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Everyone Has a Six-Pack

The Fitness Trail
By: Jackie Wright

Alright, here we go! As promised we will be featuring three segments of the fundamental total body core training program. This week, tips and guidelines will be featured and the next two weeks, the detailed program will be highlighted. Keep in mind, this is a fundamental program, so the basics are what you need to commit to and master. So often the basics are skipped and when steps are eliminated, often the results are negatively impacted. Therefore, stick to the protocol and be patient. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Fundamental Total Body Core Training Program – Tips/Guidelines

-All comprehensive fitness programs require an inclusion of solid cardiovascular endurance exercise and this program will be no exception. A foundation must be set first with a gradual increase in the intensity. You cannot effectively increase your cardiovascular fitness level without banking lower intensity work first. Put deposits in the “bank” and gradually increase the intensity over four-six weeks depending upon your beginning fitness level. *Remember, cardiovascular endurance exercise is a fantastic calorie-burner and is essential for maintaining a healthy total body.

-Once the foundation is laid, then begin gradually adding in high intensity interval training within your cardiovascular training. For example, if you are cycling, perform five minutes of steady state training (i.e. oxygen supply meets oxygen demands), followed by three-five 15-second high intensity intervals, where you become breathless, each followed by 45-second active recovery intervals. Repeat the sequence for the suggested duration.

-The duration and volume of training will be included in the program itself; however, a good rule of thumb would be to choose two-three non-consecutive days/week for your high-intensity interval training interspersed with two-three steady state days. *Not every day can be a “hard” day!

-Muscular strength/endurance training are a huge aspect of any comprehensive fitness program. Two-three non-consecutive days/week for total body programs or more often if breaking the training blocks into linear/posterior and lateral days.

-Recovery days are essential and when discussing the core, this is no exception. You do have to rest and recover from exertion in order for the body to adequately repair/improve.

-This program will incorporate the entire core into every exercise we perform. When the entire core is truly engaged during exercise preparation, and throughout exercise execution, it is stunning how different the outcomes are for both the targeted area of the body and the core itself. Remember, you may be working the biceps and hip abductors simultaneously, but without proper core engagement, not only will you be less likely to stabilize so you can mobilize effectively, but you are more likely to injure both the lumbar spine and the targeted body parts.

-What you eat/drink will directly impact your performance and your recovery. The old saying, “you are what you eat”, is probably not far off base. There are some exceptions when performing long, endurance activities, when we may need a little boost of simple sugars to get that energy in immediately. However, in general, for those activities that are less than 90 minutes in duration, eating/drinking proper portions of nutrient dense foods/beverages, timed correctly prior to and following the exercise session, will work very well.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.


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