Click Here if you are unable to see the full content or animation of this eNewsletter  



     The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2013 issue 5



Abs That Pop

Another great article that I found regarding the ever-popular subject of Abdominals!  Enjoy!

2 Tricks to Getting Abs that POP
By Dr. Kevin Stock (Author of Magazine Abs SSI)

The abdominals are actually primarily fast twitch muscles that respond best to resistance and low to moderate rep ranges, NOT the high-rep endurance training that most people tend to default to.  When you develop your abs with resistance, you'll actually be able to SEE them even at higher bodyfat levels.

When it comes to TRULY getting abs (I'm talking REAL ABS - that pop out) there are 2 MISTAKES that EVERYONE makes.  Master these 2 things and you will have a rippled midsection in no time.

How efficiently and effectively your body utilizes carbohydrates is perhaps the most important nutritional aspect to getting seriously cut (i.e. really low levels of body fat). So unless you are already sub 7% body fat (in this case - skip to point #2) strategically managing and manipulating your carbohydrate intake is essential to your diced abs quest.

Without smothering too much of my science nerd on you, there are a couple of "Sciencey" words we need to know.

- Insulin Sensitivity
- we want our cells to be as sensitive to insulin as possible. This is the opposite of insulin resistance (characterized by pre-diabetes and diabetes). Insulin resistance and diabetes is prevalent due to the fact people have no idea how to manage their carbohydrates. Oh, and it's no coincidence that diabetes and obesity are directly correlated. All we need to know here is, the higher the insulin sensitivity, the better the cells uptake glucose, the better your body utilizes
carbohydrates ' the better you look.

- Nutrient Partitioning
- this is directly related to insulin
sensitivity, and is a term describing how you are directing your nutrients. Are they going to fat stores? Or are you sending them to muscle tissue to replenish glycogen and stimulate protein synthesis? With a properly structured nutrition and training strategy, you can maximize nutrient partitioning shuttling essential nutrients to muscular tissue and away from adipose (fat) tissue.

The way I train people to optimize carbohydrate usage is through what I call the SSI System. This "Strategic Scientific Integration" allows one to eat carbohydrates at optimal times (NO - not in the morning!) to maximize insulin sensitivity and nutrient partition. (more on this at the endů)


I have no clue when it became commonplace and socially acceptable to train abs like a wussy. If people trained their chest or biceps or legs like they train abs they would be laughed at. Imagine just doing biceps curls with your arms - no weights - just curling your forearm. Ludicrous, I know - and you wouldn't expect much bicep growth, would you?

Honestly, lying on the ground and repping out bodyweight crunches for sets of 5,000 isn't going to get you the abs you want. HERE is the key formula:


Let me give you a quick example.  One of my favorite abdominal exercises is weighted crunches using ropes on the cable pulley (you know the ropes most
people use for tricep extensions).

Try this out: Put a weight on where you can do about 8-10 reps, then drop the weight and pump out another 8-10, then drop the weight and gut out (pun intended) another 8-10.

What we are doing here is we are adding RESISTANCE with the weight from the cable pulley. We are increasing T.U.T. = Time Under Tension with the drop sets. And with this process we are creating POPPING AWESOME ABDOMINALS.

To bring it all together, when you eat strategically (SSI
Nutrition) and combine it with a strategic training protocol (SSI Training) you get results. It's as easy as that.

And I'd love to explain SSI to you more in depth, so you can use this Strategic Scientific Integration technique to get you the abs and the body I know you can get.

Head over to my site and let me reveal
to you how it's done!


Recipes For Health

I'll be honest, I am a chocoholic!  I love chocolate so much, that I had to make a deal with myself to only have a little of it on the weekends.  However, I came across this snack recipe in an issue of Men's Fitness that I'm going to have to try!  Let me know what you think...

Dark Chocolate Bark

Dark Chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 65% can enhance skeletal muscle function, according to a 2012 study carried out at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.


  • 12 oz. dark chocolate

  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  • Line baking tray with parchment paper.

  • Break up chocolate and place in microwave-safe bowl.  Nuke at 50% power (medium) and stir every 30 seconds until fully melted.  Stir in whey protein powder.
  • Stir half of nuts and cranberries into chocolate, then pour chocolate onto baking tray to desired thickness.  Sprinkle remaining nuts and berries.
  • Refrigerate until firm and then break into pieces.  Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information

Calories:  468
Protein:  12g
Carbs:  47g
Fat:  27g
Fiber:  7g

Total Time:  35 minutes

ref:  Men's Fitness, January 2013



Sandbag Exercise of the Month!



Hey, I didn't name this exercise, but after doing many sets of them, I can understand what they were getting at!  This combination exercise really kicks up your heartrate due to all the muscles that are being worked.  Legs, butt, low back, shoulders... get 'em all burning at once and you'll develop an appreciation for this one!


Target:  legs, butt, shoulders (hamstrings, gluteus maximus, deltoids)

Description:  Starting with the sandbag on the ground in front of you, place your feet shoulder width apart and grasp the sandbag.  Explode up, "cleaning" the sandbag to your chest (bringing it from the ground to your chest in one motion).  Press the bag up, over your head and onto your shoulders.  Push your butt backwards performing two squats.  Press the bag back up and bring it back to the ground in front of you
.  That's one rep... Do more! J

It's Boot Camp Time!

Ah Finally... the weather's breaking and people are looking for excuses to be outside!  Outdoor cardio is good stuff, don't get me wrong... but there are plenty of ways to get your resistance training in outside too... and that's where boot camps come in. 

The term "boot camp" has become a common (and sometimes overused) term nowadays. Here's an interesting tidbit... In 1944, U.S. Marines slang, said to be from boot as slang for "recruit," which supposedly dates from the Spanish-American War and is a synecdoche from boots, leggings worn by U.S. sailors. The term "boot camp" in the military refers to Recruit training, more commonly known as Basic Training. It is the initial indoctrination and instruction given to new military personnel, enlisted and officer. Ok... that's as far as I'm going with the historical origins J

Fitness boot camps have become very popular in recent years with the target audience of clients being people looking for a tough workout, or just something fun and different in a group setting.  Plus, let's be honest, "Boot Camp" sounds a lot cooler than outdoor group fitness class!  There isn't a set formula for fitness boot camps.  I've seen them focused on bodyweight exercises, with dumbbells, speed and agility, or just general fitness.  While there are often ways to vary the intensity of exercises, it's typically a good idea to understand what the target audience and fitness level is for a workout before you decide to join in.

Having hosted a variety of different "boot camp" type workouts over the years, I'm partial to the ones that use odd objects and unconventional exercises.  Here's a quick list of some of the toys that we use at our weekly Warrior Workouts:

  • tires
  • ropes
  • sledgehammers
  • kegs
  • slosh pipes
  • kettlebells
  • jump boxes
  • sleds
  • sandbags
  • medicine balls

I guess that everyone's version of fun is different, but I think that we do have a good time during our 2 hour weekly arse kicking sessions J

I'm always looking for new torture devices and exercises to add to the mix... Here's my latest pickup...

This axle bar is basically an outdoor olympic bar with built in bumper plates that let you drop it.  Plenty of exercises that can be performed with a good straight bar.  It fits in perfectly with my other toys... don't you think?

It's Go Time!

Yikes... Only a month to go before the Philly Tough Mudder!  Considering that the course is 11-12 miles, and the furthest that I've run in my life is about 7... I'm a wee bit nervous!  But that's what it's all about really... finding an excuse to push myself beyond what I'm comfortable doing for both the personal challenge, and to take it to the next level!

Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that everyone should sign up for the Tough Mudder.  For some people, signing up for an MS Walk is a good first step.  There are plenty of 5K runs out there, cycling events, sprint triathlons, 1/2 marathons... something for everyone!  However, no matter what mode you choose to engage in, set a stretch goal that gives you a reason to train for it... something that makes you reach higher and go further than you're doing right now.  Get a friend, register for the event, and COMMIT to it... then find or plan a program that will get you there.

Reaching or Exceeding your personal goals is a rewarding experience that will serve as further motivation to keep you going.  Go ahead... register now... I'll wait right here J

For prior issues of this eNewsletter, to subscribe, or unsubscribe, please visit the following link -->


Exceed Your Potential!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT

"Technique is what you fall back on when you run out of inspiration" - Rudolf Nureyev


youtube of the month --> Clean and Press Tutorial
I really like the way that this guy breaks down the components of the barbell clean and press.  Form is extremely important for any of the Olympic lifts! | Personal Training | News | Tips & Tools | Fitness Stuff




Get Toned!   Get Fit!   Lose Weight!   Feel Great!


TODAY! Fitness, LLC. , Bear, Delaware