Monthly Archives: July 2013
Bonnie asked me to put together a new weekly ab workout plan for her. Before I share the program I wrote for her, I wanted to explain why we need to do more than just crunches and sit ups – and why (and how often) we can do weighted and non-weighted exercises. After this short “class” you’ll better understand each muscle, how it’s worked and why we work it.
Welcome to ABS101. I’m professor Pfiester. 🙂
PS: I studied Exercise Science and a have degree in Physical Therapy. I am passionate about anatomy and love teaching.
aesthetic purpose– compresses the abdomen (keeps your stomach flat)
Rectus abdominus has a strong fast twitch (fast to fatigue) component and needs to be worked both with high reps and frequency and with increased resistance with lower reps at least once or twice per week
aesthetic purpose – most commonly referred to as the “six-pack”, compresses and flattens the stomach region while adding definition and tone to the abdomen (even when you aren’t standing against a fence, lol).
Internal Oblique, while still being largely slow twitch, internal obliques are comprised of more fast twitch fibers than the transverse abdominals. To fatigue these muscles we need to work some days with High repetition, but we can not leave out the fast twitch, quick to fatigue, fibers which should be worked with higher resistance, lower reps, and less frequency.
aesthetic purpose– compress the abdomen during exhalation reducing the volume of the mid section for a tapered look through the waist.
Serratus anterior (pictured right) originates on the surface of the 1st to 8th ribs at the side of the chest and inserts along the entire anterior length of the medial border of the scapula, and are mostly fast twitch muscles.
aesthetic purpose – adds definition and depth to the region lateral and inferior to the pecks the actual movements for our purposes are punching movements(scapular protraction) also overhead lifts, and strong scapular depression (like at the end of a dip)
External Oblique is similar to the internal oblique comprised of more fast twitch fibers than the transverse abdominals. To fatigue these muscles we need to work some days with High repetition, but we can not leave out the fast twitch quick to fatigue fibers which should be worked with higher resistance, lower reps, and less frequency.
aesthetic purpose– compression of the abdomen and tapering on the lateral sides of the waist
NOTE: The right internal oblique and the left external oblique contract as the torso flexes and rotates to bring the left shoulder towards the right hip. For this reason, the internal oblique are referred to as “same side rotators.”
Weekly Abdominal Workout Plan
4 Day Workout Program:
Do A OR B Workout 3 X a week and C OR D Workouts 1 X a week
Click on the exercise to view video instruction.
High Rep Day
Improve resting tone, muscular tone, decreasing waist size, increasing definition.
REST: Recover for approximately 30 seconds between exercises.
High Resistance Day
I started the day off with an amazing run (thanks to my new Polar RC3 Heart Rate monitor) with “Team Max“, washed my truck, did some laundry, spent some quality time with Bonnie and Marley at the beach – but, between the hellacious run this morning and the relaxing sun at the beach, I am just ready to crash.
Sitting here thinking about my day, beautiful sunset and totally relaxed… HOLY CRAP, I FORGOT TO DO ARMS THIS MORNING. What do I do? Skip it? Hit it harder next week? Ughhh, I just got settled and I’ve had such a great day – and just the thought of another hour in the gym is killing me.
Still, I know I must go. I have invested to much this last month to backslide now, and this whole week I have felt, and seen, great gains. I hate this conundrum! I’VE GOT A GREAT IDEA…
“I am 100% sure I will not regret going…and I am also 100% positive I will regret not going.”
I am going in, regardless of how I feel. I am 100% sure I will not regret going to finish the last of my training this week, but I am also 100% positive I will regret not going. So, off I go. I don’t want to compromise hitting arms, but I need to get this done and get home to finish enjoying my saturday night with no regrets.
My Story (the readers digest version)
I’ve had epic workouts all week. It’s now saturday, and I am short on time and very tired – BUT I really want to finish my regiment to keep up the pace and be ready for a bodybuilding show in 4 weeks. I’ve made up my mind that I will leave this instant before my stupid brain justifies staying home any longer. When I get to the gym I will crush my arms relentlessly for 15 minutes, super-setting between biceps and triceps. Ten rounds on each muscle group. 30 seconds on and only 10 seconds rest to switch to the apposing muscle group. Back and forth for ten rounds. By the time I’m finished, 11 minutes and 40 seconds will have elapsed, I should have a pump that makes Arnold look like an Olson twin. Just kidding big guy. 🙂
Pick two exercises that you can execute or be ready to perform about 15 repetitions in 30 seconds with only ten seconds to set up and start each round going back and forth from biceps to triceps. At my gym “MAX FITNESS“, we have a “preacher curl Hammer Strength machine” right next to a “Hammer Strength dip machine“. I set my interval timer for 30/10 at 20 sets. 1 round of preacher followed by 1 round of dips with only 10 seconds of rest and repeat that superset for 10 total rounds of both exercises. I keep track of rounds by throwing a close by 5 pound plate on the ground after every round. If I don’t, I will lose count and do too many sets, or worse, too few.
I made up my mind that I would set the weight where I could get close to 15 reps the first few sets and I wouldn’t decrease resistance as long as I stayed above 8 reps. I was able to continue with 15 repetitions of dips for the entire 10 rounds but my biceps fatigued quickly. By the 4th set of biceps I dropped the preacher curl resistance by 10 pounds just to get 8 reps. Again at round 6 I had to decrease the biceps resistance even more, and again after the 8th round. Finally I see 10 five pound plates (my markers) on the ground and I know I have finished this lightning fast, crazy intense routine.
As I am walking out to my truck, I realize that was more burn, more intense and created more of a pump than other great workouts I’ve had that lasted an hour.
Moral of the Story?
Don’t lose your momentum just because you are short on time. Every rep is an investment into the next workout. Don’t throw your hard work away!
I was so excited about this mornings run in my Reebok Sublite Duo Run‘s that I had to mention them. A brutal 5 and 1/2 mile run up two steep causeways in the crazy heat. I thought for sure my body would give out, but I was surprised how well my knees and low back held out for such a long and intense run. I really believe it was my shoes. I’ve run in different shoes before and had aches and pains on much shorter runs. Thanks Reebok!
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Burpee and Kettlebell Swing Suicide
…continue until you reach
By the time you are finished, you will have done 55 Burpees and 55 Kettlebell Swings!