Tag Archives: Abs of Steel

Building Defined Abs

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Jan_Dec2013_AbsAbs progress Jan-Dec 2013 (148.5 lbs to 122 lbs)

I often get asked about what I do for abs. I’m hourglass shaped and tend to hold most of my excess weight between the area beneath my navel to mid-thigh. So, my upper body and abs are the first to show the results of weight loss/strength training. If you are more apple-shaped/top heavy, then it will likely take more work for you to see results in the abs just like it takes me more time to results in my legs/glutes. With that caveat, here are the things that I do to get defined abs!

1. LOSE WEIGHT/FAT: Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym?” It’s true. 90% of getting defined/tight abs is losing weight/fat. You’re not going to see muscle covered by fat. If you do a lot of ab work, but still have a tummy/gut/Dunlap disease (your waist “dun lapped” over your belt … LOL!), then it’s likely your six-pack is hiding under subcutaneous fat and losing weight will make them come out of hiding. Cardio is a necessity to burn calories and strength training helps boost base metabolism. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective way to burn calories and boost base metabolism! A simple 25-30 minute HIIT treadmill workout for beginners is: warm-up walk for 5 minutes; 1 minute sprint (fast as you can) followed by 1.5 min walk/jog, repeat 6-8 times, cool down walk for 5 minutes. I used this C25K week 1 treadmill workout as my time guide.

2. ABS OF STEEL by TAMILEE WEBB (VHS): I’ve used this tape for 20+ years. It has three 10 minute workouts and I’ll do it 3-5 days a week (abs don’t need rest/recovery every other day. 1-2 days of rest in a week is adequate). I recently found that the VHS I use can be found on sale on eBay (pink box/blue leotard) and you can download it to your computer at TamileeWebb.com!

3. BICYCLE EXERCISE FOR ABS: I just added in the last few months because my lower abs were not progressing in strength the way I wanted or had experienced in the past. I realized that this was likely because I wasn’t doing the Captain’s Chair lower leg lift exercise that I used to do 1-2 days a week when I worked out at a gym. I corroborated with some online research that this is one of the top three effective exercises for abs as proven by EMG testing (see article here). So, I started to think about buying a Captain’s Chair for my home gym. But then I looked at the #1 exercise (Captain’s Chair was #2) and discovered it was something that required NO equipment, can be done anywhere, and is the most effective for the total core (upper abs, lower abs, AND obliques). It was a no brainer. I started incorporating one to two 60 second sets (60 sec rest between sets) into my workouts 1-2 days a week. I saw my lower ab strength increase within a week or two and that resulted in improved performance during running and yoga (especially inversions).

Bicycle for Abs Demo

via LiveStrong.com

So yup! That’s what I do for defined abs. But again, remember number one is the most important!! Case in point, I’ve been doing Abs of Steel almost every day for the last several weeks, but barely doing cardio and still eating like I’m on the cruise! So … the abs aren’t looking like they did in December!! So, it’s definitely time to get the eating back in order and cardio back in effect for real! With that, time to get on the exercise gear and hit the basement for The Biggest Loser Cardio Max for Day 325 of 365 Days of Fitness (and Day 5 of 28 Days of Fitness).

Lata Gatas!!

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How do you get “six pack”/defined abs?

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 50-70

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Day68

Okay, I have to get ready to head to the gym in a few. But, I know I have been seriously MIA on the blog for the last several weeks. So, I wanted to give a quick update in regard to my personal fitness challenge. First, I have now worked out for a minimum of 10 minutes a day for 70 days in a row. More importantly for me, I completed C25K on Friday!!! I did C25K in 2011, but think I fell off of it the last week/week and a half. I didn’t fall of because I ran into a wall (no pun intended ;), but because I took a break immediately before competing in a Rugged Maniac 5K obstacle race.

Anywho, I’m very excited to say that I am now running for 30 minutes at 5.4 mph! It ain’t quite easy yet, but I can do it!! I’m NOT happy to say that my treadmill broke at week 7 of C25K and I have yet to get my new one. So, I had to start going to the gym to run (yeah … I don’t run outside … yet. Now that’s it’s warming up, I’ll give it a try on the weekend). I should have my new NordicTrak by this Wednesday and will be happy to not have to run back and forth to the gym at 6 am.

Okay, it’s about time for me to get dressed to get out of here. But, here is a pictorial rundown of Days 50-70. If you want to get details of what I did each day, check out my Instagram or Facebook pages (I think you can check-out Instagram w/out being a subscriber!).

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The scale has been stuck the last few weeks … I went down to 134, but have been up and down the last two weeks. I know it’s because I’ve been pretty lackadaisical about dinner and have been relaxing my eating on weekends. So, this week, I’m going to get back on track with consistently eating a balanced dinner and watching what I eat on the weekends. Regardless of what’s going on with the scale, I’m definitely seeing progress.

progress

And finally, I’m really going to try to give some hair updates this week! I plan to do a post every night after work, but I’m just so exhausted and have no desire to focus on a computer long enough to compose a lucid and worthwhile post!! So, I just do quick hits on IG, which I share on FB and Twitter!! If you follow me on any of those, you know that it has been an eventful few weeks in regard to wash day. I’ve tried new products, new techniques and had a traumatic detangling experience last weekend. Visions of a third big chop were floating through my head. But, I survived with (most of the) hair on my head! So yeah, I might not write as much as I usually do, but I’m going to really try to give you guys a little something! Thank you for your patience!!

Lata Gatas!!

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 1-7

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day2Day 1 and Day 2

Not much in ways of mileage, but I am trying to build my endurance back up and work out the kinks muscle tightness. Did 25 min of walking and 5 minutes of jogging on Monday. On Tuesday, I did 7.5 minutes of jogging (five 1.5 min. jog/1.5 min. walk intervals).

day3Day 3

12 minute Kettlebell Full Body Blast with Lauren Brooks. I went to south Jersey on Tuesday night for the funeral for a member of my church family (RIP NaNa). But, I took my kettlebell and DVD with me. Couldn’t be missing days already. But yeah, 12 minutes. That’s all. Kicked my butt. My legs were sore immediately and the rest of the week. 

day4Day 4

Did five 1.5 min jog/run intervals again. I  increased my speed in last jog interval. But, I didn’t pick up any distance or burn any more calories than Tuesday. I think this was because my warm up started off slower. My thighs were tight and SORE!!

day5Day 5

Did 20 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minute Abs of Steel. I passed out after work on Thursday night!!! Between a sore body from resuming working out and the long day Wednesday (funeral in south Jersey and the CurlyNikki meet-up in NYC), I was DONE!!

day6Day 6

Did my old 20 minute 300 Calorie Treadmill Routine. It wasn’t pretty. I had to reduce speed for last half as my heart was coming out of my chest. How far they have fallen!! Anywho, it’s still a great short workout!! Check it out via the prior link, if you’re interested in a quick workout for those days you don’t have a lot of time! Also, a lot of people complained in the comments of the Fitness mag post that their treadmill only said they burned 160 or so cals. The treadmill can’t calculate calorie burn from interval training. It also is not accurate as there are various factors (sex, weight, height, muscle mass, metabolic rate, etc.) that are needed to accurately determine the number of cals an individual will burn with any given exercise. So, the 300 isn’t necessarily accurate either. These things rely upon averages and are not exact. If you’re not “average,” then they are just estimates.

day7Day 7

75 minutes of hot yoga (Vinyasa Flow) with my fave instructor, Colleen, at Younique Yoga. I didn’t do too badly even though I’m out of shape and haven’t been in forever!! I was even able to do a headstand and did it again when I got home!! It’s not perfect, but it’s a start!!

It’s been a pretty good week for my diet as well. I ate a little WAY too much granola yesterday, but everything I’ve eaten has been healthy. I’ve planned my meals for the most part, have been eating fruit, veggies, low fat/zero fat Greek yogurt, walnuts and have been drinking lots of water. I reduced my coffee from three cups a day to one cup in the morning to jump start me for working out (well, except Friday, when I needed a second cup!). Oh, and I’ve been getting in bed by 11 pm and waking up at 5:30 am to exercise in the morning prior to work!

And now, it’s time to hit the shower and clean this body and wash this hair (pre-poo has been “marinating” since yesterday!).

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Okay, how did you ladies who “signed up” for the 28 Day Fitness Challenge do week one? 

As for week 2, LET’S GET IT!!