Lose the fat around the…

If you live in the Atlanta area and are looking to lose fat and inches around the midsection, belly, hips, thighs, or any other body pat I can help.

Through bodyweight exercises, weight lifting , and some hard work I can help you get the body you want and have imagined.

Send you contact info to weightworkout@yahoo.ca to get the help you deserve.

Atlanta Personal Training For Fat Loss of the THIGHS, HIPS, and STOMACH

Nutrition tip of the Week

Mood Eating

Most people eat based on their mood and/or some subjective feelings of hunger. They don't eat based on what their bodies need. Think of it this way: you're about to take a long drive on a stretch of highway with no gas station. Do you fail to stop for gas before you hit the road because you're 'not in the mood?' Of course not. Think of eating in the same way. Eating fuels your metabolic engine. So it's time to start feeling like eating so that you can stop feeling like you're scrawny. by Dr. John Berardi

SEE ALSO: This tip is sponsored by Precision Nutrition - our pick for the best nutrition and supplement resource currently available. Containing system manuals, gourmet cookbook, digital audio/video library, online membership, and more, Precision Nutrition will teach you everything you need to know to get the body you want -- guaranteed.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fat-Loss Circuit Training

fat-burning, metabolism-boosting training technique

Want to burn off that holiday weight gain as quickly as humanly possible? Fat-Loss Circuit Training is the BEST place to start.

Fat-Loss Circuit Training is a program of my own invention. I developed it for losing fat quickly. It's challenging but very effective!

Fat-Loss Circuit Training is very simple once you get the hang of it, but it can be one of the most demanding (and most extraordinarily effective) styles of training you can do.

If you're familiar with normal circuit training (with timed, light-weight intervals), please put aside any notions you might have of how this program works. You will not only be harnessing the muscle-building and metabolism-stimulating power of intense, full-set weight training (NOT the typical light-weight, timed intervals of normal circuit training), you will also be incorporating the great calorie-burning effects of cardiovascular training.

The proper combination of the two styles (weights and cardio) into one workout is, quite simply, phenomenal for fat burning.

In order to use Fat-Loss Circuit Training, you will need access to both weight equipment and cardio equipment (and/or benches or stairs), preferably located in fairly close proximity to each other.

This type of training is harder to do in a crowded gym as it will involve you moving back and forth quickly between different pieces of equipment. If someone is waiting to use your cardio machine the moment you step off, it will defeat the purpose of the workout. This technique is best used in a fairly uncrowded gym where you have more freedom to use equipment or, better yet, in a home gym with weights and cardio equipment and no one waiting for anything!

If you do work out in a crowded gym, I will tell you exactly how to get around it.

How The Training Works:

- Essentially, this is combined circuit/interval training.

- You will be going back and forth between your weight training exercises and one cardio exercise for the duration of the workout.

- Your rest period for weights will be your cardio and your rest period for cardio will be your weights.

- You will be doing some sort of activity for your entire workout without any break!

This combination is very effective for a number of reasons:

- It forces your body to burn calories continuously during the workout.

- It utilizes resistance training and cardio training so you get all the benefits of both in one workout.

- By forcing your body to work like this, you dramatically increase your metabolism leading to increased fat burning long after the workout (more so than either weights or cardio alone).

- It saves time - you get both your weights and cardio in the same amount of time as your regular workout.

- You will still be able to use heavy weights in your weight training, helping to preserve muscle mass.

Fitness Anywhere

How To Do It:

Step 1 - Set Up

For the most efficient workout possible, try to have most or all of your exercises pre-set and ready to go. The less time you spend on preparation during your workout itself, the more effective that workout will be, especially since you want to be continually active throughout the workout. You can use any type of cardio that is convenient and enjoyable to you, be it a machine, stair stepping, or even a skipping rope.

If you are working out in a crowded gym, try to claim an area for yourself and focus on dumbbell exercises. You won't have to wait in line to use any weight machines that way.

If you don't have access to convenient cardio machines, you're going to have to go low-tech. You'll need to do stair-stepping (stepping up two stairs then back down works well), bench-stepping (step up onto a flat bench or Step platform then back down) or rope-jumping (be sure you're not close to anyone if you choose this). These approaches work just as well as cardio machines and allow you to perform this training style in a busier setting.

If the stair-stepping method is what you need to use, have a look at the stepping pattern demonstrated here

Step 2 - Warm-up

Do a few minutes of low-intensity cardio as a warm-up. You may wish to do a few light sets of a few of the exercises you'll be working with before you start into it though. Don't tire yourself out, just get a light sweat going.

Step 3 - Start with 30 - 40 seconds of moderate intensity cardio.

This could be setting a stair machine to a level that is not easy but is not so challenging that you're going to exhaust yourself right away. Watch the timer on your machine and go for approximately 40 seconds (I say approximately because there will generally be a slight lag time when you step on and off).

Many cardio machines have a "rest period" feature where you can leave the machine on and it will not erase your program while you have stepped off. Normally, this is about 2 minutes. This should be enough time to complete your weight set.

If you are using a machine such as a treadmill or stair machine that you will leave on with the timer running, just watch the time counter on the machine and keep track of when you get on it to get the designated period. It may require a little mental math! You can also use the GYMBOSS timer, this is easier. Start the timer when you start the cardio.

Purchase the Gymboss Interval Timer

Many machines also have a feature that runs through a series of time periods. I've found on the StairMaster, if you set the length of the session to 20 minutes, this results in a 40 second time period making it perfect for judging your cardio periods.

Step 4 - Do a set of weights.

Go as quickly as you can to your first exercise. Do a set of the first exercise on your program for the day. Do this with no rest, going from the cardio immediately to the weights. Do all your reps until you start to approach muscular failure.

While this is definitely still intense weight training, don't push yourself to muscular failure as you would in your regular training. Due to the high training volume we'll be doing in this program, pushing to failure on every set will compromise muscle recovery.

Also, be very sure to use proper form and tempo when lifting the weights. Don't rush your weight sets - perform them with the same form and speed as you would if you were doing a regular set in your training. Fast, light or sloppy weight sets are NOT what we're looking for here.

Step 5 - Go right back to the cardio.

Get back to the cardio and do another 40 seconds of moderate-intensity cardio.

Step 6 - Repeat the cycle for the duration of the workout.

You will be going back and forth continuously between cardio and your weight training exercises, using the cardio as the rest period between your weight sets. What this means is that over the course of your workout, you'll be burning calories via cardio and weights AND you'll be working your muscles with intense, heavy weight training as well. It's tough training but very effective!

Fitness Anywhere


- As you improve your cardio ability, you can choose to increase the intensity of your cardio training between sets. You may wish to start at a lower level and gradually increase the resistance over the course of the workout or start at a higher level and keep it there. It is perfectly acceptable to keep it at a steady, moderate level, however.

- This Fat-Loss Circuit technique can be used with nearly any form of cardio exercise as long as it is convenient to go back and forth with the weights. The real key here is to maintain activity for the entire workout.

- Keep your workouts to no more than 45 minutes at the very most when doing this type of training. Any more than that and you will be breaking yourself down too much. It's an extremely demanding form of training as you'll be working every major energy system in your body. You will also find it will crank your metabolism up pretty seriously!

For a sample workout to follow, taken directly from "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss" ebook,

You will be able to print this workout and take it to the gym with you to try out.

Want to order "Metabolic Surge" right now for the low price of only $29.95?
Your new body is waiting for you!


Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 16 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of". He can be contacted at betteru@fitstep.com.

Contact me here

Monday, February 25, 2008

Functional Suspension Training for Everyone

Strength Training Utilizing Suspended Bodyweight

Fitness Anywhere

More than 150 years ago acrobats and gymnasts have used their own bodyweight and gravity as resistance, suspended from rings, ropes, and trapeze bars to generate tremendous, strength and the astonishing physiques that are a hallmark of these athletes. During the dawn of the modern fitness era, body builders adopted some of these suspended training techniques, hanging on rings suspended from chains in places like the old Muscle Beach in Venice, CA.

With the shift toward isolation training in the 60's and 70's, Suspension Training largely disappeared, lost to all but a few classes of athletes (acrobats, gymnasts, wrestlers and climbers) who continued to strength train on ropes and rock in the practice of their craft.

The recent change in fitness programming toward traditional functional training styles has ushered a reawakening to the value of strength and body awareness; that is, the ability to move one’s own body-mass through space efficiently and powerfully. Recent design developments toward user friendly equipment for Suspension Training have also expanded the depth and breadth of exercises within this unique genre of functional conditioning. Programming adaptations have also broadened the population of users capable of integrating this amazingly effective old--but all-new--style of training. No longer is Suspension Training limited to the highly advanced athletes whose maneuvers continue to astonish and delight legions of fans of the Cirque du Soleil.

So why would I want to incorporate this genre of exercise into my training?

Fitness Anywhere

The trend of the new millennium in sports programming is inarguably functional training. Pros and amateurs alike recognize that while looking great is important, the ability to apply those aesthetics to performance is even more essential to long term performance and quality of life. So how does Suspension Training help to meet these goals?

The strength required to generate and control movement in a destabilized environment is a type of strength unlike any other. In such training environments, the core is in a complete and constant state of activity in every exercise. Core stabilization is required to maintain proper alignment and body position. This kind of full-body muscular engagement is even more apparent when performing some of the very demanding bodyweight exercises that can be employed to build strength using Suspension Training.

An inextricably linked "cause and affect" relationship exists between balance, body- awareness and core stability. Suspension Training places the body in a state of destabilization under load. This creates a challenging position where body or kinesthetic awareness must be developed to enable the core and other joint stabilizers to manage the center of gravity over its base of support. As this ability is enhanced it allows us to control our body position and produce smooth and efficient movement in increasingly more challenging postural situations. This increased ability to generate power and to stabilize in unbalanced positions correlates directly to increased performance in virtually every sport.

When any part of the body is destabilized in a suspended movement, there are instantly increased muscular demands. To counteract this instability, the chain of muscles must cooperatively adapt at a much higher level than in an exercise where position and range of motion are restricted and controlled by a defined and supported path of travel, as with most traditional machines. Increased demands on joint stability challenge stabilizer muscles to maintain joint integrity as neutralizer muscles work to produce smooth movement while simultaneously managing thousands of tiny disruptive forces. Suspension Training also necessitates increased levels of spinal stabilization in order to maintain proper exercise position and body alignment. Training under these conditions of loaded instability generates complete muscle activation of the prime movers.

Suspension Training is highly athletic. It creates proprioceptive challenges that reinforce muscle firing sequences and motor patterns that transfer directly into movements commonly found in sport and life. This style of training demands coordinated and integrated body movement and offers challenging, sport-specific variations that require power and agility--the mainstays of athleticism for any sport.

Recent design evolution also makes Suspension Training one of the easiest and most convenient ways to strength train as the required equipment is minimal, highly portable and it can be done virtually anywhere.

Fitness Anywhere

Still not convinced that Suspension Training is appropriate for you?

Consider the speed at which this unique style of training is migrating across athletic boundaries. Some of the world’s top triathletes and competitive fighters—along with training rooms in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL—are now integrating Suspension Training into their athletes training regimens.

Todd Durkin, ACE Personal Trainer of the Year 2005 and IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year 2004, utilizes this mode of training with his NFL and MLB players, along with youth athletes and regular clients.

Pete Twist, renowned athletic training presenter and former strength and conditioning coach for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, integrates Suspension Training into his unique system of performance training that emphasizes speed, quickness and agility for athletes in multi-directional sports.

Lastly, consider that many of the world’s most elite military units now employ Suspension Training to maintain peak physical performance at home and abroad.

In conclusion, Suspension Training represents the evolution of functional training and is a tremendous, new and effective way of integrating closed kinetic chain, body weight based movement into any training plan. This additional training modality will enhance program functionality and effectiveness, and bring you to peak results.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Unconventional Fat Loss - Hybrid Training

Hybrid Training for Fat Loss

Adapting to the strength curve of an exercise is not a new concept - some do it through machines designed for the job...some do it by working on partial movements.

But literally COMBINING two different forms of resistance into one exercise? THIS is not something you see every day. And, strictly speaking, even the concept of combining two different forms of resistance itself isn't new - band training is a TREMENDOUSLY effective way to increase bench press, squats and deadlifts. Powerflifters do this all the time.

The idea I had was to not only ADD another form of resistance but also change the DIRECTION that secondary form of resistance was coming from.

This idea first occurred to me when I was doing dumbbell presses. I thought to myself, "hmmm...I'm getting great tension at the bottom of the exercise...I wonder if there's a way that I can increase the tension at the top, too?"

So I went over to the cable cross-over machine and set the two handles on the low pulleys. I set the bench in the very center then reached over and grabbed the one pulley handle, then reached over and grabbed the other. After sitting back up on the bench, I then leaned forward and picked up the dumbbells.

What followed was one of THE most eye-opening sets of bench press I had EVER done...

Picture this...when you're doing a dumbbell bench press, you get maximum tension at the bottom of the exercise. But as you press up to the top, the leverage changes and you lose most of that tension. By the time you're at the top of the exercise, you've lost pretty much all of it unless you're actively squeezing the muscles.

Now picture this...when you're doing a flat bench cable flye exercise (which is same as dumbbell flyes but with cables), you get practically NO tension at the bottom, but, as you bring your hands together above, you get MAXIMUM tension at the top, with the cables pulling directly out to the sides.

Got those two exercises visualized in your head? Good. Now mash them together...

Imagine the cable handles AND dumbbells in your hands AT THE SAME TIME.

This time, when you do the press, you're going to get maximum tension from the dumbbells at the bottom and almost no tension from the cables.

But, as you press up and lose tension in the dumbbell press, the CABLE tension starts kicking in. By the time you've hit the top, the cables are at MAXIMUM tension.

The result? A dumbbell bench press where your pecs get NO BREAK WHATSOEVER. The tension is just INCREDIBLE. I would say that one of these sets is worth THREE normal sets.

When I did this exercise for the very first time (and naturally, because it felt so good, I did too many sets!), I couldn't bring my arms across my body without them starting to shake.

And, of course, I couldn't stop there. I went ahead and came up with exercises like this for the ENTIRE body.

The Verdict:

A definite winner! This training technique has tremendous potential for increasing strength and muscle mass fast. I train with this technique regularly and, let me tell you, I KNOW there's a difference in how these exercises affect muscle growth and strength compared to standard exercises.

If you're interested in checking out a bicep exercise using this technique, check out this article:

Cable-Barbell Curls - "Hybrid Training" For Incredible Biceps!

And if you're interested in learning more about the rest of these "Hybrid" exercises I mentioned, check out the e-book "Hybrid Training."

It has ALL the exercises I've come up with using this technique, covering the ENTIRE body. This is POWERFUL stuff.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Unconventional Fat Loss

Cold Water Immersion

With this technique, the basic idea is this: submerge your body in cold water and let it bring your body temperature down enough to cause shivering. Shivering is almost completely fueled by fat, specifically the brown fat of the body (this is fat that is more metabolically active - the stuff that makes you look fat is known as white fat).

Also, the hormone release in response to the stress of cold water immersion may lead to an increase in metabolic rate.

I came across this cold water immersion idea in a past issue of Muscle & Fitness and the research they presented to back up the idea looked interesting so I decided to give it a try!

The exact study they quoted involved performing activity while in cold water but since I didn't have a big cold water tank, I decided to try it out with just the shivering in a tub.

Three times a week for a month, I filled a tub up with cold water and went in and started shivering. Now when I say cold water, there wasn't a hint of warmth in it - it wasn't ice water but was probably about 50 degrees F.

Let me tell you, you can really find out what you're made of when you're faced with a tub full of cold water that you have to get into! You step in, lay down up to your neck then just stay there for 20 minutes. You'll start shivering pretty quickly!

** Naturally, watch out for signs that you're getting TOO cold - we don't want hypothermia here! If you start breathing rapidly or you can't touch your index finger to your thumb, stand up out of the tub and turn on a warm shower to heat yourself back up.

The Verdict:

I DID actually notice some results over and above what I've experienced with standard fat-loss programs. It wasn't a HUGE difference but I definitely did see a difference. If you want to burn fat while lying down, this is about the only way to do it!

The cold water also has an AMAZING diuretic effect on the body - it flushes subcutaneous (under the skin) water out of your body FAST. I think (and this is just my theory) this is another survival mechanism of the body - when your body starts losing heat rapidly (as it does in cold water), it immediately tries to flush out the best conductor of that heat (which is water). I noticed a major difference in muscle definition immediately after getting out of the cold water.

This MAY be a good technique if you have some stubborn fat you'd like to get rid of AND you're willing to sit in a cold tub 3 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. The hormones released (specifically norepinephrine is one that has been mentioned in conjunction with cold water immersion) have the ability to unlock those stubborn fat cells.

You'll have to weigh these factors to decide if you want to try it.

One other bonus...you'll develop GREAT resistance to cold weather by doing this regularly. Your body will be better able to maintain core temperature because you're training it to adapt to cold.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

FMS Certified Specialist

Functional Movement Screen Certified Specialist

Looking for a quick and easy way to determine if you or your athletes are at risk of injury? By performing the Functional Movement Screen you can quickly ascertain potential risk which often goes undetected in conventional training. Use the functional movement screen to refine training, check for imbalances, and faulty movement patterns.

Some professionals look at movement patterns to identify those who may be at risk for an injury as activity levels are increased. Others are interested in performance and consider movement patterns as they develop fitness and performance programs. Here is a system that does BOTH.

As 1 of only 2 certified Functional Movement Screen specialists in all of Georgia I am qualified to administer the FMS the can help identity problems that need to be addressed.

The FMS is an orthopedic screening process created to assess and document functional movement patterns. By identifying and correcting basic movement pattern limitations, risk of injury is reduced and improvements in strength and performance are optimized. This is crucial for clients ranging from serious golfers looking to lower their handicap to senior citizens looking to move and feel better.

The FMS is made up of seven tests that look at fundamental functional movements that make up the foundation for human movement. The Functional Movement Screen is simply a way to expose fundamental flaws that are masked by compensations. These limitations lead to poor efficiency, potential for injury, and decreased performance,or chronic pain.

The Functional Movement Screen is a non-invasive test comprised of seven tests that assess mobility and stability. Benefits of Obtaining Screening Information
- Helps to reduce the potential for training and sports injuries.
- Identifies physical imbalances or weaknesses.
-Identifies potential cause and effect relationships of micro-trauma as well chronic
injuries in relation to movement asymmetries.

After completing the FMS and analyzing the results an individualized Corrective Exercise Program can be assigned that will improve faulty mechanics and enhance physical development.

Please contact me for prices and details.

Email: weightworkout@yahoo.ca

I want to know more about the Functional Movement Screen

Atlanta area personal fitness coach that comes to you.
In the Atlanta area?

For more information on the Functional Movement Screen visit:

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Training Frequency

How Often SHOULD You Train for Best Results?

How often should you train? How long do you need to rest
between training sessions? How much is too much and how much
is too little? The answers may surprise you and even change how
you train!

One of the most basic questions in weight training is "how many times a week should I train for best results?" EVERYBODY has wondered this at some point in their training career, from the complete beginner to the most advanced professional.

The answer could very well change the way you train forever! The answer is simple... it depends!

Now, this is an answer that ALWAYS leads immediately to the next question... depends on what?

At this point, most instructors or training manuals will go right to the stock response of "train each bodypart twice a week" or something to that effect. It's easy to believe that this is the best answer because that generally works okay for most people. It's a safe answer.

But it's not the BEST answer. Learning what IS the best answer will help you cast out preconceived notions and determine what REALLY works best for your body.

There are a number of factors that influence how often you should train your muscles. Each single factor plays a part in how often you should train and they ALL interact with each other. I will go through the factors then give you real-world examples of how these factors come together to help you determine how often you should train.

1. Training Volume
Training volume is basically how much you are doing for each bodypart. It's the number of reps and the number of sets you are doing.

The more sets you do for a bodypart, the less frequently you should train the bodypart to give it a chance to recover. If you do fewer sets, you can train more frequently and recover from it.

2. Training Intensity
This is not the scientific definition of intensity (i.e. how close the weight you are using is to your one rep max for that exercise) but rather your effort intensity. Basically, it's how hard you're working your muscles.

The harder you push yourself in your sets, the less frequent your training should be as this will tax your recovery systems more strongly.

3. Nutrition
How much you eat and, more importantly, WHAT you eat plays a critical role in how often you can and should train. Don't think nutrition plays a big role in training frequency? Eat nothing but Pop Tarts for a week and see how often you're able to train...

The higher the quality of the food you eat and, to some degree, the more food you eat, the better you'll be able to recover and the more often you'll be able to train.

4. Recovery
When it comes to recovery, everybody is different...some people recover slowly while some recover very quickly. This difference can be heightened by outside activities and stresses to the body. For instance, a construction worker, who has a physical job, will need more recovery time than an office worker. Playing intense sports will also affect recovery ability.

Therefore, the slower your recovery rate and/or the more outside activities you do, the more time you will need between training sessions.

5. Exercise Selection
Which exercise is most demanding to the thighs and the whole body in general... a barbell squat or a leg extension? The squat, of course, because the more demanding the exercises are on a bodypart (or the whole body), the less frequently you can effectively train that bodypart.

6. Bodypart Size
The bigger the bodypart, e.g. back, thighs and chest, the more recovery time it needs. All things being equal, smaller bodyparts can be worked more frequently because they have less muscle mass that needs repair.

7. Type of Training You Do
Partials, negatives and other intensity techniques are going to affect how frequently you can effectively train a bodypart. These styles take more recovery time for the muscles and will require a decrease in training frequency.

These simple lists will show you the directions in which each factor will take you. All the factors interact to give you the best solution as to how often you should train.

You Can Train At a Higher Frequency If You Have:
A better recovery rate
Good nutrition and supplementation
Lower training volume
Lower training intensity
Easier exercises
Smaller bodyparts
Fewer intensity techniques

You Should Train At a Lower Frequency If You Have:
A slower recovery rate
Poor nutrition and supplementation
Higher training volume
Higher training intensity
Tougher exercises
Larger bodyparts
More intensity techniques

How It All Fits Together:
These are the major factors that determine optimum training frequency. Though the interaction of all these factors may seem complex, when you get right down to it, it's actually quite intuitive.

A good way to demonstrate this is by using myself as an example in different phases of training that I've been through. You will see, according to all the different factors, how I changed my training frequency and training schedules to maximize results.

You will also see that the common conceptions and "rules" that you have been told you must stick to in terms of training frequency (e.g. twice a week) are based only on simple assumptions, not on actual situations.

EXAMPLE #1 - Heavy manual labor, limited access to quality food

Because of the specific job conditions I was in at the time, I reduced the frequency of my training to three sessions per week and reduced my total training volume. I did total body workouts on each of the three days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), using the heaviest exercises for each bodypart for 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps each (e.g. squats, bench press, bent-over rows).

I didn't push my muscles to complete failure in my training so that I didn't beat myself down too much in addition to the heavy manual labor job.

It was a simple program but very effective. It gave me enough recovery time because the volume was low and the intensity was moderate, even though the frequency for each bodypart was three times a week.

EXAMPLE #2 - In-home vacation, unlimited access to food and recovery, no demanding outside activities or work.

A number of years ago, I worked on cruise ships as a sports director. I would work 8 to 10 months straight (every single day) then have a few months completely off. During this time off, I had access to a gym, food and plenty of sleep.

To maximize results, I would dramatically increase my training volume and frequency and utilize intensity techniques regularly.

The catch? Since I was basically only eating, sleeping and training, I was able to recover from this high frequency and make excellent gains in strength and muscle mass.

As an extreme example of the frequency I was able to work with at this point, I was in the gym 6 days a week, twice a day, doing total-body workouts EVERY SINGLE TIME. This amounted to 12 total-body workouts a week, in addition to intensity techniques. The actual training volume (number of sets) in each workout was fairly low (3 or 4 sets per bodypart), which also allowed me to get results from that very high frequency.

I used a "controlled-overtraining" program similar in concept to the one that I wrote about in a previous issue of BetterU News here: Training on the Edge - Learn How Overtraining on Purpose Can Get You Maximum Results FAST!

Because I was able to recover from it, the high frequency of training worked in my favor and allowed me to get great results. But would I recommend this type of program to someone working a physical job or without optimum nutrition in quality or amount? No chance.

EXAMPLE #3 - Extremely busy work schedule, office job, meals determined by work breaks but workouts may have to be put off until the next day to accommodate overtime.

Having an office job meant that it wasn't physically demanding, allowing for good recovery. Nutrition, however, was often hit-or-miss due to busy scheduling. There were times, when work demanded, that I needed to put in hours after regular time, which forced me to push workouts back to the next day.

To maximize the results with this situation, I changed to a "one bodypart per day" training system. I would do a single bodypart in a workout, working it with high volume and high intensity. The next day I would do a different bodypart, rotating continuously through all the major bodyparts.

Because I was working only one bodypart at a time, the training frequency was very low, basically working the target bodypart once every 7 to 8 days. This, of course, would increase if I had to bump a workout back a day.

Even though I would basically "destroy" the single bodypart in its workout, this low training frequency gave my body enough time to recover and rebuild the muscle. It would take that much time for the part to recover. Also, when you work one bodypart, other bodyparts area invariably involved, allowing for indirect stimulation of the other muscles more frequently, e.g. when you bench press for the chest, the triceps are also involved.

This plan gave me the flexibility to easily change workout schedules without compromising results while allowing my less-than-perfect nutrition to still allow me to recover enough between workouts and get results.

As you can see, optimum training frequency is nothing as simple as "work each bodypart twice a week." The give and take between a number of different factors in your life and schedule will help you determine how often you should be training and the type of training you should be doing for best results.


Article by: Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 16 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of". He can be contacted at betteru@fitstep.com.

Atlanta area personal fitness coach that comes to you.
In the Atlanta area?

Contact me here

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A few for the Abs

Article by: By Nick Nilsson

Dramatically improve sports and weightlifting performance and say
goodbye to lower back pain! Plus, you'll learn two exercises
you can do at home that directly target the muscles of the core.

If you were to ask me which muscle group in your entire body you could work to get the greatest benefits in the shortest amount of time, I would tell you without hesitation, "the core." Strengthening the core can realize tremendous benefits to anyone regardless of his or her training experience and can do so very quickly.

But what is the core?

The core, as it's known in strength training circles, consists of all the muscles in your abdominal and lower back areas. This includes all the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus and intercostals) as well as the muscles associated with the spine (the erector spinae group) and the hip flexors the iliacus and psoas.

These muscles all work in harmony to provide stabilization for your body and to transfer power from the legs to the upper body and vice versa. The core muscles also function to keep your insides in, where they belong!

And why is strengthening the core so important?

Weak core muscles contribute to all kinds of problems in the body, the most prevalent of which is lower back pain. By strengthening the muscles that help support the spine and improve posture, you can dramatically decrease the symptoms of lower back pain.

Picture your spine as a column of soda cans stacked one on top of the other. If you wanted to keep that column standing up under stress, what do you think would work better: a "tenser" bandage (as is used for wrapping injured ankles) or Scotch tape? Sure the tape would keep the cans together but the cans wouldn't receive a whole lot support, would they?

When you strengthen the muscles of the core, you are in effect turning that Scotch tape into a nice, tight "tenser" bandage, increasing the amount of support that your spine gets.

Core training also has the potential to greatly improve sports performance. Watch a baseball pitcher throw a pitch in slow motion. The power of the throw starts at the legs, gets transferred through the abdominal area (a.k.a. the core) then ends up in the arm where the ball is released. Imagine how much speed and power would be lost from that throw if the core muscles couldn't efficiently transfer the force from the legs to the throwing arm.

The core is the one area of the body that will always give you a great return on your investment.

So how do I train my core muscles?

Exercises that work the abdominals and the lower back are the staples of core training. Also, exercises that target the stabilization and power-transfer duties of the core muscles are very effective.

The most basic abdominal training exercise is the standard crunch.
see the proper technique for this exercise

But I've got an exercise for you that blows the standard crunch right out of the water. The equipment required for this exercise: one rolled-up towel.

The exercise is known as the Abdominal Sit-Up. It uses a sit-up-like movement. It is also very safe for your lower back. Another advantage it has over the standard crunch is that it targets the stretched (arched back) range of motion of the abs, which is totally missed in standard floor crunch.

How To Do It:

Lie on your back on the floor. Roll up a towel or mat and slip it underneath your lower back, just above the waistband (the size of the towel affects your body position during this movement - use a fairly large towel).

Your knees should be bent about 90 degrees. Keep your feet close together and knees fairly wide apart. This prevents the hip flexors from having a direct line of pull, helping to minimize their involvement.

Do not anchor your feet or have someone hold them down. This automatically activates the hip flexors. You will get the most out of this exercise by minimizing their involvement.

The difficulty of this exercise depends on where you hold your hands. The hardest position is above your head at arms-length, then beside your head, then across your chest, then straight down between your legs or at your sides. Start with the easiest first then progress to the other positions as you get stronger.

You are now ready to begin.

  • Keeping your torso straight and stiff, start the sit-up by tightening your lower abs then lifting your upper body off the floor.
  • As you continue up, imagine trying to push your face up against the ceiling (think up, not around).
  • When you reach about 25 to 30 degrees above horizontal, hold there for a second or two and squeeze your abs hard.
  • Keep your lower back in contact with the towel at all times and always maintain tension in the abs.
  • Lower yourself down slowly and under control. Do not just drop back to the ground. The negative portion of this exercise is extremely effective.
  • Remember to adjust your arm position depending on the strength of your abs (see above).

see pictures of how this exercise is done

Incline Ab Sit-Ups

If you are a beginning trainer, this is a good starting variation of the Abdominal Sit-up.

Set an incline sit-up board to a slight incline. If you don't have an incline sit-up board, you can use an adjustable incline bench, a decline bench, a Step platform with a riser under one of the ends or a flat bench with something under one end. You can even use a propped-up 2 x 6 board!

Your head should be on the higher end with your feet placed on the floor.

The execution is exactly the same. The only difference is that the tension on the abs is much less due to the greatly improved leverage in this position, allowing even people feel that their abs aren't strong enough to do the exercise.


These two exercises will give you a good place to start with core training. You can begin improving your core strength by doing these exercises 3 times a week for 2 to 3 sets each. Make core training a priority in your exercise routine and you will rapidly reap the benefits of having a stronger, more injury-proof midsection and back.


Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 16 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of". He can be contacted at betteru@fitstep.com.

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