These 5 Ab Moves Are Better Than Crunches

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Although the basic crunch is still popular, by now it’s pretty well known that this outdated exercise not the most effective way to flatten and strengthen your abs. It simply doesn’t activate your core muscles to the extent that other exercises do, it can hurt your back, and the small motion doesn’t do much by way of calorie burning.

So why are you still doing crunches?

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What the basic ab crunch does have going for it is its no-equipment, on-the-go nature. You could plop down onto the ground in a park, a hotel room, at the beach or at the gym to crank out a round of crunches wherever you happen to be.

Not the most effective, but, until now, the most convenient.

It’s time to upgrade your default, basic crunch to a more modern, results-driven exercise. Below I have the most cutting edge no equipment ab exercise to get you one step closer to those washboard abs that you’ve been dreaming about.

Better Than Crunches #1: The Plank

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To perform a plank, place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders, and your arms parallel to your body shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your core and pay attention to keeping your back flat. Focus on pulling your belly button in as you hold the position for 2 minutes.

Better Than Crunches #2: Scissor Kick

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To perform a scissor kick, lie with your back into the floor and your arms extended to the sides with your palms facing down. With a slight bend in your knees, lift your legs so that your heels are 6 inches off the ground. Lift your left leg up to about a 45-degree angle while your right leg is still lowered until your heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground. Switch movements by raising your right leg while lowering your left leg. Squeeze your midsection and focus on your breathing as you perform 60-90 seconds of the exercise.

Better Than Crunches #3: V-Ups

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To perform a v-up, lie down on your back on the floor and extend your arms behind your head. The back of your hands should lightly touch the floor while your palms face the ceiling. Keep your feet close together and point your toes toward the ceiling. Lift your legs up, keeping them straight at the same time that you raise your upper body off the floor and reach for your toes. Exhale and squeeze your abdominal muscles as you reach for your toes before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat a series of 12-20 repetitions.

Better Than Crunches #4: Reverse Crunch

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To perform a reverse crunch, lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and hands behind your head. Press your lower back into the floor and pull in your belly button as you lift your feet off of the floor. Keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and pull into your chest so that your tailbone raises off of the ground, and at the same time lift your shoulder blades off of the floor. Focus on squeezing your abs to perform the movement. Slowly lower your shoulders, hips and legs to the starting position, keeping your feet just above the floor. Repeat the movement for 12-20 repetitions while squeezing your abs and focusing on your breathing.

Better Than Crunches #5: Russian Twist

To perform a Russian twist, lie on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle while raising your upper body off of the ground. Exhale while you twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor. Pull your belly button in and squeeze, then slowly move back to the starting position. Repeat on the left side and continue to repeat both sides for 60-90 seconds.

There you have it, 5 modern, results-driven abdominal exercises that you can perform anywhere! Aim to work your abs at least twice a week for the best results.

It’s worth noting that while strengthening your abdominal muscles is a great way to tighten your waist, none of the amazing muscle tone will show if your body fat is above 20 percent. So as always combine precision nutrition with targeted Ab exercises and see (lterally!) results.

Yours In Health,

Brian

Drink Your Way Thin

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If you’ve been interested in fitness and health for more than a minute, then you know by now how important drinking plenty of water is for getting your body into top shape.

But do you drink enough water? And is it really going to impact your results?

Why Water Matters

Your body is made up of 60% water, which is incredible when you stop and really think about this fact. All day long you are constantly losing water by sweating and going to the bathroom – and this water must be replenished in order to keep your body is healthy, working order.

Many health authorities believe in the 8×8 theory: drink 8 (8oz) glasses of water throughout the day, or roughly half a gallon. However, a growing sector of fitness and health professionals are speaking out against this theory, stating that it is simply too little to keep you properly hydrated.

Those behind the movement to drink more than 8×8 per day are stating that the only way to truly stay hydrated is by sipping on water constantly throughout the day, and by making the effort to drink water when one doesn’t feel the signs of thirst.

Studies have come out that seem to prove that drinking more water throughout the day leads to better brain functioning, fewer headaches and physical performance.

Conversely, when you are operating in a state of mild dehydration you will experience diminished brain functioning, more frequent headaches and a decline in physical performance.

Does More Water = More Fat Loss?

Yes, it is quite likely that drinking more water will facilitate faster fat loss results. This is primarily due to two factors:

1. An increase in metabolism: Studies show that drinking water temporarily boosts metabolism for an hour or so. Drinking cold water will spike your metabolism even higher. This means more calories burned, and more pounds lost.

2. A reduction in appetite: Staying properly hydrated helps to reduce dehydration signs that are often mistaken for hunger. It is also a viable strategy to drink a full glass of water immediately before a meal in order to reduce the calorie intake of that meal, leading to lower overall calorie intake for the day.

Hydration and Health

Staying hydrated is going to help you lose fat quicker, but that’s not the only benefit that you will experience. The following are all health improvements that you have to look forward to when drinking water throughout your day:

  • Lower Risk of Cancer
  • Reduction in Constipation
  • Decreased Risk of Kidney Stones
  • Healthier Skin and Less Acne

It’s clear that drinking water throughout the day is an important part of being healthy and reaching your fitness goals. One of the best ways to make sure that you meet your hydration goals is to keep a large water bottle with you at all times, and to refill it every time that it is empty.

Yours In Health,

Brian

What An Incredible Picture

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There are few things as inspirational as a stunning before and after picture. To see how the human body can dramatically transform is simply incredible!
Have you ever thought about creating your own before and after picture?
While the initial photos are certainly not fun to take, I’d like to share why I believe this is just what you’ve been missing to achieve the fit body you’ve always wanted.
Here’s why you should take before pictures…
  • You get fired up! Pulling on that bathing suit and standing in front of a camera may feel a bit like standing in front of a firing squad, but this simple act will light a fire within you. By having a starting off point for your transformation, you’re now on the path to improvement. The journey has begun!
  • You accurately track progress. One of the biggest frustrations that clients have when they start working towards a fitness goal is how slowly their weight drops. Losing fat and gaining muscle doesn’t always show up on the scale, and so it’s important not to allow the scale to dictate your success. Instead, get back into that bathing suit every 30 days for updated pictures. After 90 days you will have 4 photos to arrange side-by-side, showing the progress of your transformation. Photos are undeniable proof that your body is losing fat, gaining muscle and transforming into something spectacular!
  • You stay on the program. Knowing that there is another photo date coming up may be all the extra motivation you need to stay on your healthy eating and exercise program. When temptation hits you’ll think about the way that you will look in that bathing suit and the evolution that you want the pictures to show. Each picture will be more attractive than the next!
  • You have an incredible story to share! Sharing your before and after pictures, once you have achieved your goal, is a special way to motivate others to begin their own fitness journey. Your handful of pictures will show the progression of fat loss, muscle development and confidence in a way that words simply cannot describe. I can’t wait to see yours!
Before and after photos are just one way to stay motivated and disciplined. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Yours In Health,
Brian

When The Right Time Is RIGHT NOW

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Why are you still waiting for the right time to get fit?

You are busy and hectic. Your family member is sick. Your job is demanding. You are focused on planning a big life event. Your kids are pulling you in a million different directions. You’re an emotional eater…and now is an emotional time.

There are a million and more excuses for why you haven’t made your body a priority…yet. At the back of your mind you believe that the day will come when you are ready to take action in getting back in shape.

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But that right time hasn’t come.

Let’s be honest with each other right now. The right time to get fit won’t ever magically appear. There will always be another life event to navigate. There’s always going to be someone you know who is sick…and you’ll even get sick at times. You will always have a reason to emotionally eat, if you allow yourself that chaos.

So what’s the solution? Drift through life in a body that you aren’t happy with? Avoid mirrors and bathing suits and sleeveless tops? Comfort yourself with the thought that you’ll dial in your fitness one day…just not today?

I’d like you to consider that the right time to get fit is RIGHT NOW.

Not despite your current life challenges but BECAUSE of them.

How much more effective do you think you’ll be dealing with a busy schedule, sick relatives, big life events and active kids when you’re living in an energetic, functional, fit body? Loads more effective!

Consider your current challenges as reasons why you MUST get fit NOW rather than excuses as to why you CAN’T get fit now. I know you can do this. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Good Luck!

Yours In Health,

Brian

 

5 Flat Tummy Myths (and 3 Steps to Tight Abs)

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Bathing suit season is right around the corner…are you ready?

Most people want to slim down before baring it all, so I’m here to warn you of the 5 Flat Tummy Myths that could waste your time:

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Myth #1: Do extra crunches to flatten your abs.

Excessive crunches aren’t the answer for tight abs. In order to achieve a toned look you’ll have to focus on burning off the layer of fat that is covering up your tummy.

  • Tip: Don’t obsess about crunches – instead focus on fat burning.

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Myth #2: Take diet pills to speed results.

I know it’s so tempting! The ads make compelling claims about the power of popping a pill, but don’t fall for it. There is no ‘magic pill’. Diet pills are more likely to burn through your pocketbook than to slim you down.

  • Tip: Don’t pop a pill – instead burn calories with intense exercise.

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Myth #3: Turn to packaged diet products to boost results.

Don’t fall for the foods that are packaged as ‘diet’ or ‘weight loss’ aids. Quite often these products are packed with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need, and certainly won’t help you attain that tight tummy.

  • Tip: Don’t eat packaged diet foods – instead stick with nutritious whole foods.

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Myth #4: Avoid all carbohydrates in order to achieve tight abs.
Carbohydrates have been given a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbs while slimming down. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

  • Tip: Don’t give up all carbohydrates – instead stick with wholesome carbs.

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Myth #5: Starve the chub away.

Trying to lose weight by starving yourself is not only ineffective it can also be dangerous. It may seem that severe calorie restriction would deliver the quickest weight loss, but your body is complex and by doing so you’ll disrupt your metabolism and slow your results.

  • Tip: Don’t starve yourself – instead eat small wholesome meals throughout the day.

Now that you know what not to do in order to achieve tight abs, it’s time to go over your flat tummy game plan. Here’s what you need to know in 3 simple steps:

Step One: No more junk.
The best way to do this is by purging your kitchen. Throw out the sugary, processed and fat-filled foods. Once the junk has been cleared out, don’t buy any more of it. Remember that your beach-ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat junk!

Step Two: Eat whole foods.
Replace the junk food in your life with plenty of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats and low fat dairy. Clean eating really is that simple.

Step Three: Come train with me.
This is the most obvious step. You’re ready to get into great shape and I’m in a unique position to make that happen for you. Call or reply to this email to get started on an exercise plan that will get you those amazing abs.

Yours In Health,

Brian

Is Afterburn Real?

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You’ve probably heard that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) produces an afterburn effect, which means your body continues to burn extra calories at an elevated rate for 24 hours after the completion of your workout.

Sure that’s sounds amazing, but is it too good to be true?

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The Science of Afterburn

There is a scientific term for afterburn: excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPEOC). This refers to the oxygen that your body needs to restore after a heart-pounding workout.

So afterburn is indeed real.

While you exercise your body needs fuel to keep your muscles firing, and this requires oxygen to transport the fuel into the muscles. This causes your metabolism to rev up to an elevated state during and after exercise.

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Intense Exercise = Intense Afterburn

Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the intensity of your workout and the amount of calories burned during the afterburn period.

In order to get the most afterburn bang for your buck, you must push yourself to 70-85% of your max heart rate during your workout. The more intense your workout, the more bonus calories you will burn in the hours afterwards.

Intense and vigorous exercise keeps your body burning calories hours after the workout is through. And this is not the only benefit to HIIT workouts – there’s also the bonus of increased muscle tone, fat loss and an increase in your aerobic capacity.

Keep this in mind the next time that you push yourself through a workout. Remember that intensity pays off, and an HIIT workout has more proven benefits than a steady state cardio workout.

Yours In Health,

Brian

Cut back on sugar (28 day plan)

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If you love sweets then you know how easy it is to eat more sugar than you should. You’ve probably had a doctor warn you to cut back and know that you have at least a few pounds to lose.

Candy, cookies, pastries, and other sweets are high in sugar, which is quickly and efficiently stored as body fat. And the more sugar that you eat, the more you crave it. It’s a rough situation for you and your sweet tooth, it’s as if your sweet tooth is against you ever meeting your summer body goal!

Don’t lose heart! It is very possible to gradually reduce the amount of sugar in your diet in a way that that’s painless and practical. I have a 28-day plan here to help you to cut back on sugar consumption without going crazy. By reducing the refined sugar in your diet you’ll experience an automatic drop in body fat – this means inches and sizes lost! Sound good? Let’s do this!

Image result for count sugarCut Back Sugar: Week One

In this first week your goal is to get an accurate idea of how much sugar you are currently consuming. You’ll act as a reporter on your eating habits for a full week, recording down everything you consume.

This week is only for reporting. I don’t want you to change anything about your diet yet. Eat as you normally do, but tally sugar grams at each meal and snack. Yes, even your drink at the coffee shop and your wine or cocktail at dinner. Look up the sugar content of everything you consume and record it.

By the end of this week you will have a clear picture of how much sugar you are eating and which items in your diet are most sugar-filled.

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Cut Back Sugar: Week Two

In this second week your goal is to eliminate liquid sugar. It is all too easy to consume large amounts of sugar in beverages, often without even noticing. You know which beverages in your diet contain sugar, from your reporting last week, so target and cut out these beverages.

Sweetened coffee drinks, smoothies, alcoholic beverages, sweetened sodas and teas should all be replaced with zero calorie options. Try liquid stevia for sweetening beverages without adding sugar, it has a more pleasing flavor than powdered stevia. Avoid super processed sweeteners like splenda or aspartame as these may cause bloating and cravings for more sugar.

In addition to focusing on removing sugary drinks this week, I also want you to focus on drinking lots and lots of water. Drink 8 ounces of water before, during and after every meal and snack.

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Cut Back Sugar: Week Three

In this third week we are now going to focus on eliminating the food in your diet that contain refined sugars.

What’s great about this gradual approach to cutting out sugar is that over the course of the first two weeks, while you recorded your sugar consumption and then cut out sugary liquids, you likely found yourself instinctively beginning to choose items that are lower in sugar. That’s great! That’s going to make this week all that much easier as you begin to pass on those sugar-laden snacks and desserts.

This week target and eliminate the food items in your diet that contain refined sugars. These are packaged candies and snacks, dressings and sauces, desserts and sweetened yogurts. Read labels and check sugar grams. Swap these items out for naturally sweetened treats – sweetened with fruit or stevia.

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Cut Back Sugar: Week Four

You are on the home stretch! As you enter week four you should already be noticing your clothes feeling a little looser, and your energy levels should be stabilizing. During this week I’d like you to once again record everything that you eat and drink. Tally up the sugar grams and take notice of anything that you’re still consuming that’s high in sugar.

This week should reinforce the healthy changes you’ve implemented and keep you accountable. If you find yourself really missing a certain sugar-filled item then look for healthier, low-sugar replacement foods to enjoy instead of reverting back to your old habits.

The key now is to maintain your new, low-sugar, habits. The first month is always the most difficult, as new habits are formed, so you’ve already done the hardest part! Going forward, whenever you find yourself getting hooked back on sugar then go through this four week process again to get back on track.

Start now and you can achieve a substantial drop in body fat before summer.

Yours In Health,

Brian

12 Easy Steps For Beach Ready Abs

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Spring has arrived, bringing with it the promise of warm weather to come.
You know what happens when the weather warms up? People put on bathing suits.

Are you ready to bare it all on the beach? If not, no worries, there is still time. Follow these 12 steps to get your abs beach ready:

Image result for burpeesStep One: Do Some Burpees. Can burpees really help flatten your abs? You bet. Incorporate a few minutes of burpees into your workouts to burn extra calories and tighten your core.

Here’s how to do a burpee: 1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart. 2) Drop to a squat with your hands on the ground. 3) Kick feet back while lowering into a push-up. 4) Return to squat position. 5) Jump up with arms overhead.

Step Two: Reduce Sodium. Did you know that salt causes water retention? Puffy skin is not going to make your abs look great in a bathing suit!

Take the time to pay attention to the sodium content of your food. Limit salt intake by not eating packaged foods and by putting down the salt shaker. Your six pack will thank you.

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Step Three: Pick Up A Medicine Ball. Challenging the muscles of your core with resistance is a proven way to create a tighter midsection. The medicine ball is a wonderful tool to provide such resistance.

Do a sit-up holding a medicine ball at your chest then throw it to a partner as you raise your chest toward your knees; or hold a medicine ball with arms straight up in the air as you do crunches.

Step Four: Load Up On Fiber. Wonder how fiber could help you shed pounds and look great on the beach? It’s actually quite simple.

High fiber foods are nutrient dense and low in calories. This means that you’ll feel full from fewer calories, encouraging weight loss. Try these high fiber favorites: spinach, raspberries, pear (with skin), artichoke, peas, apples (with skin), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. Check out the high-fiber recipe for pasta salad below.

Step Five: Crank Out Some V-Sits. One of the most problematic areas for women, when it comes to baring it all in a bathing suit, are the sides of your waist, or obliques. This is partly because the sides of your abs are not challenged with traditional crunches and sit-ups.

Enter the oblique V-Sits. Target that problematic, muffin-top area with this effective move. 1) Lie on your side with legs straight and hands behind your head. 2) Raise your arms and legs simultaneously, while exhaling and squeezing your obliques. 3) Repeat on the other side.

Step Six: Eat Lots Of Lean Protein. Don’t be afraid to eat when you are on the get-great-abs-quickly plan. It is really important that you are nourishing your body with quality, lean protein in order to develop that six-pack.

Lean protein helps support muscle growth while controlling blood sugar – all important factors when it come to washboard abs. Good sources of protein include: chicken breast, ground turkey, egg whites, and grilled fish.

Step Seven: Do Some Hanging Leg Raises. Now it’s time to target your lower abs, which are also a problem area for most. Traditional crunches and sit-ups neglect to strengthen and tighten the lower part of your abs, so a focused effort is required.

Hanging Leg Raises are one of the most effective ways to strengthen your abdominals. 1) Hang from pull-up bar with legs fully extended. 2) Exhale and drive your knees up toward your chest. 3) Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back down.

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Step Eight: Stop Eating Sugar. If you only did this step, and skipped all the rest, your abs would look significantly flatter by summer. I can’t emphasize enough how quickly sugar will cover your hard earned stomach muscles with a soft layer of fat.

Yes, sugar tastes good, but indulging in it causes your body to store layers of fat. Enjoy fresh fruit, rather than refined sugar. Once you stop eating sugar your body will no longer crave it, so don’t give in to the initial cravings.

Step Nine: Do Some Mountain Climbers. Here’s an exercise that is intensely cardiovascular while also working your core. Add these to your routine to really whittle down your waistline.

Here’s how to do a Mountain Climber: 1) Get into push-up position. 2) Exhale as you alternately drive your knees in toward your chest, keeping your back flat.

Step Ten: Pass On The Grains. Sure, whole grains are being touted as essential to a healthy diet, but the truth is that you’ll do just fine without them for a while. Even the heartiest wholegrain bread will encourage fat storage, so put down the breadbasket as you prepare for beach season.

Grains are full of insulin-spiking carbohydrates – the perfect combination for fattening you up. Learn to love grain-free meals that center around lean meats and vegetables.

Image result for sprintsStep Eleven: Do Some Sprints. High intensity bursts of cardio are a proven way to burn away layers of fat, so incorporate sprints into your exercise routine. If you haven’t run for a while, take it easy as you start, and gradually increase the intensity of your sprints.

Run 60-90 second sprints in between resistance training sets to really kick your fat burning mechanism into high gear.

Step Twelve: Start A Professional Fitness Program. You wouldn’t try to file corporate tax returns without the assistance of your CPA, so why would you attempt to transform your body without the help of a professional? I’m here to get you into your ideal, fit body in the shortest amount of time possible. It’s what I do, and I’m good at it. Think Summer!

Yours In Health,

Brian

The 25-Minute Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do Anywhere​ | Men’s Health

Plan on traveling alot this summer? Try this 25 minute workout next time you are away!

Here’s a great anytime, anywhere workout that you can knock out in 25 minutes or less when you’re crunched for time. All you need is a bench, though you can modify at home or in a hotel room with an ottoman.

Source: The 25-Minute Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do Anywhere​ | Men’s Health