Monthly Archives: March 2011

Ab Training Myths

I’ve been hearing a lot about “six-pack”, “ab”, and “core” exercises lately.  There seems to be a lot of poor information flooding peoples minds lately so I figured I’d clear some of the nonsense!  Here are some ab training myths and truths.  Enjoy!

  • Myth: You Won’t Get Firm Without a Weight Machine.

Truth:  You don’t need weights to build abs and core strength, although some competitive athletes do use them for added resistance.  Many ab exercises can be performed on the floor; it’s effective, cheap and available everywhere.  There are many ways to vary the degree of difficulty, try V-ups, Seated Tucks, Leg Raises, or adding another form of resistance, etc. Weight machines limit your ability to move through certain ranges of motion!

  • myth: The Only Way To Get Rock Solid Abs Is To Train Them Everyday

Truth:  All muscles need some form of rest to recover, the abs are no exception to this rule.  It’s only during rest that your muscles recover and build.  I typically recommend working out 3 -5 days per week (3 minimum).  I’m not saying working out everyday is harmful.  As long as you don’t surpass your limitations, you’ll see results.

 

  • myth: A Good Ab Workout Takes An Hour

Truth:  Really? You can get a good ab workout in less than 5 – 10 minutes if you’re doing it properly.  Check your form, don’t use momentum and focus on quality rather than quantity. Once the quality increases so will the quantity.

 

  • myth: Super-slow crunches make your Abs stronger.

Truth:  NOT TRUE! Taking longer to move through the motion of a crunch doesn’t make you stronger than regular crunches do. In fact, ultra-slow is less effective. Your workout should help you do everything better! Think about it, whether you’re picking up your child or kickboxing, neither would be done in slo-motion, why should training your abs be different.

 

  • myth: The best time to train your abs is at the end of your workout.

Truth:  The best time to work them is simply whenever you’re most likely to do it! Keep in mind your abs get a workout from many different movements and exercises; Deadlifts, Push-Ups, Presses, etc…  I don’t agree with working only one muscle group at a time.  There is nothing that we do in life that requires us to use only one specific muscle group at a time.

 

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Artist vs. Practioner

Martial arts have been a passion of mine for quite some time.  It all started when I was very young, watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies.   This fascination eventually led to me donating myself, mentally and physically to combat arts.  Originally I got involved because I was already getting into fights and I figured why not learn cool things to do while I’m at it.

After I matured a little (let’s not kid ourselves, I’m still a big kid), I came to some realizations: 1) That no one “wins” a fight; unless it’s a competition.  There is no prize! 2) When defending yourself, inflict pain on your attacker as quickly and most efficiently as possible.  Fancy, pretty moves mean nothing if they’re not effective and 3) There is a huge difference between a Martial Artist and a Martial Arts Practitioner!

I’ve been training in martial arts for 13+ years now and still, I consider myself a practitioner.  Hopefully someday I’ll be an artist!

Many people think that once you “earn” or in some cases pay for/buy your blackbelt, that they are a “Martial Artist”! This is so WRONG! In most cases, you’re still a practitioner.

Some people could train their whole lives and not become an artist.  I’ve also seen children under the age of 10 wearing belts that they haven’t even been alive long enough to earn.  And I think we’ve all seen a “blackbelt” so out of shape that they couldn’t defend themselves against a flight of stairs.  Practicing cookie-cutter techniques and movements doesn’t turn you into an artist.  Being able to apply movements and techniques on your own accord and/or with your own twist does.

Just because you practice a martial art doesn’t make you an artist!

The Artist vs. Practitioner principle is applicable to everything we do!  Don’t learn from someone who doesn’t or can’t practice what they preach.

Stay tuned for more! I’ll be covering more on this topic soon…

Great Perception!

Why do we continue to question the signals our bodies send us?  Even worse, why to we try to suppress these signals with drugs and other medications?  This is a great video I stumbled across.  Enjoy!

youtube=http://www.youtube.com/user/LifeAtLife#p/u/6/xw8lyZwI298

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