.

The key to getting stronger is intensity and quality, not quantity. The idea is to break down the muscle fibers so they can rebuild. When muscle rebuilds, it becomes stronger and firmer. Rest the muscles for 24 ? 48 hours after a workout is important for the rebuilding process. Eating protein within one hour after working out is the building block to muscle repair.

Be careful that safety is used in weight training so injury does not occur. Start slowly, but with progression. Proper form and technique is essential for safety as well.

Too many people stay stuck at a lower resistance when they could be lifting heavier weight and enjoying more benefits. A good question for a person to ask is, ?Could I have lifted more weight, and could I have done it with good form?? On an intensity scale of one to ten, a beginner should be at a five. A seasoned weight trainer should be able to reach an eight and sometimes a ten. A ten is to failure. You won?t reach failure on every workout, but you should try to be comfortable to eventually get to a level ten. Don?t compromise form.

Feeble efforts produce little results, but challenging, progressive resistance training programs increase strength. For more information and tips on exercise, go to

Muscle Fiction

If you’v been training, here’s a short list of bodybuilding fiction.

1. 12 Rep rule

Most weight training program include this much repetitions for gaining muscle. The truth is this approach places the muscles with not enough tension for effective muscle gain. High tension e.g. heavy weights provides muscle growth in which the muscle grows much larger, leading to the maximum gains in strength. Having longer tension time boosts the muscle size by generating the structures around the muscle fibers, improving endurance.

The standard prescription of eight to 12 repetitions provides a balance but by just using that program all of the time, you do not generate the greater tension levels that is provided by the heavier weights and lesser reps, and the longer tension achieved with lighter weights and more repetitions. Change the number of reps and adjust the weights to stimulate all types of muscle growth.

2. Three Set rule

The truth is there’s nothing wrong with three sets but then again there is nothing amazing about it either. The number of sets you perform should be base on your goals and not on a half-century old rule. The more repetitions you do on an exercise, the fewer sets you should do, and vice versa. This keeps the total number of repetitions done of an exercise equal.

3. Three to four exercises per group

The truth is this is a waste of time. Combined with twelve reps of three sets, the total number of reps amount to 144. If your doing this much reps for a muscle group your not doing enough. Instead of doing too many varieties of exercises, try doing 30 to 50 reps. That can be anywhere from 2 sets of 15 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps.

4. My knees, my toes

It is a gym folklore that you “should not let your knees go past your toes.” Truth is that leaning forward a little too much is more likely a cause of injury. In 2003, Memphis University researchers confirmed that knee stress was almost thirty percent higher when the knees are allowed to move beyond the toes during a squat.

But hip stress increased nearly 10 times or (1000 percent) when the forward movement of the knee was restricted. Because the squatters needed to lean their body forward and that forces the strain to transfer to the lower back.

Focus on your upper body position and less on the knee. Keep the torso in an upright position as much as possible when doing squats and lunges. These reduces the stress generated on the hips and back. To stay upright, before squatting, squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold them in that position; and then as you squat, keep the forearms 90 degree to the floor.

5. Lift weights, draw abs

The truth is the muscles work in groups to stabilize the spine, and the most important muscle group change depending on the type of exercise. The transverse abdominis is not always the most important muscle group. Actually, for most exercise, the body automatically activates the muscle group that are needed most for support of the spine. So if you focus only on the transverse abdominis, it can recruit wrong muscles and limit the right muscles. This increases the chance of injury, and reduces the weight that can be lifted.

Seven Great Tips For Woman’s Fitness

Here are 7 great tips on how to become an effective fitness woman:

1. Get a program that will best suit you. Every fitness woman is different. You may have surgical history where a program may not be suited for you. Always consult a qualified trainer to make sure that the fitness program will not hurt you. If the fitness program is not for you, it will only be a cause of frustration and injuries.

2. Set realistic targets. Wouldn’t you be frustrated if you set your mind into reshaping your body in month? Make sure that the body you prefer in a period of time is achievable and realistic. The program should also be practical and will not give you false hopes. It is important to be aware of the blocks you encounter in your daily living. This will help you know what program is satisfactory. And once a program has been reached, then you can set goals and timelines that are realistic.

3. Exercises should work on the parts of your body where muscles are. The reason mainly is, when you develop muscles, you burn more calories and then you lessen the fats in your body. Multi-joint exercises and weight lifting are recommended. Learn what exercises work on certain parts of your body. Multi-joint exercises are also said to be effective but time saving.

4. Be systematic on working on your muscles. Your muscles should be working harder over time. Repeating the same sets of exercises and same weight without getting your muscles to work harder will not give satisfactory results. You can record your daily results and make the progression based on your previous data. A daily log will also motivate you since you are able to track how far you have gone. It builds confidence since there is a written proof something that was successfully accomplished.

5. Perform a set of exercises in 10 repetitions. Every number that was accomplished is called a repetition. Try to make every repetition with less momentum as much as possible. The lesser the momentum, the harder your muscles work. And the harder they work, the bigger they become. To check if there is much momentum when lifting, see if the arm is floating. If the arm does float, then there is much momentum.

6. Be flexible and perform a variety of exercises. Every exercise program should have a variety. You can change your exercises, goals and sets every month to keep you motivated and on the go. Doing this will help you prevent being bored and losing energy physically and mentally.

7. Be Motivated! The best way to keep the energy levels of trainees is to allow a healthy competition and allow them to have a sense of control. Having control is having the sense ownership where everybody gets a part in implementing a program. To do this you also need to be consistent in demonstrating your skills.

Not all programs work for all types of people. There is no workout that is best for everyone. But you learn from experienced people. Learn to acknowledge blocks and demonstrate self-discipline, keep yourself motivated and work harder everyday and add variety. Doing these things, you will discover that a lot of programs will work for you.

30 Days Trial

It has been long time that I didn?t do any exercise. I feel that my stamina is going down and I get tired easily. This is not a good sign. I had tried to do some Tai Chi exercise after work. However it seems like I cannot persist. I used to exercise regularly. I jogged 3 days a week for at least 5 km. On top of that I had Tai Chi classes twice a week. But now because of the busy working life and my favourite Korean series on TV at night, I hardly exercise.

Recently I came accross a very interesting idea which is called 30 Days to Success. How it works is that lets say you want to start a new habit for example jogging for at least 3 times a week. You think of this as a temporary activities. You do it for a 30-day trial. After 30 days you will not need to continue this anymore.

I think it is a nature of human that whenever we need to change our daily habits, it seems very hard for us to make a start. We will feel overwhelmed when we think that we need to continue to do this for the rest of our life. We get fed up and never make a start. But if we think of this as only a temporary change, then it will become not that difficult for us. Anyway after 30 days we will be able to go back to our normal daily life.

So what happen is after 30-days of trial, it will become a habit to us and it will be easier for us to continue to maintain the habit. This is a powerful way to improve our life.

I am going to try this out with a 15 minutes of simple Tai Chi exercises everyday for a 30-day trial.