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6 pack abs are usually a trademark of physically fit people.

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Sep
04

Physical Fitness Is More Than 6 Pack Abs

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Friends, why do you workout? Is it to look good-maybe to flaunt those 6 pack abs? To feel good? To prevent disease and promote longevity? To lose weight? Maybe even maintain your current weight? All of these are valid reasons to exercise. The important thing is that we do not lose sight of what is really important, which is the QUALITY of life that is enhanced by being physically fit.

That being said, many of you may wonder what exactly defines a “fit” person. Well, that definition may be a little different for each person. For example, a bodybuilder may want to

6 pack abs are usually a trademark of physically fit people.

6 pack abs are usually a trademark of physically fit people because they tend to have lower body fat percentages allowing the muscles to show.

look more muscular and add more bulk than say, a yoga instructor. The thing is, however, that being “fit” is not determined solely by our physical appearance. A perfect example of this is a visibly “thin” person with high cholesterol, or very little endurance. Simply being “thin” does not necessarily mean you are fit. A thin, sedentary person may not be “overweight”, but can very well be “over fat”-or carrying excess body fat.

Now I know this idea may be hard for many to grasp, so I thought I might outline the five key components of physical fitness. Physical fitness is the ability to function effectively throughout your workday, perform your usual other activities and still have enough energy left over to handle any extra stresses or emergencies which may arise.

The first of the five key categories that make up physical fitness is Cardiorespiratory (CR) endurance. Cardiorespiratory endurance is the efficiency with which the body delivers oxygen and nutrients needed for muscular activity and transports waste products from the cells. This describes how well your body cleanses, replenishes, and fuels itself, and is a direct indicator of a person’s fitness level. A “fit” person’s heart, for example does not have to work as hard to deliver blood throughout the body than a person who is out of shape. Their heart, therefore is more efficient-it produces greater results with less effort.

The second category is muscular strength. This is the greatest amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert in a single effort. This one is pretty self explanatory. The more a person works out and exercises, the more strength they will develop. This is very clearly demonstrated in weight lifting. While you may only be able to lift say, 10 pounds for bicep curls when you first start strength training, if you work the muscle consistently and effectively, a few months down the road those 10 pound dumbbells will be a joke to you. Why? Because you have increased your muscle strength and are more fit than when you started.

The third category is muscular endurance which is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to perform repeated movements with a sub-maximal force for extended periods of times. More simply put, it’s stamina-the ability to keep on going. If you are training for a marathon for example, you may only be able to run a couple miles when you first start training before your leg muscles give out on you. With time and proper training, your leg muscles become accustomed to greater distances and build up endurance to successfully complete the race.

Flexibility is the next one-and it’s a big one because so many people overlook it and treat it as less important than other aspects of fitness. Flexibility is extremely important because it is the ability to move the joints or any group of joints through an entire, normal range of motion. If you are a martial artist for example, but can’t lift your leg above your waist due to a limited range of motion, you can and will really injure yourself by trying to kick a target above that height. If you play tennis but have difficulty raising your arm above your head, your serve-and your game-are really going to suffer the consequences. Even in everyday living flexibility is important. That’s why we hear of so many people “throwing out their back” as they age. A big part of the problem is decreased flexibility.

The last, and probably most widely used measure of physical fitness is body composition. This is the percentage of body fat a person has in comparison to his or her total body mass. I have said time and again that WEIGHT does not give you the total picture. Remember the example I gave a while back? If you have 2 men for example, each 6-feet tall and weighing 200 pounds- Man “A” has 30% body fat while man “B” has 6% body-they are going to look VERY different from one another. Man “B” will appear to be much “fitter” than man “A” and is much more likely to have those coveted 6 pack abs because he has a lower percent body fat.

Improving the first three components of fitness listed above will have a positive impact on body composition and will result in less fat. Excessive body fat detracts from the other fitness components, reduces performance, detracts from appearance, and negatively affects your health. A sensible weight loss and fitness program seeks to improve or maintain all the components of physical fitness through sound, progressive, mission specific physical training.

Now the beauty of it is that we all have the potential to be fit-the same principles of exercise apply to everyone at all levels of physical training. From the Olympic-caliber athlete to the weekend jogger, these basic principles of exercise must be followed. So, make the choice to take care of your health and your body. Make fitness a priority TODAY and start improving your quality of life.

Take Charge!

Fitness King

P.S. Want to: Learn the “Easy” way to get and stay in shape? Discover the secret to quick fat loss? How to exercise less and get better results? Discover the secret to ripped abs without doing endless crunches? Then be sure to get my “Amazing Fat Burning Formula” HERE.

P.P.S. If you like this post, and think it will help others, please help me help others by clicking on one of these “Share and Enjoy” links below.

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At one point in time, every last one of us passionately wanted a chiseled rock-hard mid-section. We all want to know how to get great 6 pack abs. Well here is a secret… Not only is a nice “six pack” appealing to the eye, it does wonders for your health to get rid of all that extra fat. In study after study researchers and health specialist alike have found that decreasing fat in your abdomen, and waist to hip ratio is the single most significant step that you can take to stay healthy for life, and age gracefully.

Most of us have given up on the idea because it’s “too hard” or we are “too old” or “to busy” to workout. We

6 pack abs do a whole lot more for your body than just look good. By strengthening your core, you will in a sense help strengthen the rest of your body as well.

6 pack abs do a whole lot more for your body than just look good. By strengthening your core, you will in a sense help strengthen the rest of your body as well.

have been flooded with miss-information from fad diets, fat burner supplements, to exercise gadgets, promoting six week transformations with dramatic before and after photo’s, etc. The key to that coveted six pack is not one thing, it is a combination of things.

Here are some tips to get to where you want to go on your quest for a healthy (and good-looking) body for life:

1. Follow a precise nutrition plan that has the right amount of protein combined together with the right amount and the right type of carbohydrates spaced strategically through-out the day, and around weight training and cardio sessions.

2.  Devise and follow an intelligent cardiovascular program

3.  Keep an optimistic athletic mid-set

4.  Building up the muscles of the mid-section, as well as all your other muscles through strength training

Now those tips are great for an overall healthy body for life, but let’s focus in on those 6 pack abs-since that’s the one thing most of us dream about. The secret weapon for developing the musculature of the abdominal wall is a little known exercise I like to call “the ab vacuum”. It targets your inner most abdominal muscle, the transverse abdominis (TVA for short). Most people don’t even know they have one, let alone how to activate it. The TVA is like a corset, it is your own internal weight belt, holding your internal organs in place. It is the foundation for the rest of the abdominal muscles, the internal and external obliques, and the rectus abdominis. If you have done crunches and leg-lifts until you are blue in the face and are still unhappy with your mid-section, this information could take your quest for that fit chiseled mid-section to the next level.

There are other benefits to strengthening your TVA:

1.  It is the only exercise that has the ability to actually make your waist-line smaller.

2.  By working and strengthening the TVA you are actually giving your spine more support, so the risk of a vertebrae or a disc slipping out of place is less. Did you notice that the old leather weight belts are not used anymore? That’s because we learned to tighten up our own internal weight belt on exercises verses using an external weight belt that shut off the need to activate the TVA which lead to injuries.

3.  Better sex-and for those women who have had, or plan on having a child-a faster recovery time. When you strengthen your TVA with the ab vacuum exercise you will be using your diaphragm and you will also strengthen your lower pelvic floor muscles (ala a “kegel squeeze”-any expectant mothers out there know exactly what this is). To perform a kegel exercise, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine mid-stream. Stronger pelvic floor muscles help women achieve orgasms and help men achieve and maintain erections. It also makes the orgasms more pleasurable. For some reason, as soon as I tell my clients this, most of them end up overtraining TVA!

4.  You can work the other abdominal muscles more effectively. You can’t shoot a cannon out of a canoe. You can’t have strong walls on your building if your foundation is weak. When you strengthen up the foundation of your mid-section you will be able to perform your other abdominal exercises with more focused intensity. You will be able to feel the difference in a matter of weeks.

5.  Athleticism- The TVA is the deepest abdominal muscle group there is. It is truly the core of the core. An athlete can have excellent cardiovascular condition and have strong leg and back muscles, but if his core muscles aren’t in optimal condition, this creates a weak link in the bodies muscle chain that affects all his movements. All movements and reactions start at the core. If core muscles don’t do their job to stabilize and move the torso, then arm and leg muscles will overcompensate, trying to do a job for which they are ill-equipped.

To get in tune with and activate your TVA simply place your hands around the sides of your body at your pelvis. Flatten your stomach by gently pulling in your gut, or pulling your belly away from your waist band. You can feel the TVA at work as it reduces the diameter of your torso in that area. This simple exercise also demonstrates the involvement of the abs in respiration, particularly exhalation.

I have put on an incredibly unique twist to this exercise. The combination of two little known exercises takes the effectiveness of this core exercise to the next level. Basically, I have combined an ab vacuum with a kegele squeeze. As I mentioned before, most women know what a kegel squeeze is. In child birth it gets the lower pelvic floor muscles stronger which aid in the pushing for child birth. For men, when trying to perform a kegel squeeze, think about stopping the flow of urine mid-stream while pulling your belly-button back toward your spine (as you exhale about ½ of your lung capacity). Also try to think about squeezing your sphincter muscles or like you have a quarter between your butt cheeks and you don’t want it too fall out.

You can do the ab vacuum anywhere, and need no equipment. It’s a great way to wake up, or to end your day. It will take lots of practice and each week you will be able to feel the muscles working more and more. Once you get good at the technique you will be able to feel a ½ circle burning sensation in the pubic area. Don’t be alarmed, just feel good about mastering one of the most unique and effective abdominal exercises out there. Now no one said it is an easy exercise-but don’t give up. Once you master it you will be able to reverse gravity in a sense, and start to put back in place what years of inactivity and bad posture has started to let hang over your belt line.

Take Charge!

Fitness King

P.S. Want to: Learn the “Easy” way to get and stay in shape? Discover the secret to quick fat loss? How to exercise less and get better results? Discover the secret to ripped abs without doing endless crunches? Then be sure to get my “Amazing Fat Burning Formula” HERE.

P.P.S. If you like this post, and think it will help others, please help me help others by clicking on one of these “Share and Enjoy” links below.

Categories : 6 Pack Abs
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My Interview with Bill Phillips after Winning the Body For Life Contest