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Old 11-01-2007, 10:42 AM   #1
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Exercise Question

Thanks to all the great recipes I have found on DC, my gut has grown much larger than I am willing to accept. I have started doing scrunches to work off the fat and tone up my stomach. I am an exercise idiot though so here is my question.

Should I take a break between days of doing scrunches? Can I do them 6 or 7 days a week or should I do something more like Mon, Wed, Fri?

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Old 11-01-2007, 10:46 AM   #2
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Exercise? What is that? hehehe


I would start out by alternating days and when you feel ready you can move on to everyday.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:00 AM   #3
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You know Jack La Lanne? He has been exercise guru since before I was born. He exercises to this day, everyday and he is in his 90's. Saw him recently on show and still moving. I truly feel everyone in this time has to exercise as much as he can. Never can overdo it. Just time won't allow for it. Every book I have read, the good ones, recommend something everyday. Even if it is only `10 minutes, something to make you move in way of exercise. Just don't stay on the couch too long. Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:06 AM   #4
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GB, check the "weigh in" thread from early-mid of '05 or maybe the accountability thread Kyles started around that time. I remember posting some easy (but very effective) techniques you don't need a gym for.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:25 AM   #5
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I'm no expert either, but it's my understanding that to build muscle bulk, you let your muscles "rest" a day between working them heavily. But to lose fat and create long, lean muscle, you can work them every day.

One note of caution, start out very conservatively on the crunches if you haven't exercised in a while, have a fairly big belly or have a sedentary job. The stomach muscles support the back so keeping your abs in top condition is essential for a strong and healthy back. But, if you don't build your abs reasonably slowly, you can easily pull or strain a muscle in your back and then exercise becomes impossible for a while.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:32 AM   #6
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I'm no expert either, but it's my understanding that to build muscle bulk, you let your muscles "rest" a day between working them heavily. But to lose fat and create long, lean muscle, you can work them every day.
Building bulky muscles essentially requires that you damage your muscle tissue thru weightlifting...that's why you have to let your muscles rest a day or so between workouts, so the muscle tissue can heal itself. (The pros who workout 5 or 6 times a week actually workout different muscle groups with each workout).

Anyway, do whatever your body can handle. If you do ab crunches on Monday and aren't feeling sore on Tuesday, you can continue to exercise.

FWIW, Ive found inclined leg lifts to be much better at getting and maintaining a six pack than crunches.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:38 AM   #7
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FWIW, Ive found inclined leg lifts to be much better at getting and maintaining a six pack than crunches.
How do you do those?
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:45 AM   #8
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GB... you can't remove fat from your body by doing spot exercising. In other words, if you have a weight around your mid section, you can do all the crunches in the world and it will not target the weight in that area. However, you are toning the muscles in that area and once the weight does start to errode off, you will get to see that muscle definition you have worked so hard for. Try to incorporate a general exercise routine that includes some cardio, be it walking or what not. I prefer to let my muscle groups rest a day before working them again. I find that I get better results and nice lean muscles which I think is much nicer looking then the bulked up look. I got lots more tips if you are interested, just shoot me a PM!
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:47 AM   #9
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How do you do those?
Incline the back of your bench and lay down on it. Then reach your arms up over your head and grab onto the bench frame. Keeping your legs together and your knees straight, lift you legs up high in the air. Repeat.

If you don't have a bench, you can lay down on the floor with your arms at your side and try it, too.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:48 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone and thanks sattie for letting me know that crunches won't do anything for the weight. OK I guess I am going to have to actually use the treadmill instead of hanging my clothes on it.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:51 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone and thanks sattie for letting me know that crunches won't do anything for the weight. OK I guess I am going to have to actually use the treadmill instead of hanging my clothes on it.
GB... it will in a general sense because you are working out. Even your crunches will have an overall effect because working your muscles which burns calories. The point I was trying to make is that doing the crunches to burn mid section weight will not give you the results that one would hope for. I think it is great that you are doing this, I want to see progress photos!!!!
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:53 AM   #12
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What sattie said. If you have a "trouble area" the only way to get rid of it is to use more calories up. Go for lots of walks with the stroller and do portion control. (Sucky but it works)

If you want to tone your abs, I suggest the leg thing too.

Lie flat on your back and place your hands palm down under your butt. Keeping your knees straight raise your legs perpendicular to the floor. Sloooowly lower your legs until you feel your abs activate, hold the position for several breaths and then slowly keep lowering your legs to the floor. Major ow, but great for your abs.

Another lovely one is the "boat pose" in yoga. Sit with bent knees and reach out with your hands so your arms are beside your bent knees. Start to lean back until you feel your abs activate. Hold that position. Concentrate on keeping your back straight. Then slowly, lift one foot off the floor, then the other. You will then be in a "V" sit with your hands still stretched out (for balance). Keeping your balance requires a fair degree of ab strength and concentration. If you are having a tough time, just lift one leg til you have developed a little better strength and balance.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:07 PM   #13
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Alix mentioned "portion control" which I really think is key to reaching your target weight and maintaining it. I hate to refer to it as diet. With portion control, you still get to enjoy all the things you love to eat, just eat less of it. One trick I use (specially if it is somthing really yummy) like pasta with alfredo sauce, is to only make enoug for one serving for yourself. That way when you have had your serving, there is no going back for seconds. I have found this to be very effective way of controlling the amount of food you intake.

Edited to say: I agree with the leg lifts... excellent core toning exercise!
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:10 PM   #14
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GB, The advice from Fisher's Mom, bowlingshirt and sattie it is right on.
You can do crunches to death, but without aerobic activity they will never show up due to the layer of adipose tissue covering the muscle.
A simple guideline is to do aerobic excercise for 20/30 min. daily, or alternate the days of aerobic with muscle building sessions.
To determine if you are making aerobic excercise, check your hear rate while in the threadmill per the following formula: Aerobic Heart Rate > (220-Your age) * 0.80
If your rate is well below this, you need to increase the pace to burn serious calories.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:12 PM   #15
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With portion control, you still get to enjoy all the things you love to eat, just eat less of it.
You really only need to do that with junk food...keep eating all the healthy food you want. If you try to cut back on everything, you will have hunger pains, and will more than likely start to snack on something not too good for you.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:13 PM   #16
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Sattie, you tried the "boat pose" I described? Its nearly as good as the leg lifts! It targets a different set of abs (higher than the leg lift ones) and is KILLER.

Let me know if you try these GB, I'd be interested in your assessment of them. These are an everyday kind of thing too, no need to take breaks from them. Oh, and an FYI, you will be cursing my name two days after you do these. Heeheehee.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:24 PM   #17
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Sattie, you tried the "boat pose" I described? Its nearly as good as the leg lifts! It targets a different set of abs (higher than the leg lift ones) and is KILLER.
Yes ma'am I have! Along with some others out there! LOL! What I like about the boat pose is the fact that it makes you use your stablizers, using more of he muscles in your abdomen. Plus you can do these anywhere!! Like while watching tv!
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:26 PM   #18
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OK, you are better than me if you can do ANYTHING while doing that pose!! LOL, its all I can do to maintain without crashing!
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:28 PM   #19
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Alix, that's one of the yoga poses I do everyday and you're right, it is killer. As many years as I've been doing it, if I miss a few days, I really feel it when I start again. I used to have trouble with my back years ago until I started doing yoga for that very reason and it made the back troubles disappear.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:32 PM   #20
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OK I have some things to work on I guess. You guys are awesome. thanks for all the help.
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