I love fundamentals. Fundamentals are the foundation from which more complex and effective derivatives are built upon. So many pro athletes achieve stardom and fame only to eventually fall into a slump and return to the basics. Many coaches and athletes alike will tell you, if you perfect the fundamentals, there may be no need for much else.
My Striking, and grappling skills are continuing to get better. As I get more advanced, I’ve noticed that every class starts with repeating basic drills that I learned from the very first day; and so it is with abdominal work.
You can do V-ups, X-ups, sit ups, roll ups, knee ups, or just about any abdominal exercise you want, and without using basic fundamentals, you will never effectively work the target area. Most ineffective abdominal work is caused from poor set up. If you can accomplish a good starting position and maintain good positioning during the range, your abs will cry sweaty tears of bliss. So, how do we set up to get all the “goody” out of our abdominal training? glad you asked!
1. Lay down on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor
2. Roll your belt line (low back) into the mat or ground (a slight posterior pelvic tilt)
3. Use the hamstrings to lock your pelvis into position. Do this by digging your heels into the ground and pull them toward your buttocks to tighten your hamstrings holding your pelvis in a posterior tilt
4. Place your hands behind your neck holding the base of your noggin (nuchal line) and keep your elbows open and wide.
5. Look straight up keeping your chin off your chest.
6. Pull your naval into your spine AS YOU EXHALE.
7. As you exhale, PULL YOUR TRANSVERSE ABDOMINALS IN, LIFT YOUR SHOULDER BLADES OFF THE FLOOR UNTIL ONLY THE MID BACK (THORACIC REGION) IS TOUCHING
(NOTE: LIFT STRAIGHT UP AS IF YOU HAVE A GLASS OF WATER ON YOUR CHEST… TRY NOT TO ROLL UP IN AN ARC)
Congratulations, you just executed a perfect crunch!
Continue to use these same principals for all abdominal work. These fundamentals will help facilitate and recruit more abdominal musculature durring your workout giving you “perfect abs”.
NOTE: Don’t forget – no matter how great your ab exercises are, you’ll never see them if you don’t diet. Diet is 80% of getting the abs of your dreams!
Tractor Tire Abs
Here is an entire ab & core workout I put together for GNC utilizing a tractor tire. Since many MMA camps and boot camps us tractor tires, I decided to come up with a few exercises to help you make the most of your tractor tire. Don’t have one? You can get a used on free at your local tractor repair store or dealer – or you can use a stability ball or bench.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.
When it comes to taking your training, performance and physique to a higher level, nutrition, training, rest and supplementation are critical. The amount of information that is available for these “critical” corner stones of fitness is immense. I feel it is important for people who are serious about changing there lives and becoming more fit to have a forum that will share basic principals that are tried and true. No doubt there are many different philosophies on training that actually work. Just like there are many types of diets and nutritional supplements that are proven to bring about results.
What you must do as a “seeker” of a more fit life is look at all these ideals that actually work, and look at everything they have in common. I trust the Beyond Raw line for two reasons. The science behind the products is extensive and sound but, mostly, I trust it because I tried the supplements and they gave the results they boasted. With this in mind I thought I would share my current diet.
This is not an experiment, this is my actual diet I am using as I train for a crazy upcoming schedule of tournaments. Bodybuilding, 1/2 iron man, and a MMA tournament. As I get closer to each event I will tweak the diet, but the core of this eating program will remain the same. The only fluctuation in this that isn’t written below is my coffee intake. Lets just say that it’s absolutely ridiculous. I also included how I would change the intake for a female trying to lean out and maintain muscle mass. Check it out, I hope it is helpful. Feel free to change protein sources, and switch veggies around as long as the nutritional profiles are similar. Enjoy….
NOTE: This is not a prescribed diet. I am not a dietician. I am just sharing with you how I eat to get the results I want for my body.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.
I’ve heard it said, “One of the biggest keys to success, is to surround yourself with like minded people that are successful”. This statement alone, is ambiguous at best. Successful at what, and to what extent, and to what cost? Is it equally important to surround yourself with others that share your feverence for success and the drive to reach the same goals? I think it takes both, and then some. Sometimes this means redefining your belief systems, redefining your self-worth, and sometimes even redefining… you!
Listen to what I’m about to say…. No matter your drive, no matter your will, you will still fail. It isn’t enough to know what you want. It isn’t enough to just know how bad you want it. Even if you believe you can truly achieve it, you WILL still fail - UNLESS…You surround yourself with people who have walked this talk before you, and not only achieved what you strive for, but continue to live it out daily. Take money for instance. Many have achieved wealth, but to what cost. Losing marriages, family, years of life, for this dream of wealth… is that success?
Now for my expertise, health and wellness, many people aim to get fit and change their lives forever but again, to what cost? Are they hating every rep of every exercise? Are they whining at every brussel sprout they swallow? Are they miserable in the pursuit of “happiness”? We must seek out friendships, mentors and teachers that can give us the direction, discipline and accountability we need to stay the course. Allow me to give you a few extreme examples I witnessed first hand.
Reality TV: Formula of Success
In 2oo7 I was the trainer for a summer weight loss reality show called “Fat March” that aired on ABC. A year later I was cast as the trainer for VH1′s “Bridal Boot-camp”, another weight-loss reality show. Working in this “reality genre” game gave me a firsthand look at the lengths production companies will go to making sure the environment created will not only produce results, but sensationalize the outcome. Take other weight loss reality shows into consideration as well. The formula for success is the same, and in all of these shows, the weight loss was truly amazing. Even the production companies, that know absolutely nothing about real weight loss still know, Iron sharpens iron.
When the cast was surrounded by people with like-minds, trainers who can help them reach their goals, taken away from temptation, and emerged in accountability 24/7, yes, the outcome was amazing… but so was the complete devastation of seeing it all unravel once they returned home. Except for just a few, the entire cast gained all of their weight back upon returning home.
So what happened? The one thing these “reality shows” do not teach is how to cultivate and control an environment that will perpetuate this new fit lifestyle. These people finally changed their lives forever – or so they thought. Some of them losing almost 200-300 pounds, only to return home and gain it all back again. Tragic! And it could all have been avoided.
If you suddenly quit drinking, would you lose any friends? If you wanted to save money and quit going shopping, would your friends finally quit calling? If you want to lose weight and stopped going out to eat, would your “bro’s” support you? The first problem is giving in… You might go to the bar the first time to hang out, and order water, but eventually your good intentions will fall prey to “just one”… shopping?… “oh it’s just an afternoon and, I haven’t seen my girls in so long”… OR.. “what could it hurt, I’ll go with the gang and just order a salad”.
LISTEN TO ME… Surround yourself with like-minded people who understand your drive as much as your weakness, ones who will pull you along just from the momentum they have in their own lives. People who will help you stand and lovingly hold you accountable. People who understand the depth of your commitment means more to you than the instant satisfaction of the moment. It’s the only way.
Whatever it is you are striving for, surround yourself with people who know the depth of your desire and are living it. It will be easier to stay on course and you will be strengthened in the process. You will know you are successful when someone is looking up to you too, the same way you were once looking up to others.
The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences!
Bonnie and I were both brought up in the south, and for many of us that means that we were in church everytime the doors were open. One of the phrases you hear a lot in the church is “we really hate SIN”. Don’t tune me out, I’m about to make a point. As much as church, Bon and I in our adult lives spent a lot of time in the gym as well. One of the phrases we hear all of time at the gym is “I love my workout”. So “we hate sin and love our workouts” hmmm
Hate Sin? Not at all.
We love sin, its exciting, feels good, it’s attractive, it taste good, it’s a total rush… No we don’t hate sin. What we hate is the consequences of our sin. Sin can lead to drug addiction. divorce, obesity, disease, or even death – not to mention total seperation from the Dude who created you. (another blog, another time). But to say we hate sin, well, that just isn’t true – but to truly hate the devastating affects of sin is such a huge reality it isn’t a lie to say “I hate sin”. Hold on, here it comes…
Love your workout? Not truly…
Right now I am doing 315 pound shruggs. I think I just popped every vertebrae in my back, just ripped a callous, my legs are trembling and I have sweat in my eye and a charlie horse in my calf. Love my workout? …not so much.
HOWEVER, I absolutely love the consequences that I experience from working out. Health, aesthetics, energy, increased self esteem, confidence, the ablility to defend myself and my family against danger, and vitality are all considered bliss – directly related to the suffering and drudgery of the afformentioned workout. Knowing the amazing results of hard training, I can honestly say, “I love my workouts”!
The same way a person who has been caught up in SIN becomes so hurt and disgusted with that lifestyle, another can honestly say they love working out becuase of the amazing results and positive influence, that it can acutally be said, “I love my workout”
In short...The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences!
How do we change our belief system to be able to honestly say… “I love training”?
2. Visualize the prize (end game) seeing the goal as if its complete.
3. Make a plan that is realistic and effective to meet your goal.
4. Grow a pair. Dont be afraid to “gut it out”. Know it will be worth it.
5. Start over a million times – but dont quit, not even once!