Guest Blogger Anne Carter Shares Some Important Tips for Pilates

Today at John Carter Fitness we bring you something special from guest blogger Anne Carter from Plank to Pike Pilates but first, lets get to know her.

WHO IS ANNE CARTER?

Anne started Pilates 10 years ago and fell in love with it right away! She then decided to do the Pilates Teacher Training Program with Balanced Body and after working several years at her mother’s studio in California she decided to create her own style and take it to the East Coast. She conducts her own teacher training program twice a year where she teaches her method to future Pilates Instructors.

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HOW FAST DO YOU SEE RESULTS FROM PILATES

Anne shares the following with us:

We all want a workout that can show results immediately. The sooner the better right? So, how fast do you see results with Pilates? We have seen amazing transformations with our clients after only four weeks of consistent exercise at least 3 times a week.

Now the question is, what changes can I expect to see in my body? Here are 5 major changes:

  • Posture – we tend to slouch even when we are trying not to. Every Pilates exercise involves your core and  given that this is the center of your body, there is no surprise that the stronger your core the better your posture.
  • see Strength – reformer Pilates is amazing for making your workout more challenging based on the different string levels. This will allow you to advance and keep your workouts challenging and develop more strength.
  • Flexibility – stretching plays a big role in a Pilates class. Movements require you to stretch as you go, so every class you will feel more flexible as you progress.
  • Body Shape – having a ballerina body without actually knowing ballet is now achievable with Pilates. When Joseph Pilates created the method it was designed for ballet dancers, so that they would continue to develop lean and toned bodies.
  • Healing – we ususally spend a long time seating at our desks, so back pain is the common denominator in most working men and women. The beuty about the Pialtes method is that no matter what your injurie or body ache you have Pilates can help you heal it.

So, are you ready to start Pilates? We are convinced that this is a method that can help anyone improve their bodies and reach their itnes goals. Good luck and make sure you share with us your own personal trasnformation on the comments section.

Anne Carter
Founder and Mentor
Be sure to follow Plank to Pike on their Social media pages
Twitter: @PlanktoPike

Resistance Band Training for Abs, Lower & Upper body Strength – Unisex.

Resistance Band Training for Abs, Lower & Upper body Strength – Unisex. 

Targeting your core with bands – it’s another effective way that can help you develop a great 6 pack. Each exercise will get tougher and will target different areas of your core, and as you hold the band, different muscle groups of your upper body will be getting targeted as well. Remember, that resistance bands also go by weight but you will identify that by the color. They go by light, medium, heavy or super heavy. So be sure to pay attention to the colors and level as it will make a difference in your training. I would recommend  starting with a band that it’s not so light yet so heavy so you can get the form down and build your strength up as you perform the exercise.
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Exercise # 1: Rowboat – Targets: Back, Triceps, Biceps & Abdominals!

 

Breakdown:   
• Sit on floor with knees slightly bent, feet hip-width apart, and heels planted.
•  Loop center of tube around arches of feet, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, elbows bent 90 degrees and
tucked by sides, palms facing up.
• Keeping abs tight throughout, lean torso back about 45 degrees and slowly curl handles to shoulders. Make it harder: Hold for 3 seconds.
• Hinge forward at hips slightly as you extend both arms behind you, keeping elbows close to body, to complete one rep. (Exercise pros can hold here for another 3 seconds.)
•  Do 16 reps.
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Exercise # 2: Standing Crunch – Targets: Back, Arms, Abs & Quads

 

Breakdown: 
• Stand with feet hip-width apart on center of tube, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, arms by sides.
• Crouch down and walk hands forward until you are in full push-up position, arms extended with palms directly under shoulders, legs directly behind you so that you form a straight line from head to heels.(Hold handles lightly by thumbs so that palms can lie flat on floor.)• Keeping palms planted and abs tight throughout, press hips back toward heels, bending knees so that they hover just above floor.
• Straighten legs to return to full push-up position and complete rep.
• Do 16 reps.divider-line2Exercise # 3: Resistance Side Plank – Targets: Shoulders, Chest, Back, Abs & Obliques

 

Breakdown:
• 
Stand with feet hip-width apart on center of tube, cross it once or twice in front of you,then grasp a handle in each hand, arms by sides.
•  Crouch down and walk hands forward to get in full push-up position.
•  Shift body weight into left hand and rotate extended right arm to reach for ceiling while keeping shoulders down.
• Hold for 1 to 3 counts, then return to full push-up.
•  Do 16 reps, alternating arms.
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Exercise # 4:  Half Crunch Tease – Targets: Abs

 

Breakdown:
• Lie faceup on floor with right knee bent, foot flat, and left leg extended toward ceiling. Fold tube in half, then loop it around left arch and grasp ends together with both hands.
•  Roll torso off floor slowly to sit up; try to use abs, rather than pulling with arms, by drawing navel into spine.
• Hold for 1 to 3 counts, then engage abs to roll slowly back down to start.
• Do 8 reps. Switch legs; repeat.
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That’s the end of your of abdominals, upper and lower resistance band training. Be sure you take enough rest in between sets while doing this exercises. A minute max is recommended, you wan’t to have a mix of high intensity of abdominal training to break a nice sweat and keep the abdominal region contracted at all times – It will help you develop solid definition. If you have any questions regarding this work out or confused about the reps, sets depending your Fitness level. Be sure to leave me a comment down below and I will assist you.
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Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Nutrition – How To Balance Your Food Intake While Being Out.

How To Balance Your Food Intake While Being Out.

As Health and Fitness enthusiast we all have a big concern at times when being out and wanting to eat something “Healthy and Clean” rather than stopping at a fast food restaurant and eat burgers, fries, onion rings and more. While it’s ok to have a cheat meal once a week it’s not ok to have a cheat meal every single day of the week. Remember nutrition is the foundation of everything and what you eat will reflect as the saying goes “You are what you eat” I am a strong believer that we all need to monitor our nutrition and make the necessary changes to continue on that momentum of progress but of course not restricting ourselves from the foods and treats we like to a point that when we finally have them we will over eat and indulge.

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Fresh Corn Grill – Hollywood,CA!

Now that I have gotten that important factor out of the way, in Today’s blog I will be sharing with you how I manage my nutrition while being out and not wanting to eat fast food but something healthy and cleaner, geared towards Whole foods rather than fast food. Goal setting and knowing what you are training for is extremely important during this approach because when you remind yourself of your goals and what are you currently trying to achieve it will be a no brainer to go the healthy and clean route rather than the fast and cheap food.

How I Manage My Nutrition:

  • Upon waking up, the first thing I have is my breakfast. My breakfast may vary from a Protein shake to Egg whites & Oatmeal along with a Protein shake, it depends if I am training early in the morning or just focusing on cardio, this is when you evaluate your goals and manage your nutrition according to your training.
  • Mid day I would have a snack, wether it be fruits, almonds, or another protein shake – keeping my body fueled up it’s super important to me for energy source and not letting my body starve itself.
  • After my mid day snack, I wait roughly about 2-3 hours until I have another meal which is considered my “first lunch” and I focus on this meal to have all my major macronutrients such as Carbs, Fats and of course Protein. I do not measure my food or protein intake but I make sure the portion control is just where it needs to be.
  • Shortly after my first lunch and 2 hours after I would be heading to the gym to train weights or cardio (It depends what I did in the morning) – I would have a pre work out snack, fruits, yogurt or something light that has the key ingredients to give me the energy throughout my session.
  • After my work out i focus on having my post work out shake and a meal, again focusing that the meal has the macronutrients such as carbs, proteins and healthy fats (avocado), mainly because it’s lighter and it will not make me feel super full before bed time. (Remember, everyones body is different, so what I eat may work for you or it may not work for you). But this is a simple approach to my nutrition regimen.
  • Balancing all of this aspects above can be challenging or easy, it’s the way you prepare yourself, you have the choice to pack your meals and snacks or the choice to find a local healthy joint to eat and still be on track with your nutrition.

Portion Control Approach – Nutrition:

If you are confused about portion control and how to manage your nutrition without the need of measuring – you can follow the guidelines below that will give you an idea on how to make sure your portion control is correct.

portion-control-chart-with-calories1(1)Now, lets cover the most important aspect – How to balance your food intake while being out.

Managing your nutrition while being out takes serious will of wanting something bad enough and in this case for you, it’s achieving the body of your dreams. We know there is hundreds of temptations outside for us as we walk around town and find multiple cheat meal places, but remember that once you’re in this lifestyle, it’s all about choices and you have to make the  right choice to eat better and cleaner foods. I would recommend the following:

  • Find a local healthy restaurant near you or your work place that know it’s fresh and healthy.
  • Once you have find your place, take the menu home and scan through it.
  • If the place has a large option of meals, side orders and more, you can try a new dish weekly during your lunch time. (This is great because you won’t get tired of eating the same meal over and over).
  • If you would like to make a few changes to the meal, don’t be afraid to ask because 95% of the time the restaurant will meet your request and if theres a bit of an extra charge, go for it.
  • Keep in mind most healthy restaurants and those who are aware of portion control, their portion aren’t very big but yet it will be satisfying because you won’t feel super full and you will regain energy.

Now that you know how to balance things out and have this key factors in mind to balance your nutrition while being out – you won’t have a problem on feeling side tracked from your goal. Remember it’s a choice, it’s a lifestyle and it’s a journey, you are in control of creating the best you, so make the right choice and you will be on your way to achieving success and the physique of your dreams.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Kettle Bell Endurance Training – Lower & Upper Body Strength.

Kettle Bell Endurance Training – Lower & Upper Body Strength.

Kettle Bells is one of the greatest fitness equipments out there and I am a big fan of the endless amount of great work outs you can do with them. However; being aware of the kettle bell weight you select it’s extremely important to avoid major injuries and of course, focusing on doing the exercise correctly. In today’s work out I will be bringing you an upper and lower body routine with kettle bells that will be targeting all major areas of your body such as: Legs, Gluteus, Biceps and Shoulders. This is a muscle strength routine that will help you build stamina and improve your cardiovascular endurance. It’s not easy but a great routine that will take your body to the next level if you aren’t feeling comfortable with this work out just yet, you can tailor this by doing it with dumbbells or resistance bands if you are a beginner.

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About the work out & key advice for maximum results:

  • Before perfoming this routine – be sure to warm up your entire body. It’s an overall upper and lover body routine that requires you to be warm and stretched out, not stretching or warming up for this exercise will cause you to be in risk of injuries.
  • This type of routine is not a super set style – which means you will perform one exercise – rest 30 seconds in between and continue to do the rest of the exercise (Lower body first, upper body second).
  • The primary muscle being targeted when doing the lower body portion of this work out which is single leg walking lunges are your hamstrings and secondary muscle being targeted are your gluteus.
  • The primary muscle being targeted when doing the upper body portion of this work out are your biceps and secondary muscle are your shoulders.
  • Make sure you keep your core engage throughout every rep you do and throughout every exercise while doing lower and upper body work – Keeping your core engaged at all times will help you stay balanced and most of all – focusing on strengthening your core.

Reps & Sets per exercise & Fitness Level:

  • Beginner Routine: If you are a beginner and would like to try this exercise – Make sure you select a kettle bell that isn’t too heavy, pick the right weight that you can do without risking form and being in risk of injuries. Focus on doing 10 reps for Walking Lunges, 10 reps for bicep curls & 10 reps for shoulder pressing. Remember you can rest 60 seconds in between exercises until you are clear to do the next routine, the last two routines of the upper body are steady single leg lunge, so you will be taking a step forward and performing the curl – for the shoulder presses it will be the same approach, single leg lunge and shoulder press. The different on the upper body and not doing a walking lunge it’s that will be targeting most of your gluteus and calves.
  • Intermediate Routine: Pick the right weight that you can do without risking form and being in risk of injuries not heavy, not light but moderate weight. Focus on doing 20 reps for Walking Lunges, 20 reps for bicep curls & 20 reps for shoulder pressing. Remember you can rest 40 seconds in between exercises until you are clear to do the next routine, the last two routines of the upper body are steady single leg lunge, so you will be taking a step forward and performing the curl (Back To Back Lounge, up down – up down) – for the shoulder presses it will be the same approach, single leg lunge and shoulder press. The different on the upper body and not doing a walking lunge it’s that will be targeting most of your gluteus and calves.
  • Advanced Routine: This type of routine isn’t a muscle growth routine but geared towards strength and endurancepick the right weight that you can do without risking form and being in risk of injuries yet a challenging weight to keep you in the game but if you look at the rep range selecting a weight that you will be able to do for all the sets is the main aspect to get the most out of this advanced routine. Focus on doing 25 reps for Walking Lunges, 25 reps for bicep curls & 25 reps for shoulder pressing. Remember you can rest 30 seconds in between exercises until you are clear to do the next routine, the last two routines of the upper body are steady single leg lunge, so you will be taking a step forward and performing the curl (Back To Back Lounge, up down – up down – up down 3 total) – for the shoulder presses it will be the same approach, single leg lunge and shoulder press. The different on the upper body and not doing a walking lunge it’s that will be targeting most of your gluteus and calves.

If you have any questions regarding this great & challenging work out – Be sure to leave them down below and I will assist you.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Squat & Lunges – Lower Body Tune up Smith Machine.

Squat & Lunges – Lower Body Tune up Smith Machine.

It’s time to train that lower body and maximize those gains you are trying to achieve. Throughout my time in the fitness industry I have been aware that not many people are a fan of training legs and their lower body, it is definitely one of the most neglected body parts in general but training your lower body will indeed bring you great results in the long run. Lets talk about the great benefits of training legs before i begin to share this great routine that I implement into my lower body training days. Working out your lower body is vital in many ways – why? Because when you train your legs your upper body will be stronger and your strength will increase, training your legs will also improve your other lift while doing compound movements and overall cardiovascular endurance routines. While the aftermath of training legs may cause you to be very sore, don’t take it in a way that you will neglect legs because of the feelings it causes you to have. Being sore is a great thing and it also means that you’re making progress and your body has been stimulated in a way that it hasn’t been trained before – so keeping your body guessing while training legs will also help you make gains and overall upper body improvements.

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How to break up your leg training routine:

  • Always evaluate your current goal and what are you trying to achieve. Remember to have a work out plan that you will follow where the lower body is being targeted at least twice a week.
  • You can break down your leg training routines by doing two lower body parts one day of the week & two days after two extra lower body parts. Example: Quads & Calves / Hamstrings & Thighs.
  • Be aware of the weight you lift each and everyday when training lower body and write it down, this will help you monitor your improvements & the strength you have gained since your first time training legs.
  • Be sure to keep your body guessing and implement different lower body work outs – such as low weight and high reps, high weight and low reps and even body weight movements with different gym equipment.
  • As per usual, be sure to stretch before, during and after your lower body work out this will ensure that the soreness won’t be as bad and will keep your lactic acid build up to a minimum & of course, train smart

About the work out & Muscles being targeted: Gluteus, quads, hamstrings & calves.

  • This type of work out is considered a Muscle Endurance work out – Where the weight is light and the reps are high.
  • You will only be resting a minimum of 50-60 seconds between sets – Testing your cardiovascular endurance while also stimulating lower body strength.
  • You will perform the first exercise (Squats) followed by Single Leg Lunges when done performing the first exercise.
  • The reps will be 20 per legs when doing lunges and 20 repetitions of squats – If you cannot do the reps, decrease it to a weight you feel comfortable on doing.
  • Be selective about the weight you choose, it’s not a routine thats meant to be lifted with heavy weight but geared towards endurance and overall cardiovascular approach.

Advice for maximum results:

  • Be sure to stretch before, during and after your work out – The lower body needs to be warm and prepared for the session to avoid major injuries.
  • Do controlled and slow paced repetitions, remember it’s not a race – Engage every muscle group through the reps being performed.
  • You can do this exercise without smith machine but I recommend it for this because it’s a superset style work out and the smith machine will help you get the most out of each set without sacrificing forms and keep you away from injuries.
  • Do not hunch your back forward when squatting and lunging that will prevent you from targeting the muscle group thats meant to be targeted so keep your back straight at all times.
  • The Lunges it’s a great exercise that targets your gluteus and quadriceps.
  • Engaged your core through every rep.

If you have any questions regarding this routine – please leave your questions down below and i will assist you.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Nutrition & Fitness – The Basics.

Nutrition & Fitness – The Basics. 

We know nutrition plays a big roll within the Health and Fitness lifestyle and what we put into our body does matter in the long run – this doesn’t mean we gotta eat perfect every single 365 days of the year, but I do mean it that everything is about balance so you can enjoy the journey and stay focused through it without feeling trapped and restricted from the favorite foods you like to eat or treat yourself with on a night out with friends and family. How to manage your nutrition is the most important factor of a successful journey within the quest of achieving the body of your dreams. Many people tend to feel trapped and insecure of what they can and cannot eat and even concerned if they have a bite of something “not healthy” they think it’s going to stop them from their ultimate goal. It’s not true and you sure can enjoy a treat meal here and there and be perfectly fine to continue your journey. Now let’s begin sharing key information thats going to make your journey enjoyable and most of all, achievable!!

531068_509102975780907_460016789_nBasic nutrition fundamentals to keep in mind throughout your journey:

  • Know what you are working towards and evaluate your goal. Do not follow someone else’s nutrition plan, because chances are, their goal is different and 100% their approach to fitness is different than yours. Stick to a plan that will work for you and what you are training for.
  • Set yourself a day in which you can enjoy a cheat day also known as a treat meal – Where you can enjoy either a dessert or a pizza or a hamburger, the choice of yours. This will help you kill and control the craving of wanting those food “everyday”. It will also set you up to start the week strong and get back into your clean and healthy nutrition plan.
  • Be flexible, do not eat the same sources of protein everyday – it is what causes people to get “sick of the diet”, remember it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle change and you have to make the necessary changes to enjoy it so find protein sources you like and mix them up weekly.
  • Be realistic about your goal and don’t settle just for the easy way out of “kill the hunger pills” changing your nutrition is for the better and of course it will be hard – but after some time it will be the best your decision you have ever made – feeling new and cleaner on the inside.
  • Remember they are a variety of nutrition sources such as: Carbs (Simple & Complex), Protein, Fats and making sure you consume each of those sources in your meal are vital for progress and overall longevity of your journey.
  • Portion control – It’s important to not overflow the plate with food, eat in a way that you will be “full” yet satisfied without feeling like you’re going to explode. I have shown my meal as an example: 2 Cups of rice, a couple asparagus and about 12 Oz of Salmon, this is according to my goal and you will be able to determine yours depending your objective and overall approach.

Nutrition overall is the foundation of everything in terms of Health and Fitness. I highly advice that you make the necessary changes in your life to live better, feel better and perform better. As you implement the changes and have done it weeks after weeks, it will get easier and most of all you will be feeling better. Keep it interesting, be creative with your meals and most of all – stay focused throughout the journey.

Incase of any questions regarding nutrition – leave them down below & I will assist you in any way I can.

Train Hard & Smart.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Biceps & Forearms work – Superset style.

Biceps & Forearms work – Superset style. 

Are you short on time and willing to make the most of your time in the gym when training arms? Well you’re in the right place. Today, I will be sharing with you one of my favorite arm routines that will help you maximize not only your results but make the most out of the time you’ve got at the time. Supersets work great because you are doing more than one exercise at once shortly after finishing one, it also helps you improve your overall cardiovascular endurance and strength, so if you haven’t tried this method of training before – I highly recommend you do so.

BicepsIf you are in the quest of muscle building this is the work out for you and of course, it works just as great if you are on a maintaining phase which means muscle endurance – but I will get into that shortly and the necessary changes you have to make in order to manipulate this work out according to your goal. Muscle building phase of this work out will challenge you to lift heavy weight with limited reps, remember do not sacrifice form to lift heavy and be in risk of injuries but do lift a weight that will challenge you while keeping sound and clean form and if you cannot do it, don’t be afraid to drop the weight because as you will get stronger you will be able to achieve the weight you’re trying to lift. I will discuss the rep ranges on the breakdown of the training method down below.

For those focusing on muscle endurance, this will be a different approach than those willing to gain muscle mass. Muscle strength falls into the category of lifting for higher reps and with a limited number of sets. What do I mean by higher rep range? This method will help you gain & keep solid strength while also focusing on overall cardiovascular endurance, taking your heart rate to another level and improving your overall stamina. The rep range may vary for some, but normally 15-20 with a max of 25 reps is ok for each exercise. The weight management doesn’t have to be very heavy or very light, just a weight that will keep you challenged but a weight that you’re able to achieve for the desire reps you’re willing to do without sacrificing form.

Workout advice & techniques.

  • You will be performing for the first exercise the overhand grip for the forearms, keeping the arms tucked in to your side without flaring them out – this will help you target the primary muscle which is your forearms and secondary muscle being your biceps.
  • Once finished with the forearms exercise, proceed to do the following exercise which is the regular and well known Bicep Curls – again make sure to keep your elbows tucked in and don’t flare them out, when flaring the elbows you won’t be able to target the primary muscle and will sacrifice form and most of all, being in risk of injuries.
  • Make sure to keep your core tight throughout every set and reps you do. Keeping your core engaged at all times will help you activate your core and most of all – keep you balanced throughout every rep.
  • You can perform this exercise with either dumbbells or with machine with cables like shown on the photo – Either way you will be able to get the same benefits of the work out. Dumbbells are more challenging and draining because they aren’t attached like cables are and if you want the extra challenge – I highly recommend it, I’ve done both and it works great.

Reps & Sets depending your fitness goal:

  • Muscle Strength: 10-12 reps | Sets of: 5 | 1 Minute Rest.
  • Muscle Endurance: 15-20 max 25 reps | Sets of: 4 | 60 Second Rest.
  • Evaluate what are you trying to achieve before performing the exercise, if you are unsure of your goal – doing either of the work out methods provided won’t hurt you – If you keep your body guessing with new and effective routines you will have better chances of reaching your goal and the body of your dreams.

Incase of any questions and confusion throughout this exercise – leave your questions down below.

Train Hard & Smart.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Rope Swings – Cardiovascular Workout.

Cardiovascular Endurance Workout.

Chances are, you have probably done some work with Ropes before, and I bet you liked it. I like it too, it is indeed one of my favorite cardiovascular endurance work outs – helping me improve my stamina and overall upper body strength. It makes for a very intense cardio driven by the upper body, and it tests your mental strength as well as your physical capabilities. You decide how long would you like to go for (Minute wise or Reps). I personally do 15 reps per arm and keep the intensity high or you can set a target by minutes (1min, 2min, 3min per arm) either way the benefits of this work out are great.

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Advice for maximum results for each variation:

• Initiate the movement by rapidly raising one arm to shoulder level as quickly as you can, this is when doing single arm swing ropes.
• As you let that arm drop to the starting position, raise the opposite side. (Alternation)
• Continue alternating your left and right arms, whipping the ropes up and down as fast as you can. Keeping your core engage through every swing, keeping your feet planted to the ground.

Incase of any questions and confusion throughout this exercise – leave your questions down below.

Train Hard & Smart.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

T-Bar Rows – Beastly Back work out.

T-Bar Row’s – A superset style routine for back.

Introducing you all one of my favorite routines for a great developed back – It is a routine that will help you develop a bigger, stronger and defined back. Super set training works great when you’re short on time and really want to take your body to the next level. For this type of exercise, it’s important to keep in mind to stretch and warm up before doing it – as it will recruit a lot of the fast twitch muscles that you typically and normally don’t target by doing a traditional back work out such as lat pull downs.

What makes this work out different than other work outs? T-Bar row’s and this one I am showing you all is unique because it’s a three variations work out – Meaning when done with one variation you will proceed to the next one and so on. It is challenging but will give you the desire results you’re looking for. I will discuss each variation down below – so please read carefully for each variation. Be sure to stretch and warm up before performing the exercise.

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Before doing the exercise – quick tips:

  • If you are doing the T-Bar row with a machine similar to the one I am performing the work out – Keep in mind that your feet should be planted on the ground – not on the feet pads on the back of the machine. Having the feet planted will allow you to engage more of your core.
  • Make sure your chest is against the pad of the machine – this will allow you to not hunch and arching your back, keeping your back straight it’s important to avoid injuries and most important – targeting the muscle group without compensating other body parts that are not meant to be worked on this exercise.
  • Face forward in each rep, do not put your head down on this exercise as that will put pressure on your neck and cause you to have neck discomfort, keeping your face forward will ensure proper posture and avoid injuries.

Advice for maximum results for each variation:

  • Variation #1: For this exercise is having the palms of your hands facing down and using the outsides handles of the machines, this will target your rear deltoids and lats. Great exercise for back developments and wider width. You will be doing 20 reps for this variation.
  • Variation #2: For this particular variation you will be placing your hands as an underhand grip while also using the outside handles. When performing this variation you will notice that your biceps will be getting targeted – the primary muscle will be your back and the secondary will be the peak of your biceps. Keep your core engage through every rep of this exercise and squeeze at the top, this variation will also be targeting your rhomboids. You will be doing 15 reps for this variation.
  • Variation #3: You will be using the inner grips of the machine for this exercise and make sure that your hand placement looks like hammer curls, this will be targeting your rhomboids, lower back, biceps and forearms, which it’s an overall great upper body routine for maximum strength and muscle gain. You will be doing 10 reps for this variation.

Total sets for this exercise: 

  • 4 Sets total.

Incase of any questions and confusion throughout this exercise – leave your questions down below.

Train Hard & Smart.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Abdominal Work – Swiss Ball Variations.

Swiss Ball Variations – Advanced training routine.

Abs! Everyone (at least most people) want them. Here’s the honest and quick truth about them. Train them from ALL angles (lower, side, middle) and rotations to fully develop a midsection that’s strong and tight. If your bodyfat is high you won’t see your abs. Yes they are there but 1,000 crunches a day won’t get them to be visible, only your diet and training will make them visible. Train them 3-4 times per week; they are very aerobic muscles and recover fast. I say abs are done in the kitchen with the assistance of the gym.

The exercise down below it’s a great variation to focus on the abs (lower, middle and upper) – It is an advanced routine, so if you aren’t feeling 100% comfortable on doing it you can do variation number two, which is being seated on the swiss ball doing a normal side to side crunch. What makes this exercise challenging and effective? I am focusing on keeping constant tension on my core while doing a superset style set, meaning 10 to 15 reps per exercise right after another, this will help you develop a strong core and improve your lower body strength as well. Just like any other work out you perform, it’s important to warm up and stretch to avoid any major injuries.

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Advice for maximum results for both of the exercises shown above:

Variation #1:

  • Make sure you select a medicine ball that it isn’t too big or small – Just an average medicine ball where your body and lower body will be aligned, this will help you keep you balanced to do the exercise correctly and avoid injuries.
  • Make sure you that before you begin the exercise, your hand placement is shoulder width apart like a push up position. This will also help you keep your body balanced between reps – not keeping your arms aligned will cause you upper body discomfort and have you out of balance.
  • You will be doing a maximum of 10-20 reps for this typical variation. If you don’t feel ready to do the 20 reps, focus on doing 10 solid reps for sets of 4. While doing this exercise, make sure you bring your legs in slowly and bring them out slowly as well, this will recruit all muscles of the core while also bringing out those lower abs.
  • You can face forward before doing the exercise and once you start performing the crunch, bring your head in. As shown on the photo, this will help you breath better and making sure you are in balance. Keeping solid good form during this exercise is vital to really make the most out of this great exercise.

Variation #2:

  • Use the same medicine ball you used for the exercise on variation #1.
  • This variation it’s not considered advanced but after doing variation #1 your body will start feeling tired and fatigued so it becomes harder to do as the sets continue on. Make sure your gluteus are positioned correctly on the ball, make sure you feel balanced and your body is aligned with your lower body. You will know everything is aligned when you place your feet shoulder width apart.
  • You will be doing reps of 15 for sets of 4 for this routine. Again, if you can’t do the reps mentioned – decrease the rep range to 10. Don’t worry so much about the reps but do focus on the form of each rep making sure you are engaging your core at every rep and breathing correctly while releasing the crunch.
  • Each set you will be doing, you will be using your elbow to touch the opposite leg shown on the photo, this type of motion and exercise will be targeting your core and obliques, it’s a complete abdominal routine that will engage all of your core muscles and improving your lower body strength.

Remember, the abdominal section it’s a section of the body that needs constant work and most of all sound nutrition. If you keep a good nutrition regimen and effective abs routine like the one shown above, you will be closer to achieving your 6 pack.

Incase of any questions and confusion throughout this exercise – leave your questions down below.

Train Hard & Smart.

Best,
John Carter

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