There is a lot of promotions and products out there that promise many things….. but you want to really know what it takes to find your abs?
Here is a quick ‘abbreviated’ guide that if followed will put you on the right track!
A) Proper nutrition
B) Proper Exercise
C) Proper flexibility
A) Nutrition. You can NOT out train a bad diet. This is KEY!
Eating guidelines is something that many people seem to struggle with. It can be very confusing due to all the mis-information and Advertising that companies do. Companies do advertising in order to increase sales, and increasing profits is the true bottom line.
Nearly every cell in your body reproduces about every 6 months, it can only reproduce based on the nutrients that are provided!! So, you truly are what you eat.
This 10+ page document outlines how I made some easy changes and lost 20 pounds of fat in less than 2 months! It was easier than I thought it would be. Trust me, I have a thing about going hungry and the whole time, I didn’t. I was surprised that this way of eating allowed me to satisfy my hunger, and actually eat less snacks.
B) Exercise. You must Move! If you want to loose fat, you must move. If you want to loose fat quickly, then you must sweat while you move! If you don’t want to sweat, then you must have lots of time to move slowly.
Tip: Get a Heart Rate monitor!
Quick fat loss = you must push your heart rate up doing exercises, then allow the heart rate to drop….intervals will ideally vary! Intensity and using the highest number of muscle groups is KEY! That is another reason functional training is so popular!
Want six-pack abs? then you have to remember it is the visibility of the abdominal musculature, not the strength of the muscles that matters.
C) Flexibility. In order to prevent injury, perform optimally, and reduce aches and pains, the muscle must be with in proper length tension relationship.
So, is doing abs a waste of time? Yes and No.
Yes, it is a waste of time if you want a six pack and that is all you are doing to attain that goal – everyone has abs, you just can’t see them – so you have to start there first!
No, because done correctly, ab work is great for your core.
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It is once again that time of year when the clocks have “Fall Back” and the weather has turned from cool to cold seemingly overnight, or you don’t know what to expect from 1 week to the next.
During this time of year, it is important to remember that if you are riding in the afternoons, you must expect that towards the end of your ride, as the sunsets, it is going to get much cooler than when you started.
This early sunset also means that it maybe necessary to have a tail-light. It is challenging for motorists to see into the setting sun – a tail-light will help you be seen. This past weekend we were out a bit longer than anticipated, unfortunately the short route had a quarter mile of a busy road – although have a RoadID is a good idea, a tail-light is more of a preventative measure.
Dressing in layers may mean that you carry extra clothing that you can put on or zip up towards the end of the ride.
Of course, The core or trunk of you body is the main area that you need to keep warm. Dressing in layers is 1 of the best ways to do this. A big thing that I like about layering is that you can adjust how much or how little air you gets to your body. My way of doing this is to have a moisture-wicking base layer. Then I usually add a jersey. Now depending on the temperatures, I will either put on the wind-breaker or vest. The great thing about wind-breakers and vests is that either one can be worn on the outside. I have found that sometimes the warmth from the wind-breaker or winter jacket is too warm, but the air flow is too cold – put the vest on the inside and you can keep cooler, yet still keep the cold air from direct contact to the body.
Another thing that I like to do is where a hat or skull cap under my helmet. Most of the bodies heat loss is through the head – so keeping your head covered slows this loss of heat.
If it is below freezing then I like covering my face and nose. This keeps the cold breeze off and allows me to warm-up the air just a little bit more before breathing it in.
The other 2 main body parts are the furthest points from the trunk of the body – the fingers and the toes. Try to Never start a ride when your fingers or toes are already cold. If those get cold, then it is tough to ever get them warmed back up.
A great tip that I learned is that once you get inside to a heated area, loose the outer layers of clothing. The warm air will get to your body easier and warm you up quicker. Also, just before you go back outside you want to trap that warmer air and keep out the cooler air by adding the layers back on. By taking off your jacket while inside, it allows your jacket to better do it’s job of keeping you warm once you go outside.
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Have you noticed in your latest cycling catalogs there are now stability balls and bands for sale – what do they have to do with cycling!? LOTS! Many people have now heard the word “core” and core training, but what does that have to do with cycling, group rides, and racing? Again, LOTS!
Think of your core as being the center structure based upon which all movements start from. When you have to quickly adjust to changes, bunny hop, shift in the wind to remain upright… etc. etc. all these require that the core is engaged, strong and stable.
But, what is the CORE? The core is more scientifically referred to as the lumbar pelvic hip region, and is essentially your trunk without your arms or legs – however your muscles and tendons have a lot of connections and extensions that go past just the trunk area into the legs.
The transverse abdominus is a muscle in your core that is the first muscle (in the body) to fire in response or preparation for movement. If you have a dysfunctional timing sequence (weak core), then the chance that you have lower back pain is great!
We train our clients on how to better engage their core muscles to get the most out of the body!
This information has many effects on you as a cyclist.
If your core is not engaging properly, then you may feel pain in your lower back. The interesting thing is that your back may be stronger than you think. In fact it may just be overloaded because your abdominal muscles are not doing their fair share of the work, and the lower back has to do extra to support your spinal column.
Try pedaling with your abs pushed out for 30 seconds, then try pedaling with your abs pulled in for 30 seconds – big difference.
Check out my post on how to get six-pack abs.
What those bands and stability balls are supposed to be used for is strength and stability in the core. There are dozens of exercises and even more variations of each exercise to suit all ability levels!
Check out some variations in the Video section.
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