Archive for the ‘ab workout’ Category

10 Day Countdown to Fitness: Day 9

July 12, 2007

Welcome to Day 9 of our 10 Day Countdown to fitness!

I’m assuming that you have done the previous assignments from the first 8 days of the Countdown. If not, PLEASE go back and do them. They’re essential parts of this whole process. If you are serious about using the 10 days to jump start exercising for weight loss, you will not get the long term results you want and deserve without doing the previous assignments. If you skipped over them, or if this is the first post you’re reading in this 10 day series, you can find Day 1 here.

For day 9, we’re going to once again use our time in front of the TV  to lose some weight and get fit!  Beginning today, I want you to start taking an exercise break while watching TV in the evening.  During the first commercial break, hit the floor and do as many push ups as you can until the show resumes.  IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW MANY YOU CAN OR CAN NOT DO! Just do the best you can, and that’s good enough.  🙂

When the next commercial break begins, stand up and do some squats.  Again, it doesn’t matter how many you can do; just do the best you can until your show resumes.

For the next commercial break, hit the floor and do crunches.  Do as many as you can during the commercial.  And again, it doesn’t matter how many you can do.  Do what you can, and be proud of the fact that you’re exercising!

Congratulations…you have just completed a full body work out.  Do this once a day, and you will quickly see and feel many changes in your body.

If you have kids, I’d suggest getting them involved in doing this with you.  It’s a great way to start building the exercise habit in them, and you will have fun as well.

See you tomorrow for the last day in our Countdown!


10 Day Countdown to Fitness: Day 3

July 5, 2007

Welcome to Day 3 of our 10 Day Countdown to Fitness!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July.

I’m assuming that you have done the previous assignments from the first 2 days of the Countdown. If not, PLEASE go back and do them. They’re essential parts of this whole process. If you are serious about using the 10 days to jump start exercising for weight loss, you will not get the long term results you want and deserve without doing the previous assignments. If you skipped over them, or if this is the first post you’re reading in this 10 day series, you can find Day 1 here.

Now let’s get started on Day 3.

Grab the physical activity list your made on Day 2, and your calendar/date book. Take the very first activity on the list (which should be the easiest activity for you to perform right NOW), and schedule yourself a 30 minute block of time to perform this activity at least 3 days every week for the next 30 days.

Now, you may not be able to perform the activity you’ve selected for the 30 minute block you’ve scheduled; that’s OK. Just get moving and do the best you can do. I promise you, by the end of the first 30 days, you will be increasing the amount of time you are able to exercise, as well as experiencing an increase in energy levels, and being a few pounds lighter. 🙂

As far as when you schedule your 30 minutes…just pick the time that works best for you.  It doesn’t matter if it’s morning, evening, or your lunch hour.  Just pick the time tht you will find it easiest to stick to.
For right now, we aren’t going to worry about the elements of effective workouts, like cardio, strength training, flexibility, etc.  The whole idea is to just get moving!  I’ll be writing plenty in the weeks and months ahead to help you learn more about exercising.  But for now…simply get moving.

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Day 4.

Straight From the Mouth of Some Big Losers

June 25, 2007

Let me say this right up front: I am a not a fan of “The Biggest Loser” television series.

Why? Because I think it sets unrealistic expectations as far as weight loss goes. First of all, it’s WAY too scale-oriented. It’s nothing for the participants to have a 7, 8, even a 10 pound weight loss in a week. And we watch them get upset if they only lose 3 pounds or so. Most of us would kill for a 3 pound weight loss every week. I’ve also read (and don’t know if it’s true) that the participants work out 4 hours a day, every day they’re in the house.

This is just not the real world of weight loss. And I’m always afraid that there’s people watching it and finally getting motivated to get started eating right and exercising. And then I’m afraid that they’ll be crushed the first time they “only” lose 2 or 3 pounds.

I do have to admit, though, that I get very excited about the success the contestants experience and the fact that these folks are learning, many of them for the first time, how to eat right and exercise. And I get thrilled along side them as the see the benefits of getting fit and thin.

I read an article today with weight loss advice from some of the Biggest Loser contestants, and I have to recommend it to you. You can find it here. The advice in it is AWESOME; it’s very apparent that they have truly been taught how to lose weight. Here’s 10 tips from the article:

10 More Tips From The Biggest Loser

To help keep you moving toward your weight loss goals, Lyons, Alexander and several of the “Biggest Losers” offer these additional tips and tricks:

  1. “Eat often — snack often,” says Alexander. While this may seem contrary to traditional dieting advice, the chef says that as long as you keep an eye on calories and portions, eating often will stave off hunger attacks that ultimately sabotage your diet. “When you’re starving, you grab whatever is available — and that’s the quickest way to get off your eating plan,” says Alexander.

2. “Eat your carbs in the morning,” says Biggest Loser contestant Brian Starkey. “It gets your day off to an energetic start.” Lyons adds that carbs are quickly burned with activity, so eating them may help motivate you for that morning walk or bike ride.

3. “Post a picture of yourself on the refrigerator — at your worst,” says Biggest Loser contestant Dana Desilvio. “The next time you’re thinking of grabbing something you shouldn’t from the fridge, you’ll be reminded of what you don’t want to look like!”

4. “Instead of watching the clock during workouts, listen to music,” to make the time go faster,says Erik Chopin, TheBiggest Loser‘s season-three winner. Lyons reminds us that everyday activities, like bike riding, tossing a Frisbee, or walking your dog, count as physical activity, too.

5. “When eating out, always ask for a ‘to-go’ box — at the start of your meal,” says Biggest Loser contestant Bobby Moore. Then, when your food arrives, immediately put half of it in the box, he suggests. This way, you’ll not only get used to eating smaller portions, but you’ll have a snack for later.

6. Learn to cook healthfully. “Cooking healthy doesn’t have to be hard — or take more time,” says Alexander. While many “Biggest Loser” contestants said they thought cooking healthy would be complicated or time-consuming, Alexander says, most found that cooking healthy is actually easier, less expensive, and faster.

7. “Never overlook the power of seasoning,” says Alexander. One way she made even the blandest diet foods grab the contestants’ attention was by using low-sodium seasonings.

“People never realize what a major difference spices can make on even simple dishes like grilled chicken or salmon,” she says.

8. “When it comes to cooking in flavor, it’s never about the oil,” says Alexander. Many dieters believe that unless food is fried in oil, you don’t get much flavor. But, she says, the real secret is pan-browning, which can happen without oil. The trick to getting restaurant-quality taste, she says, is to never overload your pan with food. “If you put too much in the pan, the moisture content causes the foods to steam and not pan-fry,” she says. “By reducing the amount of food in the pan you get that tasty pan-seared browning, without the use of any oils.”

9. Don’t try to do too much exercise, too soon. You not only run the risk of injury, but you’ll also get quickly discouraged. “Don’t try to stare down 45 minutes of exercise,” says Lyons. “Tell yourself it will be OK to quit after 10 minutes, because most of the time once you get going, you’ll keep going.”

10. Remember: Self-esteem feeds on self-esteem. Accomplishing a little something toward your weight loss goal every day will not only get you on the road to success, but help keep you there. “You are not just losing weight, you are changing your life and your lifestyle,” says Alexander. “If you keep that in mind, you come to see that every change, no matter how small, comes together to make a huge difference in not only your weight, but your life,” says Alexander.

See what I mean?

There is some profound wisdom in this article. There’s even a couple of recipes from the Biggest Loser Cookbook that I’m going to try. So do go spend a little time with this article.

You may not lose 10 pounds in a week, but if you take this advice to heart, you can lose weight EVERY week and keep it off. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

So, What Do You Want?

June 9, 2007

Good morning, all —

Well, my wife is here in New York for a visit this weekend, so I don’t have a whole of time to post.  We’re pretty busy enjoying the big Apple.

So…I’m going to ask you guys for posts instead. 🙂

Specifically, what I’d like is to hear  is exactly what kind of information you would like me to post in order to help you lose weight and get fit.  More exercise related information, nutrition info, diet recipes, supplements, motivation…what ever you need to help you, please let me know.

What I will do then is to use the information you provide to plan out future posts and info.

So please either leave a comment to this post, or feel free to email me at loseweightwithbrian @ gmail dot com.  There’s a link over on the right hand side to email me.

Please, the more specific  you are about what kind of information you need, the better I will be able to use it to provide good information to you.

Thanks a bunch, guys…I appreciate it.

At Long Last …Abs!

April 18, 2007

Okay, okay…I’ve been talking about posting a quick and efficient abs workout for you for the last 2 weeks.  I guess the time has come to put up or shut up.  🙂

Let me start out by stating that you need to practice a complete, balanced exercise program.  By that, I mean you need to do more than just the routine I’m going to post.  You should incorporate cardio exercise and strength training into your routine.  These things, combined with a sensible eating plan, will not only cause the fat to literally melt right off of you but will also give the best thing of all…vibrant health.

As I’ve stated many times, your exercise routine does not have to be anything fancy.  If you’re a beginner, it can be as simple as some pushups, some squats, and a 30 minute walk.  Just get moving!

Also, if you are significantly overweight, have health concerns or if it’s been a long time since you’ve exercised, you should not begin any exercise program unless and until you have received the OK from your medical professional.

Having said all of that…

I recommend doing your abs/core workout at the end of your regular cardio or strength training workout.  This way you are already sufficiently warmed up.

You only need to work out your abs/core 3 times a week.  Personally, my current routine consists of strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday.  I do cardio and abs/core on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Assuming that you’re a beginner, I recommend a goal of 10 repetitions of these 10 different exercises, with the exception of the bridge exercises.  These call for just one rep.  Now, keep in mind that 10 reps of each exercise is a GOAL…it’s OK if you can’t do that many.  We all have to start somewhere.  Just do the best that you, and know that you WILL improve as long as you exercise consistently.

And don’t be afraid of “failing”…there’s no such thing as failure as long as you’re trying.

Be sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing such as shorts and a tee shirt.

No need to be uncomfortable…lay on an exercise mat or a carpeted floor.

1.       Basic Crunch – 10 Reps.  Lie on the floor, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle keeping your feet on the floor, and put your hands behind your head.  Pick a point on the ceiling to watch.  Without taking your eyes off of the ceiling, raise your shoulders up off of the floor about 6 inches.  Hold a second, and then slowly lower back down.  Repeat.

2.       Reach for the Sky – 10 Reps.  Staying on your back, raise your legs until the bottom of your feet are facing the ceiling.  At the same time, raise your arms straight up with your fingers pointing towards your toes.  Now lift your shoulders up off of the ground about 6 inches or so and reach with your fingers towards your toes.  Hold for 1 second, and then slowly lower back down.  Repeat

3.       Leg Raises – 10 Reps.  Lie on the floor, legs straight out and resting on the floor.  Take your left hand and place it under your left butt cheek, and your right hand under your right butt cheek.  Lift your feet about 6 inches off of the floor.  Slowly raise them to about 12 inches off of the floor, and then slowly lower to 6 inches off the floor.  Repeat.

4.       Core Pulse – 10 Reps.  Keep your hands under your butt, and raise your legs until the bottom of your feet are facing the ceiling.  Flex your butt, and raise your hips up off of the floor 2-3 inches. Lower your hips back to the floor.  Don’t move the rest of your body, just your hips.  Repeat.

5.       Bridge – 1 Rep, held for 15 seconds.  Get into the “up” position for a push up, except bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms, not your hands.  Tighten up your core, and hold for 15 seconds.  Gradually hold longer until you can hold for 60 seconds.

6.       Side Bridge – 1 Rep each side, held for 10 seconds.  Lie on your right side on the floor.  Tighten your core muscles, then using your right forearm and edge of your right foot to support your weight, raise yourself up.  This looks like you’re doing a push up on your side.  Try to hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat on your left side.  Work your way up to 30 seconds per side.

7.       Left Oblique Crunch – 10 Reps.  Lie on your back, knees at a 90 degree angle, feet flat on the floor.  Put your hands behind your head, and pick a spot on the ceiling to concentrate on.  Now take your legs and move them to the left until your left leg is flat on the floor and your knees are pointing to your left side.  Hold your legs still, and without taking your eyes off of the ceiling, raise your shoulders off of the floor about 6 inches, then slowly lower them back down.  Repeat.

8.       Right Oblique Crunch – 10 Reps.  Lie on your back, knees at a 90 degree angle, feet flat on the floor.  Put your hands behind your head, and pick a spot on the ceiling to concentrate on.  Now take your legs and move them to the right until your right leg is flat on the floor and your knees are pointing to your right side.  Hold your legs still, and without taking your eyes off of the ceiling, raise your shoulders off of the floor about 6 inches, then slowly lower them back down.  Repeat.

9.       Upside Down Crunch – 10 Reps.  Lie on the floor face down.  Place your hands behind your head, and then slowly raise your shoulders up off the floor a couple of inches.  Repeat.  CAUTION:  do this move slowly, and with a limited range of motion.  DO NOT try to do too much too soon!  Build your reps gradually…do not push too hard for 10 reps if they’re too hard for you.

10.   Supermans – Staying face down on the floor, stretch both of your arms straight out in front of you.  This looks like the way Superman looked when he was flying…hence the name.  J  Look straight ahead of your, then slowly raise your arms and your legs up a few inches.  Hold a second, and then lower them.  Repeat.

So there you go…a great routine to start building core strength and developing awesome abs.

Let me finish with one more word of caution:  DO NOT work beyond your current level of capability.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your core be.  So do it slowly, be consistent, and eat healthy.    Your core may be sore for a day or two, so don’t push too hard.

And please let me know what you think of this routine.


Safe In New York…I Think

April 16, 2007

As I’ve mentioned, I started a new job today with a 12 week training program in NY. What adventure I had getting here!

If you’ve paid any bit of attention to CNN for the last several days, you’ve seen all about a nor’easter storm that dumped rain all over New York…7 inches of rain in Central Park alone.

Take the rain, add in 40-50 mile per hour winds, and you get a mess.  Over 600 flights in and out of La Guardia airport were canceled. Care to guess which airport I had to fly into?  🙂

To make a long story short, as I write this I’ve been up without sleep and only one meal since 5:30 yesterday morning.  I FINALLY arrived in New York around 10 this morning, rushed to the hotel to shower and change clothes, then off to start training.

As you can imagine, I’m dead-dog tired right now.

So tired, in fact, that I must beg your patience for another day before I post again.  I’m tried enough that I’m afraid of not making sense, much less spelling mistakes.

So please, join me here again starting tomorrow for exciting posts such as:

  • The next tip in the 10 week series of beginners weight loss tips
  • A great Ab workout for beginners
  • How I fought fat at 31,000 feet

And much more.

I thank you in advance for your patience as I recover from the first leg of my 12 week adventure in New York.  The content posts will resume tomorrow evening.



Say Hello To Your Abs

April 14, 2007

When we think of abs, most of us picture that sexy 6 pack of muscles located below the chest and above the waist. While those are the most visible ab muscles, there are other muscles to consider as well.

And personally, I take the emphasis off of the abs, and place it on the entire core.

Yes, we want our stomachs to be flat and look good, but it’s even better for us to have a strong core section. That way we tend to not have back problems and are able to do things like bend, stretch, turn, etc a whole lot better.

So don’t just think abs; think core.

With that in mind, there are 5 regions of the core that we want to exercise to develop a strong, good looking core:

  • Upper abs
  • Lower Abs
  • Obliques – these are the muscles that run along the side of your torso
  • Tranverse abdominis – this muscles runs sideways around your abdominal area, acting as a girdle supporting your entire core
  • Lower back – vital to a healthy and strong core. This is an area that is frequently overlooked.

To effectively work our core, we need to include exercises for all 5 areas, and we want to do them 3 times a week. Now, remember…EXERCISE ALONE WILL NOT GIVE US A 6 PACK. Muscular definition of the stomach area (any area, in fact) is the result of exercising the area AND a low body fat percentage.

DO NOT let this discourage you. First of all, having a strong core will help you in more ways than you probably realize. But don’t lose sight of the fact that consistent exercise and consistent eating habits will give you the results that you want.

I will be posting a beginners ab routine for you in the next couple of days. I was going to try to do it tomorrow, but I am flying to New York tomorrow, and will not be in till late. I don’t believe I will have the opportunity to post it until Monday evening, or possible Tuesday.

But post it I will, and I promise you…follow it, be prepared to be sore for a day or two and you will heading down the road to a strong core and a sexy stomach!

How Often Should You Train Your Abs?

April 13, 2007

Let me start by apologizing for the this post be so late today. I am leaving for New York on Sunday to begin a 12 week training program for a new job, and I’ve been busier than heck today trying to get ready. 🙂

On to the abs…

I used to train my abs every day. I had read somewhere that the abdominals had a high percentage of slow twitch muscle fibers. This meant that they were slow to tire out and quick to recover.

I have come to look at it differently.

When all is said and done our abs are muscles, and muscles need time to recover between work outs. Abs are just like any other muscle and need to rest. If you train them every day you are not giving them time to repair themselves from the workout. You build muscle tone by resting the muscle between work outs.

You should only work your abs 2 or 3 times a week.

Now, you need to exercise them intensely and continually add intensity to the workout, but you only need to do it a couple of times a week. If you’re exercising them correctly, your ab exercise session should last less than 5 minutes each time.

Tomorrow I’ll post about the different muscles involved in a good ab workout, then hopefully on Sunday I’ll post a quick, efficient and intense ab routine for you to try.

Please Pardon the Delay

April 2, 2007

Last Tuesday, I posted a bit of rant about Ab machine commercials and how I think they are a rip off.  At the end of the post, I mentioned that I was going out of town on Wednesday, but would try to post a simple, effective ab routine by the end of the weekend.

Well, the end of the weekend is past, and I’ve still not had a chance to put it together for you.

I do apologize.

I was flown to New York for a job interview on Wednesday, and was offered the position late Friday afternoon.  Naturally, I accepted!  🙂

Starting 2 weeks from today, I will be spending 12 weeks in New York for training so I spent the weekend starting to get every together for this extended trip away from home.  That’s why there’s no ab workout for you yet.

Rest assured, it’s coming.  It’s going to be another couple of days, but I WILL post it.  🙂  And again, I apologize for the delay.

This all leads to an interesting point; I am going to be living in a hotel room and eating most of my meals out for 12 weeks.

I am NOT going to let this get in the way of my weight loss and fitness goals.  In fact, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is.

I am going to put something together so that you can all follow my progress and see that, even in these types of conditions, that it’s still possible to burn fat and get fit.

If you guys want to see it, that is.  Let me know.  Either leave a comment or email at loseweightwithbrian at

Again, my apologies for the delay in the ab workout.

Abs in No Time? Stupid Commercials…

March 27, 2007

I have had it up to HERE with commercials for ab work out products.

The one I see most frequently these days is a cot-like contraption that lets you practically bend over backwards to  work your abs with no sweat and no effort.

There are close up shots of sexy, sculpted abs and “testimonials” from people telling you how easy it was to lose their bellies and get ab definition.

Before you run out and spend your hard earned money on one of these things, let me make just a couple of quick points:

  • You can not spot reduce body fat.
  • You don’t need to spend a dollar on equipment to get a good core work out.
  • You still need to  eat healthy and do cardio exercise.
  • Definitions in your abs (in fact, ANY muscle definition) is achieved by lowering your body fat percentage, not just by doing exercises.

I’m one the road tomorrow so I won’t have time, but I’ll try to post a quick and effective ab/core routine by the end of the weekend.

I’m going to make it my personal mission to teach the world how to do this without lining some slick marketer’s pockets with cash.