Tag Archives | abdominals

Six Pack Abs in 2 minutes…… A YEAR!

Less is more.We’ve all seen those ridiculous infomercials selling electronic devices that “stimulate” your ab muscles without you doing any crunches. But do those devices actually work? Well, if you’re a regular reader of this website, you probably already know the answer to that. In order for muscle to grow, it has to be subject to an intense stimulus which triggers muscle growth. The stimulus triggered by these electronic devices is so minimal that it will not even be close to stimulating anything other than a stomach tickle. It’s as ridiculous as claiming that writing with a special electronic pen that stimulates the finger muscles will develop huge forearms. Come on, who’s buying this stuff?

What is the reason that products like this even get enough traction to generate infomercials? It’s the desire for that ultimate statement of fitness and physique…..the six pack abs! And it’s based on the misunderstanding of actually how to develop that six pack. Those purveyors of muscle misinformation make you think that developing a six pack will require hundreds and hundreds of crunches. After all those repetitions, those magic bumps will start to appear. However, reality is far from this.

The fact is that the rectus abdominis muscle is a paired muscle running on each side of the anterior wall of the human abdomen. The two parallel muscles are separated with connective tissue called the linea alba. There are fibrous brands which cross the abdomen. When the muscle grows, it grows between these connective tissues and causes that six-pack look. The only way to get a six-pack is to stimulate the rectus abdominis muscle to grow. In addition to muscle growth, we will need to get rid of the body fat that covers the muscle to reveal the six-pack.  Muscle growth with belly fat remaining on top will only lead to a bigger looking stomach……not very impressive.

In this article we’re going to focus on the trigger that is needed to stimulate muscle growth of the rectus abdominis muscles. As mentioned above, we will need an intense stimulus which recruits the most muscle fibers possible to stimulate growth. What is the best way to do that?

Most people think that in order to stimulate the muscle they need to do hundreds and hundreds of crunches? Why? Well, because when they do crunches, they “feel it” in the abs so hence the abs must be growing. The problem is, that while for a new trainee those crunches may be helping, as the trainee progresses and gets stronger, those crunches become less and less of a stimulus and the muscle hence stops growing. The trainee continues on with the crunches and gets no results and hence thinks that the only way to get some results is to do more and more until they get some results. And here starts the vicious cycle of doing hundreds and hundreds of crunches each training session.

With static contraction training we stimulate the muscle with 1 intense rep. For more information on how this type of workout stimulates the ab muscles to grow check out Pete Sisco’s e- book Super Rep Abs.  I myself have been using this workout method for over 3 years. I’ve ditched leg lifts, crunches, Swiss balls and all the other ab torture devices for doing 1 intense rep. With two ab workouts scheduled a month, I do less than 25 crunches IN A YEAR and have developed strong, impressive abs. With each repetition lasting 5 seconds, that means I’ve worked my abs for 2 minutes for the whole year and have been able to build six pack abs. Now how is that for efficiency?

Rational Abdominal Training

Ab training is as simple and comprehensible as biceps training yet, for some reason, more training crap has been written on this body part than any other. Ever read those fitness articles that allegedly tell guys how to develop their abs? I’m sure you’ve seen the images of a guy holding a broom handle or light barbell over his shoulders and twisting his torso from left to right as a means to lose his love handles. A waste of time! Or holding a dumbbell in each hand and bending from side to side. Forget it!

It’s just as important to know what doesn’t work as it is to know what does work. If you spend weeks in the gym doing ineffective and inefficient exercises you’ll get discouraged and give up. That’s why most people buy a yearlong gym membership then stop going after a dozen-or-so visits. By contrast, there is nothing more motivating and encouraging than steady, measurable progress toward a specific goal!

Why TV Abdominal Machines Are a Joke

You’ve seen all those exercise gadgets on late night TV – lightweight gizmos that make it easier for you to rock back and forth while doing a crunch. Have you noticed that none of them allow you to add serious weight to increase intensity? Some have rubber bands or similar devices to add a bit of overload but it’s a trivial amount.

I work with male clients who have progressed to the point of doing crunches with 300+ pounds! That’s the kind of power and level of development your abs are capable of. So fiddling around with cheap exercise equipment or those electric belts that “stimulate” your ab muscles using the minuscule power of two flashlight batteries is beyond laughable. Let’s see two AA batteries generate the power to lift a man’s torso and 300 pounds 20 times in one minute. Please.

Goals and Measurements

The first thing you need to know is that ‘love handles’ are created by the deposition of extra fat around the midsection. (This is common in men, whereas women tend to have extra fat deposited in the hips and thighs.) So to target this specific area and create specific goals we need to know the measurement of your midsection. Wrap a tape measure around your abdomen at the widest area of your ‘love handles’ and record the measurement. Also, you really should measure your bodyfat percentage since one of our principal goals will be to reduce fat.

Once we have ‘before’ measurements of your abdomen and your bodyfat percentage we can create a program and monitor progress every step of the way. Remember, measurement prevents wasting time on things that don’t work and it offers very motivating feedback regarding what is working.

Step 1: Burn More Calories

There is no real secret to losing fat; you need to burn more calories than you consume. A great way to do that is to engage in low intensity aerobics such as walking on a treadmill, using a stationary bike, or whatever. The real key is to make certain that the intensity is low enough so that you can do it every day of the week.

That means you should be able to carry on a normal conversation or talk on the telephone while you’re doing this exercise. Higher intensity than that requires more time off between workouts and that means less activity and fat burning. Over the longer term, nothing beats adding more muscle to your body as it increases your 24/7 calorie burn and makes it easier to keep the fat off. (Easier to do lots of things, in fact.)

Step 2: Tighten Abdominal Muscles

The most intense exercise you can do to target your abdominal muscles is to perform weighted crunches. Adding weight to crunches increase the overload to the target muscles and allows you to employ progressive overload, which is an indispensable condition to muscular hypertrophy.

Lie on your back with the handle of a low pulley behind your head. Grasp the handle and pull the slack out of the cable. Using your abdominal muscles, raise your shoulders and upper torso off the floor while lifting the weight stack two inches. Use a weight you can only hold in a static contraction for five seconds. Each time you do this isometric exercise, try to increase the weight ten percent.

Note: You can get a complete, brief, ultra-high intensity workout from my SuperRep Abs e-booklet. It’s also included in the Mega Deal.

Step 3: Widen Your Upper Body

A wider midsection can be visually minimized by a having a wider upper body. While you are whittling down your midsection, it really helps to add a little more size to your upper body and create more of the vaunted ‘V shape’ that is so desirable.

The single best exercise for this is the lat pulldown. You can perform this exercise in the conventional way but if you really want to increase efficiency and intensity try doing it the Static Contraction way with a weight that is so heavy you can only hold it for five seconds in the first two inches of the downward range. This is an isometric workout you have to feel to believe!

Step 4: Measure, Measure, Measure!

Once per week you should measure the girth of your midsection and your bodyfat percentage. Even the slightest improvement in these measurements in one week is enormously motivating. When you have a goal it is very important to be able to measure progress toward that goal. Don’t forget this important step.

In a Nutshell

Reducing ‘love handles’ is a simple matter of reducing overall bodyfat through daily low intensity calorie burning and tightening the underlying muscles to improve shape. Perform the recommended aerobics every day and perform the recommended isometric exercises twice per week in your first month and once per week for as long as your exercise weights increase. If your weights do not increase add two extra days off until they do.

Soon you’ll have a masculine, hard midsection, lower overall bodyfat and a great V-shaped taper to your torso.