Tag Archives: ab fat

Bodyweight Cardio and Abdominal Workout

Posted on 27. Feb, 2009 by .

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Last night was a non-gym day for me which meant that I was supposed to perform some type of light activity (I didn’t have to do it but I felt like I needed some adrenaline rush to put a nice end to the day). So, instead of hopping on the treadmill which meant I had to go to the gym and deal with the rain, I turned to one of Craig Ballantyne’s newest invention – bodyweight cardio.

Before I go into more details about last night’s workout, I have a question for you:

Are you a slave to the long, boring cardio?

If you are, you’re probably a part of about 90% of the people that I see on the treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, stairmaster, and many other cardio machines available at the gym day in and day out. While there is nothing wrong with some of these machines, there is really something wrong with how people use them.

I was one of these people at one point. I used to run on the treadmill or climb the stairmaster for 40 minutes, 5 days a week because I thought that I have to reach a certain heart rate and stay there for a certain amount of time in order to effectively burn fat and calories – aaggghhhh… I badly hated those. It turns out that there’s an even more effective and fun way to achieve this. Besides the new form of cardio called High Intensity Interval training (alternating sprints and jogs) which I talked about in another post, there’s another form of cardio that is also a great alternative to long, boring cardio which makes use of your own bodyweight. So, you don’t need any equipment except your body and a little bit of space.

So, what is bodyweight cardio? It is basically a set of bodyweight exercises performed consecutively with minimal or no rest in between exercises. Some of the reasons (in my opinon) makes this type of training so tough and, therefore, effective and a better alternative to long, boring cardio are:

  • Bodyweight exercises – such as push ups, lunges, planks, etc. actually challenge your body because of the resistance/weight that your body provides. So, this workout is sort of a combination of strength and endurance training.
  • Little or no rest between exercises – this makes it an endurance type of training because, like running, your heart rate is always elevated since your’re constantly moving
  • Ab exercises – I actually picked out this workout from the new Turbulence Training for Abs Home Workout manual specifically because I wanted to target my abdominals a bit more on my “off” days. Because I’m performing compound movements along with ab exercises, I get a total body workout without worrying about shin splints or other running related injuries.

So, are you dying to know the details of my workout now?

Here it is:

Warm-up Circuit

Y-Squat – 12 repetitions (reps)
1-Leg RDL – 8 reps per side
Pushup – 10 reps
Prone Stick-up – 8 reps
(Repeated one more time)


Home Advanced Bodyweight Abdominal Workout

Superset #1
1A) Reaching Lunge – 12 reps per side
1B) Spiderman Pushup – 8 reps per side
No rest – repeated one more time

1 minute rest

Superset #2
2A) Close-grip Pushup – 20 reps
2B) Side Plank Leg Raise – 10 reps per side (these are tough!)
No rest – repeated one more time

1 minute rest

Superset #3
3A) Inchworm – 8 reps (even my puppy thinks this looks weird but this gives a good hamstring stretch
3B) X-Body Mountain Climber – 15 reps per side
3C) Stick up – 12 reps
No rest – repeated one more time

I added these, 3 times through:
Eccentric (lowering part only) Neutral Grip Pull ups – 2 reps x 10 seconds
Ab Curl Ups on Stability Ball – 20 reps

I got a really good workout out of this one and the best thing that I like about it is that I was done in 20 minutes! I never would’ve thought I can work my body this hard, have fun with it, and do it in so little time. It really does put a great ending to my day!

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How to Choose Workout Programs

Posted on 01. Feb, 2009 by .

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Last Thursday, I did my very last workout for my current Turbulence Training (TT) workout, “Fusion for Fat Loss.” If you are not familiar with Craig Ballantyne’s (CB) TT principles, he recommends that people should change workout programs every four weeks. This is a necessary step because the human body adapts to whatever stress we put it against such as exercise, eating a reduced calorie diet, etc. After this adaptation happens, our bodies would not respond as well to the same stimulation (e.g. same types and quantity of exercises). But, four weeks is a long enough period that our body still gets enough stimulation from the exercises but it is not too long that our body will completely get used to it.

So, after that boring but much needed bit of information, I am about to tell you about my quest in choosing my new workout program for the next four weeks. At some point, I was confused as to which program I should be doing because I wanted to gain some muscle but I still had some fat that I wanted to get rid of (and the fact that there are just too many TT workout programs available to Platinum members doesn’t help…lol). Basically, losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is possible but one scenario would be more favored than the other. For instance, if I focused on losing fat (especially my belly fat), I would lose may be 3 pounds of body fat and only gain 1 pound of muscle in four weeks if I choose the right program and follow the proper diet. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. But, as a person who is closer to my body fat percentage goal, some parts of my body are skinnier compared to others and quite frankly, I don’t want to look anorexic. Thus, my need for more muscle.

I have decided that I am still going to work on reaching my goal of 17-18% body fat which means that I am still going to focus on the fat loss side of the equation. Now, I just have to be conservative with everything that I do from here so that I get to keep whatever muscle I have now and possibly gain a little bit during the next month.

When I chose my workout program, I carefully looked at the number of repetitions per exercise and the types of muscles each exercise will hit. For instance, I am looking for 8 repetitions for one exercise and then as many as 12 repetitions for another because muscle hypertrophy (or growth) is most efficient at the 8-12 (sometimes more) repetition range based on the current concensus in the fitness industry. At the same time, I look for exercises that will target some of my skinnier areas such as my arms where I need more muscle. Having this in mind, I look for a program with arm exercises but also with enough exercises that will give me a full body workout.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for the newest Turbulence Training workout, “Buff Dudes, Hot Chicks.” Yes, it sounds cheesy but is sure looks tough. Just to give you an idea, here is the workout that I am doing tomorrow.

Superset #1
1A) DB Walking Lunge – 8 reps (2-0-1)
• No rest.
1B) Stability Ball Ab Pike – 10 reps (2-0-1)
• Rest 1 minute before repeating 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Superset #2
2A) DB Bulgarian Split Squat – 12 reps (2-0-1)
• No rest.
2B) 1-Leg Stability Ball Leg Curl – 8 reps per side (1-0-1)
• Rest 1 minute before repeating 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Superset #3
3A) DB 1-Leg Calf Raise – 10 reps per side (2-0-1)
• No rest.
3B) Plank with Arms on Ball – 30 second hold
• Rest 30 seconds before repeating 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Superset #4

4A) Stability Ball Rollout – 8 repetitions (3-0-2)
• No rest
4B) X-Body Mountain Climber – 12 reps per side (1-0-1)
• Rest 1 minute and repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

10-Minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout

Unlike most TT workouts, this program comes with an additional superset compare to the traditional TT workouts with only 3 supersets. Well ok, CB has a note that Superset #4 is optional but I just might do it too! But, CB also recommends to take things easy during the first week on any workout program. So, I plan to only perform each superset twice for the coming week.

Another feature of this workout is the shorter HIIT session. This means that I am minimizing the cardio that I am doing and focusing more on strength training which works best for my goals. This way, most of my calories will be spent during my strength training sessions and hopefully build more muscle afterwards provided that I take in enough protein in my diet to support muscle repair and growth.

So then, I have a question for the people who happen to read this post, do you follow a specific workout program? If so, what factors do you consider when choosing one? If you aren’t working out yet, read this article from Krista at stumptuous.com for some motivation. Also, please feel free to comment or give me feedback. I’d love to hear from you.

Up next, I am going to review my goals that I wrote down 4 weeks ago. Stay tuned to find out how I did. Until then, good luck with everyone’s journey!

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