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More strength PRs (progress photo); New Favorite Things item: the Ab Wheel.

Saturday, March 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I killed it in the weight room yesterday! I’m now lifting more on every single exercise that I’m currently doing than I’ve ever handled before at this body weight. In some cases (particularly legs), the weights I’m using are considerably heavier than what I was lifting at more than 20 pounds heavier body weight. Also, I’m happy to report that I felt no back pain while deadlifting yesterday.

Over the past eight weeks the strength improvements I’ve made from one workout to the next have been extremely consistent. While I’ve not gained any muscle size, my low body fat (currently in the mid-6% range) makes me look bigger than 177 pounds–especially with a pump.

I can’t wait to take tomorrow morning’s weekly stats! I feel like I’ve made good progress again this week, and I have a feeling that my hard work will be reflected in the numbers.

I don’t know how much longer my cut will continue, but I have no plans to stop right now. Why would I? I’m getting lighter and stronger, and that’s precisely what I set out to do eight weeks ago. As long as things continue as they have I’m going to keep going. If I had to make a prediction, I’d say two more weeks, three tops.

Ab rollouts make traditional crunches feel like angel kisses.

Ab rollouts make traditional crunches feel like angel kisses.

OK, I need to revisit the torture device seen in the picture to the right, which I took at the end of yesterday’s workout (and added to my 2012 progress photos). If you’re not familiar with this inexpensive piece of training equipment, it is called the Ab Wheel. I have no idea why, but I always thought that ab wheels were sort of gimmicky and dismissed them. That was a mistake on my part. Early in this year’s cut JSF member “theamigo” mentioned the Ab Wheel in a blog comment and, based on his testimonial, I decided to order one…

I’ll probably never do crunches again. The Ab Wheel is an extremely effective tool for working the entire abdominal wall. Once I got my form down and was able to go very deep, I then began to experiment with holding myself in the extended position and also “ratcheting” my way back up (a technique also suggested by a JSF member).

Bottom line: the ab workout this simple and inexpensive device provides is unreal.

While ab rollouts are not the key to obtaining “six pack” abs (read my Fat Loss 101 article, How do I get a “Six Pack”), they will help strengthen and develop your abs muscles like nothing else I’ve tried before. If you do direct ab work, pick up an Ab Wheel. I promise, you’ll love it and hate it.

The Ab Wheel has earned a spot in my Favorite Things list.

My mountain bike upgrades and modifications were finally completed yesterday. I’m very happy with the final weight of the bike. I’m about to hit the trails and put the revamped bike through its paces. I’ll have a full report with plenty of new pictures on Monday.

John Stone Fitness Comments

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