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At the Gym, Did You Know?

July 9, 2009

General Tso’s Chicken, Blooming Onions and Frappucinos are abs destroyers

Six pack abs, six pack abs diet, six pack abs workout, six pack abs exercises. Undeniably six pack abs are popular. The satisfaction of having six pack abs are the proverbial peacock feathers coveted by most men and alluring to most women.

Six pack abs are the visible proof that one is serious about diet and fitness. In parlance, the term “six pack abs” is street speak for “visible abdominals” — the possessor is presumably so driven, (s)he must be doing something right.

So what is it and how does one go about achieving this pinnacle proof, these fruits of gym toil, this anatomical rubber-necking bait we commonly refer to as six pack abs?

Beer, pizza, french fries, milkshakes, Chalupas, cheesecake, General Tso’s Chicken, Blooming Onions and Frappucinos are all what I simply refer to as six pack abs destroyers. Junk food has become so pervasive, even those of us, so vigilant with what we put into our bodies are constantly surrounded — and sometimes tempted — by these conditioned treats. Avoid them at all costs. Not only will they prevent you from displaying your prized six pack abs feathers, but any nutritional value is negligible to non-existent (especially General Tso’s Chicken, you may as well eat a cup of Crisco, it may act as a digestive emollient).

What you put into your body is the key to what shows outside of your body (both physically and mentally). Garbage in is garbage out and once you start eating a more nutritious diet — and avoid alcohol — the effects are almost guaranteed to show in days. Yes, you read that correctly — days. Starting is simple. You don’t have to buy any fancy diet food, engage in contrived diets, or follow a rigid eating schedule. Simply do half.

From now on, every single portion that is put in front of you, cut it in half. Don’t take the rest home, give it to a homeless person, leave it at the restaurant, heck ask for half the serving. Forget about the saving the starving children our mother’s told us about, you don’t have to eat everything on your plate. I say this confidently as I know most conventional restaurants, cafeterias, delis, and any other luncheon excursion facilities simply do not serve an adequate amount of vegetables with their meals. So go ahead, cut it in half. Leave the rest.

“Research shows that when you’re trying to lose belly-fat, your diet is the most important factor,” Men’s Health features editor Adam Campbell wrote in a recent email. “You can drink a 1,100 calorie milkshake in about three minutes, but it’d take more than an hour of intense exercise to burn off those calories,” he stated. Campbell cleverly advocates the “plate push-away” workout, “before you eat too much, push your plate away.” This is a simple exercise and it won’t even break out a sweat. And who cares what people say? When I first started watching what I ate, several “friends” quietly chuckled, whispered and pointed.

Here are some more tips, from readers — with six pack abs. I implore you to try them. When you find one that works, stick with it and remember “never, never, never give up” — Winston Churchill.

Diet and exercise tips for manifesting six pack abs

Nancy Byrd Radding – Fitness Director/Intern Coordinator, The Oaks at Ojai “Work your abs to fatigue three times a week. If the muscles are truly fatigued, they need one whole day off before the next workout!”

Sara Holliday – President, Fit by Sara “An awesome fat burning ab defining workout is kickboxing followed by yoga. Kickboxing boosts the heart rate plus targets the thighs, buttocks, and waist. Yoga lenghtens muscles tones and defines all of your body.”

Mike Bee – Fitness Specialist, Rancho La Puerta “Consistency is key, genetics is a blessing and a very clean diet is essential.”

Shaun Zetlin – Certified Trainer, “To effectively have your abdominals “pop” and look like you came right out of a magazine, it’s vital to work every part of your core.”

Brenda Della Casa – Wellness writer and author, Cinderella Was a Liar “The key is to develop and strengthen your core because every exercise you do, be it legs, chest or back, swimming or cycling, running or walking, involves your core. The stronger your core, the more efficient you will be with your other exercises.”

Bill Morris – world record holder for “consecutive sit ups” “If you could do ten sit-ups drop back and do six (not to spend yourself) and do this routine three times in your workout. Tis way you have completed 18 sit-ups instead of maxing at the 10.”

Brad Schoenfeld, CSCS, CPT – author 28-Day Body Shapeover “The abs are functional in three planes of movement. For optimal development, you should train them in all three planes, as well as employing multiple training angles.”

Kevin McGaha – Training and Wellness Director, Anytime Fitness “Developing your hip flexors will enhance the overall appearance of your abs. Hanging leg raises are an effective exercise for developing the hip flexors. Make sure to keep your legs bent no less than 45 degrees throughout the movement.”

Lance Breger – Co-founder Infinity Wellness Foundation (via Twitter) “Less rest! Bounce from exercise to exercise to get a cardio workout from your weight training.”

Lauren “L Boogie” Goldberg – NYC personal trainer “It’s definitely a combination of a consistent workout program, including strength training and cardiovascular, along with super healthy CLEAN eating.”

Dr. Jim Phillips – Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Seton Hall University “Low body fat. Abs only show up when overall body fat is low (4-8% for men, 8-15% for women). This requires dieting and aerobic exercise.”

Beth Shaw – founder, YogaFit “YogaAbs improves body alignment, creates a stronger midsection, develops a solid yoga foundation, enhances self-esteem and confidence, reduces back pain and stabilizes the spine and improves powers of concentration and focus.”


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