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The Quickest Way to Great Abs…Sprints!

iGnite - Advantages of Sprints

What is the KING of getting great Abs??

A. 1,000 crunches
B. $19.95 Ab Cruncher from an infomercial
C. Sprints

Woo hoo! How easy and less time consuming is the correct answer C – SPRINTS!!!

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

YES, they are uncomfortable & YES, they are challenging!! But, if you are not uncomfortable or feeling challenged, then most likely you are wasting your time.

As a matter of fact, ask any good strength and conditioning coach what they do to work on their athlete’s midsection and they will not tell you crunches. Sprinting is a required component of 90% of all sports and therefore the major component of any athletes training.

WHY SPRINTS?
Crunches and other ab exercises focus almost exclusively on the rectus abdominis muscle. This is a narrow range of development. Total degree of muscle activation and length of time that muscle is under tension are major determinants of muscle function and growth. There is no exercise that generates more force in the abdominal musculature than sprinting, and therefore NO exercise can mimic the developmental stimulus it provides.

When sprinting, the arms and legs are pumping and exploding like pistons. This immense force being generated on either side of the body pulls and twists the spine and body back and forth, and side to side. The only reason the body stays ridged and upright is because of the tremendous degree of force and pressure elicited by the contraction of the abdominal wall. The entire abdominal cavity is forced to engage in one monumental effort to stabilize the trunk. This force is so powerful that even ONE ten second run can induce massive muscular stimulus on the midsection.

ADVANTAGES OF SPRINTS:

BURNING FAT:  Sprints literally teach your body how to be an effective fat burner. Unlike steady state aerobics, sprint training produces a metabolic ripple that leads to enhanced fat burning for days after the workout is over. Almost ALL traditional ab exercises fail miserably in their ability to burn fat.

AFTERBURN = FAT LOSS: The sprint is so powerful for fat loss because it sets into motion biochemical reactions that turn on your fat burning machinery. This concept is popularly known as the metabolic afterburn effect. It represents the body’s attempt to recover, repair and regenerate after intense exercise. Anyone who has run a 100 yd dash or a HILL sprint knows what the beginning stages of the afterburn feels like. This intense exercise releases a “chemical soup” that is one of the key benefits leading to fat burning for hours and even days after the workout has ended.

BURNS FAT AT REST:  Sprinting also trains the body to be a more efficient fat burner at rest. Sprint training turns on fat burning enzymes and keeps them on.

The most important thing to remember is that intensity is an individual thing. You can reap the benefits of this training by just putting on your gas pedal a little bit more when you are doing your cardio!

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The Truth About Revealing Strong Abs

Ab Workout

When we talk about strength training for abs, we are really talking about using strength training for fat loss. Lets face it–we all have abs, we just need to achieve a low level of body fat to reveal them! And in order to lose fat, you must be conscious of the food you put into your mouth. Put simply, a low-carb/high protein diet that is not excessive in calories is what will work for you. Remember, there is no such thing as spot reduction.  Building muscle is important for fat loss because muscle is metabolically active tissue!  In other words, muscle is the physical place where body fat is burned.

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

FAT LOSS IS A 2 STEP PROCESS:

Step 1: The body must release the stored fat from the adipose tissue. In order to do this you must keep your insulin levels low (eating low carb) because, when insulin (a storage hormone) levels are raised, your body cuts back on producing glucagon, which is the hormone that is responsible for allowing your body to release stored body fat!

Step 2: The fat is then sent into the muscle tissue to be burned as energy (i.e. fuel).

With the above information in mind, you now have a clear understanding of how building a “bigger engine” (building lean muscle mass) can help you more effectively burn fat, which will help you get better abs!  When it comes to fat loss, you want to be the opposite of your car–you want to have a “bigger engine” (i.e. more lean muscle mass) that is “gas inefficient” so that you burn as much fuel (stored fat) as possible to keep your body running!

The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is – not just when you are training, but even when you are sleeping.  

Keep moving!

Source:

Tumminello, Nick. “FitnessRX.”  Women Magazine.

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