Hit Peak Fitness Fab Abs

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Please check out Heidi Jo Medina’s article on fab abs in the August 12, 2016 edition of the Pensacola News Journal which includes me as one of the featured experts in her engaging article. I absolutely love Heidi Jo’s fantastic tips for getting amazing abs!

For convenience, I have copied and pasted the article here, but please also click on the link below to read the article from the source.

Many thanks to Heidi Jo Medina and the Pensacola News Journal for this feature!

http://www.pnj.com/story/life/2016/08/11/medina-hit-peak-fitness-fab-abs/88493918/

Medina: Hit the peak of fitness with fab abs

Heidi Jo Medina, News Journal correspondent 4:51 p.m. CDT August 12, 2016

Getting that six pack is the highest mountain to climb on most people’s fitness journey. To help you make it to the peak, several bikini pros tell us how they maintain their hard bellies.

Christina Heine, a graduate student in health promotion and assistant for the exercise science and health department at the University of West Florida, loves to work her abdominal muscles with planks, hanging leg lifts and reverse crunches. Her cardio routine incorporates high intensity interval training on the stair stepper or stadiums. The 31-year-old National Physique Committee (NPC) competitor switches between two minutes of high intensity and one minute of low intensity until she has reached 30 minutes.

She recommends incorporating white fish, egg whites, plain non-fat Greek yogurt into your diet. (This is ab-friendly for some people because it has natural probiotics which supports healthy digestion, but for some dairy-sensitive people it can cause bloating.)

Jessica Vetter, 36, of South Dakota, works her abdominals with ball crunches, decline crunches and double crunches. Her resume includes International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) figure pro and American Muscle & Fitness personal trainer.

“Being consistent is very important in getting and maintaining abs. Hold yourself accountable to what is put into your mouth,” she says.

For cardio, Vetter uses the stair stepper or elliptical. She says stair steppers are her favorite, as they use every muscle in the lower body, and are perfect for building lean muscle while burning fat. It is a low-impact exercise that can burn more calories than high impact, as you have to lift your entire body weight with every step you take.

Vetter only trains abs twice a week.

“If you are eager to have abs, your best strategy is to pay closer attention to your diet,” she says. “There are multiple factors that can contribute to storing fat around your belly. Focusing on eating healthy will make it easier for your body to reveal abs.”

Vetter’s diet incorporates ab-friendly foods such as fish, chicken, almonds, extra virgin olive oil, greens, coconut oil and egg whites.

“Watching labels is key,” she cautions. “Look at the grams of sugar, saturated and trans fat, and carbohydrates. The list of ingredients is also very important, and understanding what you are reading.”

Stacey Naito, 50, of California, has eliminated processed foods and refined sugar from her diet in order to sustain a lean midsection.

The IFBB pro, board-certified physician and nutrition coach suggests you stick to whole foods like lean meats, eggs (including the yolk), vegetables, almonds, and grains like quinoa and brown rice.

Naito only trains abs once a week for five to 10 minutes. She likes to incorporate planks, flutter kicks on a bench, and decline bench crunches.

When asked what kind of cardio she integrates into her workout regimen, her reply was, “Cardio? What’s that?”

Naito says she hasn’t done cardio in months and her body is actually leaner as a result.

“The body can become very efficient with cardio, meaning that it becomes resistant to the supposed fat-burning effects of cardiovascular activity,” Naito says. “The solution? Dial it down! Too much cardio can destroy a body.”

She suggests that you don’t over do it and just keep it simple. In fact, Naito says the best way to get chiseled abs is to drink plenty of water, take nutritional supplements like magnesium if you think you may be deficient, and eat clean at least 90 percent of the time.

Genetics will always play a role in your body shape and fitness achievements, but if you are only eating healthy 60 percent of the time, just like in math, that is a failing grade. Abs are made in the kitchen. The best ab exercise out there is to stop eating so much junk.

Amazing ab tips

1.Utilize a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Along with eating four to six small meals a day, try to consume your carbs first thing in the morning to give you sufficient energy through the day.

2.A consistent combination of cardio and weight training will enable you to burn fat and stay lean. Weight training burns calories after the workout and throughout the day while cardio burns calories during the workout.

3.Staying properly hydrated will help you burn the most amount of fat and will speed up your metabolism. Try to drink six to eight glasses a day.

4.Adjust your ab routine often. This will help to maximize results as diversity and confusion to the muscle show more development than a stagnant routine.

5.Breakfast kicks off your metabolism so don’t skip it. Include lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in your first meal. Steer clear of unhealthy fats and foods high in unhealthy carbohydrates.

6.Don’t skip cardio. Losing fat will make your abs more prominent. Cardiovascular exercise is much more effective in the morning as well since the body is refreshed.

7.Getting eight to nine hours of sleep will help boost metabolism. Lack of sleep will cause the body to release the stress hormone cortisol which promotes fat storage and will derail your ab efforts.

8.Cardio in the morning is much more effective since the body is refreshed.

9.Engage your abdominals during compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, and rows which demand a lot of core stability. These big moves will rev your metabolism and burn calories.

10.Don’t forget to breathe. Muscles need oxygenated blood to work properly and holding your breathe will hinder you from generating strength. Inhale deeply before performing a movement and exhale as you perform the crunch or lifting movement. Exhaling will force your abs to contract and engage your inner oblique muscles.

11.Cheat! Once or twice a week throw in a cheat meal to keep you sane and to throw your body a curve ball. This will keep your body from adjusting to healthy eating and slowing down your metabolism.

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