Monthly Archives: June 2012

How to Get Perfect Abs

I love fundamentals.  Fundamentals are the foundation from which more complex and effective derivatives are built upon.  So many pro athletes achieve stardom and fame only to eventually fall into a slump and return to the basics.  Many coaches and athletes alike will tell you, if you perfect the fundamentals, there may be no need for much else.

My Striking, and grappling skills are continuing to get better.  As I get more advanced,  I’ve noticed that every class starts with repeating basic drills that I learned from the very first day; and so it is with abdominal work.

You can do V-ups, X-ups, sit ups, roll ups, knee ups, or just about any abdominal exercise you want,  and without using basic fundamentals,  you will never effectively work the target area.  Most ineffective abdominal work is caused from poor set up.  If you can accomplish a good starting position and maintain good positioning during the range, your abs will cry sweaty tears of bliss.  So, how do we set up to get all the “goody” out of our abdominal training? glad you asked!

1. Lay down on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor
2. Roll your belt line (low back)  into the mat or ground (a slight posterior pelvic tilt)
3. Use the hamstrings to lock your pelvis into position.  Do this by digging your heels into the ground and pull them toward your buttocks to tighten your hamstrings holding your pelvis in a posterior tilt
4. Place your hands behind your neck holding the base of your noggin (nuchal line) and keep your elbows open and wide.
5. Look straight up keeping your chin off your chest.
6. Pull your naval into your spine AS YOU EXHALE.
7.
As you exhale, PULL YOUR TRANSVERSE ABDOMINALS IN, LIFT YOUR SHOULDER BLADES OFF THE FLOOR UNTIL ONLY THE MID BACK (THORACIC REGION) IS TOUCHING
(NOTE: LIFT STRAIGHT UP AS IF YOU HAVE A GLASS OF WATER ON YOUR CHEST… TRY NOT TO ROLL UP IN AN ARC)

Congratulations, you just executed a perfect crunch!

Continue to use these same principals for all abdominal work.  These fundamentals will help facilitate and recruit more abdominal musculature durring your workout giving you “perfect abs”.

NOTE: Don’t forget – no matter how great your ab exercises are, you’ll never see them if you don’t diet. Diet is 80% of getting the abs of your dreams!

Tractor Tire Abs

Here is an entire ab & core workout I put together for GNC utilizing a tractor tire. Since many MMA camps and boot camps us tractor tires, I decided to come up with a few exercises to help you make the most of your tractor tire. Don’t have one? You can get a used on free at your local tractor repair store or dealer – or you can use a stability ball or bench.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

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GRIT AND GUTS

Have you ever left a fight or sparring session and thought… “If I had just done this, or just done that”?    Have you ever finished a set of squats knowing you still had a few more reps left if you would have dug a little deeper?  Have you ever run a race and known you could have pushed a little harder?  Use these times in your past to answer all those questions in your future!  Leave it all in the ring, give that last push every rep, and run until the answer is NO!  NO… I have nothing left!!!!! That is the best feeling in the world.  Finish first or last… it doesn’t matter as long as you gave every ounce of grit and guts you could muster!!!!

After you discover grit and guts… you gotta re-repair for tomorrows carnage!  When you’re ready to leave it all in the ring… Beyond Raw nurtrition by GNC will give you the grit and guts you need.  Next time, KNOW you gave it your all!  NO WASTED WORKOUTS

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

Keep It Stupid Simple

The gym is riddled with so many different types of athletes who have to differentiate their training for the respective discipline that they are training for. Furthermore, even within those disciplines are different body types and inherent deficits that the individual athlete must address if they want to improve performance or aesthetics specifically for their  body. While in the gym, it can be quite defeating to immolate the guy next to you unless you are training for the same sport AND have the same body type and needs.

Even with all of these parameters in mind, you will get so much more out of your training if you just K.I.S.S.!  Let’s go back to basics, the foundation that training is built upon. Reliable research has been published for years that, if followed, will bring about the desired outcome, whether that be aesthetics or performance.

Keep in mind there are a lot of  different philosophies on modalities of exercise (the what, when, where, why, and how of training).  Research will support much of it. Even if sometimes the research seems to contradict itself or other published data.  This is why it is important to understand the fundamental principals behind the sub-categories we will discuss,  and try to employ different combinations until you find what makes you the best in your field.

RESISTANCE:

No matter what sport you are training for, you have to overwhelm and fatigue what your body can already accomplish if you want your body to adapt to a higher level of performance.  Think of what your respective sport requires of your body and mock this resistance in the gym.

GOAL: To increase…
  #1 Power- work at 80% of your maximum
  #2 Hypertrophy (size)-  65-75% of max
  #3 Stamina– 40-60% of max

REST & REPETITION:

Rest and repetition go hand in hand.  The less rest you give yourself will dictate whether or not you can do the next set at the desired resistance for the desired amount of reps.  By decreasing recovery time, you will increase intensity and force your body to adapt to a very intense atmosphere like “competing”  However, if your discipline allows for adequate rest, but you still must produce power, or you are trying to get larger muscles and stamina isn’t a factor, then rest as much as needed for the results you need to produce.  But allowing your body to recover as “it” dictates will never bring about a more fit level of performance.  (Did you here me bodybuilders and powerlifters?)

To Increase Power:
Rest- 2-3 minutes recovery
Repetition-  1-6 reps

To Increase Hypertrophy:
Rest- 1-2 minutes
Repetition- 8-15 reps

To Increase Stamina:
Rest- 10-60 seconds
Repetition- 15+

Tempo:

How fast or slow we execute each repetition can extremely change the intensity of training.  Tempo is a very effective tool to help facilitate more muscle fiber recruitment at different points of the range of motion.  For instance, we could accentuate the negative (eccentric contraction) by “slowing our roll” on the return. There are many different advantages to tempo changes and holds during the different phases of the repetition.  Again, we must dissect the movements that are used in our respective disciplines.  Fighters may want a very explosive concentric contraction and a very fast eccentric return as well.  A powerlifter may want a slow return during the negative, and a bodybuilder might benefit from maintaining constant tension throughout the lift with no starting and no stopping.

Duration:

This is a very controversial category.  It is safe to say we need to train up to, and at sometimes beyond, the length of time we will be competing. For example, if I am running a 5K, and I know I can complete a 10K effortlessly, then I should dominate anything less.  If a fighter needs to be ready for 7 five-minute rounds, and they can fight for 8 six-minute rounds at the same intensity, then they will be ready to compete at the highest level possible for fewer rounds.

Be careful not to overtrain, but please push your self, make your body adapt, and DO NOT UNDER-TRAIN!  If you have a 1.2 mile swim coming up in a tri, don’t let race day be the first time you try that distance.  Train for it, and be prepared!

Fuel

Finally, make sure you are getting the supplements you need to perform your best, repair and grow. As most of you know, I use the Beyond Raw line and truly love it. Unfortunately with training, you are only as good as what you eat. If you eat like a ballerina, you will never be able to look, or perform like, a football player. The fuel you choose for your body is crucial to making positive gains.

Each one of these sub-categories could be its own text book.  I just wanted to touch on some fundamentals.  You don’t need to know all the crazy science  on a cellular level (I love that stuff).  It’s more important to look at these things as they relate to, and manifest themselves into, performing at your very best!!!!!

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

The WHY will Determine the HOW!

If you are taking the time to read this you probably are somewhat of an exercise enthusiasts.  Or at least someone who is willing to invest some time researching and reading other people’s feelings and philosophies about training.  This blog is just some insight into purposeful training.  We should all train with a goal in mind.  Mindless, pointless, goalless training is just a waste of time.

Don’t get me wrong, Saturday nights I go to my club after hours and workout like a fiend (had help to spell this by the grammar police) for no other reason than to spill my guts talking out loud to all my multi-personlaities. My point, however, is for us to meet our goals, our training should have purpose.

Recently, I decided to train for three different events.  In the next few months, I will compete in bodybuilding, triathlon, and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).  Many exercises cross over within each discipline.  Obviously, if I want to walk on stage for the Bodybuilding Show with six-pack abs, I will have to spend some time doing sit ups.  Also, if I want to sweep or switch positions when ground fighting I will have to work my abs doing sit ups as well.

The purpose of doing sit ups when I am fighting is to get up powerfully and fast, and the purpose of doing sit-ups for a bodybuilding show is completely for aesthetics. Training abs for a triathlon will no doubt be helpful to strengthen my core for swimming as well.  The difference is the purpose behind the exercise.

The purpose of doing the exercise based on the goal will change the rhythm, the intensity, the repetition, the rest period, and almost every other aspect of the exercise.  I will train abs completely different for each contest, but I will still employ many of the same exercises.

How I do the exercises will be  determined by what my goal for doing them shall be.  Before training, determine what it is you want to get out of the exercise. Do some research and then execute the routine.  Don’t just randomly go for a run.  What is it you want to get from “your run”.  Weight loss,  increased speed, increased endurance, or just to clear your head?  The why will determine the how.

Train hard!!!!

Supplements That Give Me An Edge:
GNC Mega Man vitamins
KreAlkaline 1500
Beyond Raw Refine
Beyond Raw Ravage
Designer Whey Protein
Beyond Raw Reforge

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

STEVE EATS: My Meal & Supplement Plan

When it comes to taking your training, performance and physique to a higher level, nutrition, training, rest and supplementation are critical.  The amount of information that is available for these “critical” corner stones of fitness is immense.  I feel it is important for people who are serious about changing there lives and becoming more fit to have a forum that will share basic principals that are tried and true.  No doubt there are many different philosophies on training that actually work.  Just like there are many types of diets and nutritional supplements that are proven to bring about results.

What you must do as a “seeker” of a more fit life is look at all these ideals that actually work, and look at everything they have in common.  I trust the Beyond Raw line for two reasons. The science behind the products is extensive and sound but, mostly, I trust it because I tried the supplements and they gave the results they boasted.  With this in mind I thought I would share my current diet.

This is not an experiment, this is my actual diet I am using as I train for a crazy upcoming schedule of tournaments.  Bodybuilding, 1/2 iron man, and a MMA tournament. As I get closer to each event I will tweak the diet, but the core of this eating program will remain the same.  The only fluctuation in this that isn’t written below is my coffee intake.  Lets just say that it’s absolutely ridiculous.  I also included how I would change the intake for a female trying to lean out and maintain muscle mass.  Check it out, I hope it is helpful.  Feel free to change protein sources, and switch veggies around as long as the nutritional profiles are similar. Enjoy….

NOTE: This is not a prescribed diet. I am not a dietician. I am just sharing with you how I eat to get the results I want for my body.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

Putting Supplements to the Test: Performance Vs. Physique

Here we go again. 
The story began 5 months ago when I had an opportunity to try a line of supplements from GNC.  It wasn’t a challenge as much as it was an experiment.  I used this 90 day experiment to get ready for a few media events that BCX was contracted to complete.  If you read my story you already know how aprhensive I was to rely on a new, and unknown, supplement regimine.  Any trainer or nutritionist will tell you, training and diet is extremely important – but we were talking about taking it to the extreme. You know, I’m talking about the last little bitty pounds…. the “miniscule” amount of water and fat that seems impossible to rid our butt and gut of.  So, tried and true was the extreme transformation, it was truly “Beyond Raw”.  So what now?

Physique vs Performance
I saw my physique change, but what about performance.  Aesthetics is one thing, but what could Beyond Raw do to how my body could perform?  My “huckleberry”,  Alfonso Morreti (AKA “The Angry Trainier”) and I are not afraid to put our phsysiology on the line to give you guys answers.  He and I are average Joe’s with a passion for results.  We want to know what works – and what is just fluff.  No doubt, Beyond Raw can chisel a 42 year old body, but can it take this physique to a level of performance that normal biology would deem,  EXTREME?

I want to know if Beyond Raw can increase performance – and if so, in what disciplines.  I know I can get leaner and build muscle at the same time – proved that already.  Now I want to know, can these supplements make me stronger, more powerful, faster, create endurance, increase repair, and maintain leaness?

I want to know what discipline of exercise, in what arena’s, and what environments, could these supplements be employed to take both aesthetics and performance to a level that is Beyond Raw. (side note… every time I write “BEYOND RAW”, in my head, I say it like an announcer with a really deep voice).

My next experiment:
I plan to test the limits of GNC’s Beyond Raw line beyond aesthetics.  To put these supplements to the test, we will see what they can do to take this physique from competing against aesthetics of body building in july, to a ½ Iron Man in September, to a MMA tournament in October. For some, this may not be crazy. But I promise this is already sounding insane to me – “beyond insane”.  I havn’t competed in body building in over 6 years, I have no experience with marathons or tri’s (NONE!), and I just started training in mma late last year.

My goal is to “compete  and complete” each tournament.  Semper Persevera… never give up!!!!

Stay Tuned…

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own. 

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