I did not realize how many queries my last article, Hiatus, would garner, with individuals asking what exercises I was doing to obtain a flatter midsection. Rather than list a myriad of the ones I did, I thought it best to reveal the theory behind how I chose the exercises and let the reader pick ones for themselves.
My goal in the beginning was not to acquire the elusive and most sought-after six-pack, but to wear shirts without portraying a distended belly, and worse, making feeble attempts to suck it in, trying to fool those around me that my stomach was flat.
If the theory was right that it took twenty-one days to form a habit, then I reckon that if I did abdominal exercises in excess of that number, then a penchant for working them would develop, and my goal of a leaner midsection would be accomplished.
My family members at various times through the aforementioned time period joined me in exercising, but for a myriad of reasons, decided that they no longer wanted to continue. One found my exercise choices difficult, another did not see the plausibility of working them every day, while the last, could not or chose not to wake up early in the morning to do them in a fasted state.
In the end, I was totally alone, except for curious glances from our cats, who probably wondered about the strange sounds, and expletives I muttered as I exercised.
The order in which I worked my abs was rather simple. Lower, (where most men store body fat), followed by obliques, (second hardest place to get rid of belly fat), and lastly exercises that encompassed both upper and lower.
In the beginning I did three rounds of six exercises, counting by either reps or time. As my abdominal muscles became stronger, I utilized more of a feel approach. This led me to work certain exercises to failure, or using an advance technique of rest-pause to taxed the muscle further.
Hindsight is indeed the best of all visions. As I looked back on the past 31 days, I learned a few things. I had set a goal and was determined to achieve it, but others had done so as well. Why then, did they abandon their objective?
Surely anything worth having, is worth working for, but therein lies the conundrum. What was important to me was not as important to them. Furthermore, the price was too steep, especially if it interfered with some of my family member’s sleep.
So instead of forcing or belittling the children, I go at it alone, respecting their wishes to join me when they are ready and willing to commit in giving me their very best to achieve a leaner midsection.
One must be selfish in the beginning if he or she want to blaze a path for others to follow. Our children are always watching and listening to see if Mommy and Daddy are going to be true to their convictions.
In the beginning one starts out alone, but if he or she persist in going after their desired objective, and let others come along when they are ready, they will look back and see a following as opposed to no one at all.
Bradley Booth (NASM-CPT)
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