by Tony Gjokaj March 10, 2020 3 min read
Abdominals are one of the most sought after muscles. The first thing to get out of the way is that the abdominals will only be visible under a lower body fat percentage. Second is the following mindset: if you do strength lifts, you MAY NOT need to directly train your abs.
Before you feel the need to skip this section, read this: while abdominal muscular development can occur with Squatting and Deadlifting, this does not mean you’re training your core in various planes.
With this being said, there are a lot of things to talk about when training the abdominal area and we are strong advocates of doing so… not just for muscular development, but also for overall health!
This is an excerpt from our Muscle Compendium eBook.
The Abdominal area consists of the following four muscles: the Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominis, and the external and internal obliques. These four muscles assist in keeping our posture in check.
Now that we understand the functions a little more, let’s get into a few strategies in building these “cheese-graters”!
When it comes to effective ab exercises, I prefer to view them as “core” work: since the abs are a small muscle, we train abs for functionality. We optimize this by doing a leg raise, a crunch, and a twist exercise.
To conclude our abdominal training, let’s start by saying in regards to abdominal development, you might not necessarily need to directly train abs. This is because you may develop them from squatting and deadlifting heavy.
I prefer to utilize abdominal training to provide spinal mobility and to reduce any tightness or emphasis on my lower back. When training the abdominals, I would utilize high repetition bodyweight sets upwards in the 10-20 rep range. You should be able to get away with at least 16 sets per week with direct ab work if you’re passionate about working your abdominals.
Personally, I would do 4 sets of 10-20 reps on leg days. Which leads to the importance of training abdominals on your leg days. We emphasize this to allow adequate recovery for your next leg day. If you train abs the day before legs, for example, you might not be able to be as effective on a heavy squat or deadlift session.
Anything you would like to add or any other tips you would like to give? Throw them in the comments below!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj July 26, 2021 3 min read
What are the benefits of getting direct sun exposure?
Our human skin "runs" (for lack of better word) on a serotogenic system. This means that it is capable of producing serotonin. Sunlight exposure helps produce serotonin.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates our mood, digestion, bone density, and sleep. It is synthesized from tryptophan as a result of Vitamin D, which is synthesized from sun exposure.
So in this post, we are going to explore what this means to us and why sunlight exposure benefits us.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj July 19, 2021 3 min read
In our quest to find what is leading to the decline in testosterone in men, we look towards the lifestyle choices encountered in our society today.
While we are all about optimal performance, some of us will sacrifice sleep, proper eating habits, and exercise for career performance.
One of the most neglected factors in this pursuit is sleep... and sleep is one factor that can have a large impact on testosterone.
So in this post, we are going to go over how sleep impacts your testosterone levels.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj July 14, 2021 4 min read
When it comes to testosterone production, many men scour the internet in hopes of finding various ways to improve testosterone naturally.
The big secret about all of this is that it is well within our grasp for most of us.
Nutrition, for example, can play a huge part in testosterone production and is essential to optimize.
So in this post, we are going to talk about nutrition and how we can use it to optimize our testosterone levels.
Let's dive in!
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