Spoiler Alert: Crunches and situps are not the secret to six-pack abs. In fact, repetitive or excessive spinal flexion (e.g., bending your chest toward your knees at the back) is just about “the worst thing you can do for your back,” says David Larson, C.S.C.S., a strength coach at Pulse Fitness in Scottsdale, AZ. In addition to swapping crunches for some more complex moves (detailed below), proper diet is essential for carving out that six-pack—just ask any fitness model or strength coach. But here are six key exercises to get you started on making your abs the best they’ve ever been.
The protein “myth” has been floating around for generations. Historically, it can be traced to Milo of Crotona in the sixth century B.C. He was a famous Greek athlete who was considered to be one of the strongest men in ancient Greece. He had won wrestling victories in 5 Olympic games as well as in other sacred festivals.
Legend has it that Milo applied progressive resistance in the form of lifting a growing calf daily. By the time the calf was 4-years-old Milo carried it the length of the Olympian stadium, and then proceeded to kill, roast and consume it. Milos’ daily consumption of meat was recorded at approximately 20 pounds a day.
When we fast-forward to the era of the sixties and seventies we find there was a renewed hype about protein being some sort of miracle food. This was due, largely, to the muscle magazines of the era which pushed protein and claimed it could make you grow as big as a god!
As a result, many bodybuilders and strength trainers started to consume large quantities of whole milk, meat and eggs. (Let’s not forget the raw eggs-thanks to “Rocky Balboa”.)
Wrong. Protein is necessary when it comes to muscle growth, but carbohydrates also play an important role in helping you maintain and gain muscle mass. The truth is, that complex carbohydrates are very healthy and provide your body with the fuel it needs to build muscle. Stop doing yourself the disservice of overlooking carbs when creating your muscle building diet plan, and begin by following these rules on how to calculate carbs and where you should be getting them from. (more…)