How to Survive Halloween

Holidays are often problematic for people.

They almost always involve a lot of food and goodies.

Halloween can be one of the worst. Your house has an enormous bag of delicious candy sitting there for weeks before the holiday, because you’re a planner. And it’s not the cheap candy. It’s the good stuff, because you’re a good person. And every time you’re bored, stressed, or both, you grab a few pieces to deal with how you’re feeling, because…just because, I don’t need a reason!

And then, just when it’s time for all those adorable little monsters in your neighborhood to come to your door and finally take all that candy away, your own adorable little monsters go to others peoples houses and bring back more candy than you started with.

Image result for halloween candy

Ugh.

So…what do you do?

Give Yourself Permission

First off, let’s be honest. Eating a few pieces of candy for a few days is going to have very minimal, if any, negative effects on your progress.

“But I can’t just eat one or two!”

(If you really can’t stop with a few pieces of candy, there’s a good chance that you’re using it as a coping skill. Common, but problematic. If that’s the case, it’s worth diving into your habits and behaviors. Coping skills can be pretty damaging to your progress. Developing healthier ones is critical. If that’s you, let’s talk.)

Oftentimes, we can’t stop with a few pieces of candy because we’re stuck in this “all-or-none” mindset. If we have one piece, well we’ve already screwed everything up, so we might as well eat the whole bag! That’s where giving yourself permission comes in. We tend to crave the things we can’t have. You know how in TV shows the parents forbid their daughter from dating the “bad boy”, and then all the daughter wants to do is date him? It’s like that, but the bad boy is candy. And not bad. And you’re the parents. And you’re also the daughter.

OK, so it wasn’t the best example, but you get the idea.

This is where most diets fall apart. We say we can’t have certain foods, which makes those foods instantly more attractive. Then when we finally give in (because restriction sucks) we feel like we’ve failed because we did something we weren’t “supposed” to do.

Sound familiar?

I’m sure it does. Because most of us have been there more times than we would like to admit.

I don’t want to get sidetracked from the point of this post (surviving Halloween), but the truth is that the way you survive Halloween is the same way you survive every day. By chilling out, and giving yourself permission to eat what you want.

A funny thing happens when you do that. You tend to crave the foods you’d like to eat less of a lot less than you normally would. You take the power away from those foods, and put it back in your own hands. Where it belongs.

It seems simple. But that’s a good thing. All too often, complex approaches leave us tired, frustrated and no further along than when we started. So let’s try simple.

After the trick-or-treating is done, and your kids are in bed, and you hear the sweet siren song of that big ol’ pile of candy…tell yourself, “I can have it if I want to.” This means there’s no guilt if you do, and there’s no white-knuckling it if you don’t.

You just might be surprised at how easy it is to just have a few pieces, or even none at all.

The Mom’s Dilemma

Late nights.

Early mornings.

Cranky kids.

Low energy.

Feeling like there’s no time.

Busy schedules.

Sound familiar?

If you’re a mom, it probably does.

Keeping a household running while being responsible for keeping your children healthy and happy is no easy task.

(If you’re a dad reading this and are already finding yourself saying something along the lines of “Hey, I do just much as my wife does around the house! It’s hard for me too!” Cool. Good for you. Sincerely. I’m a super involved dad too, but this isn’t about us right now.)

When it comes to eating better, improving your health, or losing some weight, as a mom, you have a lot stacked against you. And one of the biggest things might be the guilt that can come along with taking time to take care of yourself.

Do you feel selfish for taking time to go to the gym? You’re not alone.

Do your friends or family put you down for spending time investing in yourself? Again, you’re not alone.

The process of being a healthier person isn’t exactly an easy one. It gets even more difficult when you add in all the responsibilities of being a mom. And then, when you sprinkle the guilt and judgement of others on top…geez, this is getting challenging isn’t it?

Out of all the obstacles that could potentially be in your way, I think that guilt and feeling selfish are often at the top of the list.

Let’s look at a few ways to help you combat that, and get you into a mindset that looks at self care in a more positive light.

*Working with moms to help them have more energy, lose weight, manage stress, and feel sexy in their own skin is the bulk of what I do. If those are things you would be interested in as well, click here. It’s a brief, 3 question survey. Fill it out, and I will be in touch very shortly to discuss how I can help you be a more confident, healthy, and happy mom.*

Lines In the Sand

Let’s start off by looking at potentially the most challenging thing to tackle-family, friends, and their stupid opinions.

Dealing with family and friends that speak negatively towards your efforts to be a healthier mom is definitely challenging.

“Shouldn’t you be spending that time taking care of your kids?”

Have you ever had someone say something like that to you? Many of my clients who are mom’s have. Funny how none of my clients who are father’s hear that one.

People are good at putting their expectations, assumptions, and insecurities on you. The expectation is that you should spend “x” amount of time taking care of your family…usually an arbitrary amount of time that means nothing. The assumption is that by spending time taking care of yourself, your family is in some way suffering for it. And the insecurity is that you’re doing something they wish they had the courage to do.

So what do we do with this?

Cut them off.

I know, easier said than done.

Friends that are bringing you down for making positive choices…are they really friends? Family members that don’t want you to be healthier…do they really want what’s best for you?

Now maybe you can’t cut them off entirely. I understand that. But at the very least, you need to set firm expectations for what will and wont be allowed when it comes to discussing your efforts to be a healthier person. Draw a line in the sand. Let those people know that until they can be supportive and encouraging, you will not be engaging in discussing topics like your nutrition or exercise habits with them.

You don’t need that negativity in your life.

Setting Examples

As a parent, it’s easy to forget how often our kids are watching us, and learning from the examples we set. We can tell them as much as we want, but it’s our actions that really speak to them.

This is important to remember when it comes to feeling guilty about taking time to take care of yourself. You are showing your kids that making time to exercise, prioritize sleep, and prepare nutritious meals is important. You are modeling self care to them. You are showing them that you are worth the time and energy it takes to be a healthier person, and in turn they are picking up that they are worth giving that time and energy to themselves as well.

If you’re modeling poor self-care to them, and showing them that everyone else is more important than you are, there’s a good chance they are going to duplicate those same behaviors when they are older. I think we would probably all agree that we don’t want that for our kids, so show them that, just like you, they’re worth it!

Self-Care Is Family-Care

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Have you ever heard that expression before? Essentially it means, if you have given everything you’ve got, you have nothing left to give.

In the last 11+ years of training clients (a good percentage of those being moms) I have noticed that most moms tend to be givers and doers. They put themselves at the end of the line for pretty much everything.

When I begin working with a new client who is a mom, it’s not uncommon for them to mention how tired they are, how they feel like they have no energy, and how they feel like they have no time. Why? Because they are often giving their all to everyone else in the family, and have nothing left to give to themselves.

If you resonate with that, let me ask you this…can you be the mom you want to be if you’re tired, have no energy, and no time? My guess is not. Because that’s like trying to pour from an empty cup.

When it comes to being a mom who is making efforts to be healthier, it’s important to remember that self-care is family-care.

A mom that is worn out, and exhausted is not going to be able to take care of her family as well as a mom who is well rested and full of energy. A tired mom will be less patient than a mom who got some solid sleep.

Taking care of you is taking care of your family. These are not separate things, rather they are all rolled up together. Mom 2.0 is better at mom-ing. It’s as simple as that.

It’s easy to let the guilt and expectations of others impact our decisions. But, there’s no guilt in being healthier. There’s no guilt in taking care of you. Let that go, and embrace every step of the self-care process.

You’re worth it.

Build-A-Booty: Bottoms Up Hip Thrust

I’ve previously discussed there are a variety of problems that can arise from having a weak butt. If you missed that post, and would like to get caught up, you can do so here.

I also know that having some curves in the back of your jeans is something most people don’t mind.

Today’s booty focused exercise helps remedy both of those problems.

Most people are familiar with Glute Bridges and Hip Thrusts, but the Bottoms Up variation isn’t as well known. However, I think they are a great way to make regular Hip Thrusts more challenging, without having to add any weight.

Increasing the range of motion for any exercise is going to make it more challenging, just like decreasing the range of motion makes an exercise easier. The Bottoms Up Hip Thrust uses the former to increase the exercises difficulty.

Take a look at a regular, body weight Hip Thrust:

Now, take a look at the Bottoms Up variation:

Notice the difference? Probably. It’s not exactly subtle. But it is simple, and makes a huge difference.

By simply elevating the feet during the Hip Thrust, you greatly increase the range of motion. This alone makes the exercise significantly more challenging.

Cues:

  • Drive down through your feet, not away from you. If you don’t you’ll push the box out from under your feet. If you struggle to keep it in place, you can place a 45 plate on top of it, or set it up against a wall to keep it from moving.
  • At the top of the movement, finish through your hips and glutes, not your low back. It can be easy to arch your low back at the top…don’t. You should feel a strong squeeze in your cheeks at the top of the movement.
  • Keep your chin tucked through the entire movement. This will help keep your low back flat, and keep the work where you want it – in the booty.

I like to program these in the 8-12 rep range. Focus on quality form before attempting to add any resistance to these.

Give them a shot and let me know what you think!

The Scale Won’t Move. HELP!

We’ve all been there.

We eat better for a week, or two. Maybe even a month.

We hit the gym regularly, and work hard while we’re there.

But that stupid scale just won’t budge!

Image result for scale frustrated

It’s frustrating, can feel defeating, and make us question why we’re working so hard if there’s no payoff.

When the scale doesn’t seem to want to budge, what do we do?

Well, I have four answers to that question. And, the good news is that you can apply all of them now. Like, right now.

#1. Redefine “progress”.

We have a nasty habit of letting the number on the scale determine our level of health. But it’s not that simple. Losing 10 pounds doesn’t necessarily make us healthier, just as gaining 10 pounds doesn’t necessarily make us less healthy. But we act like it does.

Or, at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

I have a sneaking suspicion that most of us know our weight doesn’t automatically determine our level of health. We know that weight loss is often more about the aesthetic, and wanting to “look better”. We say we want to be healthier but then rely on a marker (scale weight) that doesn’t necessarily impact our health. I think we tend to pull the wool over our own eyes a bit.

If we can get away (just a little) from the trap of the scale, and focus on actually increasing our health, good things can happen. If we are focusing on improving the quality and longevity of our lives, this gives us something to keep striving for when the scale doesn’t budge.

The funny thing about this is that actually improving our health often results in weight loss, while losing weight doesn’t mean we are getting healthier.

#2. Focus on behaviors.

While going through my certification program with Precision Nutrition last year, I kept reading about the idea of focusing on behavior-based goals over outcome-based goals.

As defined be Precision Nutrition, outcome-based goals focus on the end result, like losing 20 pounds, but don’t account for what happens between now and then. While behavior-based goals are centered on the actions you take, like eating three servings of vegetables per day.

We can’t make a goal of losing 20 pounds automatically happen. It can only come about as a result of consistently doing the behaviors that lead to losing 20 pounds.

If you only have outcome-based goals, what happens when the outcome isn’t happening? We give up. Every time.

Outcomes aren’t directly controllable. Behaviors are. So focus on what you can control.

(Need help identifying what behaviors will lead to the outcomes you want? Let’s talk.)

#3. Focus on non-scale victories.

Throughout the last eleven years of training, I’ve developed a few phrases that I tend to say frequently. One of them is, “A freshly washed pair of jeans doesn’t lie.” Meaning, if a pair of jeans that have just been washed and dried are a little roomier than they used to be, you’re smaller.

The crazy thing is that I have had a lot of clients dismiss clothes fitting more loosely simply because the scale hasn’t changed. Their goal is to be smaller, but they dismiss actually being smaller because the number on the scale hasn’t moved. That goes to show how much power the scale can have over us, and how much it can mess with our heads.

It also goes to show why it’s incredibly important to celebrate non-scale victories as often as you can.

Here are a few of my favorite non-scale victories:

  • Clothes fitting looser
  • More energy
  • Improved blood labs
  • Sleeping better
  • Improved mood
  • Getting stronger in the gym
  • Feeling your strength outside of the gym (daily tasks are easier)
  • Decreased resting heart rate
  • Increased sex drive
  • Pooping better (improved digestion)
  • Decreased pain
  • Increased muscle definition
  • Get sick less often and recover more quickly
  • Increased mental clarity and focus
  • Stronger will power and self-discipline
  • Reduced or quit taking certain medications
  • Improved blood pressure

Celebrate every victory, not just the ones on the scale.

#4. Identify your “why”.

Whenever a client starts having difficulty with consistency, I like to have them do this simple practice – identify their “why”.

In other words, I ask them figure out the real reasons they embarked on this journey in the first place. Not the knee jerk responses like “to lose weight”, “to feel better, or “to get in shape”. Not that these are bad reasons, but they usually aren’t the real reasons. They’re the reasons on the surface.

I want the deep ones.

“I want to better manage my diabetes so that I can have a full and long life with my family.”

“I want to feel more comfortable in bed with my spouse.”

“I have been told my whole life that I can’t do the things I want to because I’m a girl. I want to prove everyone wrong.”

“I want to be physically stronger so that I feel like I can protect my family if I ever needed to.”

“I want to be able to get on the floor and play with my grandchildren.”

These are real responses that I have got from clients when I’ve asked them to identify their “why”. And, like the proverbial carrot on a stick, these are the types of reasons that can keep you going when the scale tries to tell you that you’re spinning your wheels.

There you have it. A whole mess of ways to keep your head in the game, and stay focused when the stupid, lying scale tells you that you’re not making progress.

Sure, it feels good when the scale drops a bit. But your progress is dependent on and determined by much more than that number. Focus on those things, and let the scale worry about itself.

Same Strategy, Same Results

Last night I was putting together a storage cabinet for my girls’ playroom. I was attempting to put one of the screws in that attaches the bottom piece to the side. It wasn’t working. I was having trouble lining up the holes of the two pieces. But I kept trying. And trying. And trying.

After about my sixth attempt I said to myself, “OK, maybe I need to try something different.”

DUH!

 Duh: DUH

I was being stubborn and insistent that the way I was attempting to get that screw in was going to work.

There’s a saying that goes along the lines of – if you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do be willing to do something you’ve never done.

When you hear it in a nice little phrase like that, it seems simple, right?

Well it is simple, until it comes to putting it into practice.

Because, much like my attempt to put together the storage cabinet, we tend to want to do things in the way we’ve already decided they should be done…even if it causes us to spin our wheels.

This is what most of us do when it comes to losing weight or getting healthier. We get all geared up for the attempt, and go straight to the same strategies that have failed us time and time again.

Why? Because we’re sure that those strategies (excluding entire food groups, massive calorie cuts, intense exercise everyday, etc.) are the ones that are going to work.

Pro tip: they (probably) wont. They wont because they never have. And, just like me trying to build that cabinet, repeated attempts with the same strategy that has never brought about results doesn’t make any sense.

So what do you do instead?

The simple answer – SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

The complex answer – it depends.

It depends on your habits and practices. It depends on your history with food and exercise. It depends on your environment. It’s a question I can’t answer without spending some time talking to you first. Which is something we can definitely do. Identifying sustainable ways to improve peoples health is what I do, and having someone with experience look at your patterns and behaviors might be just what you need to get to the next level.

However, in general, look for small ways to improve. Ask yourself, “How can I do this a little better?” You probably know where you’re coming up short. So instead of falling into the same old routines that got you nowhere, look for ways to take the ways you’re coming up short from a 1 to a 2. And then from a 2 to a 3. And so on.

Don’t overthink it…in fact, you might be better off under-thinking it…at least at first.

We’re good at over-complicating…especially when it comes to trying to lose weight. So stop. Take a step back, and look at how you can make some small improvements. Because the truth is, better is better. And “better” is really all any of us are looking for.

Abs of Adamantium: Inchworms

It’s east to get caught up in fancy equipment, complicated techniques, and the “latest and greatest”. I mean, we’re constantly facing a barrage of information from an industry that tells us we have to be doing the new exercise and eating the latest miracle berry if we’re ever going to lose that stubborn belly fat.

But, the truth is, most of the “latest and greatest” is for show, and to make sales. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against novelty when it provides a new way to do something that is beneficial, or if it fills a need in a unique and needed way. But I’m typically not a fan of novelty for novelty’s sake. I think the basics done consistently can go a long way.

And it doesn’t get more basic than a good old body weight exercise. Which leads us to this weeks “Abs of Adamantium” exercise – Inchworms.

Inchworms

Cues:

  • Begin with your hands and feet on the ground, as close together as you can.
  • Walk your hands out while keeping your abs braced tight.
  • Avoid sagging through your lower back. Notice in the video my low back stays neutral in the extended position. I’m not taking my weight in my spine. This is important to avoid. This is an ab exercise, not a “let’s see how much my low back can take” exercise.
  • Walk your hands out as far as you can while keeping tension in your abs, and the work out of your low back. The further out, the harder the movement.
  • Walk your feet back to you hands, keeping your legs as straight as you can.
  • I like to program these anywhere from 6-12 reps.

Give them a shot, and let me know how you like them!

Why Everyone Should Get Stronger

Yesterday I was on a phone call with an online client. He was sharing his frustrations with his lack of consistency with his workouts, but also his desire to get stronger over the next few months.

I told him, “Listen man, the reality is that if you’re not getting stronger, you’re getting weaker. We think we maintain strength because we’re busy, but we don’t. Unless we’re actively reaching for strength and putting our bodies under stress that illicits a strength response, we’re losing our strength. It might be subtle, and it might be slow, but it’s happening. We’re just reinforcing our poor movement patterns, which lead us to live in weaker positions, and set us up for injury. We can maintain our strength gains for about 28-30 days, after that we’re losing them and we’re getting weaker.”

His response, verbatim, “Well shit. That sucks.”

Indeed.

But no matter how much it sucks, it’s the way it is.

You could say that I’m biased about strength training because I’m a personal trainer. Maybe. Or, maybe I’m such a believer in strength training because I’ve seen the incredible impact it has on improving the quality of people’s lives.

Yeah, that’s it.

I believe that no matter what your goals are, you should strength train.

Before we go further, let’s clear one thing up. When I say/type “strength training” there’s a chance you have your own preconceived idea of what that means. It may be positive, it may be negative, or it may be neutral. Whatever that preconceived idea is, set it aside for a minute. When I say “strength training”, I mean training in a way that gets you stronger.

That’s it.

Strength training might make you think of lifting barbells with hundreds of pounds on them, or grunting loudly while bench pressing twice your body weight. Sure, that’s part of it. But strength training is also moving from struggling to do a body weight lunge, to doing it well, and then to doing one while holding 5 lb dumbbells. Strength training is doing two more reps on an exercise than you were able to do the week before. It’s even improving your posture so that you can stand up straight all day long.

In short, the umbrella of strength training is broad and much more diverse than you might have previously thought. This means, no matter who you are, where you are in life, or what your goals are, you fall under the umbrella too.

Let’s look at a few examples of how strength training can benefit different populations:

The High School Athlete

  • Strength improves neuromuscular coordination, meaning you get better at using your body effectively and efficiently.
  • Strength training makes you stronger (duh), which means you can run, throw, swing, hit and tackle with more force.
  • Strength training creates stronger joints and ligaments, which reduces the chance of injury.
  • Strength training helps improve the cardiovascular system.
  • Strength training can improve energy and mood. Both important things for a kid who is easily wiped out from growing, and long school days followed by practice and homework.

the video gamer

  • Kids (or adults) who are “gamers” tend to spend a lot of time being inactive, and in less than ideal postural positions. Strength training addresses both of these problems by providing an increase in activity and time spent in other, more ideal, postural positions.
  • Strength training can help reduce the chances of health problems that are associated with inactivity.
  • Strength training can help increase muscular and ligament strength, reducing the chances of injury. A high risk in inactive populations.

The Busy parent

  • Strength training helps retain muscle mass, keeping your metabolism higher.
  • Strength training burns calories, helping you maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Strength training helps increase your energy levels. What parent doesn’t need more energy?
  • Strength training can help reduce the chances of developing, or help manage the symptoms of, many chronic diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Strength training helps improve cardiovascular health which tends to decline as we age.
  • Strength training gives you time to yourself. A much needed thing for most parents.

the desk jockey

  • Strength training has similar benefits to The Desk Jockey as they do to The Gamer, except it might be more more important due to the extended hours spent hunched over a desk.
  • Strength training provides an increase in activity levels to a potentially otherwise inactive lifestyle.
  • Strength training gets you out of the hunched over position associated with working at a desk, and puts you in more favorable positions.
  • Inactivity leads to a reduced metabolism and muscle loss. Strength training helps combat both of these issues.

The senior citizen

  • One of the greatest benefits strength training provides those who are older than 65 is an increase in bone density. As we age, osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) sets in. Strength training directly increases the density of your bones, which is the exact opposite of what osteoporosis does. In short, strength training equals stronger bones. Something desperately needed in older populations.
  • By the time we’re 65 or older, our bodies are fairly set in their ways when it comes to movement patterns, unless we directly do something to change that. Strength training provides that opportunity. We can change how we stand, sit, and live life. This can reduce the chances of injury.
  • People who are stronger tend to recover from injuries, illnesses, and surgeries much quicker than those who don’t. You know who gets sick and injured frequently, and has a lot of surgeries? Senior citizens. It’s easy for a surgery or major injury to change someone’s life for the worse. This is less likely when an individual is strong, and active.
  • Chronic diseases are very common in the 65+ age group. In fact, the National Council on Aging reports that almost 80% of older adults have one chronic disease, and almost 70% have two. As mentioned before, strength training can directly effect your ability to manage the negative side effects of chronic diseases.

I know this is a small sampling of all the populations out there, but it goes to show that strength training can positively impact anyone, no matter age, interests, or lifestyle.

The bottom line is this, strength training can help keep you healthy, keep you leaner, help you recover more quickly, and increase the quality and quantity of your life. I don’t think there’s a single population or person out there that wouldn’t benefit from those things. Including you.

Build-A-Booty: Hip Extension

A weak butt can be problematic.

Sure, a nice poppin’ booty is all the rage right now, and that’s all good. But more important than the aesthetic of a big butt is developing a backside that is strong.

A weak butt can often be the cause of hip pain, low back pain, knee pain, and other issues. It’s also pretty common for people to have weak glutes (booty, butt, cheeks, etc.).

Squats, deadlifts, and lunges are great. They definitely have their place in developing a strong backside. However, it can be common to rely on the quads, hamstrings, and low back to perform a lot of those movements, so doing some work directly for the glutes can have a huge benefit.

Hip Extensions are a great way to do just that. Now technically “hip extension” refers to the action of extending the hips. Think like when you’re standing up from a bent over position, and your thighs are positioned in front of your body That movement that brings your thighs and hips in line with your torso…that’s hip extension. Technically, any movement that puts the body through that pattern is a hip extension. That being said, I refer to this movement specifically as “Hip Extension”. If that’s confusing, sorry.

Hip Extension:

Cues:

  • Tuck your chin down to your chest, give yourself a big hug, and round your upper back. This may not seem like a desirable position, and if you’re talking about spending a lot of time in this position, you’re right. However, rounding the upper back for this movement prevents you from cranking through the low back. We’re looking for movement in the hips, and very little to no movement in the low back.
  • Pull yourself up by contracting your butt and hamstrings. Avoid using your low back.
  • At the top of the movement, drive your hips into the pads and squeeze your butt as tight as you can.
  • Keep your chin tucked and upper back rounded at the top of the movement.

I suggest starting with body weight on these. Keeping the movement in your glutes and hamstrings, and out of your low back can be a little tricky at first. Once you have that form down, feel free to load them up with a plate, dumbbell, or kettlebell.

I like doing these for lower reps (6-8) for building strength, as well as at a higher rep range (12-15) for a good pump and some muscle growth.

Give them a shot and let me know how they go!

Faster Fat Loss with This One Thing

I’ve been a little M.I.A. from the social medias and blog-o-sphere this week. We are in the process of painting and prepping our new house, getting ready to move in. To say it’s been busy would be an understatement.

So, if you’ve missed me, sorry.

However, I wanted to pop in, say “hi” and give you some quality content at least once this week.

So here I am, doing just that.

When it comes to getting stronger, getting leaner, or getting healthier, most people lack one thing.

It’s not the perfect meal plan, or the perfect exercise regimen. It’s probably not a lack of information, or a need to do more research.

What is it? Consistency.

I am a big believer that a half crocked plan done consistently will get you further than the perfect plan done for a short period of time.

Imagine you take the time to plan everything “perfectly”. Your meals, exercise, sleep, hydration, stress management-everything is planned to a “t”. And you follow this plan for a few days, then don’t for three days. Then you get back at it for one or two more days, and then abandon it altogether. How much progress do you think you will have made?

On the other hand, what if you didn’t worry about getting everything perfect, but just made a few changes that you could keep consistently. Say, eating more vegetables everyday, and planning all your dinners for the week. And, what if you’re able to do that 5-6 days a week for the next two months. Think you might have better progress than the first scenario?

Definitely.

Now, if you think I’m advocating poor planning, you’re missing the point.

The point is that you need to focus more on being consistent than getting everything right.

Maybe it’s time to stop “planning” and start doing. And start doing more consistently. It might take you further than all your planning ever has.

Abs of Adamantium: Statue of Liberty’s

If you missed last weeks “Abs of Adamantium” post, you can read it here, as well as get my explanation for the title of this series.

Today’s post, I’m pretty sure, is something you haven’t seen before. I developed these around a year ago, and quickly began implementing them in my clients programs…because they’re awesome.

A little background on properly training your core…typically we think of training the abs via crunches and sit ups. I discussed this in more detail in the post of linked above. In addition, one of the primary roles of the abs is to stabilize your torso. Not to bend it forward like a sit up, but to keep it from bending.

This movement is classified as an “anti-lateral flexion” movement. Put simply, this means resisting forces that are trying to bend you sideways.

There are a bunch of ways to create anti-lateral flexion, but this one (I am 99.9993% sure) will be brand new to you.

Statue Of Liberty’s

The Set Up:

  • Attach a band around a heavy dumbbell, bench, or cable column…basically anything that wont move.

Cues:

  • Brace your abs tight. Imagine that someone is going to punch you in the stomach, or that you’re constipated and are trying to get things going. That kind of abdominal tension is what you’re looking for.
  • Raise the band overhead, while maintaining that abdominal tension.
  • Resist leaning towards the band.
  • You should feel almost all of the work in your abs, and not in your shoulder.

Hold for 10-20 seconds per side.

Give them a shot and let me know how you like them!