Monthly Archives: March 2014

How can I get abs?

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How to get Abs?

 

Well first what are abs? Abs are muscles along the abdominal region of the body, which is where the stomach is located. This might be one of the most popular questions ever asked in fitness history and as a personal trainer myself, I get asked this question every week by someone new. First lets make this clear, a person can’t merely get abs, or create abs, because every human being is born with abs. It’s apart of your DNA tract, its not genetics or anything of that nature, when you study anatomy (the layout of the human body) and you see how are body is structured and how your body looks with no skin, no fat just the muscles and tissues connected together, you will see every human body has abs. Every human body has a what we call  “6 pack” or “8 pack” now the way they are shaped and the stricter of them is genetically related and we will get more detailed into that later on in this article. So why can’t I see my abs if I have abs? The answer to that is simple, you have fat covering your abs in your abdominal or mid section of your body. I am not calling YOU fat, its just that our body stores fat, which is a good thing in case of energy purposes, daily living, and emergency situations. With that said, the body doesn’t store fat evenly throughout the body, that’s why some people have more fat in their legs, butt or arms, some people have more fat stored in their face or breast. Some have more fat stored in their arms or feet. Have you seen a person that has a slim face, so slim where you can see their cheek bones, but they might have a big upper body (stomach) or a big butt or legs? Or I’m sure you seen the man and from behind he looks muscular and then when he turns around he has a big round stomach! That’s because he is storing more fat in his stomach or the first example, that person doesn’t store much fat in their face. There is absolutely nothing you can do to change that, but fitness experts and business people will create items hoping to sell the mass on losing belly fat by buying this wrap or losing arm fat by using some sort of arm toner. I will tell you now that all of those are MYTHS! You simple can’t target one area, fat is fat and it will come off with daily workouts and eating right 70-80% of the time. Yes you don’t have to be a perfect eater or have a great workout everyday but you do have to be consistent to reap results. Consistent means every week aiming to workout 5-6 days a week and eating right 70-80% of the week, that means yes you will eat unhealthy foods here and there, yes you will have some weeks where you only workout 3-4 days out of the week. But that should only happen 20-30% of the year, the other 70-80% of the year you should be hitting the gym 70-80% of the time. If you do that for a whole year, 12 months, 365 days, you will reap tremendous results with the right program. So now that we covered all of that, lets get back to the meat and gravy of the question, “So why cant I see my abs if I have them already?” That’s your stomach is storing extra fat that’s covering it, and how to get rid of them is to have a daily healthy well balanced diet with 5-6 days a week of working out. From those 2 ingredients (eating right and working out) you will lose fat in different areas like your butt, your face, your arms, and yes your stomach! No you can’t predict where they will come off first, and again there is no way of targeting any area for faster results. For best results it takes hard work in both eating right and exercising and doing those 2 things consistently. So your next question is probably “How about ab exercises, don’t they help give me abs” Again as I mentioned in the beginning, there’s nothing you can do to create or make abs since you already have them. “So what do ab exercises do? Are they pointless?” No they are no pointless, they do 2 things as well, a good combination of ab workouts will first strengthen your core and secondly help define your abs. I’ve literally seen people with the strongest core, I mean that can hold a plank with a 45lb plate on their back for a minute and not struggle one bit. I’ve seen people balance themselves where they will hold their legs straight out for 30 seconds to a minute without shaking and I could barely hold mine out for 5 seconds without shaking. Then when we both lift up our shirts, mine would reveal a 6 or 8 pack with abs on my sides and they would reveal a gut or just a soft stomach. What? Why? How? Simply put ab exercises don’t create abs or shape them, all they do is define them. I’ve met people that never work their abs and have some of the best abs in the world! It’s all about lowering your body fat! “My body fat?” Yup that’s a percentage measure of how much fat is stored on your body, a good range for men is 15% and under but to really see abs, you like to be 5-8% body fat and you will see a ripped man. A woman under 20% is good but a woman under 15% will see an outline of abs, and even better under 10%. Body fat is a much better indicator of your results than a weight scale, because we all have different body shapes and structures so a 5’8 guy that’s 185 could look the same as another 5’8 guy that’s 165, both could be muscular. That’s why I don’t recommend scales to any of my clients. So ab exercises define your abs better, you are born with a structure of abs, and they are shaped a certain way and will go so deep and look a certain way. By lower your body fat through eating right and working out, your abs will begin to show, the lower your body fat is, the more they will show and the more you do ab workouts the more defined they will be on your body. So I have answered your question on how to get abs, now you know the concept, with a good meal plan and workout plan designed by me will help you reveal the abs you have, wait no longer, and contact me to get started! Have a great day!

How do I get rid of my love handles?

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To lose anything, it’s all about your eating first and foremost, once you get the eating down and pair that with some good workouts, you will lose your love handles, your gut and start looking the way you want to look!

Your diet will impact your weight/fat loss more than anything else! You can exercise 7 days a week and it won’t matter much if you’re not following a healthy, goal-oriented diet (unless you’re exercising 5 hours per day…which is highly unlikely).

 

LET’S START HERE:

 

If you could do ONE THING, just one solitary thing to achieve your goal, it is to CUT OUT SUGAR! That’s right, I said it! CUT IT OUT of your diet and you will see results! Again, I am not talking about doing the impossible and never having a piece of milk chocolate or an ice cream cone ever again. But you have to be more aware of what you put into your body and you must exercise some discipline to achieve your goals! Sugar lurks everywhere – not just in the obvious such as soda, candy, etc…so read your ingredients labels carefully!

 

1. WHAT SHOULD YOU CUT OUT (I’ve listed a few):

  • Granulated Sugar and Other Sweeteners
  • Honey, SyrupsDrink Powders, Juice and Soft Drinks
  • Candies and Nougat
  • Dried Fruits & Fruit Roll Ups
  • Cookies, Cakes, Donuts and Pies
  • Spreads, Jams, and Preserves
  • Ready to Eat Cereals, Cereal Bars, and Oatmeal Packages
  • Sauces (Ketchup, BBQ, Teryaki) and Salad Dressing
  • Ice Cream, Milk Shakes, and “Cafe” Drinks
  • Canned Fruit Packed in Syrup
  • White Breads, Bagels, Muffins, Pretzels, Crackers
  • Flavored Yogurt, Jams and jellies containing added sugar

This maybe a long list for you, but make steps, don’t do it all one day because then you’ll eventually go back, start making small cuts each week (that’s how I did it) then continue to make cuts until evenutally you’ll notice that you have cut the whole list! Remember you can do this!

I need help! How many reps? How many sets?

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How much weight should I lift?

Which exercises should I do and how often? 
Should I do cardio before or after my strength training?
These are valid questions we have all asked ourselves at some point in our journey to better health.  But by far the most common questions I get are about the number of sets and reps one should perform.
How Many Repetitions & How many Sets?
Well this answer will vary based on your fitness goals.  

If you’re looking to build muscle ENDURANCE, your rep range can be anywhere from 15-25, using a weight that will fatigue your muscles within that rep range.

If you’re looking to build STRENGTH and muscle SIZE, you need to lift enough weight that will challenge you within an 8-12 rep range.

The key is to select a weight that will fatigue your muscles within the desired rep range.  Don’t be afraid to add some weight!

I often see people in the gym flying through their set without any display of effort or fatigue. It’s in those last few difficult reps of whatever range you are working in that count.  It’s those last few challenging reps that will take you to the next level.  
Bottom line….

IF IT DOESN’T CHALLENGE YOU, IT DOESN’T CHANGE YOU!
On the other hand, if you choose a weight that is too heavy and won’t allow you to finish a set with good form, then you need to use less weight.  

In general, if you’re just starting out, it’s always a good idea to focus on mastering your FORM first, and then gradually increasing your resistance.  For example, if you’re new to squatting, start with just the bar and go through the motion of squatting, focusing on the right movements before you go heavy.  It will help prevent injury and maximize your time in the gym!

In terms of sets, anywhere from 3-5 is good.  If you’re new to an exercise or new to working out in general, start with 3 sets and increase from there.  For building strength and muscle size, I like to perform 4-5 sets, each time increasing the weight and decreasing the reps.