Was having a whale of a time exercising this morning. Fun, but at the same time, I was dripping sweat like no-one's business, and it was getting increasingly harder to finish the workout as I progressed. Funny how that works, huh? Fun - but tough as tough can get at the same time - contrary to popular modern opinion on workouts, the two do NOT have to be mutually exclusive - and those of you that train hard know exactly what I'm on about.
Anyway, it would have been easy to "go easy" on myself during the workout. I could lower myself that much less on a pushup, or I could use a bit of momentum to "cheat" on the rep, and get it done - and truth be told, I'd probably still have got a hell of a workout even by cheating a little.
But I didn't. I made sure I completed EACH rep in PICTURE PERFECT form, no matter how tough it was. No matter how hot I felt, no matter how my chest screamed and no matter how much I sweated. No, I completed each rep as it should be completed - in letter perfect form - and I can proudly say that I got a far better workout by doing that than if I had cheated my way through some of the tougher reps.
And therein lies a very important lesson that will not only make your workouts more productive, but will also build plenty of internal fortitude and mental strength. That being, to keep going no matter what. To keep going - and to keep going the RIGHT way - with no cheating allowed.
And it doesn't matter what your actual workout looks like. You can be doing 500 pushups or 50 - it all depends on how fit you are, and how hard you've been training; but no matter what it is, make sure you get it done. More importantly, make sure you get it done with proper form, concentration and focus. Stack on a few workouts like this one after the other, and you'll literally see (and feel) your body change before your eyes.
Yes, it wil be HARD. Yes, you'll feel like every ounce of strength and stamina is being drained from your body. Yes, you may feel like quitting halfway through a real tough set. But guess what - THIS type of training is what produces real gains.
So, if your doing pull-ups - you need to make your chin is over the bar on EVERY SINGLE rep, no matter how hard it might feel at the time - or the rep doesn't count. If your climbing a long and steep hill daily in hot, humid and sapping conditions like I did in China, you need to remind yourself that sapping weather doesn't mean you stop training, and doesn't allow you to train half-heartedly.
I could give you many more examples, but I think you get my drift.
Vim, vigor and gusto, my friend - and perfect form on EVERY rep.
Simple enough formula, but you'd be amazed the results this simple formula produces!
PS: I talk more about my daily hill climb in China, mental strength, and other important things in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab a copy NOW!
I finished off my workout this morning with a series of dynamic stretches. Nothing at all complicated, just simple, basic stuff that stretch and strengthen the ENTIRE body - and make one feel amazingly alive at the end of it all. Now, I had just finished a HARD workout - but after I finished things off with stretching, I was literally buzzing with energy - good, positive ENERGY - all as a result of my stretches and how good they made me feel.
Folks often talk about runner's high, feeling the "pump" in the arms and so forth - but how many times have you heard someone talk about feeling "on cloud nine" after a series of fantastic stretches? I bet not many - and thats the reason I'm mentioning it in today's email.
One of the stretches I did was to grab my ankles. That's right, just grab my ankles. All you have to do on this one is to lie on your stomach, and bend backwards in that position to grab your ankles with your hands - and HOLD for time (in my case, a minute and 30 seconds). Simple as this one sounds, most folks wouldn't be able to hold this one for more than 20-30 seconds - let alone a minute or more.
Another one I did was the gymnastic bridge - something I've written about before, and something I highly recommend. Talk about turbo charging the entire body through this one stretch - WOW!
And while these two stretches I've just mentioned have you buzzing for the rest of the day, a great add on is that they are also an excellent core/abdominal workout. In fact, I wouldn't be lying if I told you you could get a good core workout from these two exercises alone.
Also note that I did these stretches AFTER my workout - not before. I've written about this before - it's always better to stretch at the end of your workout as opposed to before (which is what the "experts" all tell us). More on that later, and if you missed the post where I talked about it, simply use the search feature on the blog and you'll find it.
Well, my friend, that's it for today - gotta go run some errands now. Be well!
PS: I talk about both the stretches I mentioned, and many, many more stretches in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab your copy NOW, and start turbocharging your internal circuitry TODAY!
Cardiovascular training a.k.a "Cardio". Hey, we've all heard the word. It doesnt matter if we're overweight sitting in the doctor's office, lifting enormously heavy weights while the tubby guy next to you "does time" on the treadmill, or even while getting unwanted advice while your pumping out a good set of pushups.
The term has become so common these days that it's nigh impossible to talk about a fitness program without mentioning cardio specifically. Unless of course your talking about Fast and Furious Fitness - where the emphasis is on staying strong, fit and healthy (and many other things) - but not necessarily "cardio" in itself.
Now, I realize that some people reading this will automatically take this to mean that I'm not much of a one for cardiovascular workouts, not a huge believer in maintaining a low resting pulse rate, etc etc - but that couldn't be further from the truth. I think those are excellent goals, and that "cardio" should be a part of every workout - but where I diverge from most modern day "gurus" is that I don't believe a workout should be either this or that. Most people today are trained to think of either "strength" workouts or "cardio" workouts - and that is completely alien to my line of thought.
So, am I not concentrating as much on "cardio" as I should be? Am I doing the wrong thing by not endorsing mindless hour long (or more) slow jogging routines that will supposedly give you excellent cardio?
I think not, my friend - but before you judge, here's a simple test that will have you thinking. And that simple test is this - drop down, and give me 50 slow,good pushups in GOOD form. That's it - 50 pushups - and for those of you that haven't been doing this a while - make that 25. Just make sure that every rep is a good rep, and thats all I demand.
After your done with the 50 (or 25 - and believe me, even 25 pushups done in good form is more than what the average gym goer is able to handle), take note of your breathing? I'll bet your more than a bit out of breath - possibly completely winded if your out of shape at this time. And it's quite likely that your breathing won't return to normal for at least a couple of more minutes - or maybe even more.
And THAT, my friend, is "cardio" right there for you. Pushups are NOT purely a "cardio" workout - but they provide cardio benefits notwithstanding. And thats pretty much the case with most exercises I advocate in the book - they are NOT hour long "cardio" routines. But boy oh boy, they sure do get you breathing harder than you have in a while - and the pushup example was but one of the things I talk about.
I'm not sure where folks came up with the idea of "more is better" when it comes to cardio. You'll have people running on the treadmill for hours, claiming they did "cardio" and yet they have a tough time dropping weight and gaining muscle. Curiously enough, these same people are somehow able to watch TV, chat with the person on the machine next to them, sip sports drinks, and do all this while doing their "cardio" - and then they wonder why they aren't getting results.
Compare that to the minute or so 25 pushup routine I asked you to do. After doing 25 good pushups, even an advanced trainee will be somewhat out of breath - and a beginner will likely be wiped out. You won't HAVE the breath left to chit-chat; and THAT is what real cardio training is all about. And remember, the exercise isn't even a pure cardio exercise like jogging on the treadmill is.
Now, I know that some people are so addicted to long, drawn out cardio sessions that it would be pointless for me to tell them otherwise. And that's fine by me - to each his own. Just know that the hours your spending pounding the pavement could be better spent elsewhere - with better results - and if you choose to learn how, well, I'm here for ya.
Last, but not least - workouts should ALWAYS be well rounded - i.e. you should be getting stronger, and FITTER through doing an exercise. Simply focusing on one of those two is not ideal - focus on the overall package, not the bits and pieces that make it up.
And that, my friend, is what I think about cardio. Have a fantastic weekend ahead, and if your training this weekend - get after it with gusto!
PS: Fast and Furious Fitness will ensure you get the complete package when it comes to workouts - grab your copy NOW.
I wrote a a bit about grip training and it's importance the other day. That post recieved quite a number of hits, so today, I thought I'd write a bit more about it - only, we won't be talking "directly" about grip training, rather, we'll be talking about how to get better at doing pull-ups. How does this relate to grip training? Well, you'll see - and I'm not referring to the usual "get a strong grip and you'll automatically get better at pull-ups" (though that is a very valid point as well).
But no. Today, we'll talk about an often ignored "link" while doing pull-ups - a hidden "key", if you would, that if applied correctly, will literally help you rocket past personal bests in pull-ups and other pulling movements in no time at all.
And this link that I'm referring to is nothing other than the "strength connection" between your hands, and your brain. This may sound strange to you at first, but hear me out first - the next time you do pull-ups, or lift a heavy weight, or do any pulling movement - focus on your HANDS, and your GRIP - and you'll find the exercise automatically becomes a bit, if not quite a bit, easier. REALLY focus on the bar your holding, or the feel of the weight in your hands - and see what a difference that makes.
I'll bet it's massive - and while I'm not sure how to explain it to you in scientific terms, I know that this is a FACT. Your fingers and hands are one of the areas of your body most jampacked with nerve endings and neurons "talking" to the brain, and when you focus on your hands - the brain automatically forces your muscles (and your body) to focus that much more on the lifting exercise - and boom - it becomes that much "easier".
And for those of you that believe in traditional Chinese massage and acupressure points - you'll know what I'm saying when I'm talking about tons of nerve endings in the hands reporting back to the brain. Sure, they exist in the feet as well - but we don't use our feet to lift too many objects. . .
Ok, so are you still with me? Still trying to figure out what all this hocus pocus about the hand-brain connection and Chinese acupressure has got to do with anything? Well, my friend, it does - and that brings me to today's tip - when doing pull-ups, or ANY pulling exercise - REALLY, REALLY focus on the grip. And the way to do that is to squeeze the living heck out of the bar your using - literally.
I do my pull-ups on a thick iron bar out in the park, so it's physically impossible for me to "squeeze" this sucker - yet, I try my best every time I do any pulling exercise on it. I really SQUEEZE the bar - until my fingers start screaming, and I STAY that way during the entire set. And guess what - this ONE simple detail has allowed me to make more progress in my pull-ups than anything else has.
This is one of those things that is easy to ignore - it's easy to simply hold on to the bar without really squeezing it - so make sure you keep this in mind while doing your pulling exercises. And if at all possible, do them on the thickest bars you can find - in addition to building fingers of rebar and a Tarzan like grip, you'll also build solid mental strength. Not easy to hang on to a thick bar and squeeze it for all your worth at the end of a tough workout - believe me on that one!
So thats today's tip - SQUEEZE the bar, and watch yourself progress faster that you ever have on your pulling movements!
PS: I cover this, and many other valuable tips that you do NOT want to miss in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab a copy NOW.
Grip training is (or should be) an integral part of any workout. A strong grip is an absolute pre-requisite for any genuine athlete, strongman, or fitness professional - not only that, but your grip strength, or lack of it, can actually limit your gains in other exercises that require a solid grip.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of proper, regular grip training, and when I say this, I'm not referring to athletes, boxers, fitness pros etc alone - I'm also talking about how important grip training is for the average Joe next door. Yes, my friend, that includes YOU too - a strong grip will help you immeasurably in a variety of day to day activities as well. A strong grip will also ensure you stay clear of the much dreaded Carpel Tunnel syndrome, which, given the pre-ponderance of computers everywhere, is a huge problem these days.
On a side note, I've read that some of the old time strongmen used to unscrew the wheel nuts on their cars by HAND - think about the finger/grip strength these guys must have had!
And today, I'd like to talk about a very simple exercise that will build the ENTIRE grip - forearms, wrists, tendons, fingers, everything - and it requires NO equipment at all.
That's right, NO equipment. No "wrist rollers", no dumbells for wrist curls (not a particularly good exercise anyway), and for those of you that are wondering, not even a chinning bar or somplace to hang from. Now, that last one is actually a GREAT grip builder, but I said something which requires no equipment, and thats what we'll talk about in today's email.
It's an exercise that the old timers used to perform with great regularity. It's an exercise done by most serious martial artists, wrestlers and boxers the world over. And it's something YOU need to do as well.
What is it, you might ask?
Well, the answer is: finger tip pushups - as in, pushups done on your digits. Sounds simple enough, and it is - but believe me, finger tip pushups WORK.
This exercise is an incredibly good grip builder - and it works EVERYTHING from the elbow to the tips of your fingers. It's important to remember that grip strength is not just depending upon strong muscles in the forearm - you need strong fingers, ligaments and tendons as well. And there are few other exercises that do a good job of training all this - with no equipment - than the finger tip pushup.
As I said, this exercise has been used for ages by martial artists, wrestlers and other sports people - but (as with many other GREAT exercises), it seems to have fallen by the wayside these days. Let's face it, you'll hear folks talking about closing grippers, doing the "farmer's walk", or hanging from chinning bar - and while all these are fantastic exercises, we rarely find folks talking about doing fingertip pushups in their routine.
And for those who claim that fingertip pushups aren't a great way to build finger strength - well - work up to 4 sets of 25 fingertip pushups in good form, and then tell me how you feel. Most average people (even those who've been doing pushups) would find it tough to do ONE set of 15 fingertip pushups, let alone 4 sets of 25.
I myself use this exercise regularly in my training routine, and while it's NOT the only grip exercise I do, I make sure I do it on a regular basis. And the best thing is, you require nothing but your own bodyweight to get it done - so there's no more excuses for not training your grip!
Make sure to incorporate this humble and often forgotten exercise into your daily exercise routine - and let me know when you work up to 4 sets of 25 done in good form!
PS: Pushups are a fantastic exercise, and I cover them in excruciating detail in Fast and Furious Fitness; be sure and grab your copy now!
Had some real trouble peeling the shirt off my back this morning. I tugged and tugged - but the darn thing just wouldn't come off my upper back. I finally managed to "reach around" and get it upto my shoulders - whence the tug of war began all over again.
I pullled, grunted, groaned - did everything possible to get the darn thing off my shoulders and into the laundry - at one point it seemed I'd have no option but to literally cut the damn thing off my body.
And then, finally, I managed to get it off - whoa!
Now, the reason behind me telling you this is not to detail my after workout struggles with apparel - but it fits in rather nicely with what I'm going to tell you today.
Today was one of those days where I suddenly got a little constrained for time as far as my workout schedule goes. Arrived at the park with a plan in mind - that being doing a long pull up and pushup session there - but wouldn't you know it, the best laid plans go awry at the last moment. Don't you hate that - I know I do, especially since I'm a creature of routine when it comes to exercise.
But, there wasn't much I could do - except to train in the very limited time I had, which was a sum total of 10 minutes.
So what I did was I took one movement out of each "group" of exercises I was going to do, and focused on that. I did this for THREE exercises - and did not rest between movements. And at the end of that 10 minutes (or maybe 12), I was breathing pretty hard and sweating all over. Not quite as much as during my regular routine, but nothing to sneeze at either. Called it a day at that point - will make it a point to make up for the lost time tomorrow.
And you'd think that this type of training wouldn't be too hard - after all, all I did was THREE exercises - right?
WRONG - and my struggle with the shirt bears testament to this.
This type of "abbreviated" training can work great sometimes, especially when you're a bit stressed for time. It can also work great if you're exhausted from an extra hard workout the day before, or simply for a change. Key things here are to CONCENTRATE - concentrate HARD on form as well as the movement, and to move FAST - faster than you would during your regular workouts. And you'll quickly see that you can get a fantastic workout in even if you have a sum total of just 10 minutes to spare.
So, give this type of training a try sometimes - it really works!
PS: I include a killer routine that will have you puffing within 10 minutes flat in Fast and Furious Fitness - check it out HERE!
I've often spoken about the amazing benefit that one can get by doing handstand pushups (and handstands) on a regular basis. Talk about some serious, serious strength gains - especially in the upper arms, shoulders, back and chest - and talk about some SERIOUS cardio benefits when you combine this exercise with some others. The handstand pushup lends itself toa fearsome workout, even if I'm saying that myself after completing 3 sets of 10 slow, shoulder popping handstand pushups. . .
But, the very nature of this exercise seems to scare most people off. First, holding your body in an upside down position is in itself not "easy" for most people to think about doing (as opposed to doing - note the difference) - and those trainees that are slightly (or more so) on the heavier side will automatically shy away from them thinking that they are "too big" to do the exercise without injuring themselves.
Bad, bad mistake - remember that when performed with good form, and adequate strength, just about ANYONE can do handstand pushups safely. Executing the movement correctly might be harder to do if your on the heavier side, but you CAN do it - provided you use good form.
And don't just take my word for it - look at some of the "heavier" folks that have done it in the past. Take the English wrestler Bert Assirati - he weighed no less than 240 lbs, and he'd perform movements like the iron cross - and a ONE ARM handstand for reps without giving it a second thought. John Davis (I'm sure you all know who he is!) could do sets of 10 handstand pushups at a bodyweight of 200 lbs - and that ain't no joke either.
And the list likely doesn't stop there either.
Now, I know that these men perfected their skill through hours of practice, which the average trainee isn't willing to put in. I also know that these were some EXCEPTIONALLY strong men - but nowhere does it say that YOU cannot become exceptionally strong through regular training. And while these men may have been on the heavier side, note that it doesn't mean they were FAT - they were big and strong, but not necessarily FAT - there's a difference, and it's an important one.
And I know that some of you are going to Google the guys I just talked about, and come back with "well, he doesn't have a toned midsection", or "where is the 8 pack", or similar comments. And my response will always be the same "Guys, REAL strength has got absolutely nothing to do with a six pack". Why? Well, I've been over that a bunch of times (see the blog for more), but take your average guy with a six pack, and see how well he does on handstands as compared to a wrestler or real strength enthusiast (NOT bodybuilder).
Last, but not least, this isn't an excuse to get fat or heavy - all I'm saying is that being big and strong (a.k.a "heavy") does NOT mean you cannot reap the benefits of this amazing exercise. It takes practice - lots of it - will power to stick at it - but it CAN be done - and it can be done SAFELY at that.
And that's that for today - over and out!
PS: Fast and Furious Fitness shows you handstand variations that will build shoulders like boulders: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
This morning, I did a workout that hammered the entire body, but focused a lot more on the core than I generally do during my regular workouts. Note that this does NOT mean I don't work the core every time I work out - what I'm trying to say is that I concentrated especially on the core today. I do this from time to time, and am absolutely delighted with the progress I'm making.
Remember that the core is one of the most important parts of the body you can train. Train nothing else but the core, and you'll have good all round development - but concentrate mostly on the "beach muscles" as most of the gymgoers do, and you'll end up as a disconnected bunch of bulky muscles which lack real strength and power.
I could give you a host of reasons behind why core training is so important - and indeed, that would a great topic to cover in a future email, but for now, bear in mind that the core is responsible for connecting your upper body to your lower body - and for facilitating transfer of power as well. If you've got a weak core, there's simply no way you can perform to your full potential on any decent exercise.
Anyway, as I said, today was a "core training" day for me and it went well. One of the exercises I did in my routine was straight leg hanging leg raises for reps - while holding for time - this ONE exercise alone is enough to bring the average gym goer to his knees within a matter of minutes. I did some other exercises as well - exercises that are ignored for the most part - and then finished things off with gymnastic bridging - another superb exercise that I cannot endorse enough.
On that note, when most people talk about bridging - they are referring to the neck bridge, or the "wrestler's bridge". And while these are great as well, the gymnastic bridge is a fantastic variation that you can use from time to time - or use exclusively as a "finisher" if you wish. For those of you that are interested in learning the gymnastic bridge, be sure and grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness where you'll learn how to do it the right way. Do NOT attempt these unless you have the form down pat - this goes double for all exercises, but especially tough core exercises.
And make sure you make core training a regular part of your routine - not just something to do "at the end of your workout", or "something else to do after the cardio". That is NOT how to approach core training - you need to approach core training with utmost seriousness, and devote certain days almost exclusively to core training. Do so religiously, and you'll make great progress in all your other exercises as well.
And that's the tip for the day - back again tomorrow!
PS: There are many other great core movements that you can do that will give you a fantastic workout - for more on this, see Fast and Furious Fitness.
One of the more common mistakes many new trainees make is to do too many exercises in a given workout. This is sometimes due to misinformation from the muscle mags or from junk posted on the Internet - you know, the type of routines that purpotedly take 3-4 hours daily to complete, include just about every exercise under the sun and then some (except the good ones) and put plenty of emphasis on "pumping and toning".
And sometimes, it's not even that - you'll find a beginner raring to go with GOOD exercises. He'll read about all the different types of good exercises he can do, and he'll start working them - but trouble is, a lot of times, he ends up trying to get good at ALL of them - at the same time. And this usually leads to frustration as he's attempting something that isn't easily done (unless you spend your entire day training, and even then it's tough to improve on tons of exercises at the same time). This leads to frustration, the trainee stops getting the results he'd like from his routine, gets disillusioned with it, and may end up dropping it altogether. Not good.
It's more common than you'd think, and yet, it's easily avoided by keeping this one maxim in your mind "One thing at a time, partner" (pardner, if you so choose).
Remember that it's ALWAYS better to pick a HANDFUL of exercises, and literally grind your body into the dust trying to get better at them, than picking 50 exercises and moving from one to the other without really improving on any of them. If your doing things right, and giving it your all, then it should be impossible for you to focus fully on - and make good progress in - more than a handful of exercises.
For instance, I focused on JUST pushups and pullups for my upper body routine this morning. That's it - no dips, no supplementary exercises I often do - just pushups and pullups. And my shoulders, chest and forearms feel like they're about to explode - at one point, I was doing good just to make it past a set of pushups and move on to the pull ups.
And I'm not saying not to try new things - not at all. Once you get good at a certain exercise, by all means try another one and get good at that as well - that's what I do myself. But the thing to avoid is "flitting from exercise to exercise without getting good at any of them" - do so, and you'll make great gains.
And just so you know, this is just as applicable to advanced trainees as it is to those that are just starting out. It doesn't matter if you can bang out 500 pushups per workout, or if you max out at 50 - the advice is just as applicable. Focus on ONE thing at a time for a given workout, and literally work that exercise (and your body) into the ground.
Incorporate this bit of advice into your training, and watch your results go through the roof in very little time.
PS: For more shoulder popping workouts, Fast and Furious Fitness is what you need to be focusing on.
Most of the modern day theories about training the abdomen aim at developing the trainee's "six pack", to get the desired "look". Whenever someone talks about a healthy midsection, the first thought that springs to mind is "does have a six pack"? Apparently these six muscles at the front of the stomach are the ones that determine if your in good shape or not. In fact, I've seen razor thin folks with six packs that were unable to do a single pull-up - and they were being referred to as "fit". Uh, not in my book though. . .
People have literally forgotten that "abdominal training" is NOT "six pack training". Further, REAL abdominal training is actually all about CORE training - a concept that is an alien to most people as pull-ups done to the chest are for those tugging away at the lat pulldown machines.
And so, we have a host of modern day exercises that claim to get the job done. When one talks about ab training, the first exercise that springs to mind for most people is the "crunch" - an exercise that supposedly "isolates" the abdominal muscles, and allows you to develop them to the fullest. Or you have folks talking about gadgets such as the "tummy trimmer" - this particular contraption was one I saw advertised on late night TV once - a semi-circular sort of instrument in which your lower back "rests" and you rock back and forth - supposedly developing the abdominals. The advertisement claims to have your "abs showing within 10 days without any other exercise".
Uh-huh. . .
And note that while there's nothing inherently wrong with wanting the "six pack" look; most people mess up in that they sacrifice real core strength in favor of crash diets and thousands of crunches. It's OK to get a six pack as a RESULT of your training - but training FOR a six pack is usually a big mistake.
And this brings to me to another topic - forgotten ab exercises. Despite what the "experts" nowadays say, crunches are probably the worst way to train your midsection. They do NOT engage the core to any degree - instead they attempt to isolate certain muscles which defeats the purpose of training the abs in the first place. The old timers did plenty of situps - but those have somehow fallen by the wayside in favor of the "crunch", which is much easier to do - and given how modern day training theories work, that doesn't surprise me one bit.
And while situps are great, and will give you a good core workout, there are many, many other "forgotten" core exercises that will get the job done FAR more efficiently - and will bring even the strongest man to his knees ultimately. Here is a sample "core" routine consisting of some of the core exercises the old timers did: -
- Warm up
- Bear crawl for 30 seconds to a minute
- 50 situps
- Bear crawl for 30 seconds to a minute
- Hanging Leg Raises (shoot for 10 reps, and try and hold for at least 10 seconds on each rep)
- Crab walk for 30 seconds to a minute
- Table pushups
- Hanging "L" holds (10 reps, hold for at least 10 seconds on each rep)
- 50 situps
There, that's a "simple" 15 minute or so routine that should get your core quaking like an earthquake's hit it (along with your grip and shoulders as well). No crunches, and believe me, you won't NEED them once you are through with this.
And if these exercises sound like completely alien to you - well, that's because they've been ignored in favor of easier exercises that don't give you half the results these will. Do them in proper form - the way I teach you in Fast and Furious Fitness - and you'll reap dividends you won't believe.
And one last thing - diet is of paramount importance when it comes to ab training. Actually, any training for that matter - but especially when it comes to abs. You can exercise all day long, but you'll never completely burn the fat off (and keep it off) unless you combine a good exercise routine with a decent diet, such as what I advocate in the Simple and Effective Diet.
So, train the way the old timers did - and follow a good healthy diet along with it - and that's really all you need!
Ok, that endeth today's tip. . .