The frustration of unwanted ugly belly fat! Many people truly look to quick fix nutrition programs and fat burning supplements as the answer of the stubborn midsection! This blog was the #1 viewed blog of 2010 that I had posted so I wanted to share it again just in time for spring:))
Shredded, wash board, razor cuts…these are lifelong dreams of many fitness enthusiasts. I personally view a lean firm stomach as a testimonial of one’s dedication to their nutrition and training. I receive many emails a day from people seeking advice on training their stomach. Here is a list of the Top 7 questions about achieving those razor cut abs! Also a bonus question at the end:))
Question #1: Do we have an upper and lower abdomen? Answer: No. A lot times I think we feel that we have two separate sections of the abdominal. Our rectus abodominal muscle is actually all one main muscle. The reason we often see the upper abdominals contract and burn more is because of the muscle fibers in this region. The upper abdominal muscle fibers shorten more during abdominal movements but actually the whole abdomen does contract. Proper nutrition, cardiovascular training and your core program is important!
Question #2: Why can I not see my abs yet? I do a ton of abdominal crunches but I still can not see my abs! Answer: Remember you can not spot train. Basically what this means is that we can not burn fat out of certain regions of our body. Now i do believe that we should put extra focus on those stubborn areas to help them pick up the pace:) It is very important that we balance out our fitness instead of just trying to work on our problem spots. According to a study done at the University of Massachusetts. A group of men did the equivalent of 5,000 sit ups in 27 days and did not lose any body fat from their abdomen. The key is your cardiovascular, nutrition, and your training program.
Question #3: What is the best abdominal exercise? Answer: This is a tough question. My theory is that we must incorporate the posterior side of the body into the abdominal movement. So I personally believe the two best movements are the abdominal plank and the v-up crunch. Both of these movements incorporate the whole rectus abdominus and lower erectior spinae.
Question #4: Should I always train my abs at the end of the workout? Answer: Personally I am a fan of mixing abdominal movements in to the middle of the workout. Remember our body is a creature of habit. We are trying to break the principle of adaptation. So a good mixup is important. Try doing your stomach first. Be careful on leg day! If you fatigue your lower back before squats or deadlifts you must be cautious!
Question #5: Can I use weights on my ab exercises? Answer: Yes, I would try to master technique first before increasing the intensity with weights. The key is technique then intensity!
Question #6: How often can I train my abs? Answer: No research has shown that we can overtrain our stomach. Personally I train my stomach multiple times per day. The military and top athletes in the world train their abdomen daily!
Question #7: Does side bends with dumbbells reduce my love handles? Answer: Unfortunately this does not work. This movement actually works the lateral range of motion in your spine. The key to reducing these areas is proper diet and your cardiovascular program. Bonus Question: If you would change one thing in my diet what would you do? Wow: Tough question…honestly I say there are 3 main keys. Work on eliminating all simple sugars, meal spacing, and work on increasing your lean protein.
The other day I was walking around the grocery store and was just shocked how strategically the store was layout. It seems that the average small town grocery store is a thing of the past and are now being replaced with huge super centers. I am now able to do my dry cleaning, banking, drink coffee, eat Mc Donalds, change my oil and even cut my hair all in a grocery store! Well here is the secret…the longer they can keep you in the store the more products you will purchase. With this in mind, I have come up with 10 grocery shopping tips to help us stay on track to reaching your goals.
- Never shop hungry! Have you ever noticed that food that normally is not appealing all of sudden sounds really good? You will be tempted to purchase junk food and what I call “mindless food“. These include chips, crackers, candy bars, and other little snack grabbers. So avoid this at all costs!
- Shop on the outside isles. Over 80% of the foods that you want to eat are on the outside isles of the store. Foods like mixed green salad, lean meats, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits are always located on the outside isles.
- Shop from a grocery list. Use the 30 Day Shredded Diet grocery list. Stick to your list. Over 40 percent of supermarket purchases are made on impulse thinking. Stick to your guns!
- Stay away from the inside isles. Here is a true fact. Grocery stores regulate the heat on the outside isles. They purposely heat in the inside isles more to keep you there longer. The outside is always colder. The inside isles have all of the junk food. Be careful!
- Check out temptations! With children I notice this a ton! As we are stuck in line surrounded by candy bars, lolly pops, beef jerky, energy drinks, magazine tabloids, and other “mindless” foods the temptations rise tremendously! Be careful.
- Choose foods wisely. One rule I live by is that I always choose foods with one ingredient or no label. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients on the package then avoid it. Probably not good for you!
- Hurry Up! Have you ever noticed the music in stores? Supermarkets play down-tempo music to make you move slower and enjoy your shopping experience. Marketing to get you to stay longer!
- Be careful in the cereal isle. Companies pay big money for their prime spots on the shelves. Have you ever noticed that all of the Disney characters are strategically placed at childrens height? They are marketing to your children. Sneaky, huh? Yes the healthy cereals are up high or way low. The fruit snacks are right at eye sight level for children to see also.
- Why is the dairy case clear in the back? Well this is strategically done as well. Normally we are tempted to buy more as we walk to the back of the store. Normally you will leave with more than just milk.
- Online grocery shopping. Have you ever tried to shop with 3 small children screaming and wanting everything in the store? Well it is not pleasant!! My wife found the online grocery shopping experience to be very convenient. A current study showed that people purchased 28% less calorie dense foods when shopping online. Give it a try!
Bonus Tip:) Avoid all of the free samples that the nice little vendor is offering!!
Yes believe it or not but lack of movement is labeled as the “silent killer”. If you really look at your daily activity you might find a big majority is “sitting” .Yes we have become a screen viewing society and many just lack movement with a combination of poor nutrition is a DEADLY combo.
As you are aware, I’m sure, people who work in an office tend to sit down ALL DAY LONG, and even if they have worked out in the morning (like at your boot camp), they still might be very sedentary during the day. Here’s a typical example: Get up and go to Steve’s boot camp with your day starting at 4:30a.m.
If you look at your life schedule with children. It could be even more lack of activity. Driving children to their activities and sitting and watching activities..in general we have become even more inactive the more involved our children become. On the go makes us even more open to grabbing food on the go and foods with preservatives.
4:30a.m -5:00 – SIT in car on way to Good Life Fitness
5:00-6:00am — Boot Camp at Good Life Fitness
6:00-6:30am – SIT in car going home
6:30-7:30 – ready for work
7:30-8:00 – SIT to go to work
8:00-11:30 – SIT at work
11:30-12:30 – lunch (SIT most of it)
12:30-5:00 SIT at work
5:00-5:30 – SIT on the way home
5:30-bedtime – dinner, SIT to read/watch tv/help kids with homework, e.t.c.
That’s 11 hours of sitting, not including the sitting time after 5:30p.m. Lack of activity…YES belly fat and flat butt syndrome:) Amazing when you really break down your daily activity like above.
GOALS: Get up and move around through out the day. How about a ergonomic desk that allows you to stand? How about taking a walk or better yet go to the gym over your lunch hour? How about go for a run/walk when your children are at their practices? Your daily goal is 10,000 steps per day!!Share it!
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I am the first to admit that it is not fun to push yourself. When I was powerlifting I dreaded the 3 hour squat workouts…but I had an amazing training partner that LOVED SQUATS! It is human nature to constantly comfort and reward ourself throughout the day. Look at Starbucks for example… They are constantly upselling you with the following one liner “would you like to add a delicious pumpkin bar with your latte”? Well sure….I can comfort myself! We have been taught from an early age that food can be comforting just like grandma’s chocolate chip cookies when we were upset. Have you ever noticed that large commerical gyms are loaded with low impact cardiovascular machines or selectorized circuit equipment? Have you ever noticed that the ellipticals are packed…I guarantee 45 minutes of the elliptical is alot easier than 45 minutes of running on the treadmill and people wonder why they cannot drop excessive body fat? Why do people choose the easiest cardio? Is it the low impact theory that draws people to the elliptical? Have you ever noticed that it is hard to elevate your heart rate on the elliptical once you have been using it for 4 weeks…the same for the treadmill? Have you ever noticed it is easier to run on the treadmill versus outside running?
What would you say if I could guarantee you to burn excess bodyfat with proper nutrition in little as 1 hour a day?
Our bodies are very smart when it comes to fat burning. Nobody wants to step out of their comfort levels when it comes to fitness. What type of fitness would we do in a gym if the elliptical or treadmill was never invented? How about interval training with weights and short durations of anaerobic training? Interval training guarantees to push you out of your comfort level. I am a big fan of Tabata training, Hiit Training, and the super set method of training for burning stubborn body fat! Here is a very effective Tabata program that will guarantee to push you out of your comfort level to pave the way for fat burning!
The Tabata program has a sequence of the following. Repeat this Tabata then proceed to the next Tabata.
- Bodyweight Lunges alternating feet: 20 seconds then Ice Skaters ( lateral) for 10 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat 4x
- Bodyweight pushups: 20 seconds to front abdominal planks 10 seconds. Rest 10 seconds Repeat 3x
- Mountain climbers: 20 seconds then Burpees for 10 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat 3x
- Bear Crawls ( side ways) for 20 seconds then chair tricep dips for 10 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat 3x
- Lying abdominal bicycles 20 seconds then laying face down supermans for 10 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat 4x
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Signs of aging such as grey hair, declining eyesight, and wrinkles may not be welcomed, but they are expected. What most people don’t realize is that muscle loss — called sarcopenia — is also part of the aging process. By the age of 70, the average person can expect to have lost one-quarter of muscle mass and another 25% by the age of 90. This happens even among active individuals.
The bad news is compounded because sarcopenia contributes to weight gain, fractures, and declining cardiovascular disease. Even more important is that it usually means loss of independence for the elderly. Walking, getting up and down out of a chair, and simply carrying on daily activities becomes more difficult if not impossible.
The good news is that resistance training can greatly reduce the effects of sarcopenia. The greatest loss of muscle is in the fast-twitch fibers that are recruited in anaerobic high-intensity movement. While aerobic activity, such as walking or running, is important in maintaining muscle strength, progressive anaerobic activity (resistance training) is necessary to build muscle. Studies have shown that resistance training can increase muscle strength by as much as 100% in a few months even among the frail elderly. Since loss of muscle mass begins as early as age 30, it’s not too early to start; it’s never too late; and it’s certainly a reason to continue and be consistent if you’ve already begun.
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