Weight Training for Endurance Athletes

071017-N-0995C-008 Most endurance athletes know that to be competitive, there is no substitute for training in your sport. For example, there really is no better way to become a faster runner than, well, running. However, while you may not want to look like a body builder, throwing weight training out the window is also a bad idea. Your constant endurance training will still keep you light and fast, unless you purposely change your eating to focus on building more muscle mass. However, the ideal endurance competitor will utilize both endurance sport training and weight training to create a more well-rounded athlete.

Why weight train?

It’s simple, weight training works muscle groups that help stabilize you when you run, bike, or swim. You have a better energy transfer throughout your entire body if you have a strong core. You have better running form if you have good upper body strength. With a powerful upper body, you don’t slump your shoulders when you get fatigued during a run, you can power through longer on your swim, and you hold your form more efficiently on the bike. While the majority of your speed and endurance comes from training in your sport, you will also enhance your performance by adding in total-body weight training.

Another benefit is that better stabilization means less chance of injury. When you work with free weights, you force your body to balance to move the weight. Any areas of weakness will show up. The better you get at safely lifting the weight and balancing your body during the motion, the more you build up your injury prevention and become a more well-rounded athlete.

What type of lifts are best?

I am not a fan of machine weights. Why? Because they don’t force you to learn balance and can mask your weak areas. When I first moved from machines to free weights, it felt awkward. I hadn’t developed balance and never learned to stabilize my weak areas. However, I persevered, and now am feeling more comfortable with staying off the machines. When you lift free weights, your body naturally develops strength around your ankles, knees, hips, back, and shoulders. Machines take away that full-body stimulation that only free weights can offer.

You can also hit many more muscles groups with compound lifts. These compound lifts stress more muscle groups while you do natural movements. For example, the squat, deadlift, and benchpress work more of your body than doing an entire line up of 10 – 15 machines. These lifts are some of the top exercises in an endurance athlete’s tool bag. Before trying these for the first time, please make sure to research the correct form for all lifts to avoid injury. Let’s look at my the three lifts more in depth to discover how it benefits your during training, and on race day.

Deadlift

The deadlift is a great lift that targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Stronger muscles mean better stabilization when you need to support your body during a run, especially if you take a misstep. Muscles that can support the force of motion gone awry can mean the difference between a few weeks with your feet up nursing an injury or lacing up with fresh legs to train the next day. While the increase muscle strength in these areas is an immediate bonus, you also improve the strength of your tendons and bone density over time. Stronger bones and tendons mean less risk of stress fractures and more tendon support during running, resulting in less injury. The entire skeletal system gets this benefit when you pick up the weights safely from the floor.

The deadlift also helps you correct and identify imbalances that you may not realize during a run. When an athlete with weak hamstrings tries the deadlift, they will have an issue pulling the bar off the ground. A runner with tight hamstrings will have trouble leaning down to pick up the weight. And, the athlete with a weak back will have an issue with locking out in the final phase of the lift. Going through the motions of the deadlift will uncover these hidden imbalances and correct them.

The Squat

The squat is a great exercise that works the quads, gluts, hamstrings, and hip flexors. Your spinal erectors, abdominal muscles, and calves also pitch in for added stability. You even get the benefit of increased flexion, extension, and muscular stability of the hips, ankles, and knees during this lift. Getting stronger in squat will translate to improved running performance, as it will give you that final kick by increasing muscle fiber recruitment to get you up a monster hill or push you to the finish line.

The Bench Press (and other upper body lifts)

A strong upper body, while sometimes less prized by those who see the endurance power coming only from their legs, is essential to creating a powerful stride, providing power on the bike, or pushing through the water. While the swimming benefits are clear, as your upper body is the main source of propulsion, runners and bikers also create more speed when they build up their upper torso and arms. When you’re running, your arm swing directly coincidences synergistically with your opposite leg swing. If you move your arms faster, your leg pacing will match. If you have a strong upper body, your arm swing will power your leg swing to faster movement and more endurance over the miles. Also, a strong core and upper body will prevent your head from dropping and shoulders from rounding, which you often see on tired distance runners when their form breaks down.

The bench press, which focuses on your chest muscles, is a great lift to accomplish the additional power needed for better endurance performance. However, if you don’t include other upper body work, you won’t remain balanced. Other exercises that you will want to add to your upper body training plan include, but are not limited to, barbell rows, seated cable row, lat pulldown, and Pendlay rows. Again, make sure you research proper form or enlist the help of a trainer before attempting these exercises to ensure you do them safely.

Weight lifting is essential to improve the endurance athlete’s form, function, and fitness. While nothing can prepare you for racing your sport like actually training in your sport, those athletes who include routine trips to the weight room will enjoy more efficiency and less risk of injury. There is no substitute for the long workouts required to train for endurance sports. However, approaching them knowing your body is balanced, stronger, faster, and better able to handle the unexpected misstep is worth the time invested in the gym.

Push Yourself: 15 Minute Workouts are All You Need!

You may have a problem with some of the things I say on this website. After all, the claim that 10-15 minutes of exercise can actually make an impact on your health is a little bit too good to be true.

Now, when we say 15 minutes of exercise, we’re not just saying 15 minutes of easy jogging, or 15 minutes of Zumba, or some other form of aerobic exercise. What we’re talking about is 15 minutes of specific, targeted exercise designed to increase your metabolic rate by raising your heart rate.

At the end of the day what we are really doing is really, really hard of work in a very short period of time.

This kind of exercise may not be beneficial for someone who is an athlete, or a celebrity, or a bodybuilder. This type of training is beneficial for people who are really busy, people who have a full-time job, people who are in a relationship, people who have kids, people who go to school, etc. So I’d say 95% of people out there. That’s what these types of programs are beneficial for.

So, when anyone makes a claim where they say “ 15 minutes of exercise is all you need”, make sure that that 15 minutes of exercise is the hardest thing that you’ve done up to that date because if you’re not pushing yourself, if you’re not going above and beyond what you’ve done before, then I guarantee you it’s not gonna work.

 And when I send out promotions for various programs, what I’m really giving you is the tools to really push yourself, especially the recent promotion for Mike Whitfield’s finisher programs. These are things that you can use to go above and beyond your regular workout.

So if your regular workout is taking you to certain degree, and you feel as though you still have something left in the tank, simply plug in one of Mike Whitfield’s Finisher workouts, and you’re gonna be in a pool of sweat on the ground and you’re gonna be really breathing hard.

So with that said, regardless of whether you buy any of these programs, it doesn’t really matter. If you can find a way to push yourself harder than you pushed yourself before in a shorter period of time or in the same period of time that you’ve done last time, then you are on the right track!

Push Yourself: 15 Minute Workouts are All You Need!

You may have a problem with some of the things I say on this website. After all, the claim that 10-15 minutes of exercise can actually make an impact on your health is a little bit too good to be true.

9620349803_21e4ed8418_o Now, when we say 15 minutes of exercise, we’re not just saying 15 minutes of easy jogging, or 15 minutes of Zumba, or some other form of aerobic exercise. What we’re talking about is 15 minutes of specific, targeted exercise designed to increase your metabolic rate by raising your heart rate.

At the end of the day what we are really doing is really, really hard of work in a very short period of time.

This kind of exercise may not be beneficial for someone who is an athlete, or a celebrity, or a bodybuilder. This type of training is beneficial for people who are really busy, people who have a full-time job, people who are in a relationship, people who have kids, people who go to school, etc. So I’d say 95% of people out there. That’s what these types of programs are beneficial for.

So, when anyone makes a claim where they say “ 15 minutes of exercise is all you need”, make sure that that 15 minutes of exercise is the hardest thing that you’ve done up to that date because if you’re not pushing yourself, if you’re not going above and beyond what you’ve done before, then I guarantee you it’s not gonna work.

 And when I send out promotions for various programs, what I’m really giving you is the tools to really push yourself, especially the recent promotion for Mike Whitfield’s finisher programs. These are things that you can use to go above and beyond your regular workout. CFL course, NASWI, Fitness

So if your regular workout is taking you to certain degree, and you feel as though you still have something left in the tank, simply plug in one of Mike Whitfield’s Finisher workouts, and you’re gonna be in a pool of sweat on the ground and you’re gonna be really breathing hard.

So with that said, regardless of whether you buy any of these programs, it doesn’t really matter. If you can find a way to push yourself harder than you pushed yourself before in a shorter period of time or in the same period of time that you’ve done last time, then you are on the right track!

Sprint Workouts: Increase Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity

The following is guest post from Josh Levine of FortisMag.

Traditionally we think that in order to increase aerobic capacity (the ability to take in oxygen and use it efficiently) that we need to run, bike, or swim at long distances at a moderate intensity.

We also tend to think that in order to increase anaerobic capacity (the ability to work without oxygen) we need to sprint or do short highly intense workouts.

While that traditional view is not wrong, it is becoming more and more outdated. The problem with the traditional view is that an athlete is only able to work on aerobic or anaerobic at one time.

So, what’s the solution?

High intensity work with short rest intervals between work sets:

  • By doing this the athlete trains the body to work without oxygen during the high intensity work period and then subsequently trains the body to take in oxygen and use it efficiently during the short rest intervals.

Below are some sample sprint workouts with rest times that you may want to try.

Short Sprint Workout Program #1

60meters 4reps 45sec rest
40meters 6reps 30sec rest
20meteres 10reps 20sec rest

Short Sprint Workout Program #2

80meters 4reps 45sec rest
60meters 6reps 40sec rest
40meters 8reps 30sec rest
20meters 10reps 30sec rest

Short Sprint Workout Program Day 3

80meters 4reps 40sec rest
60meters 6reps 35sec rest
40meters 8reps 30sec rest
20meters 10reps 25sec rest

You can modify this program to suite your needs. Simply decrease rest or increase the length of the sprint to make the program harder.

Make sure that you stretch out very well before doing these workouts. Also, you should do light sprints before doing this workout. Ideally, you should do a few light sprint workouts a few days before you start this program.

Train Hard. Eat Well. Live.
Fortismag.com

1 Mistake All Women Make

By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Author, Turbulence Training

Following the cardio mentality and depending on the cardio confessional is the biggest mistake that all women make when it comes to fat loss. Let me explain…

On Saturday morning I was walking home from the gym when I passed by a young women – about 28 years old – who was talking on her iPhone.

And I heard her say, “I’m going for a walk now to get some exercise because I’m going out for a bad dinner tonight.”

And I just wanted to yell, “No – no – no – no – no! That doesn’t work. It never has, it never will.”

You can’t out-cardio a bad diet.

Every woman I’ve ever met has made this mistake and had that “cardio confessional mindset” at one time or another – and it goes for most of the guys I know, too.

Unfortunately, at best, this poor girl will probably burn an extra 300-500 calories during her walk – if it’s a really, really long walk. But at dinner, she’s likely to eat 400-700 calories during the appetizer or consume that in liquid calories alone!

(NOTE: By “bad dinner”, I’m guessing she meant a high-calorie meal, and not a pity date with a deadbeat ex-boyfriend.)

The bottom line is that a single cardio session will not beat a bad diet.

Now you might be thinking, “At least it’s better than nothing.”

But is it?

Remember, as I’ve mentioned in the past, one British study found that some people OVEREAT in response to cardio exercise.

So when dinner comes around, this poor girl might think,”Oh, I did that long walk today, so I can treat myself to a bigger dinner or dessert.”

The only thing that comes close to beating a bad diet is interval training and resistance training.

Back in 2007, an Australian research study on interval training was getting a LOT of press for the surprising results. In the study, women who did interval training were able to lose belly fat without changing their diet.

In fact, one subject, named Louise, said this: “My diet was pretty bad back then, with lots of sweets, lots of junk food…doughnuts and sugar — it was awful.”

And yet by the end of this study, interval training helped Louise burn 8kg of fat in just 15 weeks – WITHOUT changing her diet.

Perhaps it IS POSSIBLE for you to out-train a bad diet – but only if you use interval training.

And that’s just another reason the best short, burst fat burning workouts are based on this specific type of fat burning exercise.

So here’s what you need to do:

1) Give up the “Cardio Confessional Mentality” and understand that you can’t “out-cardio a bad diet”.

2) Stick to your simple lifestyle nutrition plan 90% of the time and then enjoy your 10% reward meals GUILT-FREE.

3) Use interval training to burn the fat and resistance training to sculpt your body.

It’s that simple – a 3-step system for fat loss success that is guaranteed to work every time.

Check out Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training workouts for Women for some great Fat Burning Workouts

Enjoy guilt-free eating and fat loss with this mindset.

Insane Bodyweight Workout to Make you a Better Athlete

Bodyweight training is the perfect choice for athletes. Most sports require you to be fast, strong, and powerful. Heavy weight lifting makes an athlete slow and bulky. However, bodyweight training teaches an athlete to better control his or her own bodyweight for better performance.

When I was lifting heavy using bodybuilder workouts the biggest problem was that I would gas out quickly. My sport is Karate. So during sparring (practice fighting) sessions, I may have been bigger and stronger than my opponents, but I would get tired really quickly.

Hence, my opponents would just dodge my slow punches until I was tired, then hit me with everything they got. That’s how I lost a lot of sparring fights. The day I gave up on bodybuilder workouts, I started reading into the way Indian Wrestlers used to train.

Hindu Squats and Pushups

The two common exercises used by these magnificent ancient wrestlers are the Hindu Pushup and Hindu Squat, made popular by Matt Furey. Honestly, I don’t think these exercises are the BEST bodyweight exercises out there. They are simply two variations out of hundreds of different bodyweight movements.

However, just by replacing these two movements with all my heavy weight training gave me some great results. I already had the bulk, now it was time to teach myself how to move the bulk (my own body). The workouts I used were very basic.

It’s time to peer into my old training diaries and show you a sample of the primitive, but powerful stuff I used to do.

(Before I continue, let me just state that I have shared my old workouts in the past. I used to do a lot of stuff, but this particular post revolves around Hindu Squats and HinduPushups and their relationship to improving my Karate training.)

Back to what I was saying before: I stuck to mostly density training, which is something I shared with you a few days a go. However, my density workouts were much shorter, since my conditioning was very poor.

The Poorly Designed but Powerful Workout

So, instead of using 15-20 minute time intervals, I was using 5 minutes intervals, with around 1-2 minute breaks. So here is what a sample workout would look like:

5 minutes of:

  • 5 Hindu Pushups
  • 10 Hindu Squats

I would alternate between these exercises for 5 minutes straight through, and decided if I could do anymore. A lot of what I was doing before was extremely random. I didn’t even know about the terminology “density” training. It was just training to me.

But…it worked! I was moving faster and lasting longer on the mat. I even started winning some fights. Some of the kids started getting scare of fighting me since now I was not just a bulky guy, but a bulky guy who could move!

Take Home Point

Now, how can you take what I used to do to your own sport? Well, the simple answer is take a look at how you move in your sport. Karate involves a lot of high intensity techniques for a short period of time (such as a barrage of punches) followed by a short rest period (where you’re just bouncing on the mat and blocking your opponents attacks).

Hence, interval and density workouts were perfect for Karate training. But, you may need a different method of training for your particular sport.

If you’re ready to incorporate bodyweight training as part of your fitness plan, then you should check out Bodyweight Exercise Revolution. Coach’s Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock show you how to use unique bodyweight movements to lose fat, build muscle, increase strength, improve athletic fitness, and enhance longevity.

Click here for more information.

How to Achieve the Ottermode Boxer’s Physique

Any training regimen must be intelligently designed. Unfortunately those trying to achieve an ottermode physique are discouraged from following a smart training approach. In a recent article covering the ottermode body, I pointed out that typical recommendations look something like this:

  • Do high-rep ab moves
  • Lots of cardio
  • Under eat severely – perhaps close to a 1000 calorie deficit
  • Train chest – most likely push ups will be enough
  • Pump your arms, but not too much
  • Don’t train anything else

Even if you’re not looking to become a bodybuilder, this approach to training will cause more harm then good. What you want instead is a more balanced and logical approach, one I outlined in my book The Ottermode Workout.

I couldn’t help but realize that this physique looks very similar to a typical boxer’s physique. In today’s post I want to dissect the training regimens of famous boxers to see if there is any insight into helping us mold our ideal body.

Floyd Mayweather’s 40-Round Boxing Workout

 

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Boxinviewsandnews.com published the following Mayweather workout:

  • 3 rounds of Shadow boxing
  • 4 rounds of Hand pad work
  • 3 rounds of Body pad work
  • 4 rounds of Heavy bag work
  • 4 rounds of Hand pad work
  • 3 rounds of Body pad work
  • 2 rounds of Heavy bag work
  • 3 rounds of Hand pad work
  • 3 rounds of Speed bag work
  • 2 rounds of Jump roping
  • 1 round Weighted jump roping
  • 3 rounds of Weighted shadow boxing
  • 2 rounds of Abdominal training
  • 2 rounds of Weighted neck training
  • Final round of 3 sets of 50 pushups

That was just exhausting to write about!

Here’s what I notice immediately: lots of cardio, some bodyweight training, some weights. We don’t see any typical weight training to the likes of a bodybuilding workout. Yet, Floyd Mayweather has a physique both men and women love.

There is no need for Mayweather to perform typical gym workouts. In fact, it would end up slowing him down with bulky muscle.

One key thing to note is that boxers train for their sport, not to look good. Even then, nearly all boxers are ripped to the bone. They also have a very lax approach to nutrition compared to the diets of bodybuilders and physique athletes.

Floyd Mayweather loves spaghetti, tacos, and fast food but will go high protein when training for a fight. He also consumes large quantities of organic fruit juice. He will eat cheat meals and even consume some soda from time to time.

Muhammad Ali’s Champion Workout

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Ali avoided weights. Angelo Dundee, Ali’s long time trainer, had this to say: “My belief is that a fighter’s muscles can’t bulk up. There can’t be any restrictions to their punches. I ain’t got nothing against weights. A lot of guys use weights, and they do well with them, but he didn’t.”

So how did Muhammad Ali achieve such a lean and deadly physique?

Here’s a breakdown of his training regimen from MuscleProdigy.net:

  • 5:30 am 6 mile run
  • 12:30 pm Gym Workout
    • Warm up:
      • Side to sides
      • Torso swivels
      • Jumping around on toes to limber up (15 minutes in total)
    • Shadow boxing: 5 X 3 minutes rounds, working on footwork and speed punching (30 second break in between rounds)
    • Heavy bag: 6 X 3 minute rounds, working on combinations and stamina (30 second break in between rounds)
    • Sparring: Built up sparring as camp progressed
    • Floor exercises: – 15 minutes (300 in total) – bicycle crunches, sit-ups with medicine ball, leg raises
    • Speed Bag: 9 minutes (1 minute break)
    • Skipping: 20 minutes (Ali always moved around while skipping, never staying in the same spot)
    • Shadow boxing: 1 minute, walking around with light shadow boxing

Ali’s gym workouts would last approximately 3 hours. He trained 6 days per week.

Both the workouts of Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather featured copious amounts of cardio. If you were asked to perform 2-3 hours of cardio per day, every day, how would you react?

I bet if you were handed a basketball you could play for a good 2 hours non-stop with your friends.

For these athletes, they were just training for their sport. It wasn’t a workout for them. It was their passion and their livelihood.

Also notice that even though both were on two completely different weight classes, neither of them lifted heavy weights. Ali was in the heavyweight class, and yet didn’t use any weight lifting to bulk up.

Manny Pacquiao Ripped Abs Workout

manny-pacquiao-boxing-workout-fight-may-2011

Pacquiao is another boxer who avoids weight training. According to WorkoutInfoGuru.com, his workout plan looks something like this:

  • Running for 10 miles (stamina building)
  • 8 rounds of shadow boxing
  • 15 rounds of sparring
  • 10 rounds of speed bag
  • 10 rounds of heavy bag
  • 7 rounds of Jump rope
  • 2 sets of Ab crunches of 100 reps
  • 2 sets of knee ups of 100 reps
  • 2 sets of diagonal crunches (both sides) of 100 reps
  • 2 sets of alternate bicycles of 100 reps
  • 2 sets of leg scissors of 100 reps
  • 2 sets of vertical leg crunches of 100 reps
  • 2 sets of side crunches of 100 reps
  • 2 sets of floor wipers of 100 reps
  • 2 sets of Russian twists of 100 reps
  • 10 rounds of agility ladder drills (speed workout)

Note his heavy emphasis on abdominal training. Personally, I don’t see the purpose of this level of ab work, but all around you can see that Pacquiao’s training is old school.

All three boxers avoided weight training for the fear of building up slow, bulky muscle. Although when used properly olympic weight training and even Kettlebell drills help increase speed and power – they are still unnecessary in the large scheme of things.

The risk is greater then the reward. For the individual who simply wants to achieve the ottermode-boxing physique, weight training is a luxury, not a necessity.

This is why we developed the Ottermode Workout Plan. This manual goes into detail exactly what you need to do in order to achieve the Ottermode physique.

No complex supplementation, ridiculous dieting, or heavy weight training involved. Simple recommendations and a logical bodyweight regimen can be found in the Ottermode Workout Plan. Click here to purchase today.

3 Advanced Bodyweight Workouts using the Basics

A while back at Tastefully Driven, I wrote a post where I claimed that all you need to get into great shape is running, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Well, I’m going to back that claim up and design three intense workouts using only those four exercises. Each workout builds on the one before it. My suggestion is to try each workout once per week and cycle through them. For example, Workout A can be performed on week one, then Workout B on week two, and finally Workout C on week three. Week four you would perform Workout A again and try to beat your time.


Workout A
3 rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
20 Sit-ups

Workout B
For time:
30 Sit-ups
20 Push-ups
10 Pull-ups
Run 800 meters
10 Pull-ups
20 Push-ups
30 Sit-ups

Workout C
For time:
1 mile Run
50 Sit-ups
35 Push-ups
20 Pull-ups
800 meter Run
30 Sit-ups
20 Push-ups
10 Pull-ups
400 Meter Run
15 Sit-ups
10 Push-ups
5 Pull-ups

A tip on how to set these workouts up:

It will be difficult to find a track with a playground nearby where you can perform pull-ups. What we have done in the past is run around the block (355 meters according to Google Earth), then run up the stairs to my second floor room, perform the pull-ups on the bar, then run back down and complete the rest of the workout. This adds another extra element of stair running.

Other options u can do is to replace the pull-ups with body weight squats if you are unable to find a bar nearby. I can also foresee issues with the sit-ups,as it may be uncomfortable (and potentially harmful to your spine and lower back) to be performing sit-ups on the ground. The best solution is to purchase a mat. Another option is to replace the sit-up with a kettlebell or dumbbell option such as windmills, where you are hitting the same muscle group. Sometimes we have thrown in the kettlebell swings to replace the sit-ups, and Hindu push-ups to replace regular push-ups.

The options are endless. Take the format of these workouts and make them your own. You may need to replace exercises or reduce/increase reps to fit your fitness level.

Develop Mental Grit with Tabata Training

It usually starts something like this: “I need an ab workout, so I’m going to go on YouTube.”

Next thing you know you find yourself making excuses…

…thats too hard

…that too easy

…that requires a gym

…is that really going to work?

Let me give you something that is certainly hard, doesn’t require a gym, and always works: Tabata.

Tabata is that training method that hit the mainstream a few years back and everyone has been jumping on the bandwagon to come up with their own tabata workout.

Here it is for those that don’t know:

  • You choose an exercise.
  • You do it for 20 seconds
  • Follow that up with 10 seconds of rest
  • Perform for a total of 8 rounds

That’s it. Quit simple!

Other variations have been invented since then, but this is what tabata training is.

Today I want to talk about Tabata’s mental strength benefits. We already know the fat burning benefits – get your heart rate up, burn more calories, etc.

But what about the mental strength? Consider the amount of grit and determination you will need in order to get through a solid Tabata protocol. Even a super fit athlete is going to be breathing hard after a few Tabata rounds.

Why is that?

The reason is that you are always working from a disadvantage. You are the eternal underdog.

You have 50% of the time to recover before another bout. You work for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest. In that 10 second rest period, your entire body is supposed to prepare itself for a second set.

That second and all subsequent sets become harder and harder, even on the most basic of movement, simply because you are not fully recovering from your previous bout.

Therefore, what’s going to get you through the workout is not skill or an incredible recovery ability, but instead mental strength.

If you feel you lack in mental strength, then doing a tabata workout is the best way to build it. In my book Bodyweight Toughness, I spend more time talking about workouts and less time talking about mental strength.

Why?

It’s because all the best literature on mental strength is already out there. You can read something that may make you feel better in the moment, but really what develops grit is life experiences.

The good news is that we can replicate high-stress scenarios in the gym. We do that through high intensity, butt-kicking workouts that force you to focus your mind and energy on the one singular task of achieving your workout.

If you want to build mental strength and grit with bodyweight circuits (or if you just need another nifty workout plan), then download Bodyweight Toughness today. Click here for more info.

Ultimate Abs Exercises – Control Your Core, Stream Roll Your Stomach and Get Tight, Hard Abs of Steel

By Paul J.O’Brien

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. Med. M.T.C.M.C.I., M.C.Th.A.

www.Strong-in-7-Seconds.Com

Abs exercises are probably the most focused on routines for the body. Everyone seems to want that slim, tight, toned waist and the washboard abs that every magazine graces its cover with. Just so you know, you aren’t alone – The abs toning routines on my website are among the most hit pages.

The quickest way by far to achieve that slim, sleek waist and those punch proof abs is by following the exercises I describe below. Performing this series of exercises and incorperating a comprehensive nutritional program to blast the fat off you and reveal your sculpted abs.


If you’d like step by step photos and comprehensive instruction check out 7 Seconds to Build A Perfect Body!, my 7 week course using the Scientifically Proven Method for Transforming Your Body in Just Seconds! Over 250 pages and filled with more than 100 photos it will transform your body from your face down to your toes, sculpting your physique and letting you develop astonishing strength with just seconds of exercise.

So other than aesthetic value is there any other reason to involve abs exercises in your routine?Oh yeah.

First off a tight, toned core will dramatically reduce lower back pain. Secondly it will improve the function of you internal organs, particularly those involved in the digestive process. Finally, a stong six pack will greatly increase your functional strength, co-ordination, balance and more. The core connects the upper and lower body muscles, if you neglect it, no matter what you do in the gym you will NEVER reach your full potential.

By the by, you probably already guessed this but in recent surveys by leading men and women’s’ magazines a tight, toned, waist line was voted the most attractive feature on both men and women…

Below you will find some of the most effective abs exercises available. Keep this in mind though – no matter how much work you do you will need to reduce your body fat below 8% in men and below 12% in women to really see them stand out. This of course varies, but it’s a good guide line.

Basic Crunch / Sit Up

1. Lying on your back, keep your knees bent with your hands behind your head.
2. Keep your head in a neutral position
3. Slowly curl inwards, bringing your shoulders off the ground
4. Holding this position for a moment, then return to the start
5. Repeat

Bicycle Crunch

1. Lie back onto the floor or bench with your knees bent and your hands behind head.
2. Keep your elbows back and out of sight.
3. Your head should be in a neutral position with a space between chin and chest.
4. Start position: Place your hands behind your head. Straighten your right leg.
5. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominals and raise your shoulders off the floor or bench.
6. During the crunch, bring your right knee towards your chest.
7. Return to the start position and repeat with the left leg.
8. Remember to keep your head and back in a neutral position.
9. Keep in mind that Hyperextension or flexion of either may cause injury.



Oblique Crunches

1. Lie flat on your back, with your knees bent at right angles and twisted to the left.
2. Place your fingertips to the side of your head just behind your ears.
3. Curl up just enough to lift both your shoulders off the floor a few inches.
4. Hold that position contracting your abs as forcefully as possible as you breathe out.
5. Repeat for the desired number of reps before you switch to the other side.

I hope you enjoyed these brilliant abs exercises. The secret to making these incredibly effective is to apply isometrics, which I go into in more detail in 7 Seconds to Build A Perfect Body, but what you have in this article alone is more effective then the majority of ab programs and gimmick products out there.

All the best,

Paul J.O’Brien

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. Med. M.T.C.M.C.I., M.C.Th.A.

www.Strong-in-7-Seconds.Com


About the Author: Paul J.O’Brien is an international recognized expert in Isometric Training and physcial performance, a certified personal trainer, licenced acupuncturist and western clinical medic and writer. Paul is the author of “7 Seconds to A Perfect Body,” which teaches you how to develop a lean muscular physique without drugs, supplements or equipment using secrets of the forgotten founders of fitness. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat, increase your lean muscle tissue, sculpt your phsyique and skyrocket your strength by visiting: www.Strong-in-7-Seconds.Com