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My new Ab Wheel has arrived, initial thoughts; Great workout yesterday.

My new Ab Wheel, by Valeo.

If you learned anything from yesterday’s blog (Fat Loss 101: How do I get a “six-pack”?), you know that the key to obtaining nice abs is very low body fat, and not a million crunches. That said, as I also mentioned in yesterday’s blog, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t train your abs. I didn’t directly train my abs for many years, but this year I’ve decided to resume direct ab work. The reason I’m training my abs again is simple: I want them to be stronger. As a mountain biker, stronger abs and a stronger core will benefit me greatly.

My new Ab Wheel, by Valeo.

My new Ab Wheel, by Valeo.

The other day I mentioned how much my abs hurt after my first ab training session. JSF member “theamigo” commented on the blog, and asked if I’d ever tried using an Ab Wheel. He said, “I got one for Christmas and though I thought I had strong abs, it was a very humbling experience to start using it. That thing is no joke.”

I’m always looking for new ways to torture myself in my home gym, so based on theamigo’s recommendation I decided to order one. The Ab Wheel is only about ten bucks, so I figured it can’t hurt to give it a try.

When the wheel arrived on Tuesday morning I put it together (took about 30 seconds), and gave the instructions a quick read. With a little practice I had the form down, and so I decided to do a quick test set of 15 (my abs were still sore, so I didn’t want to overdo it). There’s no question that this thing was hitting my abs, and hard! Tomorrow is my usual ab workout, and I’m going to put this thing to a real test then. After I determine how effective I think this device is I’ll post some additional thoughts in an upcoming blog.

Yesterday’s workout (chest/delts/triceps) was outstanding! I went up in weight and/or reps on every exercise, and I felt strong and energetic the entire workout. My strength took a bit of a hit after three weeks off, but it sure is coming back fast. I definitely don’t feel like I’m in a caloric deficit right now. I mean, I certainly get hungry between meals, but in the gym I’m feeling very solid right now.

The February 2012 “100 Challenge” is now open for entry!

Today is a cardio day, and I’m either going to hit the trails this morning or do an indoor HIIT cardio session this afternoon. I’m leaning towards mountain biking, as it looks like we’re in for a nice cool morning…