Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lower Ab Planks (Abdominal Training)

Here's an article about a variation of the plank.  You can see a video of this exercise by clicking here. 

The Abdominal Plank is one of the most effective and simple abdominal exercises you can do.

If you're not familiar with the Plank, your basically hold your body in a stiff, horizontal position on your forearms and toes (on the floor), maintaining a straight body position for as long as possible. It's a great exercise you can do anywhere.

THIS exercise is a version of the plank where instead of holding your body in the horizontal position, using some small changes, you'll instead be holding it an angle.

This change in angle and body position shifts the tension to the lower abs and can be very effective for tightening the lower abdominal area, especially if you're looking for that sexy "V" look down through the obliques (once you get your bodyfat low enough, of course).

This exercise could also help get rid of that "pooch belly" bulge by tightening up the specific muscles that control that area of the abs...when these fibers don't have "tone" (in this case lack of tone means they relax too much, not other "tone" that just means training with light weights and getting zero results ;)... as I said when these fibers don't have tone, they just let the internal organs push outward, causing that bulge, even if your bodyfat is low. This exercise can help correct that.

I've got it set up in the rails of a power rack, but you can very easily do it between two benches if you don't have a rack to work with (or a bench for your forearms and something else a few feet off the ground to hook your feet over - you'll see what I mean).

So to do this one in the rack, set your rails a few feet off the ground, then stand facing one side. Set your forearms (near the elbow) on the rail then hook your feet on the other rail. Now just hold your body in that position, keeping your body just a bit bent (not completely straight like the floor version...because your knees are lower, you need to keep some bend in your hips to keep pressure off the lower back) and stable as you can.

Keeping the hips bent is really important...if you straighten the body, you'll immediately get a lot of stress onto the lower back.

Once again, though, nice exercise for targeting the lower abdominal area and you can do it on benches or really anything else you can set your forearms and feet on. Hold the position for as long as you can, staying short of complete failure and strive to increase the hold time in your next workout.

You can do this exercise first in your abdominal routine, which I usually recommend doing after the rest of your training is completed. I wouldn't do it first in your workout, though, as it will temporarily weaken the area. Which means if you do this exercise then a set of heavy squats, your squats will suffer.

That being said, if you're doing a cardio training session, you can do it before or after cardio, since that doesn't require the same level of stabilization in the core.

And if you're interested in even MORE killer core training just like this, definitely check out my book "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of" - 77 ab-blasting exercises that will take your midsection to a whole new level!

RECOMMENDED: to best understand how to perform and get the most out of this technique, I HIGHLY recommend checking out the pictures and video of it in here now to see it (or click the image).


Nick Nilsson has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been innovating new training techniques for more than 20 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding books including "Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass", "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of", all designed to maximize the results you get for the hard work you put into your training.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fat Loss Forever (Coming Soon)

John Romaniello
John Romaniello has a new program coming out.  You can read more about it here:  Fat Loss Forever Review.  

I haven't had the chance to see it and review it in detail, but I know the basics.  I'm looking forward to it because I believe it will help people get lean in record time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ben Pakulski Back Workout

Here's another article from Ben Pakulski:  creator/author of the Mass Intentions Extreme 2.0 (MI40X) Workout Program. Here he emphasizes rowing and other movements for building your back.  
Ben Pakulski

Another awesome week of training in BPak Land. Killed back twice this week: One day is heavy rows and pull ups; the other day is very meticulous contraction and back to basics with deadlifts at the end of the workout.

I had been told to avoid deads last contest season for fear it might build my waist. I say bullshit! I’ve been deadlifting Mack trucks since I was 17 and always manage to get my waist smaller than 34 inches. The only time my waist grows is if I get lazy and don’t train my abs or overeat. Bottom line! SO….back to basics and make this back explode.

I have given special attention this year to using only perfect form on every thing I do. Bit of a shot to the ego when it comes to weights, but they have gone back up relatively quickly. What does perfect form mean? Ahhh the question every aspiring bodybuilding should be asking! (and likely is!) Perfect form is getting a muscle AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE! And conversely, as long as possible, although both are not always possible in the same exercise. This should be the basis for where every workout begins. HOW DO I GET A MUSCLE AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE?

First, what does that mean? And what does a fully shortened muscle look like for each and every body part? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, and you’re trying to build muscle, you’re wasting time. Now, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to build ANY muscle (if you use the “shake weight” enough times you will eventually build some muscle). However, if you’re like most people I know, you value your life and don’t want to waste your time in the gym. Who wants to work hard and not building muscle effectively…right?

Each week I will try to explain ONE exercise and what it means to fully shorten that muscle and HOW to do it! Since the theme for this week is BACK, here it goes for LATS…

The lats primary functions are to “adduct, extend and internally rotate the humerus.” Although there may be a few other functions in there, depending on specific fiber direction, these are the main ones we need to be concerned with. So, what does that mean? From the “anatomical position” (standing with arms at your sides, palms facing forward), it simply means: Bring your arm closer to your side, rotate the shoulder inward (so your palm is facing behind you), and extend your arm as far as possible behind you (without moving any other part of your body). TRY IT! See how it feels.

If you’re not getting close to this position in your workouts, you’re wasting time! It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to do exactly this position on every exercise. Some exercises are slightly different angles etc. But this should be the primary goal and on your mind when executing each and every set and rep.

My workout looked like this:
Reverse Grip Seated cable row 4x15 (180, 225, 225, 225lbs)
One arm dumbbell row 4x12(130, 140, 140,140)
Overhand barbell row 4x15(315)
Deadlift 4x20 (315 for 23 on first set, then 405lbs for 3 sets: 20, 17,17 reps)
We kept the deads light cause I hadn’t deadlifted in almost 3 months.

If this exercise execution worked for you and you want to see the next one ASAP….. as soon as I see 50 comments and feedback on the blog, I’ll post the next one! I want to hear your feedback!


Note: Just CLICK HERE to check out Ben Pakulski's training program.