What Are Best Ab Exercises ?

What is the best exercise to get six pack abs?

Arguably the most common question in the fitness industry and one of the most irrelevant.

I’ve seen some amazing athletes come through gym, with abs looking as if they just step straight off Abercrombie & Fitch poster.

Because they have abs, the perception is they’re strong. This is not always the case…

Some abs are built for function, some for show.

To really tap into your potential for general fitness or any sport, we need a well balanced and stable core.

Stabilization is the key to success with all fitness.

If we’re lifting weights, throwing a ball, swing a bat, mixed martial arts, or running.  Our power, control, and success will be made by having established positioning.  Which originates from our core.

There are literally thousands of core (ab) exercises, with new ones originating each week.  Some useful, some flashy, some are not needed.

Like everyone, I have my favorite exercises. 

Weighted Sit Ups

Planks (and variations)

GHD Holds (Glute Ham Developers)

These are just three of my favorite, its not the only ones I put into my programming.  All simple and effective to building a stable, tight, sometimes flashy, core! 


 

Missing Lifts & Lessons Learned

Not any time soon will you find me as the poster child on how to handle a missed lift.

Like you, I have my bad training days.

I’ll miss a lift, throw something, say a few words I’d never say in front of my daughter, pout a little ….eventually process why I missed the lift, digest it only to try again.

After reviewing some of my failed lifts, it made me realize as a gym owner, as an athlete, and as a coach I need to share this with my members.

Some of them I look back on and find hilarious.

But it shows that even as a coach we go through the same struggles each day as our athletes.

All to often social media is filled with the highlight reels of accomplishment, but not the struggles and failures that got us there.

As if it diminishes the achievement. When honestly it just reflects humility and shows we’re all the same.

Missing a lift can cause a serious mental block for the next attempt. How we deal with that missed lift can impact future lifts.

Record your lifts, to have something to reflect back on. Share it with friends, coaches, or send it to me. So you can learn a lesson from that missed lift, to improve and learn how to deal with it in the future


 

Best Accessory/Assistance Exercsie : To Build Strength

 

Strength!

We’re talking pure, uninhabited strength! You want it, I want it, we all want it.

I’m commonly ask “what’s the best exercises to get stronger”.  Which is irrelevant question, what works for one does not work for all.

That said, I do have a my favorites that have helped me become stronger through the years.

I’m not talking about our traditional lifts, Bench Press, Back Squat, Deadlift.  Or even the advance lifts, Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

More so what exercise are the best accessory work, or some call auxiliary work, to help develop a sound, solid, STRONG base for strength.

The Single Arm Row.

One of the easiest, purist, bang for your buck exercises you can do in the gym.

Single Arm Rows (one arm rows) help us build stronger lats and rhomboids,  In turn allows us to push, pull, and squat more weight.

This is however an exercise EVERYONE seems to do different.  THAT DOES NOT MAKE THEM WRONG!

Different variations of the exercises and different placement allow us to work different muscle groups, allow stronger emphasis and focus on our weaknesses.

If its not something you currently add to your training, I would strongly suggest doing so.  


 

Workout Motivation

Training….

What motivates us to workout?

It’s time consuming, stressful, exhausting, and at times unpleasant.

Recently I had a discussion with friend about people who NEED motivation to start training. We didn’t see eye to eye, but that’s the beauty of discussion and seeing the other persons point of view.

Which aloud me to have some self reflection. Ultimately when we first decides to workout, what is the reason?

Hopefully it comes from a genuine place of self improvement. From general observation and personal experience, when we seek out motivation to convince us to start training, sticking with it can become problematic.

Take me for example, I did six years of competitive CrossFit. For the past 2 years I honestly did not want to do it anymore. I didn’t tell a soul, because to me it seem like I was admitting of giving up.

So I looked for outside motivation to keep me in it, music, inspirational quotes, motivating videos, new gyms, and training partners. I continued to do CrossFit because I was good at it, and thought I could take it places.

I no longer did it because of my own personal growth, ultimately abandoning it all together. That false sense of motivation will not last. Its a short term fix, plugging the hole of a already sinking boat.

To truly stay motivated we have to want to improve ourselves.  Watch the full video for more!


 

We Have Some Exciting News For You!

By now you’ve heard how 98% of those who participated in our last strength cycle set new personal records for their Bench Press, Back Squat, and Deadlift.

Almost immediately I was ask when the next strength cycle would start?

Today starts our next strength cycle, which will focus on Snatch and Clean & Jerk.

Dont shy away from these, just like the last program these may be newer movements to you, but our coaches are there to help you understand and develop these movements.

These lifts are pivotal in developing overall strength and creating explosive power. Building lean muscle ass and loosing weight in the process!

What can you expect during this strength cycle?

  • During this strength cycle you will have two programmed class days that will be focused on weightlifting. These classes will include primers/warmups, technique, and strength work.
  • Each class will be led by one of our coaches, all who have experience preforming and coaching these lifts.
  • In addition to the two programmed days, there will also be two additional days of strength training available. These days will be optional and can be completed outside regular classes. In total, everyone will have access to 4 days of strength training revolving around the Olympic Lifts.

How will the strength cycle be structed at the gym?

  • Monday – Snatches, Back Squats
  • Wednesday – Clean Jerks, Front Squats
  • Friday – Auxiliary Training
  • Saturday – Make up & Skill Work

We will also be bringing in a renowned Olympic Weightlifting coach to lead a seminar halfway through our cycle. He has helped to improve many lifters technique in the past and has coached a top 5 Nationally Ranked lifter as well as a National Record Holder.

At the end of the 10 weeks, we will be holding an inter-gym Olympic Weightlifting competition. At this competition, all participants will have the ability to attempt three lifts at both the snatch and clean and jerk with the goal of achieving the highest total possible!

They will always teach and correct all movement to ensure your safety. The Olympic lifts are fundamentally safer than the traditional lifts.

We are all looking forward to these next 10 weeks and seeing the improvements that are made throughout this cycle.

If you have any questions regarding the cycle please see Joe, Hussey, or any of our other Strength and Conditioning coaches.


 

Deadlift For Grip Strength : Which Grip Should You Use

I never trained to improve my overall grip strength through grip strength training exercises. I was lucky enough that the strength training I completed, indirectly and adequately strengthen my grip as well.

This is not true for all, some may need that supplemental grip strength training.

I’ve posted videos before about exercises I find beneficial to directly improve your grip strength. Most frequently when I’m approached about this topic, everyone refers to the deadlift to improve their grip strength.

You’re not wrong…

But how are you using the deadlift?

There is a vast difference between using the deadlift to improve overall strength gains, and using a deadlift to improve grip strength.

On top of that, what grip are you using?

If you’re using the deadlift to improve your overall strength gains, then by all means use any grip or straps you need to complete the lift safely.

After all we’re testing your deadlift in this scenario not your grip strength.

If you are using the deadlift to improve grip strength, I would highly suggest a double overhanded grip. And doing sets to failure or just a few rep shy of failure.

Getting that deep burn in the forearms, that you simply can not hold onto a bar any longer.

How I Almost Missed The Signs : My First Competition

I’ve always thought I was strong in a gym setting. Lifting with friends shooting for PRs.

I recently wanted to test myself, so I did my first weightlifting meet.

My goal was just to do well, considering I had no real expectations or understand how a meet was even ran.

I went 6/6

Snatching 122/268
Clean & Jerk 152/335.

I had the heaviest clean and jerk and heaviest snatch. Winning the overall as well.

My coach and I looked up the current national records for my division the snatch was 120.

It feels great to say I “unoffically” broke a national record by hitting that 122.

And a total that would place me 2nd in the nation!


 

It’s Test Week at Derby City!

I’m super excited about this week in the gym!

For for the past 10 weeks, we’ve been having a strength cycle. The rotation included a 3 day split of push, pull, and squat.

I’ve witness so much progression! For some it was the first time they’ve ever completed these lifts, shifting focus to technique. For others, continuing building off your previous best lifts.

This week is TEST WEEK!

All the hard work you’ve put in we will show this week as you try to set new personal records.

Now, some of you may have missed out on this strength cycle do not worry!

This would be a great opportunity for you to come in and establish your current best lifts, so moving into our next strength cycle we have numbers to go off of.

If you have any question please dont hesitate to let me know!

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in the gym this week!


 

The BEST Explosive Bodyweight Exercises

Building explosive power is imperative to improving your performance.

Myself, I prefer to do this through Olympic Weightlifting, the clean and jerk, and the snatch.

What happens when you don’t have a barbell to work in building that explosiveness. Or you can’t make it to the gym that day what can you do at home?

The best body weight exercise in my opinion is the burpee. Now, there are hundreds of burpee variations most of which allow you to work the movement at your pace.

With this come to many options and making the movement more slow cardio than explosive exercise. To fix this at my gym I recommend the no contact burpee.

This cuts out a lot of options to make the movement slow, and increases the priority of improving our explosive power with a body weight movement.


 

What’s The Best Lift to Get Stronger?

My best friend and business partner (Nick “Chewy” Albin) really inspired me with his recent blog post. It talks about the importance of “THE BEST.”

He’s very well known in the Jiu Jitsu world and has become a very popular mentor for many on his YouTube.

How he’s often ask what is the “BEST” move someone can use to improve their game.

To shorten the whole post, he goes on to say there is no “BEST MOVE.”

How relatable that is to someone getting stronger…..

“What is the best lift to get STRONGER?”

We’re not all built the same, we do not all have the same strengths and weaknesses. What works for one will not always work for all.

While there could be a universal blueprint considered to “starting strength,” for one to get stronger you have to look at the bigger picture.

All to often a athletes we focus on the micro picture, and not the macro picture.

While someone may tell you need to deadlift more to get stronger, while their not wrong, you could be someone who would benefit greatly from adding auxiliary exercises.

Or since they don’t know you, throwing a universal answer such as “deadlift more” could be completely false. You may have a 500+ deadlift, but can’t back squat your own body weight.

It’s hard to tell someone what is “the best” without evaluating them as an individual. Everyone is going to be as unique as a finger print.

My best advice for those just starting out to get stronger, is just start, there is no shortcuts.

After some time training, then it can be decided what your strengths are, YOUR BEST recommendation that helped you.