Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Athletic Abs: Stop dreaming about them

Want them? Come and get them!

Know this: Every movement you make begins with the core. The core includes muscles that surround the stomach and lower back area. (external obliques, internal obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and transverse abdominis).

When you improve the core you reap many benefits:

  1. Better core control
  2. Balance
  3. Strength
  4. Endurance
  5. Power
  6. Speed
42 zillion crunches a day won't showcase your six-pack (it's really a 10-pack). However, pack in some great cardio interval training and a sensible eating plan and some core drills and your six-pack can form.

CARDIO: Go hard or go home! There's no other way around it, to melt away the fat around the abs, high intensity cardio or interval training burn away the fast faster. Unlike workouts of sustained duration, interval exercises work both aerobic and anaerobic systems. Interval training can take place by riding a bike, using a stationary bike, working out on a stair climber machine, elliptical running on a treadmill, or jogging around your own backyard.

After a five minute warm-up, when you feel ready, pick up the pace, to where you are huffing and puffing, but can still hold a conversation. Keep that pace up for as ling as you can (aim for five minute, but do as much as you can and gradually increase over time). Recover with a five minute active rest of easy walking, pedaling, or climbing. Do several rounds of this combination. For a beginner, start with 20 minutes and gradually work up to more. If you need to, do one minute sprints and take longer recoveries. Do whatever works best for you and your fitness level.

EATING: Eating six smalls meal a day stabilizes blood sugar, prevent mood swings and energy lulls throughout the day and provide increased energy to really burn fat.

      LISTEN! When you "diet" you lose, in this order: muscle, water and THEN fat!

Oh no! If you cut your calories to less than your metabolism needs to support your muscle, 4 to 6 of every 10 pounds you lose will be muscle. Each time you go on a deprivation diet, your body finds it easier to conserve FAT because it actually thinks you are starving.

Eating Rules and Regulations:

  • Under eating and under sleeping can cause over training
  • Schedule meals in advance.
  • Become sensitive to your body needs.
  • Don't skip meals!
  • Eat two servings of carbohydrates and one serving of protein at each meal.
  • Eating and training speeds your metabolism.
  • Consume more of your calories early in the day.
  • Eat slowly to avoid overeating.
Muscles prefer to burn carbohydrates for energy and use protein for growth and repair. You need carbs!
Takes notes, this is only the first of the series.  Tune in for more on the Athletic Abs series.

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