By IFBB Pro Josh Wade
Presented by Allmax Nutrition
Core Training for Narrow Waist
Q: I’ve been doing abdominal work quite frequently, but it doesn’t seem to bring my waist in. Do you do anything specific to train your waist?
A:Yes. Most people, me included, focus on abdominal training, primarily the rectus abdominis. I didn’t notice any difference in narrowing my waist until I started doing specific core work by training my transverse abdominis, the muscles underneath that hold the waist in tight from the front and the sides. Specifically, I did planks. When doing planks, it’s not enough to hold tight. You really must consciously pull your belly button in as high as you can, like you are trying to get it to touch your back.
The second thing I did which I really felt was the most beneficial thing to tighten up the waist and give it a look of narrowing was vacuums. Fellow bodybuilder Juan Morel turned me on to doing these and I was so grateful for him sharing his experience with me. I give him credit for how I transformed my midsection and didn’t appear as blocky as I was prior to doing these. I exhale out all my air then draw the abdomen in as far as I can without inhaling any air and hold it for up to 20 seconds. I will then take a couple of breaths trying to keep my midsection tight and not let my belly move in and out. Then I will do it again until I complete 10 rounds of those. I do them every morning after using the restroom before I ingest any food and water.
My goal is to train my core muscles to keep my waist tighter, which also creates an appearance of length. As an unexpected side benefit, I breathe a lot better and not through my belly but up through my chest/diaphragm. It’s not something that happens overnight. I practice it every morning religiously and now it’s a part of my daily routine. I feel this made the most dramatic change to my physique and something most bodybuilders don’t think about. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!
Train Hard, But Smart
Q: Have you had to change anything during contest prep from year to year or show to show, or do you always follow the same routine and style?
A:For most of my career I’d say I’ve followed the same protocol of training hard, increasing cardio, and reducing calories slowly until my skin is as thin as possible and then worked on “filling up” at the end to find my best look. There are a lot of variables that come into play when reducing calories during prep. Training will have to adapt as your body changes and your metabolism speeds up. There were times when I had to back down the intensity of my workouts because all the supersets, drop sets and high-rep intensifiers were burning too much glycogen, especially as calories and carbs were being reduced to lose the remaining body fat. As a result, I was looking a little too flat, especially in the legs. If I kept going that route, there is no doubt I’d be sacrificing muscle tissue as well as losing fullness. I had to go back to what built my muscle in the first place, which is heavy weight in the 10-12 rep range, doing mainly straight sets without supersets or drop sets. In doing that I got that deep muscle soreness but didn’t burn out all the glycogen leading to a flat look from which I couldn’t bounce back!
At a point like that I would even reduce cardio or take a few days off cardio while slightly increasing carbs to bring back a little fullness before putting the foot back on the gas into fat-burning mode by cutting carbs back down and bringing cardio back up or putting it back in. If you’ve been dieting down with around 100 grams of carbs, you might have to bump up an extra 100 grams of carbs for a couple of days then when you do pull back down you should notice your appetite is high and it feels like your body is burning. If you notice that then you know you needed a slight metabolic boost. Then, take advantage of that by pulling back down and burning body fat before your body wants to adjust to the lower calorie consumption and slows down again.
One easy way I liked to get fullness back quickly was by getting those 100 grams of carbs through powdered carbs like Allmax Nutrition’s Carbion and drinking it during my workout, so the carbs got transported to the muscle I was training. I liked to do that for legs as that’s what flattened out on me first. Getting ready for competition isn’t rocket science but it does take paying attention to details, knowing when to adjust one way or the other, when to put your foot on the gas or ease up. That’s why a lot of people have coaches, as the stress of guessing what to do can also have a negative impact on your physique.
So, my point is even after so many years I still had to learn how to watch and listen to my body and adapt by making changes and tracking the results. As they say, sometimes more is not better! Train hard, but smart!
Strengthening the Immune System
With the COVID-19 situation, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries as to which supplements can strengthen the immune system and help prevent infection. These are the supplements that I take every day year-round for immune system function and antioxidants, but they are even more beneficial at times of stress or sickness.
Allmax Immune-Boosting Stack
Glutamine: 10g 3x day, upon rising, post-workout and before bed.
R+ALA: 2 caps (300mg) with first and last meal.
CytoGreens: 1 scoop upon rising.
Vitastack: 1 multipack with first meal.
Omega 3: 2g with first and last meal.
For more information, visit allmaxnutrition.com
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Orginally appeared on Bodybuilding #1 Destination at Muscular Development