unconventional is my conventional...fit tips.

Get off the elliptical trainer.

The elliptical is mindless and by far the least effective machine for fat loss, It uses momentum, not muscle force. Most people don't use enough resistance. This machine may increase your heart rate and sweat level, but to burn fat using one, you'll need to exercise for 45 to 60 minutes and vary your levels of intensity and resistance. The elliptical machine is best for warming up before weight lifting or rehabilitating injured body parts. If you can watch television or read while doing cardio, you're not working hard enough, and therefore not burning fat.

Don't sweat it.

Sweat is your body's way of regulating your rising temperature, not a clear sign of increased calorie burn or an intense workout. In the sauna, you'll sweat buckets, but you aren't burning fat. The best indicator of calorie burn is either heart rate or Rate of Perceived Exertion. RPE is a self-reported scale that determines intensity; it ranges from 1 (complete rest) to 10 (maximum effort). High intensity exercise—such as my H.I.G.T interval training—increases your heart rate, which equals more fat burn. So, don't aim solely for a sweaty workout. Go for an intense one.


The Get-Up is one of the best kept secrets in the fitness industry, It's one of the most functional exercises [meaning it trains your body for real-life situations], yet the majority of gym-goers have never heard of it. You move from lying down, up to a standing position, and back down, all while holding a weight above your head. Start with 10- to 20-pound weights. The Get-Up integrates all joints and muscles in one sequence, It increases your whole body's strength, stability, balance and flexibility.

Let’s clear up the creatine myth

Let’s clear up the creatine myth.

One of the most popular and effective muscle building supplements is Creatine, however there is a lot of confusion and misinformation spread about Creatine. The purpose of this article is to explain to you how Creatine can help you build muscles.
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance. It is produced in small amounts by the liver. Creatine travels through the bloodstream to muscle cells. Once there, it is transformed into Creatine phosphate that provides short energy bursts. These are extremely useful for muscle building.
There is not a direct link between Creatine and muscle building. By increasing your intake of Creatine, you will find that more Creatine phosphate is converted to energy in your muscles. The increased production of energy means that you can work out for longer, lift heavier weights and do more repetitions of each exercise. It is this increase in output from your exercise routine that will allow you to gain strength and build more muscle.
Creatine supplement can be great for your muscle building endeavours. However, there is some concern of possible negative side effects from excess consumption. There have been some reported cases of water retention and mild nausea, but no documented scientific studies. There are no studies that have linked taking a Creatine supplement with any serious medical illnesses. One major study done by Jaques R. Poortmans and Marc Francaux, back in the late nineties entitled “Long-Term Oral Creatine Supplementation Does Not Impair Renal Function In Healthy Athletes” compared kidney health and Creatine use in healthy athletes for a period of 10 months to 5 years. There findings showed no adverse health conditions in those that had taken a Creatine supplement regularly.
I have been using creatine in a cycle ” on - off ” fashion safely and effectively for about ten years now and strongly believe Creatine is an extremely effective and useful supplement that is highly recommended for anyone wanting to boost their muscle building endeavours.

Hand Speed

Hand speed is something that every fighter or boxer needs to have in order to be successful. After all, a powerful punch isn't much good if it's so slow that the opponent can easily see and deflect or dodge it. Hand speed is something which takes plenty of time and effort to obtain and increase. However, it is well worth it in the end when you have a blazing fast jab! Here is how to get hand speed.

Step 1-Hit a speed bag daily. The speed bag is probably the best known tool for getting and increasing hand speed. It forces the striker to be quick as well as hone his hand-eye coordination. One must also learn how to be controlled in his punching when hitting the speed bag.

Step 2-Look into the mirror and shadow box. This is a way to give you hand speed and teach you the proper way to throw a jab. When performing this exercise, simply pretend that your face is your opponent. Practice snapping the jab, first with one hand and then the other. Remember that you shouldn't throw the punch with too much force. Your punches should “pop” without you straining your arm to being completely stretched out. See how many punches you can throw in one minute and then try to increase that number daily.

Step 3-Train with a heavy bag. Most people utilize these bags to gain power to their punch but they can also be used for gaining speed. To do this, use some tape to make small “X” marks on one side of the bag. Stand far enough away so you can jab the bag and try to hit the "X" marks with a quick, popping jab. Remember that you shouldn't be trying to hit the bag with all of your power as that is not the point of the exercise. Throw different punch combinations by hitting the "X" marks in different sequences. This will quicken your hand speed and thus quicken your punch combinations.

Step 4-Have a partner or trainer wear boxing mitts and perform striking drills by hitting the mitts. This, like the power bag, will help to improve the speed of your punching combinations. Your partner or trainer should position the mitts differently throughout the drill. He should also try to pull the mitts back occasionally as a way to “dodge” the incoming punch. You will notice that your hand speed will increase after awhile and that you will be able to catch up to the mitt before it can be pulled away.

Step 5-Shadow box with hand weights. Ever wonder why a batter practices with weights on his bat when he's in the on deck circle? It's because the bat he will be using at the plate will be lighter than the one he was just swinging with, thus giving his swing at the plate more force. This is the same thing with shadow boxing while using hand weights. Begin small, perhaps with 3-lb. weights, and perform a 3-minute round of shadow boxing. Set the weights down and perform a minute or two of the same routine. You'll notice that your hand speed will have increased. Eventually, move up in weight. Be careful, though, to not use too much weight as you can hurt your shoulders, arms or wrists. Ten pounds should be the absolute limit when performing this exercise.

You say goal, I say lifestyle.

At AbFitt, http://AbFitt.blogspot.com the routine goes something like this. "Uh yea, my goal is to put on some muscle & lean up" or " my long term goal is to get ripped, but my short term goal is to build my abs" and on and on. Nothing wrong with that right? Hey if setting goals is your way to achieve the body you are after then by all means…

I simply reply to all these questions with a very simple and short answer. Make fitness and all the things that go along with it "your lifestyle" not a goal you write down.

I don't set goals, I don’t diet, I don't write down my exercises, I don’t keep a journal, I don’t socialize in the gym, I don't count calories. I have never been over weight, I have never missed gym time regardless of what life has thrown at me ( US Army, Pro boxing, School, working in Africa, family Etc..) I simply live a fitness lifestyle…like paying a bill I just do it. I love it, I live for the hard work & in return I am rewarded with results, rewarded with 9% body fat, lean muscle, endurance that is ungodly & the ability to step in the ring with any fighter and perform on a professional level. (BoxRec)

I am certainly not special and at times it’s not always easy, but it is a lifestyle I choose to live and love. Try focusing less and goals and focus more on loving all the benefits of living this lifestyle & before you know it you'll have the body you have always dreamed of. I keep myself going believing no one trains harder & no one goes as heavy & intensely, now reality is that probably isn’t true, but my point is I believe it….can you do the same…………Yes you can, now go get it!!

Richard- Abfitt

Lean for life....

superior fitness levels, and lightening-fast speed, boxing success requires tremendous power output. Get some explosiveness out of your boxing by following some the routines here at AbFitt. Combine weight training with boxing for Superior fitness & life long health .

Ab training

How to get abs? This question you the readers of AbFitt continue to ask most often. Ab training has been on your mind lately. So let me see if I can help.

In order to get abs, and get great abdominals you need to first lower your body fat. That way, you'll reduce the belly fat covering your ab muscles, because most likely you already have a six-pack and it’s just hiding underneath your belly fat!

Abdominal exercises do not burn fat. Which means you have to lose your stomach fat in order to begin to see the definition and cuts your looking for. Remember abs also play a huge part in every exercise you do, so you have to work them the same as any other body part. Sit ups are not going to get it done! So start by...

Eating clean and lean!
Strength training!

You need to do cardio on a consistent basis. Not all forms of cardio workouts are created equal, and if you do cardio the wrong way. Or, for too long. it may hinder your results, So be careful! I prefer short bursts oppose to long steady state cardio. Science tells us this is the way to unlock the door to burning fat. Short intense bursts of cardio.IE: sprints, skipping rope, heavy bag work...circuit weight training.

I tell anyone & everyone that will listen to me rant on about it that the best way to burn stomach fat quick with is by doing interval training. My H.I.G.T is about as automatic as it gets, however its not without paying a big price in commitment and work, hard work!Its gonna cost you & your gonna pay...with the fat around your mid section.

Another key is targeting your abdominal muscles with a variety of ab exercises. So, once you reduce the fat covering your abdominals, you’ll have a defined and toned midsection!

With that being said though, you can’t just do your ab exercises in any old way. One of the biggest reasons why people can’t get better results on their abs is because their ab exercise techniques are wrong. A direct result of getting bad ab workout tips from the wrong people!

You can have all the best abs exercises in the world, spend thousands on fancy workout equipment, or hire expensive personal trainers--even hiring “celebrity” fitness trainers. You can also workout until you’re totally spent and blue in the face...

So I will make it simple for you. Again, Crunches & sit ups don't build your abs. Weighted exercises build abs that stand out, that pop! So remember treat your abs like any other muscle group.Hit em hard with weighted exercises, eat good foods & get some intense cardio training in. Your on your way.

Speed will improve as muscles become used to pushing heavier weights

In addition to superior fitness levels, and lightening-fast speed, boxing success requires tremendous power output. Power - the force or energy used to do work - in and of itself, will lend a degree of robustness to any of the main boxing punches and, in turn, increase the chances of landing the fight game's holy grail: the knockout punch.

The generating of maximal power through any punch, will certainly tell ones opponent they mean business, and this will have a profound psychological effect in terms of fazing "the enemy". Indeed, developing power will also help to enhance speed and anaerobic fitness.

Speed will improve as muscles become used to pushing out heavier weights (the cornerstone of any power routine), which translates to a faster punch when the comparatively infinitesimally light, 10-14 ounce gloves are laced on.

Anaerobic fitness, the fitness system which uses carbohydrates to generate short-term, high intensity work, will improve as muscles become adept at sustaining an all-out effort, due to greater lactic-acid-handling abilities (lactic-acid is a by-product of anaerobic metabolism and will prematurely curtail a sustained effort if it cannot be processed efficiently).

If the muscles, which are, after all, conduits for all movement in the boxing ring, cannot function optimally, meaning they cannot generate speed and power, and last the distance, boxing success will be severely impeded. Power, therefore, is a key ingredient in any boxing program. To develop optimal, specific, power for boxing purposes, one needs to pick the right exercises and execute them correctly.

A myth shattered

The most popular myth among boxers and trainers alike is that weight training is counter productive and some seem to think you will lose mobility and become muscle bound; nothing could be further from the truth. Research has shown that a properly designed program can increase range of motion as well as speed and power. Muscular endurance and strength are both improved through weight training therefore you should find time for a good weight training routine; you will thank me on fight night! It is important to remember that you must train in a manner that is specific to boxing (we are not body builders), slow weight training is not the best way to train. As I said earlier, boxing is mostly anaerobic in nature therefore our training should reflect this.

During anaerobic work, involving maximum effort, the body is working so hard that the demands for oxygen and fuel exceed the rate of supply and the muscles have to rely on the stored reserves of fuel. For boxers this creates an oxygen debt that we must pay back between rounds. Looking at this it is clear to see that lifting weights at a faster pace like with my H.I.G.T ( High intensity group training ) described throughout the pages of AbFitt, is the most effective way to train, but it is not the only way. Every 4 to 6 weeks it would be a good idea to change the routine slightly. We can also work on explosive strength to get us ready for fighting entire rounds with explosive speed and power.


Want to be faster & hit harder? Plyometrics training for fighters..

Plyometrics is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, often with the goal of increasing the height of a jump.

Plyometric training involves practicing plyometric movements to toughen tissues and train nerve cells to stimulate a specific pattern of muscle contraction so the muscle generates as strong a contraction as possible in the shortest amount of time. A plyometric contraction involves first a rapid muscle lengthening movement, followed by a short resting phase, then an explosive muscle shortening movement, which enables muscles to work together in doing the particular motion. Plyometric training engages the myostatic-reflex, which is the automatic contraction of muscles when their stretch nerve receptors are stimulated.

Plyometric exercises use explosive movements to develop muscular power. Plyometric training acts on the nerves, muscles, and tendons to increase the fighters power output without necessarily increasing their maximum strength.

EXAMPLE: Seated dumbbell punch (Corkscrew motion) Sit on the end of a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Use a weight that is comfortable yet challenging. Assume a hands up position. Quickly extend each arm using the correct punching form & rapidly return to the start position.

Neuromuscular Efficiency vs. Muscle Building

Do you know where real punching power is generated and released? It is in the final inch or two of motion. Legendary martial artist, Bruce Lee, was known for demonstrating this fact with his famous "one inch punch." Lee would position his fist just one inch in front of the abdomen of a subject and without moving his hand backward whatsoever would unleash a punch that would lift the subject off his feet and launch him into a waiting chair several feet behind him.

Many boxing and martial arts techniques involve intercepting or redirecting an opponent's punch or kick before it reaches full extension. These techniques are only possible because of the reduced power contained in a punch or kick before it reaches full extension.
Any serious boxer or martial artist will throw thousands of punches over his training career. A pro will throw millions. These repetitions build efficiency into the neuromuscular pathways between the brain and muscles. It is these many repetitions that make throwing a fast, accurate and effective punch second nature. However, all those repetitions do virtually nothing to develop strength in the muscles.

If you want big power…you are going to have to pump some iron - heavy iron. Think of that "one inch punch"; it is not merely hand speed or delivery technique that launches the opponent into the air. It is muscle power anchored on the ground by leg muscles and transmitted through the muscles of the shoulders and arms.

Absolute medicine ball work...

The ability to generate strength and power is a very important component for success in many sports, particularly in those involving explosive movements. Medicine ball training, in conjunction with a program of weight training and circuit training, can be used to develop strength and power. Certain medicine ball exercises can also be used as part of a plyometric training program to develop explosive movements. Medicine ball training is appropriate to all levels of ability, age, development and sport. To be most effective the program should contain exercises that match the pattern of movements of the sport.

Hey ladies, try these three moves for Sexy, Toned Arms

The boxers jab-
It’s a great move—not only does it target your biceps and triceps, it also works your back and shoulders.

TO DO: Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding a three- or five-pound dumbbell in each hand. Bend elbows and press them into your sides, holding weights at chin level in a boxing stance, palms facing each other. Then twist torso left and punch right arm straight out and across your body and to the left. Immediately switch sides, bringing right arm back in and punching left arm out and across body to the right. Keep going, punching side to side for 20 counts. That’s one set. Do two sets.

Front shoulder press-
If you develop your shoulder, with dumbbell front raises, it actually makes your whole arm look fitter.”

TO DO: Stand with feet about hip-width apart, holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent, weights to sides at shoulder level, palms facing forward. Slowly press weights up over your head, meeting them in the middle, then lower. Do three sets of 15 reps.

Triple seven's-
If you’re a woman who wants a lot of definition, you should try what I call the 7-7-7, where you work your whole arm and your shoulders.

TO DO: Sit on a bench or chair holding a three- or five-pound dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. First, raise arms straight out to sides and overhead in a half-circle arc. Lower and repeat seven times. Next, raise weights out to sides just to shoulder height, then bring hands together in front of you, elbows slightly bent as if hugging a tree; return to start and repeat seven times. Last, twist arms so palms are facing thighs, then lift weights straight out to sides a little higher than shoulder level, and lower. Repeat seven times. Do two sets of this entire sequence.
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Note: Photo courtesy of Belinda Benn,Fitness model. Check her out at http://www.belindabenn.com

Lean, muscular, fit & strong for a lifetime...

Don't believe all those horror stories about having to except those things that come with ageing. With a commitment to fitness and good eating habits, good health and a fit body will carry you well into your later years. I always say weight training is the true fountain of youth. Let’s review the many compelling benefits of weight training.

Weight Training Benefit #1

• Improving your health. Yes, you might start weight training because you want to improve your appearance, but weight training is an excellent way to benefit your overall health and wellness. Scientific research has made a direct connection between weight training and your ability to decrease the risk of osteoporosis and sarcopenia (loss of body mass), prevent injuries due to weak bones and muscle and develop coordination and balance.

It’s not just bone and muscle related health concerns that are affected by weight training. Other research has demonstrated that weight training may help positively affect risk factors such as glucose metabolism, blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cholesterol levels.

Weight Training Benefit #2

• Improving your strength and flexibility. Not surprisingly, weight training improves your muscle strength, endurance, size and power. This improvement in these areas helps you with your everyday tasks like carrying parcels or kids, walking up stairs and lifting.

Flexibility also improves through weight training because you are working the muscles through a full range of motion. Increasing your flexibility can protect your from back pain and muscle injury.

Weight Training Benefit #3

• Boosts your metabolism. You’ve probably heard many people blame their weight gain on a poor metabolism. Metabolism is the amount of energy or calories our body burns to maintain its daily functions like sleeping, eating, exercising etc. People who are more muscular have a higher metabolism because muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat.

So, one of the benefits of weight training is building more muscle mass and hence increasing your metabolism!

Weight Training Benefit #4

• Enhancing your sports or athletic performance. If you are a sport enthusiast and enjoy playing certain sports, recreational or competitively, another benefit of weight training is improving your sports performance.

One clinical research study examined cross-country ski athletes to see if strength training increased their endurance.1 The group that was assigned a strength training program three times per week experienced improved strength and improved aerobic endurance than the control group.

Weight Training Benefit #5

• Better State of Mind. It is well documented that as you develop a regular strength training routine, you are more equipped to handle the everyday stresses of life. You will also notice improvements in your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

One Australian study set out to determine if there was a strong connection between weight training and improving depression.2 A group of clinically depressed individuals aged 65 to 75 were divided into a control group and treatment group to assess improvements.

The treatment group was assigned an intense 45 minute, 3 times per weight training program. The results were that the treatment group had a significant improvement in their mental state than the other groups. So significant that approximately 75 percent of the treatment group didn’t show any signs of depression.

Weight Training Benefit #6

• Improved posture and balance. Not many people realize that by weight training you are improving your posture because the way you stand and sit is influenced by your neck, shoulder, back, hip and abdominal muscles. When you improve your muscle strength, you sit and stand straighter and develop better balance and stability.

Weight Training Benefit #7

• Age more gracefully. If you’re concerned about the declining years, fight them off with regular strength training. Strength training ensures you are strong enough to continue to participate in aerobic activities, sports and outdoor recreation. Strength training makes you more resilient and less susceptible to slips and falls and increases your ability to heal.

Weight Training Benefit #8

• Enhanced body image. In our image conscious society, many people feel they don’t measure up and lack confidence regarding their body. Strength training improves your muscle definition and helps you lose fat, which helps you feel better about your body.

A recent study looked at the impact a 12-week strength-training program had on the body image of 44 sedentary men and women.3 Before the program, they took an initial survey evaluating how they feel when others assessed their bodies and how satisfied they were with their bodies. They were reassessed after 12 weeks of training. All the participants reported a better body image after the strength-training program.

I’m sure after reading about all the wonderful benefits of weight training; you’ve identified those that mean the most to you. I highly encourage you to start a regular weight-training program so that you can see all the wonderful benefits for yourself.