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"FREE" Newsletter | Common Abdominal Myths | Abs Workout Tips

Five Helpful Abdominal Tips | Abdominal Nutrition Tips | Abdominal Exercises

Questions & Answers | Fitness Infomercial Reviews | Top 10 Supplements


 
Common Abdominal Myths
by Justin Leonard
http://www.leonardfitness.com

Most would agree that abs are the most wanted muscle on any physique. But what's realistic when it comes to abdominal training and nutrition? I decided to write about the myths I hear most often. Hopefully, this clears up any misleading information.

I must train abs for hours for them to be defined.

Absolutely not! Long workouts provide no additional benefit to your abs. It will only cause you to get weaker as a result of overtraining. It should take less than 20 minutes per abdominal training session. Less is better!

Fat burners will help me burn fat around my abs.

Although they can be effective, fat burners do not target specific areas of the body. Fat is burned throughout the entire body. Plus, the "best" fat burner is the food you eat! It's mainly the diet that yields the "six pack!"

I'll have to go on a strict diet to get good abs.

Nope! Through the use of simple of what I call "diet modification", anyone can turn their abs into a chiseled work of art. There are still ways to enjoy what you eat, using these modifications. You don't necessarily have to "diet." You just have to know when you can eat certain foods. Be creative. It works!

If I use weights with abdominal exercises my abs will show up better.

Don't waste your time! Weights provide no additional benefit to your abs. Abdominals will never bulge like the leg or pectoral muscles will. Abs "barely" increase in size when you train them. To get your abs to show up better, you have to sculpt them. The sculpting of the abs is done through strip-away-fat dieting, not heavier weights!

I can eat fattening meals because if I workout, I can burn if off.

Most people don't workout long enough to burn even half of the calories they ate. The unburned excess will more than likely become fat. You can combat this problem by routinely eating small meals and working out with very little in the stomach. It's okay to eat fattening foods, but try to do it in moderation.

I should do leg lifts and leg raises to target the lower abs.

Don't waste your time! The abdominals are trained as one muscle. Lower abs and upper abs ARE NOT separate muscle muscle groups. Need proof?

Get in the crunch position and touch your lower abs. Now slowly lift your upper back off of the ground and contract your abs! Did you feel that? Always treat your abs as one muscle!

If I do hundreds of sit-ups everyday, I'll have ripped abs.

You can do 200 sit-ups a minute and still wouldn't have abs. It's because exercise doesn't necessarily define the abs. It only makes them more prominent once the fat has been removed from around them.

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Abs Workout Tips

by Justin Leonard
http://www.leonardfitness.com

The proper way to train abs is widely debated by experts. The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to go about training abs. What works for someone else may not work for you. Everyone has a different body type. Results will vary from person to person.

As stated before, the most fat is burned when abs are trained with very little in the stomach. One should also consider performing some type of cardiovascular activity prior to beginning your training session. This minimizes your chance of overexerting an abdominal muscle.

I have designed a generic abs workout for starters. Feel free to modify as needed. This routine uses a traditional one-after-the-other technique. You could also use a supersetting technique (switching back and forth between 2 or more exercises, with little or no rest in between sets).

Crunches - 5 sets to failure

Lying Leg Lifts - 5 sets to failure

Side Crunches - 5 sets to failure

Crunches - 2 sets to failure

That's it! There is no hidden secret to training abs! The word "failure" in the regimen means, "until you can't do anymore in a single set because your abs are burning too much." Don't count reps! Instead, concentrate on feeling the burn!

It should take less than 20 minutes to complete this routine.

 

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Five Helpful Abdominal Tips

by Justin Leonard
http://www.leonardfitness.com

Perform cardiovascular activity before your workout.

When the body is warmed up as a result of cardiovascular activity, you're able to get a better contraction on your abs when you work them. The warm up enables you to better feel the deep muscular burning sensation when your abs are trained. It also helps to prevent abdominal pulls or muscle strains.

Contract your abs in between sets.

This technique may help to build abdominal definition. Bodybuilders have been know to stretch and flex in between sets to increase muscle definition.

Minimize rest time in between sets.

Try to only take 1 minute of rest [or less] in between abdominal exercises. The goal is to keep rest to 30 - 40 seconds in between sets. This keeps the metabolism high, allowing you to burn fat at a greater rate.

Focus on diet modification.

Your diet is the main factor in how your abs will look. Supplementation should also be considered for maximum results. "Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!"


Abs Nutrition Tips
by Justin Leonard
http://www.leonardfitness.com

What's the best way to diet for awesome abs? This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. This article will highlight some of the tips and tricks used for obtaining a well defined midsection.

Cutting calories works. Excess calories become love handles, hips, and butts. In other words, when you eat and don't burn (fat), you store (fat). It's as simple as that. Cutting calories minimizes the chances of fat conversion.

If you're wondering how you're supposed to eat 6 meals with a busy work schedule, a technique that works for many is the use of meal replacement powders or homemade nutritious shakes. They are what they are; nutritional low-calorie meals in drink form. They actually help to curb the appetite, they're high in protein, and they taste good. You may want to consider using meal replacement or protein drinks.

Another beneficial abdominal dieting technique is to reduce the amount of sodium added to food. Salt + water + fat = prominent fat around the love handles. Cutting sodium can make a huge difference in the way your abs look.

If you're worried about cheat days, it really depends on your body type. Some can get away with eating pizza, donuts, and chips. Others are less fortunate. The main point is that you have to constantly be in tune with your body. Know your limits! Experiment with different diet strategies to find out what works best for you.

My main points:

  • Lower caloric intake

  • Eat fat in moderation

  • Eat 4 - 6 small meals

  • Reduce sodium levels

  • Know your dieting limits

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Abdominal Exercises

by Justin Leonard
http://www.leonardfitness.com

There are several exercises you can do for abs. Many of the people I work with don't realize that most abdominal exercises are either ineffective or not needed. To set the record straight on which work and which don't, I have listed three noteworthy abdominal exercises.

Crunches

Most already know how to perform this abdominal exercise. It's basic, yet highly effective. Perform crunches by lying on a flat surface with your hands either across your chest or behind your head. Contract your abs. Hold for 2 seconds, then return to the starting position. Crunches should be performed in a continuous and controlled fashion.

Side Crunches

Side Crunches are basically the same as regular crunches, except the main focus is on the oblique muscles (love handles). The same technique applies, only your crunching to either side of your abs. You should feel the burn of the sides of your abs.

Bench Crunches

The bench crunch is best performed with your back on a floor mat and your feet on a bench (upper legs should be at 90 degree angle). Again, the goal is to take the hip flexors (upper thigh muscle) out of the movement and force the abs to do the work. Once you're in position, lift your upper back off of the ground and contract your abs. You don't have to touch you elbows to your legs, just contract the abs!

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Abdominal Questions & Answers

Question: How can I get a six-pack?

Justin Leonard: Anyone can have defined abs with a few key concepts and techniques. Everyone actually has a good set of abs, it's just a matter of removing the fat and sculpting them through nutrition and exercise.

Question: How many sit-ups should I do to tone my abs?

Justin Leonard: Remember that nutrition is what mainly "tones" the abs! Total body exercise should be your second choice.

Question: What's the best way to lose fat around my midsection?

Justin Leonard: The best way to burn fat over the "entire" body is through diet modification and low-impact cardiovascular exercise.  The human body burns fat best when calories are reduced and you're consistent with a diet that doesn't exceed the demands of your daily physical activities. In addition, supplementation with thermogenic formulas, meal replacements, and whey protein may be beneficial.

Question: What is the best abdominal exercise?

Justin Leonard: There is no one exercise which is better than another. What works for someone else may not work for you. You must experiment with each to find which is best for your individual body type. Indicated are two of the most popular exercises:

  • Crunches
  • Side crunches

Question: What is the best way to train the abs?

Justin Leonard: There is no best way, but consider performing all sets until failure or until you can't perform another repetition due to muscle fatigue. The abs have a high level of resistance to muscle fatigue. Rest time in between sets should be kept to a minimum (approx. 30 seconds to 1 minute).

Question: How often should I train my abs?

Justin Leonard: Opinions vary from training abs every workout, to once a week. The key thing to remember is that everyone has a different body type. The truth is, you must test every option to find which method works best for your body.

 

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