Abs of Adamantium: Fallouts

Strong abs. Everyone wants them, very few people train to actually have them.

Oh, they may crunch and sit-up themselves to death. But crunches and sit-ups aren’t going to get you get you rock hard abs. They may give you some muscle development which MIGHT help you have some definition, if you’re lean enough. But they aren’t appropriate for most people and aren’t very necessary.

I have clients that do sit-up-like movements, but they’re pretty different than a traditional sit-up, and much safer.

Straight up-most people don’t need to, and shouldn’t be performing them. If you have any history of back pain (which is up to 80% of us), regular sit-ups and crunches should most likely be out of the question.

In short repeated extension (think how you arch your back in the morning to stretch) and flexion (think hunched over at the top of a sit-up or crunch) is not a good idea for the spine. Add to that the fact that we spend so much time in spinal flexion (sitting, watching TV, driving, eating, on the phone) that spending more time spent in that position probably isn’t a good idea.

“OK Mike enough facts, just make my abs strong!”

Ok, ok. Let’s get to a few moves to give you abs of adamantium.

(pssst-you may be wondering why “adamantium” and not “steel”? Adamantium is from the X-Men comic series. It’s the fictional metal that was grafted to Wolverine’s skeleton. It’s indestructible, which is why he was so strong. Like I want to your abs to be. Also, I like alliteration, so…adamantium.)

**A quick note: these moves will not be appropriate for everyone. These are like a challenging plank turned up to 11, or maybe 13. Be smart about whether or not you should attempt these, and please read through the cues so you perform these correctly.**

Fallouts are an intermediate level “anti-extension” abdominal exercise. Anti-extension is simply avoiding sagging through your back-like when people get tired while holding a plank, and their stomach is the closest part of their body to the floor. Don’t do that. It’s not good for a bunch of reasons.

Here’s what they look like:

Fallouts:

Here’s how to do them:

-Set up with a TRX, suspension trainer, or rings. Set the handles to around waist height. This will be different for everyone, so you’ll have to play with the height to see what works for you.

-Before you move, brace your abs tight. Imagine someone is going to hit you in the stomach. Or that you’re constipated and trying your best to not be constipated anymore. Yeah, that kind of tight.

-Under control, lean forward, taking the tension in your abs, not your arms and shoulders. Start with a small movement and go lower only as you feel comfortable .

-You should not let your stomach sag, or your low back arch. You should also avoid sticking your butt out on the way back up.

If (IIIFFFFF) you can perform these REALLY WELL, you can try Fallouts Angels. These are like Fallouts, but with painful sprinkles on top. Do I know how to sell these, or what?

Fallout Angels:

These are performed just like regular Fallouts, except at the bottom of the movement you bring your hands out to your sides and then back overhead…like a snow angel. Except there’s no snow. And you’re facing down. And you’re not on the ground. Aside from that, they’re exactly the same.

Again, these are not appropriate for everyone, but if you can perform them well, they are both a great exercises to strengthen your abs. Which is great for performance, relieving low back pain, avoiding injury, and being awesome. All pretty great things in my book.

Reminder: if you are thinking about joining the “New You by the New Year” program, there is just one week left to register! Participants can expect to gain confidence, feel and move better, make progress on their fitness and weight loss goals, and hit 2020 way ahead of schedule. Learn more here.

Know someone who would like to give these movements a try? Share it with them via the social media buttons on this page. Sharing what I’m doing here is always appreciated. So thank you. Very much!

Saturday Morning Breakfast

Good morning!

If there’s one thing I like about weekend mornings, it’s the slower pace to the morning. No kids to get ready for school. No rushing off to work. You have a little more time to drink your cup of coffee, or even an extra one. I also enjoy using that extra time to make a breakfast that I don’t normally have time to make during the week.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen frittatas pop up in my stories pretty frequently. That’s because I love them, and so does my family.

They’re simple, versatile, and are a great way to feel satisfied, without feeling loaded down by the typical breakfast appearances of syrup or gravy. (I like syrup and gravy, but just saying.)

I also like frittatas because the keep well in the fridge. You could make one Sunday night and have breakfast ready for the next several days. Meal prep, anyone?

Lastly, I like to load them up with veggies, Because, veggies.

You can tweak this recipe a lot. Substitute in different meats, or go with strictly veggies. Try different cheeses and spices. Just go nuts with it.

But, this combo is one of my favorites:

Bacon and Swiss Frittata.

Isn’t it beautiful?

INGREDIENTS:

-12 eggs

-1/4 cup milk

-5 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped

-2 cups spinach, roughly chopped

-1 roma tomato, diced and patted dry

-1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

-Salt and pepper to taste

-Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large bowl, crack all the eggs and give them a decent whisking.

Add in salt and pepper, and give it another quick whisk.

In a medium skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and saute the spinach until it’s just wilted. Maybe a minute or two. Add this to the bowl with the eggs.

Finally add in the chopped bacon and diced tomato, and whisk one more time. You don’t have to pat the tomatoes dry, but I find that if you don’t it makes things a little watery.

Spray a 9×13 pan with some non-stick spray. Pour the mixture into the pan, and sprinkle the Swiss cheese on top.

Pop it in the oven, and set a time for 25 minutes. You may need 5-7 more minutes, but a frittata is best if it’s not overcooked, so better to check too early than too late.

I check the center with a toothpick to make sure it’s cooked through. You can give it a little jiggle if you want-it should give a little jiggle back at you when it’s done.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

That’s it!

If you give this a shot, please let me know how you liked it.

And, as always, feel free to share with someone who might like this.

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Remember that New You by the New Year is starting soon. Spots are limited, so if you’re ready to build confidence, eat better, and start 2020 way ahead of schedule, reserve your spot now! You can do that here.

You Can’t Succeed Unless You Fail

I have a private Facebook group for all my current, and past training clients. I typically keep the things I share in that group, in that group. That’s the benefit of it.

However, yesterday I shared something in there that I want to share with you too.

I want to share it because it’s been a powerful thing for me, and I believe it has the potential to change your entire perspective and approach to your weight loss, fitness, and health related goals.

So what is it? Failure.

That’s it. Bye.

Just kidding.

I’ve been doing a lot uncomfortable growth lately. Not physically. I had that kind of growth in 7th grade. I can remember sitting in Mr. Ogawa’s social studies class, barely able to sit still because my legs ached so bad.

This growth is different, and not quite as miserable.

The concept of failure is one I have always avoided in the past. I would spend forever on a project in the name of perfection. I would tinker, and adjust, and tweak to get it just perfect before I would ever dream of doing anything with it.

The result? I never did anything with most of those projects. I spent a lot of time working on things that I could never use because I was afraid they would fail. That they wouldn’t be well received. That it would reflect on me as a failure.

My fear of failure kept me from doing the things I wanted to do.

Whether that was release a product, write a new blog, chase a personal best in a specific lift, or try to make a sale, the possibility of failure would usually keep me from ever attempting.

My fear of failure placed me smack dab in the middle of the biggest failure of all-never even trying.

This growth that I mentioned? It’s the challenge of embracing failure. Not chasing it, but understanding that failing is an incredibly important part of the journey to any kind of improvement.

Failing is the lesson learned. Did you screw up step 1? Good! Now you know how to do it differently, how to do it correctly, and move on to step 2.

Or you could plan, and prepare, and fret over figuring out how to do step 1 perfectly the first time, and never give it a shot. The result? Forget about any substantial progress…you’re never getting past step 1.

We tend to make massive assumptions about those who have gone on to accomplish the things we hope to accomplish.

We see someone who has been successful in their profession, and assume they have been lucky and their path has been success after success.

We see someone who eats healthy most of the time, and assume it’s easy for them, that they don’t crave sweets, and must naturally have incredible self-discipline.

We see someone who goes to the gym regularly, and assume they have more free time than us, and that they must really love going.

We see someone who has lost a substantial amount of weight, and we assume they must have a faster metabolism, and access to opportunities we haven’t.

We have no idea how wrong we are.

That successful professional? They had three businesses fail before this one, and have lost 5 times more sales than they’ve closed.

That healthy eater? They spent years changing their habits. They were incredibly inconsistent at first, and have had many days where they said “screw it”, and fell off the wagon.

The regular gym-goer? They don’t enjoy it as often as they do enjoy it, and they have skipped going on many mornings simply because they didn’t feel like it.

The successful weight-loser? Over the last several years, they have regained more pounds than they can count.

So what’s the difference? They’ve embraced failure. They understand that failing isn’t the end, it’s just part of the process. It’s a chance to learn how to do something better the next time around.

The road to success is paved with failure.

You can embrace it, or you can avoid it. Those are your options.

My challenge to you is to join me in owning it. Embracing it. Let’s learn from it. It’s the only way we’re ever get to where we want to go.

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Are you ready to take the next steps in building confidence in yourself, getting stronger, and developing sustainable habits that help you meet you health and fitness goals? Then join me for New You by the New Year, a three month program that will help you do just that. For more info, check this out.

Medicine Ball Madness

First off, let me say that this isn’t really going to be madness. It will be quite sane. And this little series of exercises doesn’t just involve a medicine ball. But people like alliteration, and they like words like “extreme”, “intense”, and “madness”.

So really this is your fault. See what you made me do?!

OK fine. I’ll take responsibility. This time.

Although, people do tend to like those words when it comes to exercise. “Extreme” and “intense” are the expected baseline anymore. I think there are a lot of issues with that, but that’s a discussion for another time.

(Tomorrow perhaps?)

And yet here I am using those words to make my title more catchy. Looks like I’m part of the problem.

Oh, Michael.

Enough of that, let’s get to it.

As this is my first official blog post on Michael Gray Fitness (yesterdays didn’t count. It was more of a “Hi, thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you soon.” kind of thing) I wanted to give you something practical, and easy to implement.

Whether someone is trying to lose body fat, get more muscular, increase athleticism, or just feel better, it’s a good idea for them to get their heart pumping.

My online clients can attest to the fact that I like using finishers to accomplish this. A finisher is simply a series of movements placed at the end of a training session that’s designed to get the heart rate pumping, and increase cardiovascular capacity. Or, make your heart and lungs more awesomer.

Several of my clients have dubbed my finishers as “F.U.n.” “Fun” because it’s common for me to say, “Ready to have some fun?” before we start a finisher. And the “F” and “U” are capitalized because that’s what they want to say to me about half way through it.

They also tend to be pretty great for burning some calories. (“Burning” and “calories”…a few more buzzwords .)

(You know what word most people don’t care for? Moist. People have really strong opinions on the word “moist”.)

Let’s talk about the movements, and then I’ll give you the run down for this short, effective, INTENSE, EXTREME, MIND-BLOWING, CALORIE BURNING workout. jk.

Here’s the 6 movements you’ll be doing:

Medicine Ball Rotational Slams

Cues:

-Rotate through your hips, not your low back.

-Keep hips, torso, and shoulders in line the entire time.

-Extend fully at the top of the movement.

-Slam the ball as hard as you can. No, harder than that.

Mountain Climbers

Cues:

-Keep abs tight.

-Drive knees to chest.

-Keep toes of front foot off the ground. Avoid skipping.

Wall Balls

Cues:

-Throw medicine ball from, and catch at, chest height.

-Keep chest up.

-Absorb the “catch”. Move with the ball on the way down.

-Use your legs and shoulders to throw the ball.

Jumping Jacks

Cues:

-Do a jumping jack. If that isn’t clear…oh, boy…

Medicine Ball Slams

Cues:

-Extend fully at the top.

-Avoid coming down into a squat position. Think hips up, torso over.

-Slam the ball as hard as you possibly can.

Shoot Outs

Cues:

-Avoid excessive hip rocking.

-4 steps out, 4 steps back is one rep.

-They’ll be awkward at first. They will get better.

Now you know what movements you’re doing, and how to do them. Let’s put them all together for a little F.U.n.

A1. Medicine Ball Rotational Slams (5/side)

A2. Mountain Climbers (15/leg)

A3. Wall Balls (10)

A4. Jumping Jacks (30)

A5. Medicine Ball Slams (10)

A6. Shoot Outs (5 ) Remember-4 steps out, 4 steps back=1 rep

Perform A1-A6 with little to no rest in between exercises. Once you’ve completed one round, rest 90 seconds. Then repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

That’s it! “That’s it” makes it sounds like it’ll be nice and easy. It wont. This will probably suck. A lot. This should make your shirt really moist.

Ew. I get it now.

If you have any questions, please drop them in the comments below. Have a friend that would like to give this a shot? Please share it with them. I have those handy-dandy social media buttons on here just for that reason.

Oh, hello.

For those of you who have been paying attention to the things I’ve been doing lately, you know that I’ve been posting blogs at The Diabetic Trainer.

It’s been fine over there. I’m not abandoning the site, or it’s mission. I’m just shifting focus.

For those of you who have been paying attention to the things I’ve been doing for a loooooong time, you’ll recognize this website. I used to post on Michael Gray Fitness-years ago. Some stuff happened. I let my registration for the domain name pass, and I lost it. I was only recently able to get it back, and I’m honestly really excited. Not “pee-my-pants-excited”, but close.

I believe in The Diabetic Trainer, and who it serves, but honestly feel that the title alone is limiting. People see “diabetic” and assume it’s only for diabetics.

I get it.

Anyway, this is where I’ll be spending my time for a while. Talking about health, wellness, fitness, exercise, food, gummy bears, The Office…all the important stuff.

In the coming days, weeks, months, you can expect to see video demonstrations, rants, musings…you know just stuffs I like, and that I think you will benefit from reading with your eyeballs, or hearing with your earballs.

From time to time you’ll also see awesome stuff that I believe will make your life better, like this: click here to see awesome stuff that will make your life better.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Take a minute to peruse around the site. Look in the pantry. Open the medicine cabinet. Make yourself to home.

Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss any updates. And feel free to share this page with someone you think could benefit from the information I’ll be sharing, and will enjoy my particular sense of humor. You can subscribe and share via the social media buttons. They’re on the side on desktop, at the bottom on mobile.

That’s it for now. K bye.