Discussing Abs Training – The Best Way

Ab Workout and Fat Loss Mistakes

Something a little different today, a discussion between two fitness and nutrition experts with Craig Ballantine interviewing Mike Geary about the right and wrong ways of fitness training, with special regard to ab workouts and getting rid of the fat layer that’s keeping those abs hidden.

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CB: If you want to discover some areas where you may be going wrong in your ab workouts and your attempts at losing stomach fat, I have an interview for you here that you’ll want to read.

In the interview, we discuss the topic of abs training and the biggest myths and mistakes we see in this field.

Here’s a copy of the training portion of the interview below. We’ll discuss the nutrition aspects necessary for losing enough body fat to carve out those six pack abs in another article.
CB: Okay Mike, so where does the average man or woman go wrong when it comes to training abs?

MG: Most people are probably going to be surprised with this answer. In their quest for ‘six pack abs’, the biggest mistake I see people making is wasting WAY too much of their time training their abs directly… pumping away with all kinds of different abs-specific exercises.

I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. The person is trying so hard to get those abs to show, that they’re spending almost all of their time in the gym with hundreds of reps of various crunches, leg raises, twisting exercises, etc. Meanwhile, all of that wasted time directly training the abs could have been better spent on a properly designed full body workout program that would elicit a much better metabolic response and increase the fat-burning hormone levels in their body as well.

After all, losing the stomach fat that is covering the abs is the MOST important aspect for most people to finally be able to make their abdominals visible. Unfortunately, pumping away with hundreds of crunches and leg raises does NOT cause much of a metabolic or fat burning hormonal response.

This is the main focus of my Truth about Six Pack Abs book… full body workout programs and proper nutrition to strip off that stubborn belly fat and reveal the six pack that’s hiding underneath!

Of course it wouldn’t be an abs book if I didn’t focus on ab development too, but I make sure firstly that the most important concepts for lasting body fat reduction are understood.

CB: Do you see any gender differences in mistakes they make? And more importantly, do you see any gender differences in the response to various types of ab training?

MG: To be honest, I don’t really see any need for men or women to train differently. Bottom line… the best exercises are the best exercises regardless of gender.

However, in regards to mistakes I see between genders… Yes, I tend to see women more often are deathly afraid to use weight training with anything but really light weights. That is a shame, because THE most effective way to gain control over your body fat for life, is to maximize your lean muscle that your body carries, as well as working that muscle hard through intense resistance exercise regularly.

It’s important for women to realize that regular strength training using heavier resistance will NOT “bulk them up” (as long as caloric intake is controlled), but rather is one of the key secrets for losing body fat and staying lean year-round. As a matter of fact, some of the leanest females that I’ve trained over the years are the ones that aren’t afraid to work hard with the weights.

I also notice that most women (and a lot of guys too) spend way too much time with slow cardio workouts. This is simply not necessary, and the way I combine high intensity resistance training into full body routines provides enough of a “cardio” workout in itself usually. We’ll get back to this in a minute though.

CB: What about old school sit-ups? Do you use these? Are they good, bad, or does it “depend”?

MG: Sit-ups are a controversial topic. I don’t think they’re good or bad per se, but rather “in between”. I didn’t include them in my workout programs. I simply don’t feel they are necessary, and I think there are much more effective abs exercises to focus on. Personally, I almost never do sit-ups except occasionally for a little variety every now and then.

CB: Give us a weekly sample ab training program. How many days per week? What are a couple of the best exercises you’d pick? How many sets? Reps? Rest?

MG: Well, first I’d like to point out that the full body exercises that make up the majority of my programs indirectly work the abs and the entire “core” area to a fairly decent extent. However, I do include abs-specific exercises into the routines generally about twice per week. The “abs-specific” portion of the workouts generally only take about 5 minutes at most with very little rest between exercises.

Once people are past the beginning phase of gaining some initial ab strength, I try to get them away from the exercises that are too easy, where someone can do 50 or 100 reps, as is frequently common with standard crunches. Instead, I like to focus on higher resistance exercises that actually stimulate the muscle fibers to a much greater degree.

One example of a higher resistance abs exercise is hanging leg raises with a proper “pelvic curl up”. It’s funny but usually someone that has been wasting so much time with hundreds of reps of crunches can usually only do a few solid reps when they first attempt some of these higher resistance exercises.

We also make sure not to neglect some rotational movements, as well as some work for the deeper muscles like the transversus abdominis.

CB: What do you use for burning fat, intervals or slow cardio workouts? Or both? Any gender differences here? Or differences between fitness levels (beginner vs. advanced)?

MG: In most cases, my answer is definitely intervals… or as I like to call it “variable intensity training”. In general, I think slow steady pace cardio is a waste of time, especially if the goal is lasting fat loss.

I think people need to get away from this thinking about “fat burning zones” and calories burned during the actual workout, and look at the bigger picture of what you’re doing in your workout to stimulate the greatest metabolic response in your body… and the best metabolic and hormonal response is achieved through variable intensity training and strength training, not slow steady-pace cardio workouts.

Now I will say that if someone is really deconditioned and can’t handle higher intensity exercise routines just yet, this still doesn’t mean that they can’t simply use lower intensity routines, but still use it in a “variable intensity” fashion, by alternating between higher and lower exertion levels throughout the workout.

That wraps up the “abs training” portion of the interview. We’ll discuss the nutrition aspects that are necessary for losing enough body fat to get visible six pack abs in a separate article.

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Go to the following site, there is also a free report about belly fat and why even the best abdominal exercise will never help you lose stomach fat.

The Fat Burning Zone Myth

Forget Fat Burning Zone When Losing Body Fat

Just before we start I’d like to point out that I did not write this aticle, Mike Geary (author of Truth About Six Pack Abs) co-wrote this target heart rate article with Craig Ballantyne (author of Turbulence Training) because they wanted to get the message out to everyone who keeps struggling with this outdated mentality that they must be in some sort of “fat burning zone” if they want to stand any chance of losing body fat with their workouts.

Target Heart Rate is Useless for Losing Body Fat

We’ll show you why targeting a specific heart rate to be in this so-called fat burning zone is actually the opposite of what you should be focusing on in your workouts if you truly want to get lasting fat loss results.

One of the worst myths in the fitness industry is that you need to maintain a specific heart rate range in the fat burning zone in order to lose fat. But this is simply not true. Unfortunately, this false belief leads people to choose low intensity steady state cardio routines that are ineffective and cause most people a major lack of results from their workouts.

The quicker you get rid of the “target fat burning heart rate = the best workout” mentality, the faster you will actually start to get real results with fat loss and changing the shape of your body for good.

In the Turbulence Training workouts, you actually burn more fat and more total calories when you are OUT of the gym due to the high-intensity and variable intensity nature of the training methods in these programs. This phenomenon is not due to the elevated heart rate you experience during the workout (even though your heart rate will be increased from the supersets and intervals), but rather from the metabolic and hormonal response you achieve from the more effective workout compared to your ineffective “fat burning zone” workout.

Over the last 10 years, scientific research has indicated a couple of very important things to us about exercising for body fat loss. First of all, lifting heavier weights while exercising leads to a higher caloric consumption by the body in the period for about 1-2 days following the workout when compared to lifting light weights with high repetitions. So that’s why 6-8 repetitions per set is better than 12-15 reps per set when it comes to stimulating the metabolism for losing fat permanently. That’s one of the cornerstones of the types of training routines in programs that actually get results, like Turbulence Training.

Another important aspect we have learned from scientific research in recent years is that highly variable interval-type training is far superior to slow, steady-pace cardio exercise for fat loss and post-exercise induced calorie burning. In the long run, if you focus on the internal metabolic response your body is getting from your workout routines, instead of how many calories you burn during some sort of magical “target fat burning heart rate zone”, you will achieve MUCH better fat loss results. So not only is it more result-producing, but it is also more time-efficient to use short high-intensity interval training workouts instead of slow, long, steady-pace cardio sessions.

The only time you might need to know your specific heart rate is during the recovery period of the interval training. It is important to take enough time during your recovery intervals in order for your heart rate to drop back down significantly (allow it drop to approximately less than 60% of your max heart rate).

That way you are able to get more quality work done when it counts. You do not want to start your next high-intensity interval too soon, nor do you want to exercise too hard during your recovery intervals.

All of these details are provided in the interval training guidelines within the Turbulence Training program. And we’ll show you how to properly structure your intervals so that you allow enough recovery time between each. With these guidelines, you do not have to worry about monitoring your target heart rate or anything fancy like that. It’s just not necessary. Just follow the TT instructions, and you will do great.

So here’s the bottom line:

If you want to start actually getting the fat loss results you’ve been wanting for so long, do not worry so much about your target fat buring heart rate zone during exercise. Instead, make sure that you are working at a high-intensity and a variable intensity (according to your individual capabilities of course) during each weight lifting and interval training session.

The TT workout guidelines will give you all of the details you need on the specific rest periods to use between supersets and intervals. With these guidelines, you will start to see vastly improved results from your workouts within weeks of implementing the changes.

Truth About Six Pack Abs
Turbulence Training

Abdominal Exercises – The Real Truth

What’s Wrong With My Abs?

Abdominal exercises are one of the hottest, and yet, most controversial topics in the fitness and exercise industry. Hundreds of ab gadgets, gimmicks, and exercise machines have flooded the market for people looking for sexier and flatter abdominals… that sexy six-pack abs appearance that everyone seeks.

The problem is that most of the abdominal exercises recommended all over the internet, and in magazines, etc, are not necessarily the best method to get that six-pack abs appearance. First and foremost, the most important aspect for great looking six pack abdominals is losing the extra belly fat that is covering them up. To be honest, most people already have decent abdominals underneath, yet the six-pack abs are simply covered up by all of that extra flabby stomach fat.

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Instead of focusing so much on abdominal exercises to make your stomach flatter and more like a six-pack, you will lose much more body fat by focusing the majority of your training time with special combinations of high intensity full-body, multi-joint exercises. The best exercises for losing that abdominal fat are the exercises that work the largest portions of the body at once.

Exercises that work the large muscle groups of the legs, upper and lower back, and chest give you the biggest metabolic bang for your buck in terms of abdominal fat loss. Combining these types of big multi-joint exercises in high intensity super-set, tri-set, or circuit fashion gives you the biggest fat-burning and metabolism boosting response from your workouts.

And that is one of the best kept secrets for flat sexy abdominals that are actually visible as a six-pack!

Now when it comes to abdominal-specific exercises, another mistake most people make is mindlessly pumping away with hundreds of crunches and other meaningless abs exercises that barely give your abdominals much resistance to work against. If you want to actually develop your abdominals to the best extent possible, don’t waste your time with exercises that you can do more than 20 or 25 reps… that means you are definitely not doing an exercise that provides enough resistance to the abs. Exercises that give you enough resistance to get you down into the 6-15 rep range per set works great for the abs.

Generally, higher resistance abdominal exercises that provide a much larger stimulus to the abs come in the form of exercises that involve raising/curling the legs and pelvis either upward or inward closer to the trunk. A couple great examples of these higher resistance abdominal exercises are hanging leg raises or knee raises using a “pelvic curl up”, or an exercise like lying hip thrusts. Many times, the same people that can do 50 or 100 crunches, can’t even complete more than 2 or 3 properly executed hanging leg raises.

If you really want tighter flatter abdominals that look like a six-pack, remember that losing that extra belly fat is the MOST important factor. Also, when it comes to abdominal-specific exercises, always remember higher resistance exercises that involve curling/raising the legs and pelvis upward or inward are what develops the abs to the best extent possible.

To discover over 27 more abdominal fat loss and metabolism-boosting secrets, go to Abdominal Exercises & Stomach Fat-Loss Secrets to download a FREE report revealing the strategies of the super-lean.

Fat Loss and Six Pack Abs

Lose Fat Naturally and Remodel Your Body

Whether you want to redefine your body, get those six pack abs, or lose those extra pounds you’ve

gained, there is really only one way to go! Exercise and nutrition are the only two methods that help you lose weight and remodel your body in a healthy way. There are other, short term, methods but they are neither healthy nor lasting.

Weight Loss – The Truth

Are you overweight, obese, maybe even morbidly obese, or have you just gained a few pounds and it’s stubbornly refusing to go?

There are tons of diets, pills, natural remedies, exercise, surgery…, the list is never ending…, and to make things worse, nothing seams to work, at least, not long term.

The best long term results require a change of lifestyle, one that incorporates exercise on a routine basis, and also involves a healthier diet.

Exercise on it’s own is not enough, especially if it is not targeted at weight loss, not all exercise is beneficial at losing body fat and for those that are, some are better than others.

Diets alone, similarly, are not enough either. The most stringent of diets can only work for a limited period of time and prove to be too difficult to maintain. Diets cause not only fat loss but also loss of muscle mass and loss of bone density. The only way to counteract this is with using both the correct exercise and proper nutritional diet.

The benefits of exercise AND healthy diet together allow for greater outcomes than merely losing

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...
Fresh vegetables are important components of a
healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

weight. Proper and targeted exercise doesn’t just help to lose fat but also helps build muscle, strengthen bones and joints, revitalize the skin, increase lung function, strengthen the heart, increased mental alertness, increased energy and also helps to reduce stress, cholesterol, fatigue and gives an overall feeling of wellbeing. Healthy diets, not only help to reduce body fat but also contributes to all the benefits gained by exercising properly.

There’s a program that makes great sense with exercises and nutritional advice for anyone, not just those who are overweight, but also for those wanting to remodel their body, exercise and nutrition.

If you would like more information on nutrition and, in particular, the truth about fat in our diet and why it is necessary, this article goes to great lengths to explain why it needn’t make us fat and why some fats are good for us and some are bad. It makes great sense with exercises and nutritional advice for anyone, not just those who are overweight, but also for those wanting to remodel their body.

Body Remodelling

The answer to the age-old question of “What is the best ab workout for losing stomach fat?” is…

well, there isn’t one! Ab workouts alone don’t create enough of a metabolic response in your body to create fat loss.

What the best types of exercises and workouts are for losing stubborn stomach fat in order to bring out visible six pack abs? The problem is that most people with excess stomach fat looking to try to uncover their abs are searching for some “miracle abdominal workout” that is going to slash the fat off their abs in no time.

The thing is… they are going about the problem entirely the wrong way! The truth is that you don’t lose stomach fat by doing ab workouts.Focusing most of your time and effort on abdominal exercises and abs workouts to try to flatten your stomach and bring out 6-pack abs is simply wasting your time from doing the correct workout programs that will actually reduce your body fat for good.

Full body exercises are the key to losing fat, coupled with good natural nutrition.

Don’t get me wrong… a certain amount of exercises that directly target the abs and core are needed, but these are only a small fraction of the programs necessary as your time is better spent focusing on the full body exercises that stimulate the greatest hormonal and metabolic changes within the body. In addition, a side-effect of working out using mostly full body multi-joint combo exercises are that you indirectly work your entire midsection even though you are not specifically targeting the abs.

Keep in mind that the most important factor for losing belly fat to see your abs is actually in the nutrition arena. No matter how hard you workout, if your diet is full of junk, then your abdominals will be covered with ugly fat. Nutrition is without a doubt the “king of getting a six pack”. You need nutrition to build muscle! Visit here, exercise and nutrition for all you need to know.

So let’s clear this up for good…

Stop wasting so much of your time focusing on situps, crunches, leg raises, and all those silly worthless “ab contraptions” in your efforts to try to develop 6-pack abs. Instead focus on full body exercises using combination multi-joint exercises all strategically combined into highly effective fat loss workouts. Couple that with a healthy diet full of natural unprocessed whole foods as close to their natural state as possible, and those elusive, flat stomach, six-pack abdominals will yours in no time!

Check out nutrition and exercise for more key strategies for getting flat sexy 6-pack abs and a flat stomach for life.