Archive for the ‘Six pack’ Category

QUICK POST for you today. Here’s a fun, fast paced ‘Athletic Body System’ workout challenge for you to try! Be sure and warm up fully before commencing this ‘work capacity’ circuit challenge. I’ll usually do a circuit of push ups, squats, mountain climbers, lunges and jumping jacks as part of my warm up.

The ‘ABS’ Work Capacity Circuit Challenge

Perform the following 5 exercise circuit for a total of 20 minutes. You can adjust to 15 minutes if you wish, or you could even drop to 10 minutes if you wanted to use it as a workout finisher after your main training session.

  1. Bodyweight Squat x 20 Reps
  2. Push Ups x 15 Reps
  3. Lunges x 20 Reps (10 per Side)
  4. Inverted Rows x 15 Reps
  5. Burpees x 20 Reps

Move quickly through the repetitions, without cheating technique, and transition smoothly and quickly from one exercise to the next. The idea with the challenge is to get in as many circuits (as much ‘WORK’) as you possibly can within the 20 minute allotted time.

As soon as you start the stopwatch you start your first round and stop on 20:00 Minutes, no matter where you are at. Record how much work you were able to perform and the next time you perform the challenge aim to do more work… increasing your work capacity, i.e. more work in the same amount of time.

Modifications: Feel free to perform modified variations of each exercise to suit your own ability level and you can also drop the reps from 15 reps to 10 reps. Make the challenge challenging, but specific to were you are currently at ability and conditioning wise.

Have FUN… and let me know how you get on with it!

Until next time… Get Ripped, Not Ripped Off. That’s the ABS promise!








Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY


Being a few days since my last blog post, as I was away in Orlando, Florida for a few days at a fitness business event. Bryan made the trip over from Ireland and I flew in from Los Angeles. Fun times… and 2 visits to Hooters. Well it was the closest place to the hotel and we only had an hour for lunch. It had nothing to do with the

Before I left for Orlando I had an email from someone asking me if she should perform weights and cardio training on the same day, so I thought I’d address this one today as I know many people want to know the answer to this one.

First thing… I wish people would do is to stop thinking cardio and resistance training as totally separate entities. Stop thinking that resistance training is solely addressing the musculoskeletal system and ‘CARDIO’ is exclusively addressing the cardiovascular system.

Start thinking about yourself ‘TRAINING’ (not working out) and conditioning your entite body and all bodily systems.

CARDIO IS NOT… running, biking, eliptical, stepmill, etc. These are simply means by which you can perform a cardiovascular routine.  Cardiovascular exercise is anything that elevates heart rate and respiration level… and that pretty much means everything.

Most of my best ‘CARDIO’ sessions are performed via resistance training methods using metabolic resistance training, athletic body circuits, bodyweight intervals and athletic workout finishers.

The PROBLEM With ‘Traditional Cardio’

Traditional cardio routines that require a person to run, bike, etc at a set steady pace for a prolonged period of time (30 minutes plus) is that you become better at performing the routine. This is GREAT… if you are an endiurance athlete, but not if you want to burn bodyfat.

Low intensity cardio has a built in intensity ceiling and the more of it you do, the more metabolically effiecient you become. Your body basically becomes more efficient and you expend less energy to perform the task, meaning you don’t use up as much fuel (calories).

Another problem with low intensity cardio is that you will have minimal afterburn effect. When you exercise you elevate your metabolism and your metabolism stays elevated post exercise too. How high the elevation is and lasts, will depend on the exercise you performed.

Low intensity exercise will result in a low level of elevation and the afterburn effect won’t last long. NOW, don’t see this as a reason to go hard and kill yourself in the gym every day. You have to get the balance right and some days using some extremely ow intensity exercise as a means of recovery is needed and very useful.

So… When Shouls I Do My Intervals or High Intensity Cardio???

OKAY, you’re probably wondering when you should do your higher intensity cardio training and interval based work? Let me explain what I do and if it makes sense to you, you can follow what I do and see if you get the same effects I do. I’m confident you will.

On my resistance training days were the focus is on strength training I will dedicate 10 minutes at the end to performing what I call an athletic workout finisher. These are miniture metabolic based circuits that utilize anywhere from 2-4 exercises. The idea of these workout finishers is to sneak in some fat loss and conditioning work on my strength training days and to get it done.

I might do 4 x 2:30 minute rounds, where each round I have to get in 10 push ups, followed immediately by 10 inverted rows, followed immediately by 20 alternating split squat jumsp (ASS Jumps is what I call these) and then finish off with 10 burpees.

Using the 2:30 minute window means I have 2:30 minutes to perform the work and whatever time is left, once I complete all 4 exercises, becomes my recovery or rest period. Over time I will reduce the timing window down to 2:00 minutes per round and add in a 5th round, thereby increasing my work capacity… getting more work done in the same amount of time.

Then I will have days were I do traditional interval type work using the upright bike or athletics track. I personally don’t like treadmills as I was a track athlete for years and find threadmills don’t allow me to run freely, plus there is almost no work being performed by the glutes and hammies on a threadmill.

On non training days I may go for a walk and do some light stretching and mobility work. The problem with many people is that they see running (going for a long ass run) as being useful on off days. It’s not useful and it can be counter-productive like I said.  TRAIN SMARTER, Not harder!

Here’s My Top Suggestions For Those Seeking Fat Loss!!!

  1. On your resistance training days incorporate short duration metabolic circuit type work at the end of your session, making sure it takes 10 minutes or less to perform. Bodyweight intervals and miniature circuits, such as workout finishers, are the best options for this.
  2. Then have seperate days were you perform traditional interval based work. I usually perform 2 different interval protocols on these days. One protocol requires me to use an upright bike to perform a mixyure of interval bursts lasting between 10 and 30 seconds in duration. After this interval I will take  a 5 minute break and then perform a series of 1 minute intervals.
  3. On your off days feel free to go for a walk and perform some stretching and mobility work.
  4. Feel free to challenge yourself every month or two by going for a traditional run or bike ride and time yourself over a certain distance. You may be surprised to see how you can improve your general endurance without the need to perform excessive endurance work via running, biking, etc.








Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY

Are you an ABaholic? Are YOU ADDICTED to crunches and other so-called ab exercises? Do you find yourself constantly overdoing the ab work in an effort to, or hope to, develop the lean midsection you want.

Do you feel guilty if you finish a training session without doing some ‘DIRECT’ ab work… yet you don’t feel as guilty about failing to fully clean up your nutrition?

Sport and health body

Are you an ABaholic who is struggling to get CLEAN (nutritionally) and achieve results?

Are you struggling to kick the habit. The habit of habitually doing endless crunches and ab work?

You NEED to kick the habit, get CLEAN (nutritionally) and call on the help of the AA if you truly want to achieve the midsection you want.

If you have a headache you take aspirin… you ingest the aspirin and they get absorbed and just as the commercial says they ‘target pain’ FROM THE INSIDE. You wouldn’t on the other hand stick the aspirin in your ear or grind it up and rub it on your head, would you? I hope not.

Well that’s basically what people are doing by training to target abdominal-belly fat by doing crunches and other types of direct abdominal work. You don’t address abdominal-belly fat by specifically zoning in on the abs themself.


Your ab addiction isn’t healthy and it’s not helping you get the six-pack you are wanting…YES I want you to DROP the crunches and other useless ab exercises and focus on doing the right things that will help you DROP the lbs and inches… and most importantly, drop the belly fat!

Traditional abdominal crunches and other traditional abdominal exercises are NOT the creme de le creme of abdominal training and do absolutely nothing to remove stubborn abdominal fat… the fat that’s keeping your abs from ever being visible.  ALSO, these traditional exercises are often performed using far too much lumbar spine flexion, which is not good. Your lumbar spine should remain stable!

PEOPLE OFTEN LOOK AT ME FUNNY… I often have people ask me what the best ab exercise are, and when I mention sprinting, jump exerises (like burpees and tuck jumps), deadlifts, push ups and heavy dips/chins, people often give me a funny look. You see they want to know what I suggest, but if my suggestion doesn’t require them to lay on their back or simply flex their hips they see my suggestions as a bit odd. Their mindset is still fixed on crunches and leg lifts.

DON’T get me wrong. I’m NOT anti ab work… I just want you to be doing ab work that will work for you. The only traditional crunch I ever do or recommend is the serratus crunch, but I only recommend it for individuals who are already lean and as one of my heavier loaded abdominal exercises. Hanging leg (knee) raises are good, but there’s no need to tuck your knees into your mouth and force your lumbar spine into serious  flexion. KEEP lumbar flexion minimal and keep the leg lift slow and controlled both on the way up and as you lower your legs.

KNEE UP CHIN UPS… Is a great variation of the hanging leg raise. Perform chin ups whilst keeping your hips flexed. NOW this is a challenge to even the most advanced trainee. Knee up chin ups, give them and try next time your at the gym!

The AA is Here to HELP You!!!

NO… Not that AA, I’m talking about the ‘Athletic Approach’ to fat loss and ‘Athletic Abdominal’ development! To burn off nasty belly fat you have to get clean nutritionally and train metabolically, targetting the bodies metabolic hot spots so that you work more muscle mass, burn more calories and create a ripple effect that allows you to continue burning calories at a higher rate for hours and hours post exercise.

When it comes to actual abdominal work… you should only start to perform specific isolated abdominal work when your bodyfat has been reduced significantly… and when you do, the exercises you utilize should require you to…

  • Stabilize your lumbar spine, not flex it
  • Place your body in various positions, and not just lie on your back
  • Perform metabolic type abdominal work to BURN abdominal FAT

OKAY Here’s The KEY Takeaway POINTS!!!

  • You NEED to get CLEAN… If you want to get LEAN
  • You NEED to call on the help of ‘THE AA’ to achieve lean ABS

REMEMBER… Being an alcoholic may well lead to you achieving a KEG (beer belly), but being an ABaholic will not lead to you having a six-pack. DITCH the AB Addition starting today! Do it for the love of your abs, PLEASE!!!

If you want to learn how to properly address stubborn abdominal fat and train to achieve lean abdominals, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of my ‘Athletic Body System’ ebook.

LADIES… Click here to get your copy of ‘Athletic Body Sculpting’ For Females and you’ll also receive your copy of the ‘Midsection Makeover’ manual, and many other BONUS resources.

GUYS… Click here to get your copy of ‘Athletic Body By Design’ For Men and you’ll also receive your copy of the ‘Athletic Abdominals’ manual, and many other BONUS resources.









Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY

P.S. ABS Version 2:0 is launching in mid December and is going to blow you away with the new content and bonus materials. Grab your copy of ABS Version 1:0 today and receive ABS Version 2:0 free of charge once it launches in mid December. Click on the links below to get your copy today and start burning off dangerous abdominal fat.

LADIES… Click here to get your copy of ‘Athletic Body Sculpting’ For Females and you’ll also receive your copy of the ‘Midsection Makeover’ manual, and many other BONUS resources.

GUYS… Click here to get your copy of ‘Athletic Body By Design’ For Men and you’ll also receive your copy of the ‘Athletic Abdominals’ manual, and many other BONUS resources.

The ABS and Core… probably the number one subject any trainer gets asked about, because we all want to have an awesome physique, and that means developing a killer midsection!
 Here’s a message I received on Facebook the other day. The person who sent in the email attended a youth sports camp in Texas a few years back when I was working there as a summer camp counselor. FUN TIMES down in Trinity Texas on the lake.
Here’s the message I received from David…
Ian, I’ve been following your threads and articles on all of your methods of healthy ways too working out, and it has been very beneficial to me. I look up to you very highly and take your knowledge into my daily life. I bet back when you were my counselor you never thought I would be talking to you this late on lol.
I have a question I was wondering if I could ask you, I’ve been performing a basic abs workout, using a medicine ball on an incline bench, I basically hold the ball and touch my toes as I perform crunches; what is a more efficient method of working the core and abs to really get a more aggressive, sleeker look?
One more question, I been trying to come up with a healthy diet to start on, however being a poor college student it is hard to afford organic and expensive foods, what do you suggest? I really appreciate any help you could give me, I understand you’re very busy. Thank you again

David T, Houston Texas

Here’s my reply to David…
Hey man, good to hear from you… AND it’s really nice to hear you find my information useful and I hope practical!

When it comes to getting sleeker abs, as you say, the focus should not always be exclusively on the ABS themselves. Visually we want a sleeker midsection… and that will often require us to focus on building up the areas around the abs to create that sleeker look.

Ever see a junkie or homeless person with their tops off? Most of them have lean abs, but the don’t have enough muscle, both in the abs and in the muscles around the abdominals or midsection, to carry of a truly lean and athletic look.

True leanness requires MUSCLE!!! Skinny LEAN just don’t cut it in my opinion and personally my goal is to continue building a more muscularly (is that even a word?!?lol) LEAN body.

What are the muscles that surround the midsection? Well obviously the chest muscles. Then there’s the serratus muscles, the finger like muscles, located below your arm pits. Adding muscle to these areas whilst dropping body fat will help create a sleeker look through the ENTIRE midsection. It’s not all about the ABS themself!!!

The arms also surround or encapsulate the abs. It’s nice to have nice arms to go with those sleek abs after all.

With the abs themself you don’t actually want to perform the majority of crunch exercises as they cause you to perform too much lumbar spine flexion. Your lumbar spine (lower back) is meant to be stable.

I believe a lot of the back trouble I have had was created by excessive lumbar flexion and extension work that my track and field coaches had me do years ago.

A serratus crunch is acceptable to perform for those who are already somewhat lean, but correct technique is a must with this one.

The majority of your ab work should be performed using exercises that require you to stabilize your spine and resist rotation… so stabilization and anti-rotational exercises are what I perform the most!

If performing hanging knee raises, perform them with really strict technique and with minimal to no lumbar flexion (don’t aim to tuck your knees to your chin)

Keep in mind that with the abs we not only want to address the muscles, but more importantly, we want to address and attack the fat that is covering them and traditional abdominal exercises suck at doing this.

For removal of abdominal fat you must address your nutrition and have a sound resistance training program that is geared towards fat loss and metabolic in nature. This means that it must be a bad ass program specifically designed to annihilate nasty belly fat. It’s NOT chest and triceps day followed by 30-60 minutes of slog your guys out cardio on the treadmill or elliptical!

With your ‘CARDIO’ (everything is cardio btw) training… you want to engage in higher intensity intermittent type work. Basically this means instead of performing 30 minutes of slog work at the same speed… you will perform short bursts of intense work lasting anywhere from 30-90 seconds (depending on the mode of interval training) followed by periods of extremely low intensity work (ACTIVE RECOVERY) that will last for a time period equal to, and most often double or triple, the length of the work period…

Sean Crawford

So if you sprint for 30 seconds at 80% plus effort your rest period will be 30-90 seconds (and sometimes longer) of real easy walking!

Often people will do intervals of 1 minute followed by a rest period of 2 minutes and repeat 8-10 total repetitions. This is good and I have used this and often have clients use this structure too….

But you can also break your intervals into sets. If you do 10 x 1 minute intervals with 2 minutes rest between, the session will take you a total of 28 minutes plus a warm up and cool down period.

Let’s create another session that will require you to perform approx 10 x 1 minute interval reps and last approx 30 minutes. It will consist of 5 sets, with 2 reps been performed per set… and then the rest period between the sets will total the time it takes to complete one full set.

Perform 2 x 1 Minute Intervals… Resting 1 Minute Between Reps … (3 Mins Total) and then Rest 3 Minutes
Perform 2 x 1 Minute Intervals… Resting 1 Minute Between Reps … (3 Mins Total) and then Rest 3 Minutes
Perform 2 x 1 Minute Intervals… Resting 1 Minute Between Reps … (3 Mins Total) and then Rest 3 Minutes
Perform 2 x 1 Minute Intervals… Resting 1 Minute Between Reps … (3 Mins Total) and then Rest 3 Minutes
Perform 2 x 1 Minute Intervals… Resting 1 Minute Between Reps … (3 Mins Total) and then You’re DONE!!!

Let’s do the math here… 5×3 minute sets = 15 minutes + 4×3 minute set recovery periods = 27 minutes total time (add on warm up and cool down time)

10 minutes of that 27 minutes is high intensity work and the other 17 minutes is really low intensity work! This type of session is far superior than going for a 30 minute slog your ass off run!

NOTE: Track intervals or intervals performed on the grass is far superior to treadmill intervals, but require a more specific and longer warm up or preparation period. Short intervals, under 30 seconds, being performed in the gym should be performed on an upright bike!

Hope this helps you out bro.


P.S. I will address your question on nutrition in another post!

 I hope David, and you, find this post and my response information and useful. Please feel free to add your comments or questions below. Thanx


Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY

What Does WASHing Your Car Have To Do With Developing WASHboard ABS??? READ on to DISCOVER The ANSWER!!!


WOULD YOU BELIEVE ME??? If I was to tell you that you could wash your car and get washboard abs, would you believe me? I sure as hell hope not. Yet this is the sort of nonsense I have seen advertised here on the television in the united states. The good ole US infomercials.

You see throughout Europe we don’t get swamped with these sort of adverts on television… we do get them, but not to the extreme that I have personally witnessed here and not so frequent. I can now very clearly understand how people throughout the USA and North America are being manipulated and conditioned to think about fat loss and physique development… the solution these infomercial people want you to ‘BUY’ into is an easy one… and that easy solution is… to whip out your credit card and order their gadget or gimmick!

I think it’s time someone set you straight and told you how to identify what a useful abdominal training tool is and how to identify abdominal training gimmicks and gadgets. That’s my goal with this article!

There are many reasons why I decided to write this article. One reason is because that’s exactly what I saw on an infomercial whilst down in Orlando, Florida last weekend. A waist belt that you wear whilst washing your car… and it sends electricity through your midsection and it’s meant to “ENGAGE” your entire core muscles.

So what’s wrong with this picture??? Well for a start I know that the models they use for these infomercials DID NOT develop their great bodies and midsections by using these products. This is manipulative advertising and they prey on people who they know are desperate to achieve fat loss results and a lean midsection… they know that people watching these adverts are looking for a solution to a problem and they pitch an “EASY” solution.

Well I have some NEWS for you… I hate to tell you this, but I have to be ABSolutely honest with you here, something these infomercials aren’t been… and the truth is that there’s NO EASY SOLUTION!

But it makes my ABS hurt, so it must work… If I beat you up with a baseball bat you are going to get bruised and feel pain… that does not mean you will burn fat or build muscle… does it??? Hmmm have I just came up with a new training tool… Beat Your Way To a BETTER and LEANER Body… with the NEW Body Sculpting Bat!!! Let me quickly run off and check for a patent 🙂 lol

ALSO… any exercise which requires you to isolate and work a small area of muscle is going to create a local burn sensation, but a local burn sensation does not equate to the removal of stubborn bodt-fat from that body part! SPOT reduction doesn’t happen, no matter what these infomercials try and tell you… Ohhh and by the way, the fitness models they use… are just that, FITNESS MODELS… they make their living by doing these commercials, etc. Don’t be mad at them… just don’t be fooled into believing they achieved their awesome bodies and washboard abs by using these silly gadgets!

Most likely you are sitting down as you read this… place your feet flat on the ground and start lifting the front end of your feet up into the air, whilst keeping your heels grounding… do so with a nice pace or tempo. Keep doing it. Is your anterior tibialis starting to feel the burn yet? That’s the muscle running outside your shin bone.

Here’s a VIDEO For ALL You Guys!!! I had to share this with you!

Professional Athlete DOESN’T Believe Infomercial Nonsense!!!

Just the other day before leaving for the airport in Orlando I had a little time to check my email and I received an email from a professional athlete… now I have removed his name and the sport in which he plays as he asked me to respect his privacy… but here’s what his email was in relation to…

Hello, I have one question. I’m looking into an ab machine, to refresh my existing ab routine. Is there a machine worth getting? I don’t believe commercials that I see on TV, I’m in a good shape (8.3% BF) I’m just looking for something to add that little something extra to have my abs really pop. I’m a lean muscular guy, but whatever I do, my abs are not really what I want them to be. I’m a very active person, I’m 6’6″ and 245lbs and love working out on top of what we do at the rink. I’d be very thankful for any help, perhaps starting with my first question – is there an ab machine that works? And if so, which one is it?

Thank you for the answer in advance.

I hope I’ve found someone for my work out questions and needs.

This athlete understands what doesn’t make sense… so fair play to him for not buying into the nonsense being advertised. BUT…

Are There ANY USEFUL Abdominal Tools Available???

The KEY word here is ‘TOOL’… a tool is something useful, whereas a gadget or gimmick are just that, GIMMICKY! A tool is something you can use to help you achieve the end result you are wanting. Bryan and I are working on a report for you that will discuss in DETAIL how to identify which products are tools to help you get ripped and which ones are nothing more gadgets/gimmicks designed to rip you off. STAY tuned into my blog for notification about this special report!

For now you should know that the best tools out there are free weights, your own bodyweight, kettlebells, medicine balls, sandbags, the ab wheel or power wheel and the TRX Suspension Trainer and strongman implements. All these products are versatile TOOLS… not gimmicks!

So To Answer The Question I Posted At The Start Of This Article…  What Does WASHing Your Car Have To Do With Developing WASHboard ABS???

The ANSWER Is… ABSolutely NOTHING!!!









Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY

P.S. Click Here if you want to discover how to develop washboard abs starting today! Washboard ABS Success System to get you ripped, not ripped off!!! HARD Work, Consistency and PATIENCE is a MUST!!!