Hey everyone! Well, it looks like Christmas is right around the corner now that the ground is covered in leaves and the weather is getting cooler. One thing I will miss the most about the warmer weather is taking my training outside. As I have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of track and bleacher workouts. I also love to take my toddler out in the stroller and run hills- try pushing a chubby 2 year old up a hill in a stroller for some resistance! We have so much fun and we usually stop at the park where I do some pull-ups and hanging leg raises while he plays on the equipment. It’s a great workout and a good way to instill in my child the importance of physical fitness!
This week, I got a great question from a fan on facebook:
Question: I am in my twenties and I was in great shape until I became pregnant. My baby is now three months old and I’m worried I will never be able to wear a bikini again. How can I get my washboard abs back or am I doomed to avoid the beach forever?
Answer: Don’t fret! Help is on the way! I have been in this situation- I gained a whopping 60 pounds when I was pregnant with my son. After he was born I looked down at my once flat stomach and feared I would never have my abs back. But I refused to give up and I worked hard at eating a clean diet and consistent training schedule and I was modeling bikinis a mere 6 months later! Along the way, I got a great piece of advice when I griped to my hubby about my flabby waistline. He said to me, “you know Gillian, abs are made in the kitchen.” This is an entirely true statement. Have you ever noticed the people in your gym who are there day in, day out, training and doing cardio yet they still sport a flabby midsection and a thick layer of body fat? This is because up to eighty percent, or more, of your results are related to diet. So when Brett said abs are made in the kitchen, what he is referring to is that a clean diet is the truly the way to six pack abs. Don’t get me wrong, training with weights and cardio are crucial to the success of any fat loss program. However, if you want to sculpt rock hard muscle, you need to train your abs regularly and perform cardio to burn body fat.
So what exactly does it mean to eat clean? I think most of us know what foods we are not supposed to eat if we want to stay lean. I follow the rule of “avoid the white stuff”- no flour, no sugar and no pasta. I’m sure I don’t need to mention that fried foods and alcohol also contribute to the bulge. On the flip side, there is a wide array of delicious foods that are considered “clean” that fuel your metabolism and do not contribute to body fat accumulation when eaten in proper proportions. It’s important to space your clean meals and snacks out over the course of the day in order to maintain energy levels and to keep your metabolism stoked. I like to think of my metabolism as a fire. In order to keep it burning, I need to put some firewood on the fire every few hours.
I get asked all the time what I eat everyday. Here is a sample clean eating meal plan with 3 meals and 2 snacks that I use to keep in shape:
Meal 1: small portion of oats, egg whites
Snack 1: Level 1 protein shake, small handful of almonds
Meal 2: grilled chicken, small yam, broccoli
Snack 2: Phormula 1 shake (following my afternoon training session)
Meal 3: grilled fish, green vegetables
For those of you with extra weight to lose, I recommend adding 1 DB and Thyrodrive to your daily routine in order to enhance your fat burning efforts and assist you in avoiding overeating or indulging in foods that are not on your clean eating plan. I used them both to get ready for the North Americans this past year and they worked amazing!
Here is a challenging ab routine that I began using after my son was born to regain my flat stomach! I recommend training your abs every other day. Combine this routine with clean eating and 4-5 moderate intensity cardio sessions each week and before long, you will be well on your way to those washboard abs!!
Gillian’s washboard ab routine
FORM and BREATHING are the key components to this routine. Complete as many reps as you can with perfect form, breathing in deeply and fully exhaling with each rep.
1) Planks: Assume a push-up position and lower yourself onto your elbows and forearms. Hold your body in this “plank” position for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
2) Hanging leg raises: Using either ab straps or simply hanging from a pull up bar bring your knees slowly up to your chest and lower. Repeat with perfect form to failure. Repeat 3 times
3) Reverse crunch on stability ball: Assume a push up position and place your shins on the stability ball. Slowly bring your knees into your chest, contracting your lower abs. Slowly roll back out to the starting position. Complete as many reps as you can. Repeat 3 times.
Be sure to get in touch with me and let me know how this or my other tips are working for you! As always, I’m happy to answer your questions and hear your comments and feedback at Gillian.Risebury@1stphorm.com. You can also find me on facebook at facebook.com/jillian.amy1. Until my next blog, eat clean and train hard! Because there is nothing sexier than a fit body!
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