3 Minute Creepy Ab Workout (video)

Who doesn’t love a good ab burn? (well actually I don’t at all but I like the results soooooo, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do)

A few months back I filmed some short but intense abistock_photo_of_flat_abs workouts, I posted the plank video about 3 weeks ago (find it on my blog here: Mini Planks Of Death) and even though it looked simple I had a lot of people come up to me and say it sure did sneak up on them!

So if you liked that one you’re gonna love this one! I call it the: Creepy 6-Pack. It’s just 2 exercises and you can follow along right with me for the entire workout.
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Follow Along Ab Workout (video)

In yesterdays newsletter I talked about getting flat abs and how it has a LOT to do with your overall eating habits as well as the form of cardio you engage in most often.

And while I stand behind the fact that spot training will not give you your dream flat abs, working your abs does have a place. But don’t waste your time with boring crunches. I made a few follow along videos a couple of months back and I’m going to share them with you starting with this one:

You can actually follow right along with me. But warning, I do a lot of moaning and groaning, LOL. It burns!

BTW- My friends at Prograde have this product called Metabolism and they just completed a double blind clinical trial that proved that users of their Metabolism product experienced 8 X great abdominal area fat loss compared to a placebo! That’s pretty durn good! Here is the info on the study and it’s on sale right now for 13% off when you enter code SKINNY13 at checkout

Burn 8X more belly fat!

Alright enjoy the video. I’ll share another next week so try to get this one done 2-4 times before then.

Your At Home Ab Workout

I hope you had a great week last week. I was out of touch getting everything set and organized for the Skinny Jeans Transformation Challenge that started on Monday the 2nd. This group of 23 women are SUPER excited and I can’t wait to show you what they get Get flat abs at Booty Boot Campdone in the next 8 weeks.

In addition to their boot camp workouts, I give them quick but intense 20-30 minute workouts to do at home on their days away from camp. This is the one I’m giving them this week (in fact YOU are getting it before them). Print it out and give it a try.

If you are a real beginner (as in this is the first time you will be breaking a sweat in the last 3-6 months or more) only do each circuit 1 time. If you are intermediate, do each circuit 2 times, if you’ve been working out regularly and intensely for 6 months or more try it 3 times.

Print it up and do it 2-3 times this week.

Also, don’t forget to share this link on facebook so your friends can do it to!

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Eating Out This Weekend? Avoid This…

A couple of days ago I did a blog post about making most of your meals at home if you want optimal results fast.

But, I got several emails from some of you saying yeah, but it’s not realistic that I’m never going to eat out and I still want to lose weight so what should I do?

You are absolutely right.

Burn off those calories at Booty Boot Camp

And things actually have gotten easier for us calories watchers since restaurants are required to put the nutrition info next to every meal. I don’t know about you but I’ve been shocked at what I see more than a time or two. Most restaurants also feature a “light” menu now to make up for all their calorie secrets being outed but if you’re like me, that light menu can look a little drab when compared to the rest of the calorie loaded fare on the menu. So I’m going to give you 3 quick tips that you can use to transform a meal off of the regular menu into a flat abs supportive meal. Warning: not every meal is salvageable; you need to be ok with that :).

Here are 3 tips to keep in mind if you eat out this weekend:

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3 No Exercise Required Flatter Belly Tips

 

It’s the start of the weekend and hopefully you’ve got a good one planned.

If you’ve got plans, I know you really want to look good when are out and about. I mean let’s be honest, that’s one of the main reasons you endeavor to live a healthy fit lifestyle right? But what can you do to look better tomorrow?

While I will never be the one to promote quick fixes and fad methods when it comes to your fitness and fat loss problems, there are a few legitimate reasons that your tummy may be bigger than you like and some action steps you can take to resolve the issue.

Now I’m not talking about fat loss here, I’m taking about other factors that bloat your belly and make you feel less confident in clothes.

Here are a few reasons you may be carrying around an extra inch or two and simple ways to nix those inches fast (yes, even as fast as tomorrow).

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4 More of the Worst Exercises Of All Time

 

4.) Fly Machine            

If your goal is to tear your pecs and destroy your rotator cuff, then I highly recommend that you add this exercise to your routine. I think the chest fly machine actually gets even more play than the bench press, which is considered to be the most popular exercise for guys.

The problem is not only the destruction of the major muscles of your body, but the elimination of the main stabilizing muscles surrounding your shoulders. So when you decide to pick up something overhead, like moving your plates from the dishwasher to the overhead cabinets, your muscles will be shaking and your arms will get tired faster than you can count to one-1. Men also tend to use all the weight in the weight stack, helping cause shoulder impingement and even biceps tendinitis.

21 Century Training Upgrade:For strong, stable shoulders focus on performing an equal amount of pushing and pulling exercises. In the beginning, I want you to perform more pulling exercises (pull-ups, rows, deadlifts) than pushing exercises because you’ve probably been neglecting your rear shoulders and upper/mid muscles. The best pushing exercise you can do is any push-up variation, as it not only safely trains the entire front side of your body, but also engages your upper back musculature in a way that the bench press does not. Furthermore, the push-up is much safer. Have you ever heard of someone dying from falling on their nose while performing a push-up?

5.) Elliptical Machine

Look-if you are really, really overweight and haven’t exercised in over a decade, then I think an elliptical has some use. Especially when you consider that walking and running inflicts up to three to seven times your body weight of force back into your body. So, if you weigh 100 pounds, every step you take when you walk sends 300 pounds of force back into your body. Think of squatting 300 pounds of weight on your back, that should give you a general idea of why when you first start your workout program you have a lot of knee or ankle aches.

So, it’s true that it is a low-impact alternative to running on a treadmill, but because you don’t move your legs as much on an elliptical as compared to the treadmill, you won’t burn as many calories, meaning you don’t burn your fat.

Also, it promotes hyper-extension of the knee. If you haven’t seen a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fight, imagine being put into a knee bar, or in other words, bending your knee the opposite way it’s supposed to bend. Now, add the extra forces on your knee and PRESTO, you have multiple knee injuries.

Think about it-look at all the people who are using the elliptical and most of them have one thing in common, they are reading magazines and area still overweight. Even the ones that have been there since the gym opened. You know who I am talking about.

At the end of the day, you can read a magazine while on an elliptical.
But do you think reading on an elliptical will help you lose weight
when you’re not even breaking a sweat and you’re not even focused on
what you’re supposed to do?

Trust me, I have been there. I used to convince myself that the elliptical was for my clients with  torn up knees. But then I decided one day that the best thing was for them to lose some weight. I prescribed some corrective stretching, used a foam roller, so the muscles around the knee could support itself much better, and worked on hip and ankle mobility to take pressure off of the knees so that they could get back to doing more strenuous activities pain-free.

I want to leave you with this question. How hard is it for you to do a report for work when you are watching TV, reading a magazine, and listening to music at the same time?

Hopefully you said a long time…maybe even NEVER. Now, don’t you read a magazine, or watch TV or listen to music, or even all of the above: and you expect this same recipe to help you lose weight?

21 Century Training Update:For optimal results during your cardio training, you must focus on intervals, when you have prepared your body enough. They burn 9 times more body fat than aerobics-meaning what you’re doing now on the treadmill (walking or jogging for 20 to 45 minutes). This will result in greater improvements in your conditioning than long, slow, boring cardio, and give you a lean, sleek, stream-lined body.

6.) The Sex Machine-Abductor/Adductor Combo

Ah, the sex machine…this one just makes me smile. It certainly takes me back to the days where the meatheads would shamelessly gawk at this outrageously good-looking gal who did 1,000 reps on the adductor/abductor machine to fit into her "skinny jeans."

But, I can assure you, this machine had nothing to do with her nice body-rather it was a combination of genetics, a clean diet, and being a tri-sport athlete that did the trick.

You see, most women seem to think that this exercise can somehow, magically pinpoint their thighs to blast away the fat like a laser-guided missile.

I have heard many women ask,"What exercise can I do to get rid of this flab inside my leg?" But it all boils down to the same thing; get on a training program, and choose multi-joint, multi-muscle exercises, and you will blast the flab away like a torch melts steel.

Spot reduction is a myth. I know you know that, but you want to try to find the easy way. Although you can work your butt off by doing adductor/abductor machine thousands of times for thousands of reps, no amount of direct inner or other hip-thigh work will burn that ugly fat covering that sexy toned musculature every one wants to see, so let it go, baby. If there were an easy way, I’d let you know because I’d be the first one on it, trust me.

Again, start consuming lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruits and veggies every 2-4 hours while chugging water like a fish.

Then you need to get off this time-wasting machine and get real thigh-blasting, fat burning, total body workout!

21 Century Training Upgrade:The best exercise for your inner and outer hip/thigh will come from side plank variations, any and all single-leg exercises, and especially lateral lunges. Lateral lunges stretch and contract the sides of your thighs at the same time, giving you everything you need in one move.

7.)Leg Press Machine

I know the simplest way to do things is normally the best, but when it comes to working out, the easiest way isn’t the best. So many people prefer the leg press. I mean, what’s wrong with it? You get to lay or sit on your butt, depending on the exact type of leg press machine being used, put a bunch of weight on it, and work your leg only half the way. Don’t forget it is an easy way to break your back.

So you want nice legs? Oh, and flat, sexy abs? No problem. Just squat! Sorry you can’t squat lying down, I know that would be easier, but then it wouldn’t be work, would it?

Squats don’t just work your legs, but require your whole body to work together. The problem is that since it works almost your entire body, you need to put in supreme effort and be ready to sweat. If you aren’t willing to work, then you’ll get crap results, not just from squats, but from any exercise, period.

The leg press, like I said, could easily break your back. You become hunched when the weight comes down. A hunched back can’t take weight like a straight back can. Don’t confuse straight as in straight up and down. Rather, in an extended, stretched position. With such a position your back can tolerate huge loads and support almost an infinite amount of weight. The hunched back, on the other hand, creates abnormal stress in certain parts of your back and can easily give you a bulging or herniated disk.

Too much weight + Poor form = Back Injury. So if you are really choosing the leg press over squatting, then you don’t know squat, pun intended.

21 Century Training UpgradeThe best and safest exercises for your lower body are a healthy combination of double-leg and single-leg exercises using free weights and body-weight-based exercises. Be sure to perform an equal amount of knee-dominant lower body exercises (e.g. squats and lunges) and hip-dominant lower body exercises (e.g. deadlifts and single-leg hip extensions) to make your knees, hips, and back bulletproof. In fact, most people are very knee-dominant and could benefit from starting with performing a greater number of hip-dominant movements to balance out their lower body musculature.

You’ll notice one common trend among all of these crap exercises: they all involve MACHINES!

Machines, like I said earlier, are meant for the average person, and no one fits into the average. Free weights, yes, the dumbbells, barbells, bands and cable machines are really meant for you. Yes, they take more effort, but effort means work, and work means losing weight.

So get off those silly contraptions and focus on whole-body movements using any of the tools for your body besides machines. Not only will you be a fat-burning monster, you’ll end up with a body that would impress even the Greek statues. Don’t forget-because you are working on whole-body movements, you won’t end up hunchbacked by the time you’re fifty and you will have a confident aura about you.

Remember, "Average is Not Enough"

Sarai Jones

P.S.
What other exercises do you see people doing in the gym that make you cringe? What other exercises to you absolutely hate? What exercises have gotten you (or your clients) hurt in the past? Please share your personal experiences by posting a comment to this blog post, thanks!

3 Of The Worst Exercises Of All Time!

 

In the past, I’ve shared my top secret exercises to help you lose fat faster by doing total-body exercises that use tons of muscles in each move that you do.

Whether it’s compound movements for your upper body (e.g. push-ups, pull-ups, rows, dips, etc.), lower body (squats, dead-lifts, lunges, etc.) or core (plank holds and rotational core exercises) these "many muscle" exercises provide the biggest bang for your buck during your workouts requiring MINIMAL time, but giving you MAXIMUM results.

Today though, I want to talk to you about something different. Today, let’s bring our focus on the WORST exercises you could ever add to your training routine.

I believe that a lot of women turn to these "easy" exercises because they just don’t know what else to do or are intimidated by the free-weight room at their gym.

You’ll never see me perform these movements because it’d give half the results in double the time and probably hurt me in more ways than one.

I truly believe that sometimes learning what NOT to do is just as beneficial as learning what you SHOULD do.

So let’s get to the three exercises that you would never want to do in your life!

1.) The Abs Machine

Crunches and sit-ups aren’t necessarily deadly; but because most people do them all the time, it creates a lot of bad force on your low-back and neck which will cause you many awkward pains ranging from your neck to low back.

Do you want to know whats worse?

When you add weight and use a machine that isn’t specifically made for your body. It’s made for the average person on about 5’6". Even if you are 5’6", do you have the exact same arm/back/leg length that the machine was made for?

With all those factors it’s no wonder that it trains you in an unnatural front and back motion. Plus you are in a seated position that demands minimal use of your core, meaning even more room for injury.Now add to that that we already mimic a crunch in life. For example: look at most people who stand or sit with poor posture, don’t they resemble someone before a sitting crunch or someone on an ab machine? Add even more crunches and sit-ups and you’ll just get triple the disaster on your back.

You may be saying, "But I feel the BURN!" And I’ll say, there’s better ways to make your abs work, rather than literally tearing up your spine. It’s a high risk exercise, only meant to be used for certain circumstances.

Remember, your core is meant to stabilize you when you are standing and when you are moving so you can stand nice and tall from your hips and to your shoulders in any way you can move (front to back, side to side and if you rotate).

21 Century Training Upgrade: For rock hard, Greek goddess abs, focus on plank stabilization exercises like from, side and back planks, as well as ground based rotational core work like chops variations and upper body twist. Also work on your diet. Without the diet, you’ll never see the washboard abs that you can do laundry off of.

2.)The Back Machine

As you can tell, I am not a fan of the abs machine, so it figures that I am also not a fan of the reverse of it, the back machine. This is another exercise you should avoid for more reasons than I have fingers to count on.Here’s just one:

You probably already use too much "back" on most movements because your butt and hips aren’t working like they’re supposed to. Meaning they are too weak to do what they are supposed to do, so other muscles have to take over.

An easy way to think about it is when you are moving a heavy couch that needs 4 people to lift it. First four people lift it, then say one person decides not to hold it up anymore, so now there’s only three people lifting. How much heavier is it for each person? Now imagine another person decides to stop lifting and you only have two people holding the couch. Imagine how your back is now. Your butt and your hips are those two people that decided to rest. Your back and arms are left over, trying to take the slack.

So instead of focusing on your back, let’s focus on strengthening your hips, especially the front part of your thighs by focusing on squat based movements that really get you using your butt, big time.

21 Century Upgrade: For a strong, stable back, work on deadlift and good morning variations while simultaneously focusing on the corrective stretching and self-massage of the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip (LPH) complex, meaning you back, butt and front/back/inner/outer thighs. A prone cobra or airplane as it it sometimes called is also a great exercise to improve your back endurance while also improving your upper back strength and stability.

3.) The Leg Extension Machine

This exercise is a personal one for me. When I first started lifting weights, I abused this exercise like few others.

Most women love to abuse this machine like crazy. They see the pictures of the lean sculpted fitness models sitting on this and think this is the machine for them to bring out those cuts in their legs.

Here’s the truth-if you want knee replacement surgery, use this exercise 3 times a week for a year. If you don’t want your knees to be wrecked and have horrible stabbing pain that will lead to arthritis, avoid this machine like the plague.

21 Century Training Upgrade:For strong, stable knees, focus on both knee-dominant (lunge, step-up, and single-leg squat variations) AND hip-dominant single-leg exercises (single-leg hip extension, deadlift, and good morning variations) to keep the strength of both legs the same AND to help keep the front and back thighs and your inner and outer thighs balanced between each other. With balanced muscles comes stability, and with stability comes strength.

Sexy Abs Blueprint

 

Sexy belly

Yesterday we talked about the myths regarding getting a flat sexy stomach now let’s develop an action plan.

Your sexy abs blueprint:

Step#1- Lose the fat that is covering your abs so that you can see them
A.) Eat to lose fat and elevate metabolism

  • Drink at least 2-4 cups of water immediately upon waking and then drink at least 1-2 cups of water every 2 hours you are awake.
  • Drink 1-2 cups of water for every 15 minutes of vigorous activity.
  • Eat immediately upon waking and then every 2-4 hours after that for a total of 6-8 feedings per day (3 meals, 3 snacks- half the size of your meals, workout nutrition)
  • Focus on a wide range of organic lean proteins, natural fats, and fruit and veggies

Sample One-Day Menu:

Breakfast- Scrambled Eggs, Greens, and Turkey Sausage or Bacon
Mid-Morning Snack- Mixed Nuts and Fruit/Veggie of Choice
Lunch- Chicken, Salmon, or Shrimp Caesar Salad
Mid-Afternoon Snack- Cheese and Fruit/Veggie of Choice
Dinner- Turkey or Beef Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash
Pre-Bed Snack- Protein and Flax Shake
Daily- multi-vitamin made specifically for women and an essential fatty acid (EFA) supplement

Use This Carb Reduction Blueprint to further help structure the above blueprint:
Step#1- Replace all white carbs with 100% whole grain carbs and all refined sugars with natural sugars
Step#2- Limit all whole grain starch and natural sugar consumption to within 1-2 hours post-workout or immediately upon waking for breakfast
Step#3-Replace all starches and sugars with fruits and veggies
Step#4- Replace all fruits with green veggies
Step#5- Use strategic carb and calorie cycling to take your body to next level (my clients and I have had great success with this but it is beyond the scope of this article)

B.) Train to lose fat and elevate metabolism
– Monday, Wednesday, and Friday- Perform Total Body Circuit Strength Training
– Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday- Perform Cardio Interval Training

Step#2- Train your abs based on their true function: STABILIZATION

Below is one of my boot camp client’s favorite (and most hated) core workout. It involves no crunches or sit-ups by using all pillar stabilization exercises. Once you master these killer moves and follow everything else I previously listed above, you will have a sweet pair of rock hard abs to show for it… I guarantee it!

The Power to the Pillar Workout- Tabata Style

This 20-minute total body core workout focuses entirely on pillar stabilization. The pillar collectively consists of your shoulders, hips, and core. It is your body’s powerhouse, foundational to all movement.

For each exercise below you will alternate between 20 s of work and 10 s of rest. You will repeat this 30-second sequence eight times for four total minutes followed by a one minute rest and transition before moving on to the next exercise listed.

For maximum benefits, you must seek to maintain a tight pillar position during all movements by actively pulling your navel to your spine, engaging your glutes, and maintaining a straight line from the heels through the shoulders. Think of these visuals while doing the moves below:

– Suck in your gut
– give yourself a wedgie
– be flat like a diving board.”

Exercise#1-Front Pillar Variation (static or dynamic)
Exercise#2- Left Side Pillar Variation (static or dynamic)
Exercise#3- Right Side Pillar Variation (static or dynamic)
Exercise#4- Back Pillar Variation (static or dynamic)

Today is the dawn of a new age in core training and it is my sincere hope that you take this killer information and run with it.

Stay focused,

Sarai D. Jones