What I’m eating for lunch right now! Grilled chicken, spinach, peas, broccoli (from the dining hall) with whole grain spaghetti and pasta sauce (from Walmart).
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Did beccas AB routine yesterday and it was the most effective AB workout I’ve done it a while! Obviously adding it in my workout plan!
Yay!!! I’m glad you liked it!
What is the secret to 6-pack abs???
I get this question a lot and thought I’d make a post on what I have found through my own experience and through the reading of other athletes’ experiences.
Rectus abdominis is the most famous abdominal muscle. It is the one responsible for the look of “ripped abs.” A long muscle that runs down the front of the trunk, rectus abdominis starts at ribs 5 - 7 (count from top down) and the base of the sternum (breast bone), and runs all the way down to the top of the pubic bone. The fibers of the rectus abdominis are parallel to each other and contained in a sheath. They are attached to the sheath in three places creating little horizontal grooves. This is what gives the rectus abdominis a “6 pack” or “ripped” look when it is well developed. (source)
In order to have visible abs, the key is lowering your body fat. Our muscles are naturally shaped in that six pack form (see the above quote) but because of fat on our midsections, you can’t see them. Ab workouts will build the muscle and make it more visible, but lowering your body fat is the most effective way to have great looking abs.
To lower your body fat, the number one rule is to EAT CLEAN. I know that’s a pretty broad (and to some, annoying) term, but all you have to do is focus on avoiding overly processed foods and to eat lean proteins (extra lean turkey or beef, chicken breast, beans, tofu, etc.) veggies, complex carbs (like whole grains, sweet potatoes, etc), and healthy fats (nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil, etc.). If you are preparing for a competition and have a coach, there will likely be little room for “guilt-free” meals with your favorite treats.
BUT if you are not competing, there is NO REASON to completely cut out some of your favorite, “bad” foods! The women you see in fitness magazines and competitions almost always have a career that revolves mainly around their physical appearance. If you are just trying to improve your health and how you see yourself, don’t be too strict with your diet. You will go insane and most likely binge on the things you have restricted yourself from.
Basically, the key is moderation.
Next is cardio. I personally believe high intensity interval training is the most effective. If you look in my blog’s FAQ or do a simple google search, you can find more info on that :)
Some of the people with the best abs only do ab workouts once or twice a week. Because of their dedication to eating healthy and being consistent with lifting and cardio, they have awesome looking abs. If you are using any sort of free weight (and using it properly), you are constantly using your core. Especially with power/compound movements like olympic lifts, deadlifts, bench press, and squats (barbell specifically).
However, if you are looking for an ab workout, here’s my current routine :)
- 15-20 reps of weighted side bends with a kettle bell (works obliques)
- 15-20 reps of seated knee hug tucks (works lower abs, hip flexors the most). Basically sit on the ground in boat pose and bring the knees in, wrap your arms around for one rep.
- 20-30 reps of russian twists with some sort of weight.
- 15-20 reps of lying leg raise with a butt lift.
I repeat all of this 3 times. If you need me to explain these better, let me know. First I advise going to bodybuilding.com/exercises to look up these exercises or ones that may even be rated higher :)
* REMINDER * 6 PACK ABS ARE NOT A MEASURE OF PHYSICAL CAPABILITY. THEY ARE PURELY AESTHETIC. While doing core work is essential to becoming stronger overall, having visible “6-pack abs” does not show who is strong and who isn’t. Some of the strongest men and women in the world don’t have the visible 6 pack.
It’s all about your personal body composition. Focus on becoming stronger, not completely on your physical appearance, and you will get results. Like I’ve said, TRUST THE PROCESS. Have faith in what you are doing and stick with it and you WILL see results.
TRUST THE PROCESS.
I recently received an email from a follower asking how I stay motivated to go to the gym and focus on eating as clean as possible. Here’s what I replied:
“How to stay motivated…you just have to trust the process. I can’t even tell you how frustrating it can be to feel like it’s taking forever, but you just HAVE to keep working. Focus on just getting healthier - lowering your blood pressure, your resting heart rate, your endurance. Focus on the little things you notice like fitting into your shorts better and not having to breathe so hard when going up the stairs.
You have to realize that this whole journey is not to fit into the tiny bikini this summer. While that’s a plus to this whole process, that’s not the point. The whole point of all of this is to become healthier. And through becoming healthier physically AND mentally, you will become happier. Focus on each day as it comes and trust the process.”
Today I saw I had a couple of new comments on my instagram and guess who it was?? Fitness model Emily Skye!!
She was so kind to leave some encouraging words on my posts. It really made my day :)
By the way, if you want to follow my instagram, my user name is rmaclin11!