Archive for February, 2011

6 Pack Attack: Tips For Success (6-10)

Monday, February 7th, 2011

6. Know Your Next Meal
This may be the most important tip to learn and use. Through my own experience and the feedback from my clients, I have found that knowing what you are going to eat next makes a BIG difference on diet adherence. For example, when you are hungry what do you think about? Food. Most of the time the imagination runs wild and some serious cravings start to takeover; however, if you know your next meal before hunger sets in, it stops you craving bad foods. All of a sudden the chicken salad with balsamic vinegar starts to sound really great. You picture the taste, the presentation, the smell and you are not even thinking about the [insert your bad food of choice here]. This one tip is something that helps me and my clients stick to a nutrition plan – try it out and you’ll see why this tip is one of the most important.

7. Perform Better
Focus on doing better than last time. This could mean lifting more weight in your gym sessions, taking less rest, completing a circuit faster or even walking home quicker than last week (although if you drive home you should ignore this advice)! By doing this on a regular basis your body will be forced to adapt and you will notice visible changes. Beyond that, the motivation and sense of achievement you get when you’ve set a new record will keep you on track to the 6 Pack.

8. Train Compound Movements
Compound movements are exercises that involve more than one muscle group. Things like: clean variations, squat variations, bench press variations and chin up variations are all good examples of compound movements. Of course, these movements are great for numerous reasons but strictly from a fat-burning point of view generally the more muscles involved in a movement, the greater the energy expenditure. For example, if all other variables were the same (intensity, time etc) performing a chin up would be better than performing an isolation movement like bicep curls. That’s not to say that isolation movements do not have a place in a training regime, but the focus should primarily be on compound movements.

9. Sprint
All too often people favour running for 30mins at a time over a good ol’ fashioned track session. Sprinting is important because fast twitch muscle fibres that are called upon fatigue very quickly and therefore deplete the body’s stored carbohydrate. Beyond that, operating at maximal speed doesn’t just improve leg strength, it improves core strength too. Unfortunately, sprinting is something that is not done enough by regular gym goers. Over the summer of 2010 I took a ‘run club’ for beginners. What the participants anticipated was some slow and steady cardio for 45mins…but what they got were hill sprints, flat sprints, long and short sprints. Needless to say, at the end of the summer their bodies had changed dramatically. NOTE: with beginners (and/or overweight individuals) I would not focus too much on sprinting mechanics. With my group I did 5mins in the warm-up each week of sprinting technique drills; however, the focus was always ‘run as fast as you can’ when we got to the main part of the workout. As the weeks passed, body fat levels dropped, strength increased and sprinting mechanics improved.

10. Drink A Glass of Water Before and After Each Meal
If you do not have the fully satisfied feeling after a meal, but you have eaten enough according to your needs, try drinking a big glass of water. Surprisingly, you will start to feel full and satisfied. Drinking a glass of water pre-meal may also impact on how much you eat.