Friday, 27 May 2011

A New Morning Ritual to Get Ripped Abs

Instead of an in-depth article for you to read today, I just wanted to share a few fitness techniques I've been using myself lately, and my new "morning ritual" which has been getting killer results! 

In fact, just doing this morning ritual for the last 7 mornings in a row, I can already see that my lower abs are getting more defined by the day (indicating that this is lowering my body fat % a bit more).

This involves both exercise AND nutrition tricks, so read this whole post, even if you can't do the exact same type of exercise.

Ok, here's the method I've been using that is getting amazing results...

We just started getting really warm spring weather here in the Rockies, so the last 7 mornings in a row, I've walked 15 minutes over to the local soccer field and done about 20 minutes or so of all-out wind sprints (50-100 yard wind sprints with full out intensity), and then I do the 15 minute walk back home.

Even if you can't do wind sprints, keep in mind that you can still do something similar that is a higher intensity for you personally (perhaps hill walking instead of wind sprints, for example). 

By the way, outdoor sprints are where the action is... sprints on a treadmill don't have the same effect as there's more force production involved in accelerating a sprint outdoors compared to on a treadmill.  Plus, the max speed on a treadmill is not high enough usually for an "all-out" sprint.  In my mind, it's a world of difference.  Personally I never step foot on a treadmill.

How wind sprints raise your fat melting hormones:

One of the reasons that wind sprints are so effective at chiseling your body and reducing body fat to "ripped" levels (have you ever seen the bodies of some competitive sprinters? ripped!) is that sprints are one of the specific exercises that are known to have a great effect on increasing Growth Hormone (GH) naturally in your body...

...and we all know that GH production in your body is one of the key secrets to getting lean, strong, and also staying youthful!

For the wind sprints, what I've been doing is increasing distance on each sprint from 50 meters to 60 meters, 70, 80, 90, and finally 100 meters.  Then I repeat the cycle.  Usually just 2 cycles of this is enough to get me fully whooped (about 12 all-out sprints)!  But as time goes on this summer, I will try to increase distance, the number of sprints, or the intensity to keep progressing.

Now for the morning nutrition trick I've been using...

I've tried "morning empty stomach exercise" in the past, and here's the deal... I usually don't have the energy to do anything intense first thing in the morning without eating, so for these sprints, I've found a nice little concoction I came up with that gives me the energy to do these high intensity sprints without weighing me down, and without many calories.  It's just enough to do the trick!

What I've been doing is mixing Athletic Greens (which is lightly sweetened with stevia, nothing artificial, and with only 40 calories per serving, but 76 superfoods mixed in) with unsweetened iced tea (green, white, oolong, and yerba mate mixture) first thing in the morning.  I usually have a big batch of unsweetened iced tea in a gallon container in the fridge that has at least these 4 teas mixed for taste and diversity of antioxidants.

I also mix in about a half scoop (12 grams) of raw grass-fed whey protein, and I have a couple grams of BCAA's (to help minimize muscle catabolism), and a few caps of krill oil.

This entire concoction is only about 120 calories total (with only 3 grams of carbs from the Athletic Greens), so it's just enough to give me energy to do the high intensity sprints, but not too much to weigh me down.

I also take one capsule of an oolong tea extract (capsules are explained on the order page there) that I've been experimenting with lately.  This has about 50 mg of naturally occuring caffeine per capsule, and oolong tea is shown in some studies to increase the % of fat calories burned if taken before exercise.

I get about 15-20 minutes to digest this mixture a little (the walk to the soccer field takes about 15 min) and then I start to rock out the 20-25 minutes of all-out wind sprints.  The 15 minute walk back home is a nice cool down.
It feels amazing, and I end up getting an insane workout with plenty of energy, as opposed to the no energy feeling I have if I try to do "empty stomach" exercise first thing in the morning.  This also makes me feel really energetic for the rest of the day too, and I'm sure boosts my metabolism!

When I come back from the sprinting, I then make my full breakfast, which lately has been my fairly low-carb healthy breakfast of 4 whole eggs (free range from a local farmers market), grass-fed bison sausage, lots of veggies mixed in to the eggs (mushrooms, onions, spinach, kale, and red peppers), and a half of an avocado on the side.  And I have a cup of unsweetened green tea or yerba mate.

The fat loss results so far:

Keep in mind, I've only been doing this morning ritual for about 7 mornings so far... but even with only a week of this method, I've already had noticeably more definition in the lower abs doing this every morning for the last 7 days or so!

So if you're up for a challenge and a great training and nutrition combo method, this seems to be working wonders for me so far!  Let's get ripped and ready for summer!  Perhaps you can find a way to do something similar in your routine.

I hope this post has given you some good ideas to use.  Have fun!

By the way, if you haven't seen this article yet, give it a read, and make sure you're not doing any of these:

The 7 WORST exercises to STOP doing

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

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