Have you been paying attention to your Abs?…

I’ve been looking around for some new abdominal workouts and I’ve found one that I really enjoy doing and it kicks my butt at the same time.  It’s a fairly long ab workout, which I was trying to avoid, but it incorporates a good variety of moves targeting all areas of the abdominal muscles.  So far I have been doing this workout twice a week and because it is a longer circuit, I have decided to perform the circuit on days where my lift workout is not quite as long in duration as others. One day of which is strictly my cardio day, so I focus on just this routine before hitting the pavement.  The other day is strictly a lift day without cardio, so I will perform this ab circuit after completing my lift routine for the day.

It does require some equipment, although there are definite ways to modify.  An olympic bar, stability ball, weight stack, and abdominal bench are needed.  If you do not have access to these pieces of equipment, still read on and watch the video.  You can modify the olympic bar with any heavy piece of equipment that you can hold in both hands.  A stability ball is no more than $20 at Target.  The weight stack you can replace with either heavy ankle weights or placing a dumbbell between both ankles while performing a laying leg raise.  And you don’t absolutely have to have a bench.  You can perform that particular exercise on the floor, or on the stability ball which will allow your body to decline almost as much as the abdominal bench…you may need something to secure your feet under if holding a heavy weight.

Here is the video for HD Abs and I will also post this on My Workout page under Abdominal Exercises.

Another In-Your-House-Cardio-Circuit…

Here is another In-Your-House-Workout.  No equipment is needed.  It’s a great cardio circuit created by fitness celebrity Lindsay Messina.

Metabolism with Alicia Marie…

This is hilarious and super informative in a very humorous way.  The woman in the video is Alicia Marie.  She is a fitness supermodel and you can find her in Oxygen Magazine every month.

 

 

One of my fav Ab Workouts…

Follow this link if you want to do a pretty good ab workout in a short period of time.  I found this on another blog I follow.  Read her description of the workout and why it’s so good.  I love it!  (I put it on my workout page, also)

Add a little Negativity to your workout…

I can’t get my biceps to feel sore anymore!  And I hate it!  I used to love the feeling of heavy arms after a workout, like blocks of cement were just filling up in there.  But, I just can’t seem to leave an arm workout without a feeling of complete exhaustion in my biceps anymore.  I also don’t feel like I can lift weight that is much heavier than I do now.  So, something else needs to change.  I understand that the feeling of soreness is not necessarily a good indicator of an amazing workout (I did glutes on Tuesday and still can’t sit on the toilet!), but I do enjoy that heavy feeling in the muscles after a good workout.  I have supersetted them, changed rest time between sets, and switched up my routine some.  I think what I am going to do next is focus on the negatives.

When lifting weights, your muscle actually goes through two contractions.  Most people think of the actual lift of the weight as the only part of the lift.  But, there is a second part.  Let’s use the Bicep curl as an example to explain both parts of the lift.  The concentric contraction is when you take the weight and lift it up towards the body.  The muscle fibers are actually shortening during this phase to pull the load up towards the body.  As you bring the weight back down to its starting position, this phase is called the eccentric contraction.  The muscle fibers are lengthening to help lower and control bringing the load back down.  Most people starting off don’t realize that an eccentric contraction is even happening or the importance of this phase of the lift.  If you didn’t have eccentric muscle contractions, you wouldn’t be able to sit down in a chair.

For my Bicep workout I’m going to focus more on the eccentric contraction, which is also called the negative contraction.  I’m going to spend more time lowering the weight down to its starting position, and not so much on the lift itself.  From everything I have read, this is a good change in your routine, but not something you want to do every workout.  It can really exhaust your muscles and you want to give yourself adequate rest.  It also takes a little more time because you are spending more time each rep on lowering the weight back down.  I’m going to do this next Thursday when I do bi’s and tri’s and I will let you know how it goes.  Here’s an informative article from Bodybuilding.com explaining negative training.

Oxygen Women’s Fitness | Training | Stronger, Leaner, Slimmer

I have not tried this, but a workout you can do in your home, even if you have no equipment.  If you need more intensity without equipment, extend your time performing each set and run through the workout a couple of times.

Oxygen Women’s Fitness | Training | Stronger, Leaner, Slimmer.

Log your Training…

This one’s for you, Sheila (hopefully)!  Here is an old log that I used to use to chart my workouts.  You can track one month of progress on one page, one week at a time.  It has room for 6 exercises per muscle group, 3 sets per muscle (with reps and weight used for each set), and a total of 4 weeks progress.  I will show you one with some info filled in and also a blank sheet. Let me know if you have problems viewing.  You can always change things up and personalize it for your own workout needs.

workout log blank                       workout log

Another HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Note…

I just recently talked about this in “don’t forget your Heart”.  If you want to lose weight, increase your endurance, and also increase lean tissue, HIIT is the way to go.  Like I said before, this isn’t something you want to do every day because your body will be screamin’ out for mercy!  A couple of times a week and you will start seeing results.

The key point about HIIT, and why I like it so much, is that within the next 24 hours after one of these sessions, you are still burning calories.  When you perform steady state cardio, you may burn more calories, but the calorie burning effect is pretty much limited to the cardio session itself.  With HIIT, the burning continues after the training session..for up to 24 hours!

HIIT also has been shown to increase the amount of a special protein in the muscle.  This protein is responsible for carrying fat into the mitochondria of the cell.  The mitochondria plays a role in burning fat for fuel.  Therefore, HIIT results in an increase of a special protein in muscle, which results in an increase in fat loss.

You can do HIIT with almost anything…running, weight training, swimming, jumprope, biking, etc.  That’s what makes it so versatile.  You will never get bored because you have a variety of options, most of which you don’t even need equipment!

Read this article from BodyBuilding.com.  It shows great scientific backed research on HIIT and its effect on the body.  It also gives you an 8 week breakdown on how to gradually bring HIIT into your workout routines using any exercise or type of equipment you like.  For more ideas checkout my post on:  “Don’t Forget Your Heart!”

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