Bikini bodybuilding journey

Here’s a very interesting story as a reporter goes through a training cycle to compete in a figure competition. Wall Street Journal reporter Alyssa Abkowitz took on a more intense project after toning up for her wedding by entering into a fitness competition and discovering the world of bikini bodybuilding. In the video she discusses the process along with her diet and workout routines.


CrossFit: The training, the games, the BS

What is CrossFit (CF)? In a nut shell it’s performing movements and or exercises under time that are continuously varied from workout to workout. Started in the mid 1990’s, this training system does have value in improving ones fitness level, but the claims made on the CrossFit website are unsubstantiated and untenable.

CF’s upside according to its proponents is being a total-body conditioning workout that is purposefully varied, which inhibits boredom. I think it’s a home run for fitness enthusiasts because the workouts are challenging and competitive. CF’s inherent difficulty, notice I said difficulty not intensity, also benefits the average person because most people do not train hard enough to elicit any measurable result.

Read more: CrossFit


Fitness Myths Busted

Is performing cardio the best way to lose fat?
There are 3 things to keep in mind about cardio when trying to get leaner. One is that it doesn?t build muscle. Two, it doesn?t preserve muscle while losing weight. Both are extremely important if your goal is not only to get leaner, but to stay that way. As we lose weight the body does not discriminate where the weight comes from. We lose muscle along with fat, especially on a low calorie diet. And performing cardio accentuates this phenomenon.

Lastly, unless you enjoy cardiovascular training, it?s just not worth the time. The work to benefit ratio is dismal to say the least. Unless you?re willing to bust your butt and perform 60 ? 90 minutes of cardio a day, which will hinder your muscle building capacity, cardio is not worth it.

Will training your abs using the right exercise our equipment give you washboard abs?

Is reducing your calories the best way to lose weight?

If I’m not sore a couple of days after a workout, did I not train hard enough?

Get the answers to these and other common fitness myths in my Fitness Myths Busters article.


People are befuddled

The question, “What’s best workout for building strength and muscle?” has been the subject of heated debates for years. My answer is always the same. There is no one workout that is the best. There is no one workout that works for all. However, there are training principles that do apply to everybody.

Anatomically and physiologically we are identical. A bicep is a bicep and has the exact same function from person to person. An aorta is an aorta. Our anatomical structures may have different shapes and sizes, but they all function the same. This holds true for all tissues in our bodies from blood to hormones. If this weren’t true medicine could not exist. How could an anesthesiologist do his job if everybody were different?

Therefore, in order to get bigger, stronger muscles the same stimulus is needed. That stimulus is short, intense training sessions. Why short? Because we have known for centuries the body can either train long or train hard. A perfect example is to compare distance runners to sprinters. Because of the types of training, one is emaciated looking and one is muscular. Remember you can not sprint a mile. Is it difficult to run a mile, yes? But it is essentially impossible to run a mile with 100% intensity.

The other factor one needs to take into consideration for building bigger, stronger muscles is recovery. How much or how often can you train? Or better yet, how much “should” you train? Here is where the differences in genetics lie. Our muscles need the exact same stimulus in order to cause a chain of events that forces them to adapt by making bigger stronger muscles. However, the rate at which we are able to recover from these intense bouts is as different as the shapes and sizes of our bodies.

So what are you to do? If you’re training using the typical muscle building routine, which is 3 or more working sets per exercise and 4 or more sessions a week, and not getting anywhere, change it. First, reduce your sets per exercise by half and only train each body part once a week. If you still don’t make gains or you plateau after a short while, reduce your sets again. Remember, if you’re training with 100% intensity and you’re not making gains, you’re not recovering.

More is only better when it comes to sex and money.


The Plank

For those interested in getting your abs to pop (and really, who isn?t?), you might want to try doing the plank exercise a couple times a week. It?s a fairly simply exercise to complete and you don?t have to go to the gym in order to knock it.

Men?s breaks down the details of the exercise:

Get into pushup position on the floor.

Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can. Your goal should be to hold it for two minutes.

“The plank helps develop strength in the core, shoulders, arms, and glutes,” says Scott, making it a great prerequisite for lifting heavy weights or playing intense sports. Even though you aren’t moving or lifting weight, you have to constantly squeeze your abs to hold the position?most people can’t last 30 seconds on their first attempt.

To read the entire article, click here.

I?ve personally done the plank for a month now and while it shouldn?t be the main exercise in your ab routine, it makes for a nice complement. Always remember that a clean diet and a good weight-training program are keys to finding your abs. But exercises like these can really help your abs ?pop?.


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