Posts Tagged abs

Body Fat And Abs

revealing your abs by reducing your body fat

revealing your abs by reducing your body fat

Here is what you might look like if you reduce your body fat percentage. It might also help to do a little exercise as well…

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Abs Should Be There When Midriffs Are Bare

abs are in now for high fashion crowd

abs are in now for high fashion crowd

bare midriffs send women to the gym

bare midriffs send women to the gym

new crop top style requires abs or at least flat stomach

new crop top style requires abs or at least flat stomach

Who would have predicted that midriffs exposed by the latest crop top fashion styles would be sending women to gyms in droves. Sweat and pain is the passport to wearing these fancy clothes, and here is an article describing some of the goings on. Obviously I am partial to nicely defined abs, and I think it’s about time everyday women were after some definition as well. After all, misery loves company, and when I think of all the pain men go through to look attractive to women, why shouldn’t the females have to put in a little extra effort to look good for the men…only kidding, only kidding. I know how hard the female gender works to look sensational…

“Midriffs are suddenly in America’s face,” writes Shivani Vora in her piece titled The Time of the Tummy. “The stomach is the new erogenous zone, but not in a vulgar sort of a way,” one fashion commentator said. “Yes, you can show your whole midsection in a bra top, but most of the styles only give you a peek. Regardless, it is making women frenzied about shaping up their abs.”

The 5-foot, 115-pound Jewlie Williams, another fashionista, for example, spends more than two hours most days of the week exercising in stomach-centric classes like Ab Attack (Crunch offers three others as well), running and dancing. Her day begins and ends with 100 crunches, she said, and she has drastically cut down on her sugar intake.

“I bought six crop tops, but I felt like I needed tighter and flatter abs to feel good wearing them,” she said, “so I’ve been working really, really hard to get them better-looking.”

Sandra Ciconte, an already-slender 5-foot-6, has embarked upon a six-day-a-week routine that includes two private sessions with at Core and a 20-minute floor routine by herself on other days.

Dr. Michele Olson, an exercise physiologist at Auburn University, stressed that cardio intervals such as alternating sprinting with walking are the first step to a six-pack. “You need to have less fat over all to have firm abs,” she said, “not do hundreds of crunches or situps.”

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How Did I Become “Obsessive” About Exercise?

Somehow, unbelievably, magically for the first time in my whole life, I am exercising every day. For 33 continuous days (and 35/36), I have done either push ups or bicycle crunches. It’s for three minutes or less. Not a big deal in time. But huge in terms of discipline. At least I am doing something. Even on the 16 days of the 33, when I spent as many as four hours on the tennis courts, in the woods hunting or hiking, and ice skating.

One day I played 2 1/4 of doubles tennis with one group, then another two hours with a second group. Next I drove 1 1/2 hours to America’s only jai alai fronton outside of Florida, practiced jai alai to near exhaustion for 45 minutes, watched a tournament, then drove home for another hour. It was close to 12 am when I dropped down to do 75 push ups (45 non-stop and then five sets of six each). That’s when I heard that I was obsessive.

Sometimes I didn’t even remember to do them until midnight or 1 am. But no matter how tired I was, I did them. This is an unprecedented accomplishment for me, and I am both proud and astonished to have achieved this challenge.

It all began when I wrote that I “could” do exercise every day if I had to. But I was too lazy. I guess it was so easy to say that I could do something that I had never done. But then I had to see if I was all talk and no action. So I began this routine. IT IS VERY HARD SOME DAYS. Especially when I am tired from other activity, forget about it, fall asleep watching TV and then wake up and remember that I HAVE to keep the record going.

It’s the continuity that I am most proud about. A few push ups or crunches over 2-3 minutes isn’t going to build much muscle. Especially compared to the guys in the gym 3-4 days a week for an hour or two each time. But I am showing myself that I can be disciplined if I want to. And my numbers are going up: I am now at 78 push ups total (after an initial 45 or so non-stop) and 250 bicycle crunches (although only a max of 176 in which both elbows touch both knees). At least I am improving. Pretty terrific.

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Gerard Butler Regains His Abs

Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler has been in the news for losing a considerable amount of weight.

pudgy Gerard

But after revealing his ripped abs on Tuesday, it’s obvious he’s back to his tightly sculpted, King Leonidas-like form from the movie “300” (see below).

Like many actors prepping for a role, Butler, 41, has recently undergone a physical transformation. He dyed his curly locks blond and packed on the muscle to star in director Curtis Hanson’s upcoming surfing flick, Mavericks.

But it wasn’t a set photo that showed off Butler’s sexy new body. It was a casual snapshot of the Scottish actor changing before playing in a charity soccer match in Glasgow. Butler was spotted in the Celtic Football Club’s locker room, where he was about to don a team jersey before heading out to the pitch. He playfully posed for the photo by sticking his tongue out and making a silly face.

The “300” actor’s tip-top shape apparently helped his skills on the field, because his team, which included other British athletes and celebs, won 5-2 in a game benefiting the anti-poverty organization, Oxfam International.

Gerard mimics this famous 1951 photo of Albert Einstein

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A Few Crunches At Last

after 10 months of almost no crunches, but lots of tennis—8/6/11

after a personal best of 1400 crunches—10/14/10

I started doing a few crunches today—three sets of just 100. The most in almost 10 months. After I hit a high of 1600 (three sets with just a minute break between them) and had maximum definition, I lost interest. These days, in spite of frequent tennis playing, I sometimes see a bit of a belly puffing out. Maybe the crunching gave my stomach more tone. I don’t like that puffiness. It scares me.

So I started working again on my abs. My son gave me a video that will show me how to have great abs in just eight minutes a day! We’ll see. On the left is the much greater definition I was proud of last October…On the right is where I am today. The tennis provides good cardio and keeps my weight from rising. I am now back down to 174 pounds, about three or four below the time I gained 12 pounds, because people said I looked too thin. I’d love to put on some muscle again. Fortitude and determination is what I need. I wish it were easier. I wish I loved it. The gain only comes with pain. I hate the pain…

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Some Readers Becoming Fitter, Finding The LIFE LESSONS Inspirational and Sending In Their Own Stories

There are people I know who are acting more healthfully since I began writing two years ago about fitness and talking about this site. Some have said how much they like the philosophical anecdotes about life that I call LIFE LESSONS. Many like looking at the pictures of celebrities who’ve lost weight or muscled their bodies. I have OTHER PEOPLE’S STORIES AND PHOTOS on the site now for additional inspiration. This is great. Why not email me—or upload—your story?

After two years of going to a gym, I began in April 2009 to work on my abs. Then an August 2009 shoulder injury from too many pull ups gave me the perfect excuse to give up the gym. My muscles shrank, but I started playing more tennis. I did crunches at home for 18 months, and in November 2010 achieved a personal best: 500+500+600=1600 crunches with a minute rest between each of the three sets.

Since fall I barely exercised at home, because I was too tired from 29 to 42 hours of tennis a month. Beginning in November 2010, I completely stopped doing crunches and started doing push ups in addition to tennis 3-4 days a week. I admit I was lazy. And I gained weight from all those holiday meals. You can see my smaller abs in the photo on the left. At least I look better than two years ago. As a sometimes inspiration, I check out the guy with the talking abs in this video. You won’t believe what he can do…

70th birthday after gaining 12 pounds, not exercising for 11 days and almost no crunches for 5 months—4/6/11

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Female Bodybuilders

So I have discovered this female culture that exercises like crazy and makes giant muscles, competes in competitions, puts up with comments like “women shouldn’t have muscles like men,” and also a sub group that loves to display their developed bodies they have created in soft core videos and web cams. These women really are different from those thin little bods that the movie stars are showing off on red carpets.

Like ’em or not, their years of hard work and obsessive determination are certainly athletic achievements to be admired. Here are a few examples…and they sure do have abs! The videos will give you an idea of what happens in a bodybuilding competition, where certain poses are required that best display particular muscles.

Iris Kyle has won the Ms Olympia competition six times. If you go to this website, click on “competitions” and then on the third video from the left, you can see her winning posing routine.

superlady

Irene Anderson—2008

Iris Kyle—Ms Olympia (2006- 2010), Ms International (2006-2011)

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Women Bodybuilders With Abs

In my two previous posts, I showed pictures of the stomachs of female celebrities and wondered how the fan mags could rave about non-existent or barely perceptible abs (with one exception—Shakira). I also admitted that I was having little success in finding women celebrities with defined abs, except for singers like Mel B and Gwen Stefani. Maybe it’s because they are dancing and jumping on stage so much…or they work out extra hard in the gym to be able to do all that movement in performance.

I wondered if women had different kinds of abs than men, the way they can’t generally do push ups like men, or do have hips wider apart (so they can deliver babies). I mean we all agree the anatomies are different. I went to a web site called bodybuilding.com and found a few examples of women who really work out. These are not celebrities, in fact their names are rarely posted. But they do have abs…

Hahahahahahahaha…We all have to laugh at me—I just found out that one of the women won the 2010 Miss Universe bodybuilding competition last year. Learning about these various fitness and pop culture worlds is one of the great joys of writing for this site. Maybe some of the other women are famous too. Let me know.

Anita Hess—Miss Universe 2010

woman bodybuilder with defined abs

another woman with abs

young woman with abs

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Another Politician In Trouble For Showing Abs

French Abs-bassador to Tunisia in trouble for this picture

Here is an article from The Daily Beast that shows why you should be careful baring your chest if you are a politician.

With his killer abs and fiery temper, France’s new ambassador to Tunisia triggered an international incident after a swimsuit photo—and some undiplomatic videos—hit the Web. Eric Pape on why some are saying the Abs-bassador must resign.

France may be a nation famous for grandiloquent old diplomats, but in post-revolutionary Tunisia it seems to be represented by a blunt, moody, and coarse-tongued ambassador who is as ripped as Mark Wahlberg in a Calvin Klein ad .

For all we know, there could be countless closeted musclemen in the French diplomatic corps. It isn’t as though they post hunky photos of themselves on social-networking sites, right? But then, it seems, there is Boris Boillon. A photo of the recently appointed 41-year-old ambassador to Tunisia shows Boillon in sleek briefs-style swimwear. The picture was screen-captured from Copains d’avant, (Buddies from Before) a French social-networking site.

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Where I Got These Abs

Here is a funny article from the current New Yorker magazine by Bob Odenkirk:

You are probably wondering where I got these amazing abs. They’re so ripply and rock hard, they’re difficult to fathom. If I were a character on a reality show about me and my middle-aged acquaintances, I might be nicknamed the Conundrum, in reference to these abs of mine. See, the abs don’t match the visage. My perturbed, puffy face sets you up for a blubbery gut. But then you see these abs, stacked like bricks, clearly delineated, and you have to ask, “Does he work out for two or three hours a day, or does he just work out all day?” Or perhaps you think I purchased them from a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. My secret is simple—dynamic tension! Constant dynamic tension. Tension that is tense, and dynamic, and never-ending—the best kind of tension there is! I have analyzed each ab and where it draws its tension from so that you, too, can get the abs you’ve always dreamed of!

The ab on the upper right is taut and sinewy thanks to middle school. Specifically, the effort of trying to get my two kids placed in a topnotch middle school. Filling out forms, attending open houses, prepping for interviews, taking the entrance exams—it’s a lot of work, and I am there every step of the way, standing behind them, leaning over their shoulders, looking down (that’s what tightens the ab), swallowing hard (also good for the ab), and clenching and unclenching my fists (good for the fists). Thanks, kids—Dad loves you and Dad loves the ab you’ve given him.

The middle right ab bulges handsomely thanks to talk radio. I simply tune in to conservative talkers when I am driving, and my screaming at the host tightens this ab for an extended, uninterrupted rep. Plus, disagreeing with someone on the radio gives me that powerless, overwhelmed feeling I’ve become addicted to. It’s better than a drug, because you get the abs! Read the rest of this entry »

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Justin Timberlake Sings, Acts And Makes Muscles

Justin Timberlake has some abs

Where do such busy stars find the time to work out for the hours that it’s reported Justin does to sculpt abs and other muscles? Another inspiration…

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Aaron Carter’s Asymmetric Abs

Aaron's abs

Aaron Charles Carter (born December 7, 1987) is an American singer. He is the younger brother of singer Nick Carter, from the boy band Backstreet Boys. He came to fame as a pop and hip hop singer in the late-1990s, establishing himself as a star among preteen and teenage audiences during the early-2000s. He has also launched an acting career.

In addition to sports, Carter enjoys working out. At the age of fourteen, he took up weightlifting and boosted his body weight from 120 lb to 140 lb. He is also a gymnast, and he frequently performs back flips, handstands, and one-arm cartwheels in his concert appearances.

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Miraculous Message Meant For My Abs

this magazine waited five years for me to find it

Not to get too weird, but I had this amazing coincidence yesterday at the dermatologist’s office. I go for a complete body exam every six months, because I grew up in Florida, was a cabana boy in the sun all the time, and my CT doctor told me years ago that “You have a lot of sun damage here and need to be checked out periodically.” So glad he insisted, because the skin doc found a very deadly melanoma cancer patch growing on my back. By catching it early, I am still alive and healthy over five years later.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit sad in the waiting room, because I remembered just last August I had the most muscles of my life. I was going to the gym two or three times a week for over two years. I was built. Then I did too many pull ups, tore some arm and shoulder joints, became very lazy and stopped the gym completely.

Can’t seem to get back into it, though I am playing lots of tennis and some other sports. I easily ignore the weights resting six feet from where I type. I don’t do push ups anymore. I admire the bodies of muscular men whose pictures I post on this site. But I just have no motivation to do anything.

Until yesterday. When I once again sat in the waiting room and reached for a magazine on the table next to my chair—there have to be 40 chairs and at least five tables of current magazines. Yet this time there was an issue of Muscle and Fitness with a cover story screaming “Abs Special, 11 best ab exercises.” How could I resist, though I never buy or read these kinds of magazines.

It was definitely inspiring. It did not seem to have been read at all. Those postcard-sized subscription cards were still in it, the pages were like new. Pretty understandable, I thought, because most of the patients are old folks with conditions that have surfaced after years of skin abuse. Many have canes and use walkers. Can’t picture them lifting weights or doing crunches. Some are barely alive.

a five year old issue finds me goofing off and shames me

Then I noticed the date—it was May 2005. This copy has been sitting there for over five years!! How can that be? You’d think the receptionist would have discarded it or replaced it with newer issues. But it appeared to be the only muscle mag in the room. Did someone bring it there just to give me a visual kick in the brain? Did the Universe send me a message to lift weights, because it knows how lazy I have been?

You can probably dismiss the strangeness of my collision with this particular issue and its abs cover story. You can also make up 10 other explanations of how a new copy came to be there five years after it was published. But I am going to see it as a sign, an omen, a miracle and an amazing shaming.

I’m going to lift some weights and do some push ups as soon as I post this message…and I did it: 25 push ups and three sets of bent over rows for each arm, 15 reps each time, 35 pounds. It’s a start. Felt/feels good.

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Trevor Donovan’s Four-Pack Abs

Trevor Donovan

Trevor Donovan

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Abs Make The Man (Look Better). Do You Agree?

Although these models are showing some latest swimsuit designs, I am noticing the abs…or lack of them. For some mysterious reason, I am willing to work a bit painfully to create a midsection that looks like the guy on the right instead of continuing to look like the two men on the left. All vanity, but it does feel good to crunch.

good abs

teensy abs

absent abs

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Abs Abound On Abercrombie’s Bags

Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch thinks its customers love abs so much that they put a set on their shopping bags:

Abercrombie Abs

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Ronaldo’s Relaxed Abs

We’ve seen his abs before, but this is such a nice shot of them that I had to post it. He just casually slouches in a chair, and the abs define themselves so easily. Think he does any special stomach exercises? Or does he just hit soccer balls upside down all day? I read that he is the highest paid FIFA player.

Cristiano Ronaldo's abs pop without any effort

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Movie Muscle Machos With Well Built Bods

These two guys put a lot of time into making their muscles pop out. I admit I have a lot of admiration for what it took to look like this. Jason’s workout routine sounded so impressive that I will post it soon. When he does pull ups in Death Race, I can relate to some of his efforts. When he strips to the waist for his girl friend in Transporter 3, I can understand why some people think of sculpted bodies as beautiful objects and forget that there are people with feelings and emotions inside. The Expendables is a new action movie due out in this August that not only has Stallone AND Statham in it, but also Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and Mickey Rourke. Lots of macho men with muscles in this flick for sure…

Jason Statham's abs look sensational in Death Race

Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables

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Models With Abs In Calvin’s New Ads

Even the New York Times is finally recognizing how many readers like to look at abs. Here is an article talking all about it with a video from the Calvin Klein campaign. And a couple of pictures for continued inspiration.

The article talks about how Mark Wahlberg modeled underwear in 1992 ads for Calvin Klein underwear and became a successful actor, and now maybe this latest campaign’s young model and actor, Kellan Lutz, can follow in Mark’s footsteps. The secret: “…note just how far an actor can go by adhering to the simple example set forth by Mr. Wahlberg — the School of Marky Mark, if you will. The single lesson is success by six-pack.”

Calvin Klein ad abs

Calvin Klein ad abs

Kellan Lutz abs in ad on building side

For those of you curious about Mark Wahlberg’s abs and long ago Calvin ad, check this out:

Mark Wahlberg showed great abs in this 1992 Calvin ad

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Old Spice For Your Abs

Here are some silly commercials made in a zany style by an actor with nice abs and other muscles:

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Tough Guys With Tough Abs

actor Channing Tatum is so tough he chews glasses

actor Channing Tatum is so tough he chews glasses


David Beckham's abs are like rope twists

David Beckham's abs are like rope twists

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Flashing At The Breakers In Palm Beach

This is becoming a bit ridiculous, especially when my abs are disappearing without exercise. But I want you to see the (ups and) DOWNS of ab building, as well as when my muscles were growing larger. I have friends who say you are only as good as your last book, or deal, or show. Staying fit is in the same league—you have to keep at it. There’s no stopping and retaining earlier results. Or they will slip away, and you have to make more effort once again.

Flashing in Palm Beach—10/25/09

Flashing in Palm Beach—10/25/09

This world-famous hotel was designed by the same architects who did the Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida (see November 4th post) and also Grand Central Terminal in New York. Maybe I should flash in front of more famous buildings…as long as my abs grow and show better.

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Women Have Abs Too…Of Course

Here is a magazine cover of Gina Carano, the top female mixed martial arts fighter. Look at those muscles! And on the right is Fiona L’Estrange, who developed her abs and biceps on her horse farm by riding, dressage training, daily chores and yoga. Very impressive…

mixed martial arts top female fighter, gina carano—10/09

mixed martial arts top female fighter, gina carano—10/09


fiona's abs came from horseriding and farm chores—2007

fiona's abs came from horseriding and farm chores—2007

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Exercise Update

Since July 30th, I have only been to the gym once, because my right arm and both shoulders started aching. I thought it might have been “tennis elbow” or that I had hurt myself doing pull ups. The orthopedist said it was a mild case of whatever it was, and that nothing appeared torn. I needed rest and time. In spite of that advice, I continued to play tennis and practice squash, noticing that the aches were minor after each match.

ira balancing on one foot on the trampoline—9/23/09

ira balancing on one foot on the trampoline—9/23/09

I have also been to a physical therapist five times for two hours each visit. In addition to arm exercises, I am now doing lat pull downs there and working a lot on my right ankle, which has not healed completely since I sprained it on May 12th and interrupted my racket sports for over a month.

One exercise requires me to stand on my right foot for two minutes while throwing a five-pound ball to the therapist who throws it right back to me…but I am standing on a trampoline! This is very hard. It stresses and strains the whole leg. Amazing how much I improve with each session as the muscles strengthen. The therapists can hardly stay up on one foot when they try it, and they are on the solid floor.

During this injured, two-month period, I lost my momentum with exercise workouts, became lazy and undisciplined and basically stopped almost everything. For no physical reason, I eased up on my abs workouts, which could have continued without any problem. I only did crunches four times in all of August. Pretty sad and really bad. I had been doing a minimum of eight times a month.

September has been better. Disgusted with my inaction, I started the crunches again and have actually set records. I worked on the abs eight times: Read the rest of this entry »

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After Two Hours Of Physical Therapy

Working on strengthening my right arm and right ankle, both of which were injured and still ache. This picture was taken after two hours of therapy—my third visit in the last week. Last night I did 650 ball crunches (150+150+150+200), which was the 4th time crunching in the last 8 days. I’m trying to make up for lost time. Only went to the gym once in the last 6 1/2 weeks—lots of discomfort there. Anyway, the abs didn’t disappear.

abs after physical therapy—9/15/09

abs after physical therapy—9/15/09

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