Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 60

David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

David Grisaffi’s
Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual
Written and Copyright 2002 by David Grisaffi

E-mails welcome
david@flattenyourabs.net

Copyright 2002
All rights reserved.
Editor: Karlee Moore with Don Lemmon
Models: Shelley Stewart and Whitney Grisaffi

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, except for the inclusion of brief quotations
in a review, without permission in writing from the author or publisher.

A WORD OF CAUTION

Core conditioning: Flatten Your Abs Conditioning Manual deals with in-depth information on
health, fitness, and nutrition. Most of the information applies to everyone in general. Not
everyone has the same body type. We each have different responses to exercise depending
upon our choice of intensity and diet. Before making any changes in your life-style, you
should consult with a physician to find out what is best solution for your individual body
type.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Flatten Your Abs Table of Contents


Introduction 3
Abdominal Exercises 6
4 Point Transverses Abdomens Vacuum 6
Horse Stance Vertical 7
Pelvic Tilt 8
Heel Slides 8
Lower Abdominal: Leg Lifts Alternate 9
Prone Alternating Arm and Leg 9
Lower Abdominal: Leg Cycle Alternate 10
Transverse Abdominis Flat Tuck 10
Horse Stance Horizontal 11
Horse Stance Alphabet 11
Cross Crunch 12
Russian Twist: Bent Knees 12
Floor Crunch 13
Lower Abdominal: Leg Cycle Jointly 13
Lower Abdominal: Feet to the Ceiling 14
Reverse Crunch on Floor 14
Russian Twist: Leg Straight 15
Dumbbell Side Flexion 15
Forward Ball Roll 16
Prone Knee and Hip Flexion 16
Swiss Ball Crunch 17
Reverse Crunch on Bench 17
Supine Hip Extension 18
Swiss Ball Side Flexion 18
Horizontal Woodchopper 19
Supine Lateral Ball Roll 19
Core Twister on Swiss Ball 20
Bent Rows 17 Straight Arm Pull Downs 20
Supine Hip Extension (one leg) 21
Lunge-Static and Dynamic 22
Prone Bridge 23
Woodchopper Standing 23
Reverse Woodchopper Standing 24
Hanging Leg Raise 25
Woodchopper Dynamic 25
Reverse Woodchopper Dynamic 26
Front Squat 26
Weight Crunch on Swiss Ball 27
Reverse Crunch on Swiss Ball 27
Single Arm Cable Push 28
Single Arm Cable Pull 28
Reverse Hyperextensions 29
Multi-Directional Lunge 29
Training the Abdominal Region 32
Core Strengthening and Fat Lose 33
Lower abdominal strength test 35
Upper abdominal strength test 35
Core Functional Stabilization and Control Exercises 36
Abdominal/Core Level I 36
A b d o m i n a l / C o r e Level II 37
Abdominal/Core Level III 37
Abdominal/Core Level IV 37
Abdominal/Core Level V 38
Abdominal/Core Level VI 38
Abdominal/Core Level VII 38
More Questions 39
Supplementation 40
Popular Products 45
Top 10 Abdominal Secrets 50
Being Realistic 55
The Truth about Abs 58

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 2


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

“An Idle Butt is the Devils Fat Depository”


David Grisaffi, Personal Fitness

What's the best way to build abdominal muscles?

Answer: This is by far the most frequently asked question I get. Abdominal muscles are the
most desired muscles that people (male or female) want developed and improved.

Usually, the questions are followed by comments such as, "I do 100 sit-ups a day and I'm not
seeing any results.” That is why we are here. This book will outline the information you need to
improve your body in this region, which I often will refer to as the ‘core’ region.

And this core musculature is made up of many different muscles and muscle groups. To target
the entire core area we must address each of these groups and prescribe specific exercises. All
that we do must correspond to improving not only aesthetics but also their natural function if you
want results.

¾ Exercise is an extremely important, however not the only factor considered when
defining the midsection. Everyone has abdominal muscles; however, most of the
population never sees them due to the “spill over effect” of fat hanging around their
midsection. The trick or solution to finally viewing the abdominal region underneath is
simply a core-conditioning program like this coupled with a fat loss nutrition program
like Don Lemmon’s KNOW HOW. If you want to see the core region and the six-pack,
the fat has got to go. This is done through diet. The shape of what lies beneath
depends upon your conditioning.

By making a couple of adjustments to your current schedules, you can have those prized abs
you’ve always wanted within a couple of weeks or months in extreme cases, and not years as
you might have expected.

I'll be the first to admit; abdominal information can be confusing. We hear too many different
concepts, opinions, rumors, and theories from experts, doctors, personal trainers, friends,
teachers, infomercials; know it alls and even our parents. I will give you the facts here. I will
explain what information is good, and what myths and rumors about abs can be thrown out.
Let’s begin with the most popular scenarios:

1. If You Train Abs Everyday, You're Guaranteed A Six-pack.

This misconception was funneled through the bodybuilding world. Muscle tissue is muscle
tissue. It needs to rest and recover just like your biceps or legs do. You would not do 100 barbell
curls everyday to ‘see your biceps’ would you? Simple anatomy debunks this approach unless
you are using some performance enhancing substances. Build the tissue through exercise, burn
the fat through diet

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 3


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

2. You Can Eat Pizza And Hamburgers And Still Maintain A Six-pack As Long As You
Workout Right After You Eat Them.

This is another misconception. Following a diet, which contributes to muscle gaining and fat
loss, is the key to uncovering those abdominal muscles. Go into your local fast food restaurant
and look around - how many of people will you see that have an envious abdominal region?
Odds are, none.

3. Sit-ups Build Abdominal Definition The Best.

Sit-ups are perhaps the worst exercise for strengthening our core regions. There are many
sources that contribute to this belief but just a few simple reasons why it is incorrect. During a
sit-up your main trunk flexor, the Iliopsoas muscle, does most of the work. This over facilitation
often leads to lumbar lordosis, better known as, back pain. Want sturdy hips and a sore back?
Do sit-ups.

4. Crunches Build Abdominal Definition Best.

Crunches are good but the last exercise we will do in our core-conditioning program. The
overuse of crunch type exercises leads to a reduction in thoracic extension and contributes to
bad posture.

5. People On Magazine Covers Are Born With Good Midsections.

This misconception leads to many people trying to be like someone else. These models, men
and women, are somewhat genetically gifted, sure. But many of them aren’t as healthy as they
appear under their make-up and many others are also using drugs like clenbuterol and steroids.

6. You Should Do Twists With A Stick Or Side Bends To Reduce Love Handles.

These exercises can be dangerous if not performed correctly. I recommend taking them out of
your routine, as you'll see in the exercise section, until you know enough about the spine to
benefit from them. To reduce love handles you simply need to lose the fat. Our core-
conditioning program will contribute to toning the musculature in this area; however, fat loss is
again, stimulated only through diet.

7. If You Do Sit-ups With Weights, Your Abs Will Show up Better.

Doing sit-ups with additional weight leads to over strengthening the hip flexor muscles, not the
upper abdominals. Want to walk around butt back and stomach forward? Neither do I.

8. It Takes Years To Get Great Abs.

Again you have to understand that everyone has abdominal muscles. You just have to train
them with exercises in the proper order, with correct form and reduce the fat surrounding them
by dieting. For some this may take only a few weeks, for others, a little longer. Different body
types develop at different rates.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 4


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

9. Machines Work Best For Building Abdominal Muscles.

This is a huge misconception. Isolating musculature incorrectly leads people down the road to
becoming dysfunctional misfits! Machine training should be left to periods of rehabilitation only.
Every body needs to move and function as one cohesive unit, not in isolated parts. When you sit
on a machine, the machine stabilizes the body. Odds are you never learned to integrate other
musculature with abdominal/core movements, which leads to injuries, by unbalancing the body.

10. Constantly Eating Rabbit Food is Needed to Maintain a Defined Midsection.

Following a proper nutritional program designed for your goals is the only way to develop a
defined midsection. I’ll talk more on this later.

11. Fat-Burn Supplements Will Tone My Abs.

Fat burning supplements sure sound good but in my experience they cause more harm than
good. Fat burning supplements do nothing to tone or strength your abdominal region. EAT
RIGHT.

12. You Can Eat Foods Such As Cookies, Candy, and Cheese as Long as They're Fat-free
Versions.

The country it seems is on a fat free kick. Have you ever looked at the labels of fat-free foods?
There is the word sugar and more sugar. When sugar is ingested into the body it secretes the
hormone insulin. This hormone tries to regulate the blood sugar in the bloodstream. Just
remember insulin is a fat-producing hormone. In addition to the massive amounts of refined
sugar in these products, they also contain hydrogenated fats.

13. To Have Defined Abs, You Need to Keep Your Caloric Intake to No More Than 1,200
Calories Per Day.

For the general rule is for Women to take in 1500 calories and men 2500 calories. Going below
these marks sends your body into starvation mode. Starvation mode will conserve energy by
slowing down your metabolism, hence destroying everything you are working to achieve.
Therefore, eat!

14. You Should Count Calories.

If you are anal about your caloric intake, count them. However, most of us can get by greatly
without measuring a single calorie. See donlemmon.com

If you ever have questions about the effectiveness of a particular diet or product, e-mail Don Lemmon directly at the
following address: donlemmon@donlemmon.com, he has a wonderful book titled “Know – How” The Truth about Nutrition
and Exercise. Get yourself a copy! “Know – How” The Truth about Nutrition and Exercise.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 5


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Abdominal Exercises

There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do for your core/abdominal region. The
exercises selected should be dependent on your current physical ability, awareness, and
condition. Out of all of the different muscle groups, abdominals have the biggest variety of
exercises to choose from for good reasons. Its main function is to protect the body organs,
spine, and pelvis and allow people to function at a higher level in their everyday life. Each
person may view the abdominal /core region in a different capacity, however having a
functional core leads to better stabilization, reduction of injuries, and a better looking athletic
physique.

Many of the indicated exercises have non-standardized names; however, some of these
exercises are the accumulation of knowledge from many different sources listed at the back of
the book. You may have seen the same exercise under a different name listed elsewhere.
That's because exercise names [regardless of the muscle group] were never written in stone.

I suggest you discuss beginning an abdominal exercise program with your physician or health-
care professional. Each exercise listed in this section has a purpose and develops muscular
function throughout the entire body. Each exercise consists of photographs suggesting the
proper form of an exercise, plus a written description of how the exercise to be done. Please
read the entire description. Do not rely on the photographs alone.

When you are exercising at home, make sure that you can concentrate on what you're doing.
When you look at the photos and try to emulate the exercises being depicted, attend to the
form of the exercise being demonstrated, not the demonstrators performance of the exercise.
You may be able to achieve the more extreme position than the one demonstrated, or you
may be less inclined to do the exercise as demonstrated. If you cannot carry out an exercise
with proper form, stop at that point.

¾ NOTE: During all abdominal crunch exercises place your tongue on the roof of your
mouth as if you were swallowing. This helps stabilize your cervical spine and head
while doing abdominal work.

4 Point Transverses Abdominis Vacuum

Start Position Finish Position

¾ This exercise is great for isolating the transverse abdominis and reconnecting with the
nervous system. To correctly accomplish the exercise get on all fours as though you

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 6


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

were in a crawling position. Have your hands directly underneath your shoulders and
your knees directly underneath your hips. With good neutral posture position (using a
dowel rod placed on your back aligning the spine can provide good feedback of proper
neutral posture) make sure the back of your head, thoracic spine (upper back) and
sacrum (butt bone) are in contact with the rod. The lumbar spine should be arched just
enough to slide the palm of your hand between your back and the dowel rode. Your
primary objective is to inhale and allow the transverse abdominis to hang out towards
the floor, on exhalation drawn the bellybutton towards the spine. Avoid any spinal
movement during this exercise such as contracting the gluteus, hamstrings or external
rotators.

Horse Stance Vertical

Start Position Finish Position

¾ The first part of the horse stance series is Horse Stance Vertical, which will integrate
the spine stabilizer muscles of your spinal column with the other muscles of the inner
unit (inner unit will be explained in the next chapter). To accomplish this exercise again
get on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders with your elbow
slightly bent. Your knees should be directly underneath your hips at a 90-degree Angle.
The exercise is then performed by raising your left hand and right knee approximately
one cm off the ground (about the height of the piece of paper). Hold this position for 10
seconds and repeat with the right hand and left knee. Alternate back and forth until you
have done the exercise for a total of two minutes. Make sure to not allow the hamstring
to flex the lower legs toward the ceiling and that the pelvis does not load (shift) into the
hip that is in contact with the ground. To assist you in this exercise use a kitchen timer
and set it for two minutes.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 7


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Pelvic Tilt

Start Position

¾ Lie on your back on a comfortable surface. With your feet about 6-8 inches away from
your gluteus maximus (bottom) contract the lower abdominals and gently press your
lower back towards the floor. Try not to contract your rectus abdominis while doing this
integration exercise; this is the muscle of your “six-pack.” This exercise can be very
difficult at the beginning so have patients. You can also use a blood pressure cuff if you
want good biofeedback. Place the cuff directly under your belly button and pump the
blood pressure cuff up to 40-mm Hg. Take a deep diaphragmatic breath and slowly
exhale and draw your belly button in toward your spine. Contract your lower abdominals
so the blood pressure cuff reads 70-mm Hg’s. REMEMBER NO RETUS

Heel Slides

Start Position Extended Position Finish Position

¾ Heel slides are a great integration exercise for the inner unit, lower abdominals and
lower extremities (outer unit). To perform the exercise correctly lay supine (back down)
on the floor with your shoes off. In this position with your hips and knees flexed (about
eight inches from the buttocks) with your spine in neutral position. Place a blood
pressure cuff under your lumbar spine. Pump the blood pressure cuff up to 40-mm Hg
and take a deep diaphragmatic breath. Slowly exhale and draw your belly button in
toward your spine. After exhalation slowly slide the left leg out away from the start
position. No increase in blood pressure cuff is necessary. If the blood pressure cuff
begins to increase or decrease stop the movement and slide the leg back to the
beginning position. Make a note of the distance. The distance is now you're ending
point. The goal is to extend your leg farther out without the blood pressure cuff
changing. The farther you can go out, the better integration of the inner unit and outer

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 8


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

unit. Repeat for the opposite leg and try to achieve 10 reps at a slow pace for each leg.
DO NOT RUSH THIS EXERCISE. Do this exercise daily until you can alternate sliding
each leg in and out keeping the blood pressure cuff at 40 mm Hg.

Lower Abdominal: Leg Lifts Alternate

¾ Lay down on your back on the floor exercise mat. With your feet about 6-8 inches away
from your gluteus maximus (bottom) contract the lower abdominals and slowly lift one
leg up until the knee is pointing towards the ceiling. Make sure to keep the lower
abdominal tightened so your lower back does not arc. Gently lower legs back to the
starting position. Lift the opposite leg and follow the above instructions. Alternate legs
for desired amount of repetitions. Always pay close attention to your lower abdominals
and do not let your rectus abdominis contract during this exercise. You can also use a
blood pressure cuff if you want to have good biofeedback. Place the cuff directly under
your belly button and pump the blood pressure cuff up to 40-mm Hg. Take a deep
diaphragmatic breath and slowly exhale and draw your belly button in toward your
spine. Contract your lower abdominals (like the pelvic tilt) so the blood pressure cuff
reads 70-mm Hg. Slowly raise your knee up and down.

Prone Alternating Arm and Leg

¾ Lie on your on your stomach on the floor or a comfortable exercise mat. Begin this
exercise by lifting your opposite arm and leg. Contract and lift your right arm and your
left leg simultaneously. Keep your head in neutral position (your cheekbones over your
clavicle) and with good posture in good posture. Do not extend or flex your neck. Then
repeat to the opposite side.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 9


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Lower Abdominal: Leg Cycle Alternate

¾ Lay down on your back on the floor exercise mat. With your feet about 6-8 inches away
from your gluteus maximus (bottom) contract the lower abdominals and slowly lift one
leg up until the knee is pointing towards the ceiling. Gradually extended your leg away
from the body as if you were peddling a bicycle. Return the leg to the previous position
and gently lower your foot to the floor. Always maintaining lower abdominal contraction.
If you find this exercise difficult and you lose contraction of your lower abdominals as
your leg is an extended note that distance. That is your starting distance point. This is
the point by which your lower abdominal maintain stability. Only go to this point until
you feel stronger and more stable. Then gradually worked up to a full-extended leg on
each side. Make sure to keep the lower abdominal tightened so your low back does not
arc. Gently lower legs back to the starting position. Lift the opposite leg and follow the
above instructions. Alternate legs for desired amount of repetitions. Always pay close
attention to your lower abdominals. Do not let your rectus abdominis do the work as a
stabilizer. You can also use a blood pressure cuff if you want to have good
biofeedback. Place the cuff directly under your belly button and pump the blood
pressure cuff up to 40-mm Hg. Take a deep diaphragmatic breath and slowly exhale
and draw your belly button in toward your spine. Contract your lower abdominals (like
the pelvic tilt) so the blood pressure cuff reads 70-mm Hg.

Transverse Abdomens Flat Tuck

¾ Lie on your stomach in a comfortable position. Gradually and gently draw your belly
button in as deep toward your spine. Do not let any other muscles contract during this
phase. Hold your belly button in toward your spine for the desired amount of time listed
in the exercise prescription section.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 10


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Horse Stance Horizontal

¾ Horse stance horizontal is the middle child of the horse stance series. The horse stance
horizontal increases the load on the spinal stabilizers (multifidus) of your spinal column.
To accomplish this exercise, again get on all fours with your hands directly underneath
your shoulders with your elbow slightly bent. Your knees should be directly underneath
your hips at a 90-degree angle. Draw your belly button into your spine this again
activates the transverse abdominis. Raise your left arm up so it is parallel to the floor
and at a 45-degree angle out from your shoulder. At the same time you lift your right leg
off the ground so it is to parallel to the ground. Hold this position for 10 seconds and
repeat with the right hand and left knee. Alternate back and forth until you have done
the exercise for a total of two minutes. To assist you in this exercise use a kitchen timer
and set it for two minutes.

Horse Stance Alphabet

¾ Horse stance alphabet is the last child of the horse stance series. The horse stance
alphabet integrates the spine stabilizers (multifidus) muscle of your spinal column with
the transverse abdominis and other musculature. To accomplish this exercise again get
on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders with your elbow slightly
bent. Your knees should be directly underneath your hips at a 90-degree angle. Draw
your belly button in to your spine this again activates the transverse abdominis. Raise
your left arm up so it is parallel to the floor and at a 45-degree angle out from your
shoulder. At the same time you lift your right leg off the ground so it is to parallel to the
ground. Hold your arm in a steady position while spelling the letters of the alphabet with
you back foot. Yes, I said letters of the alphabet. Try to work up so you can do the
entire alphabet with each leg. Alternate back and forth until you have done the exercise
for a total of two minutes. To assist you in this exercise use a kitchen timer and set it for
two minutes.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 11


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Cross Crunch

¾ Cross crunch is an exercise for the oblique muscular system. Lie on your back on a
comfortable surface with your knees perpendicular to the floor and your hands at the
side of your head. Gently (do not ever pull on your head to do any exercise) and
gradually contract your oblique muscular system so your right elbow is pointing at your
up a right knee. Do not pull your elbows together while executing this exercise. Return
to the starting position and repeat for the other side. The alternating crunch primarily
targets the oblique muscles, although each section of the abs is worked. NOTE: During
all abdominal crunch exercises place your tongue on the roof of you mouth as if you
were swallowing. This helps stabilize your cervical spine.

Russian Twist: Bent Knees

¾ On a comfortable surface lie on your back. Elevate your legs up so your knees are
pointing towards the ceiling. Place your arms out palms down at 90 degrees to your
body. Gently lower your legs to the floor keeping them at a 90-degree angle to your
trunk. Repeat to the left and to the right. You can also use a Swiss ball to aid in
performing this exercise. Just place the Swiss ball under you calves and perform the
exercise in the same manner.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 12


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Floor Crunch

¾ Trunk flexion or "crunch" sit-up is the most popular exercise for conditioning the
abdominal region. However, if the crunch sit-up is not performed with additional
abdominal exercises like the ones mentioned earlier it could have a detrimental effect
on your body over time. When performed correctly the crunch is a good upper
abdominal region strengthening exercise. If the crunch is overused it can lead to a more
ridged thoracic spine. It also contributes to a shortened rectus abdominis, which in turn
pulls the rib cage towards the pelvis resulting in poor postural alignment. This scenario
leads to the inability to extend backward causing injury and poor posture. If you're a
beginner of trunk flexion or crunch exercise, perform it lying on the floor. To perform the
exercise correctly, maintain proper neutral posture in the cervical spine. Place your
tongue on the roof of your mouth preventing shear forces through your cervical spine.
Keep the lower back pressed firmly against the floor throughout the exercise. Place
arms across your chest. Move slowly contracting your rectus abdominis moving up one
vertebra at a time. Keep tension in the abdominals at all times. Do not let your chin
dropped to your chest. A good way to maintain neutral posture in the cervical spine is to
pretend your chin is traveling towards the ceiling. Once you have reached full
contraction slowly return to the start position. To increase the difficulty, place your arms
out to the side with your fingertips on your cheekbones.

Lower Abdominal : Leg Cycle Jointly

¾ The lower abdominal legs cycling exercise works to develop even more lower
abdominal strength and coordination. Lie on your back on a comfortable surface.
Contract your lower abdominals, in addition to your internal and external obliques, and
gradually bring your legs up until your knees are pointing towards the ceiling. Gently
cycle out your legs together until they are parallel to the floor. Then return both legs to
the starting position and gently lower than back to the floor. Note: this exercise can be

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 13


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

extremely difficult so take precautions. You can use a blood pressure cuff if you want to
have good biofeedback. Place the cuff directly under your belly button and pump it up
to 40-mm Hg. Take a deep diaphragmatic breath and slowly exhale and draw your belly
button in toward your spine. Contract your lower abdominals (like the pelvic tilt) so the
blood pressure cuff reads 70-mm Hgs. Maintain good lumbar spine position. If you feel
your back begin to arc as your legs go away from your body, or you lose more than 5
degrees of pressure on the cuff, stop at that point. This stopping point serves as a
benchmark for your exercise routine. Over time you will be able to go farther out so do
not fret. Your goal is to systematically extend your legs farther and farther out until you
can perform this exercise in its entirety.

Lower Abdominal: Feet to the Ceiling

¾ Lie on your back on a comfortable surface. Bring your legs up so your knees are
pointing towards the ceiling. Extend your legs so your feet are pointing towards the
ceiling. Gently contract your lower abdominals and internal and external obliques so
you can raise your sacrum (tailbone) off the surface. Other options to increase the
demand of this exercise are to bend your legs at the knees and only drop one leg down
and keep the other up and try to perform the exercise in the same manner.

Reverse Crunch on Floor

The reverse trunk flexion is a multi-joint movement designed to target the abdominal region.
The exercise starts out with contraction of the lower abdominals and progresses to the upper
rectus abdominis. The oblique musculature assists in stabilization of the pelvis during the
movement.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 14


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

¾ Lie on a flat bench with your back flat, scapula, and sacrum pressed firmly against the
bench. With your legs together, flex them to 90 degrees or perpendicular to the bench.
Hold firmly to the top edge of the bench, a platform or stationary object will also work, to
anchor the upper body down. Slowly proceed to contract the lower abdominal region by
pulling the pelvis up towards the rib cage. Continue to pull the pelvis towards the rib
cage until the abdominals are fully contracted and the hips are rolled up slightly off of
the padded bench. Slowly lower the trunk and pelvis to the starting position. Repeat the
exercise for the desired repetitions.

Exercise notes: Keep your shoulder blades on the bench though out the exercise. Avoid any
arching of your back at the lumbar region. Keep the tempo or movements slow and keep the
upper body in proper neutral alignment. Make sure you only go down far enough to touch your
sacrum keeping your thighs perpendicular to the floor.

Russian Twist: Leg Straight

¾ Lie on your back on a comfortable surface. Bring your legs up so your knees are
pointing towards the ceiling. Extend your legs so your feet are pointing towards the
ceiling. Place your arms out palms down at 90 degrees to your body. Gently let your
legs lower to the floor keeping your legs 90 degrees to your trunk. Repeat to the left
and to the right. There are a few variations of this exercise. If you find it too hard just go
back to the bent knee version until you have acquired the necessary strength and
stability. You can also use a Swiss ball to aid in performing this exercise.

Dumbbell Side Flexion

¾ To perform Dumbbell side flexion choose the weight that allow you to do the exercise
with strict form but not too strenuous. Grasp the dumbbell in your right hand and draw
in your belly button and lean to your right side. Slowly contract with the your left side

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 15


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

without rotating, flexing or extending your spine. Place dumbbell in the opposite hand
and follow the above description for the opposite side. You can also use a cable system
for this exercise.

Forward Ball Roll (Swiss ball needed)

¾ Position your forearms just below the apex (top) of the ball. Gently draw your belly
button into your spine to activate your transverses abdominis, which aids in stabilizing
your pelvis and lumbar spine. Slowly roll out on the ball until you are fully extended.
Make a special note of when your rectus abdominis starts to contract. This is your
stabilization threshold, do not go out any farther. Make the note of this distance and use
it as the benchmark for improvement. You will gradually be able to go all the way out
and be in a fully extended position as you develop more stability, strength and
coordination. Do not rush this exercise.

Prone Knee and Hip Flexion


(Swiss ball needed)

Start Position Middle position Finish Position

¾ Lie belly down the top of a Swiss ball. Gradually walk yourself out until you have
reached a push up position with your feet on the top of the ball. Gently draw your belly
button into your spine to activate your transverses abdominis. Slowly draw your knees
up into your chest and return. If you are having trouble shorten the lever arm or start
with your knees on the ball instead of you feet.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 16


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Swiss Ball Crunch


(Swiss ball needed)

¾ Gently sit on the Swiss ball in a comfortable position. Place your arms across your
chest with the back of your head resting on the ball. Make sure that your tongue is on
the roof of your mouth to stabilize your cervical spine. Gradually curl up so your rectus
abdominis is fully contracted. To increase intensity place your fingertips of the side your
head with your arms out to the side (a shown above)

Reverse Crunch on Bench

¾ Lie on a flat bench with your back flat, scapula, and sacrum pressed firmly against the
bench. With your legs together, flex them to 90 degrees or perpendicular to the bench.
Hold firmly to the top edge of the bench, a platform or stationary object will also work, to
anchor the upper body down. Slowly proceed to contract the lower abdominal region by
pulling the pelvis up towards the rib cage. Continue to pull the pelvis towards the rib
cage until the abdominals are fully contracted and the hips are rolled up slightly off of
the padded bench. Slowly lower the trunk and pelvis to the starting position. You can
increase the intensity by increasing the angle of the bench.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 17


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Supine Hip Extension


(Swiss ball needed)

¾ Sit on the Swiss ball and gradually roll out so your trunk is parallel to the floor and your
head and upper back are comfortably resting on the ball. Gently drop your pelvis
towards the floor in a controlled manner keeping your shinbone perpendicular to the
ground at all times. Gradually return to start position squeezing your butt muscles at the
top end of the movement.

Swiss Ball Side Flexion

¾ This is a great exercise for isolating the oblique muscles. It does demand dynamic
stability because the ball is unstable so be careful. Sit on the ball in an upright position.
Slowly twist your torso so you are positioned sideways across Swiss ball. Make sure
your feet are well apart to give you a solid base. Maintain good posture and slowly curl
up sideways until your oblique is fully contracted. Please be cautious with this exercise
and do not allow your body in either flex forward or rotate.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 18


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Horizontal Woodchopper

¾ Woodchopper is one of the best of the exercise for integrating the oblique musculature
into functional movement. There are many variations, as you'll see later in this chapter.
To begin we start with the standard horizontal woodchopper. This will aid you in the
familiarization with the movement pattern. To perform horizontal woodchoppers sit on a
workout bench perpendicular to the weight stack and cable system. Grasp the cable
handle with your right hand and place your left hand over your right. Draw your belly
button into your spine gently and pull the cable handle across the front of your chest to
the opposite side. Return to the starting position. Keep your body in good postural
alignment; do not flex forward or sideways. Adjust the weight so you can accomplish
this exercise with proper form. Repeat for the other side. Progression of this exercise
can be performed while sitting on a Swiss ball, kneeling on the ground, standing, and
then to dynamic movement. We will get more into the other options for the
woodchopper later in this chapter.

Supine Lateral Ball Roll

¾ Supine lateral Ball roll is an excellent integrative exercise that will challenge anyone. To
perform the supine lateral ball roll assumes a sitting position on the ball and gently roll
out so your trunk is parallel to the floor. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. The
ball should support your head and shoulders. Place a dowel rod across your chest and
grip it with your palms up. Gradually slide your right shoulder blade off the ball keeping
the dowel rod parallel to the floor and your hips in a neutral position (do not let them
drop) slowly return to the middle position. Gently slide your left shoulder blade off the
ball and hold for the allotted tempo. Repeat to each side for the desired number of
repetitions.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 19


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Core Twister on Swiss Ball

¾ Core twister is both a fun and challenging exercise. To perform the core twister walk
yourself out until you are in a push up position with your feet position on the top of the
ball. Draw your belly button into your spine to activate your transverse abdominis.
Keeping your head and body in a neutral spinal position, slowly start to twist your lower
body to the left and then to the right. Make sure that your body stays in a parallel
position to the floor. Do not let your pelvis drop towards the floor.

Bent Rows

¾ The bent row contributes to good strength and postural stabilization. This exercise also
strengthens the shoulder girdle and effectively improves postural muscles such as
hamstrings, glutes and all deep hip muscles, lower back, Latissimus dorsi spinal
erectors, and core. To perform this exercise properly, maintain neutral spinal curves.
Grip the barbells with a closed downward grip. Stand with feet wider than shoulder
width and knees flexed at 30 degrees, which engages Iliotibial band. Your torso must
maintain a 45-degree angle at all times. This starting position resembles a second
baseman stance in baseball. Take a deep diaphragmatic breath drawing in the belly
button. With the barbell at knee level gradually raise the barbells to the bottom of your
sternum Your forearms should be perpendicular to the ground not allowing them to
travel posteriorly as you raise the weight. Slowly return the weight to the starting
position. Slow tempo aids with overall muscular integration and neurological
conditioning. Work up to three sets.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 20


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Straight Arm Pull Downs

¾ To perform straight arm pull downs position your body in front of the high cable and
weight stack machine. Place your hands on the bar palms down. Draw your belly button
into your spine and slowly pull the bar down while maintaining straight arms. Do not use
momentum to accomplish this exercise.

Supine Hip Extension (one leg)

¾ Sit on the Swiss ball and gradually roll out so your trunk is parallel to the floor and your
head and upper back are comfortably resting on the ball. Draw your belly button into
your spine to activate transverse abdominis. Raise one leg up so it is parallel to the
ground. Gently drop your pelvis towards the floor in a controlled manner keeping your

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 21


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

shinbone perpendicular to the ground at all times. Repeat for the opposite leg. I warn
you in advance that this exercise will be very challenging so take your time. Gradually
return to start position squeezing your buttocks at the top end of the movement.

Lunge-Static and Dynamic

¾ The static and dynamic lunges are excellent interactive exercises for the core
musculature and lower extremities. I chose these exercises because they are
neurologically challenging to the entire body. To perform the static lunge (base level)
place a dowel rod across your shoulder gripping it at shoulder width. Keep your elbows
under your wrists, this aids in activation of the thoracic erectors and helps stabilize the
core. Make sure your posture is upright with neutral spinal curves (no bending, shifting
or leaning). Draw your belly button in and upward activating the inner unit. Slowly step
forward with either leg until your shinbone is perpendicular to the floor. Once you have
reached the lunge position with your upper body erect, allow your back leg to descend
to the floor until your knee gently touches the floor making a special note to keep the
shinbone on your lead leg perpendicular to the floor. Return slowly to the pre-descend
position. Repeat lunge for eight to 10 repetitions with the same leg then repeat for the
opposite leg. Slowly work up to three sets per leg.

¾ The dynamic lunge is similar to the static lunge except for you return to the standing
position after each repetition. Alternate legs until you have built up enough strength and
stabilization to perform eight to 10 repetitions for each leg. After you feel comfortable
doing the dynamic lunge alternating, kick it up a notch and do the desired repetitions for
one leg at a time. Special note about the lunge exercise DO NOT SHORT STEP. Short
stepping the lunge is when the shinbone moves forward and the knee moves past the
ankle joint. Short stepping indicates a quad dominant neurological system. For women
this can spell disaster! Women have a much higher degree of quad dominance
indicating muscular imbalance in the lower extremities. This imbalance could be one
reason why women have more orthopedic knee problems.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 22


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Prone Bridge

¾ To perform the prone bridge, roll out on the Swiss ball until your shins are griping the
ball and in a push up position. Make sure your body alignment is parallel to the floor.
Draw your belly button into your spine. The first level is trying to lift one hand up off the
ground while maintaining good form. This is very challenging so take your time. After
this is mastered try to move your arm toward your hip in an arch fashion. Alternate
between left and right arms for the amount of reps prescribed. Always maintain good
form thought out the exercise.

Woodchopper Standing

¾ Standing woodchopper is a more advanced version of the horizontal woodchopper.


This more advance Woodchopper series is one of the best of the exercises for

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 23


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

integrating the oblique musculature into functional movement. There are many levels of
progression with this exercise so feel free to progress as you can without jeopardizing
good form. To perform the woodchopper exercise, stand perpendicular to the weight
stack and cable system in an athletic stance. Use the top bottom pulley position or if
you are using an adjustable cable system adjust the pulley to the top position. Grasp
the cable handle with your right hand and place your left hand over your right. Draw
your belly button into your spine gently rotate your torso and pull the cable handle down
and across the front of your chest to a fully extended arm position on the opposite side
near your right hip. Do not let your pelvis shift to the left or right. Then return to the
starting position. Keep your body in good postural alignment and try not to flex forward
or sideways. Adjust the weight so you can accomplish this exercise with proper form.
Repeat for the other side.

Reverse Woodchopper Standing

¾ Standing reverse woodchopper is a more advanced version of the horizontal


woodchopper. This more advance woodchopper series is one of the best exercises for
integrating the oblique musculature into functional movement. There many levels of
progression with this exercise so feel free to progress as you can without jeopardizing
good form. To perform the woodchopper exercise stand perpendicular to the weight
stack and cable system in an athletic stance. Use the bottom pulley or if you are using
an adjustable cable system adjust the pulley to the bottom position. Grasp the able
handle with your right hand and place your left hand over your right. Draw your belly
button into your spine gently rotate your torso and pull the cable handle up and across
the front of your chest to a fully extended arm position on the opposite side. Return to
the starting position. Keep your body in good postural alignment and do not flex forward
or sideways. Adjust the weight so you can accomplish this exercise with proper form.
Repeat for the other side.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 24


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Hanging Leg Raise

¾ This is an excellent exercise for the lower abdominals and hip flexor muscles. This
exercise is demanding. Make sure that you have progressed through this series of
exercises without any lower back pain and fully functional lower abdominal strength.
Begin this exercise by hanging from a secure bar with your palms facing forward and
shoulder width apart. Contract lower abdominals and hip flexors and position your
thighs parallel to the ground. Never let your hips come out of this flexed position, unless
you have been instructed to work on hip flexor integration due to a flat back posture.
Gradually elevate your knees towards your chest by rotating your pelvis forward until
your abdominal region is fully contracted. Slowly lower back to the starting position.
Please keep in mind if you feel lower back pain stop the exercise.

Woodchopper Dynamic

¾ Woodchopper dynamic is a more advanced version of the standing woodchopper. The


only difference between standing woodchopper and dynamic woodchopper is shifting
your center of gravity. This more advance woodchopper series is one of the best
exercises for integrating more explosive power. To perform the woodchopper exercise,
stand perpendicular to the weight stack and cable system in an athletic stance. Use the
top bottom pulley position or if you are using an adjustable cable system adjust the
pulley to the top position. Grasp the cable handle with your right hand and place your
left hand over your right. Make sure your weight is shifted to your left or over your left
hip. Draw your belly button into your spine. Rotate your torso and slowly shift your
weight as you pull the cable handle down and across the front of your chest to a fully
extended arm position on the opposite side near your right hip. Your weight should now
be over your right side. Return to the starting position shifting back to the starting
position. Keep your body in good postural alignment and try not to flex forward or
sideways. You can do this exercise at a faster tempo and more explosive if you wish.
Adjust the weight so you can accomplish this exercise with proper form. Repeat for the
other side

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 25


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Reverse Woodchopper Dynamic

¾ Reverse woodchopper dynamic is a more advanced version of the reverse


woodchopper. To perform the woodchopper exercise, stand perpendicular to the weight
stack and cable system in an athletic stance. Use the bottom pulley or if you are using
an adjustable cable system adjust the pulley to the bottom position. Grasp the cable
handle with your right hand and place your left hand over your right. Make sure your
weight is shifted to your left or over your left hip. Draw your belly button into your spine.
Rotate your torso and slowly shift your weight as you pull the cable handle up and
across the front of your chest to a fully extended arm position on the opposite side.
Your weight should now be over your right side. Return to the starting position. Keep
your body in good postural alignment and do not flex forward or sideways. Adjust the
weight so you can accomplish this exercise with proper form. Repeat for the other side.
Be cautious with this exercise if you have thoracic mobility problems.

Front Squat

¾ The front squat is an excellent exercise for developing lower body strength while
increasing the integration between the core and the lower extremities. It also places
less of a load on the spinal column thus reducing the chance of injury. You can perform
this exercise with only your body weight until you reach a point where you can do three
sets of 25 reps and have no muscle soreness. To perform the front squat stand tall with
you feet slightly wider then shoulder width. You can turn your toes out up to 30 degrees
depending on your comfort. I recommend about 15 degrees. Put the dowel rod high on
your shoulders as seen in the picture and place your hands with palms facing up at
shoulder width . Gently draw your belly button in and initiate the movement from the
hips not the knees. Slowly descend to the bottom position with your gluteus maximus
(bottom) gently touching the back of your calves. If you cannot descend all the way
down without going on the balls the your feet, only go as far as you can before your
heels begin to rise. This is an indication of a range of motion restriction in your calves.
To increase the intensity of the front squat, replace the dowel rod with a barbell or
dumbbells.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 26


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Weight Crunch on Swiss Ball

¾ Gently sit on the Swiss ball in a comfortable position. Place a dumbbell on your chest
and stabilize it by gripping it on the outside. Make sure that your tongue is on the roof of
your mouth to stabilize your cervical spine. Gradually lower yourself to the lying position
then curl up so your rectus abdominis is fully contracted. To stabilize your lower body,
place some weighted dumbbells over your feet. This exercise can become difficult so a
workout partner is a good idea.

Reverse Crunch on Swiss Ball

¾ Lie on a Swiss ball with your back, scapula, and sacrum pressed against the ball. With
your legs together, flex them to 90 degrees or perpendicular to the bench. Hold firmly to
the top edge of the bench, a platform or stationary object may also be used, to anchor
the upper body down. Slowly proceed to contract the lower abdominal region by pulling
the pelvis up towards the rib cage. Continue to pull the pelvis towards the rib cage until
the abdominals are fully contracted and the hips are rolled up slightly off the Swiss ball.
Slowly lower the trunk and pelvis to the starting position. This is a challenging exercise
so please be careful of you surroundings and make sure you check you Swiss ball for
damage.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 27


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Single Arm Cable Push

¾ To perform this exercise, adjust a cable pulley column to shoulder height. Stand in a
split stance with your back to the cable pulley machine. Grip a standard single hand
handle with your elbow back parallel to the floor. Push the cable forward and across
your body in the same motion as you would producing a punch.

Single Arm Cable Pull

¾ To perform this exercise, adjust a cable pulley column to shoulder height. Stand in a
split stance facing the cable pulley machine. Grip a standard single hand handle with
your arm fully extended and your opposite elbow back parallel to the floor. Pull the
cable backward and rotate your torso.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 28


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Reverse Hyperextensions

¾ To perform the reverse hyperextension place a Swiss ball under your mid section for
support. I advise you to anchor you feet against a door or another solid object. Once in
the proper position gradually contract your back muscles and rise up until your body is
straight in alignment. Keep good lumbar curve while doing this exercise. DO NOT LET
IT ROUND OUT. The simple progression of this exercise is to start with your arms at
your sides. After you can successfully do three sets with no muscle soreness you can
move up the ladder by placing your arms across your chest then progress to the picture
above with you fingers touching your check bones.

Multi-Directional Lunge

¾ The multi-directional lunge is a great exercise for strengthening the hip joint and aiding
in the stabilization of the core. To perform the exercise put a dowel rod on your back
with your arms comfortably under the rod. There are five different movements involved

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 29


¾ in the multidirectional lunge. Always begin the movements by taking a
deep breath and drawing in your belly button. As you return to the start
position gradually release the air in your lungs. To begin with the first
movement slowly step forward with your left leg making sure your
shinbone is perpendicular to the ground and keeping your hips square.
Gradually dip into the lunge position. Moving on to movement two from the
start position forward lunge to your right at a 45-degree angle while
keeping your head and hips square to the front. Slowly return to the start
position. The third movement is a lateral lunge. To perform this movement
step laterally to your right. Remember to keep your head, chest, and hips
square to the front. Slowly drop down as far as you can and return to the
start position. The forth movement involved in this exercise is the 45
degree backward lunge. From the start position look behind to get an idea
where you are going to take a step. Perform the movement by stepping
back at a 45-degree angle dipping the knee and then returning to the start
position remembering to let the air out slowly. The final movement is a
backward lunge performed by stepping backwards. It is the same as the
forward lunge except you are stepping backward. You will find some of
these positions difficult but stay with them and you will soon be doing all
without too much trouble. If you are having trouble here are a few helpful
hints: alternate legs, do fewer reps, slow the tempo, if you are having pain
only go as far as you can.

NOTE:

I would recommend you looking into purchasing a quality Swiss ball. Although
not needed for every exercise and pre-caution must be used while performing all
exercises on a swiss ball.
For info just david@fit-zone.com

Swiss Ball – the Dura Ball Pro


Increase balance, strength and refine performance. You can even use them at
your desk as a chair! The Paul Chek anti-burst Swiss balls have been improved.
Paul has been collaborating with an Australian manufacturer to develop the
world’s best Swiss Ball.
I recommend using the new, stronger and safer Dura Ball ProTM for all
resistance training programs. The Dura Ball ProTM balls are university tested to
the following limits:

45cm ball 2500lbs static load burst proof up to 1000lbs


55cm ball 2500lbs static load burst proof up to 1000lbs
65cm ball 2500lbs static load burst proof up to 1000lbs
75cm ball 2000lbs static load burst proof up to 800lbs
David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

To get yourself a Swiss ball: follow this link and order one based on your height.

Get Your Swiss Ball Here!

Sizing a Swiss Ball for exercise:


The ball should be firm and the exerciser’s thighs should be parallel to the floor when sitting on
the ball.
If your height is less than 5'2” you will need a 45cm ball 0100U Wt. 3 lbs. $30.00
If your height is 5'2” to 5’8" you will need a 55cm ball 0101U Wt. 3½ lbs. $35.00
If your height is 5’9" to 6’2" you will need a 65cm ball 0102U Wt. 3½ lbs. $40.00
If your height is 6’3" to 6’9" you will need a 75cm ball 0103U Wt. 4 lbs. $45.00

Sizing a Swiss Ball for use as a chair:


Use one size larger than you would need for exercise, and inflate until your thighs are parallel
to the floor. The ball will be soft and more comfortable to sit on.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 31


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Training the Abdominal Region

Abdominal training over the years has been primarily focused solely on the rectus abdominis
for the “six pack.” However, the core region of your body is more complex than just the rectus
abdominis. A solid abdominal training and good look involves more than one muscle group.

Your body was made to withstand many environmental conditions and the ability to stabilize
your core muscles was vital. Our ancestors could not afford to have back pain. They needed
to function on a basic level that involved moving rocks, building shelter, climbing mountains or
running after food. If they had a bad back their likelihood of survival would have been deeply
diminished.

Our core muscles contribute to functional movement patterns and allow us to perform simple
to complex tasks such as bending, walking, squatting, etc. Without a thorough understanding
of what contributes to core stabilization and strength we fall prey to many of modern societies
ailments. Lower back pain is the number one patient complaint in America. A core-conditioning
program will decrease the likelihood of back and neck pain, incontinence, ruptured disks,
muscles and ligamentous strains, while looking and feeling better.

To fully understand how we can achieve the ultimate abdominal and core region we must first
look at the functional anatomy and core stabilization mechanisms.

There are many muscles that make up the core region. The main muscles are located on the
front, side, and back of our body. Some of the muscles are seen above: transverse abdominis,
internal oblique, external oblique, and rectus abdominis. The other muscles involved include

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 32


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

the quadratus lumborum, diaphragm, erector spinae, multifidus, and the Latissimus dorsi. As
you can see what allows us to bend forward, sideways, and backwards quite complex. You
must approach the training of these muscles as a unit. You do not want to be carried away
with over developing one particular muscular group. So the abdominal/core program and
exercises are designed to appropriately address each of these areas.

The core muscles are also aided by a few mechanical mechanisms that enhance functional
movement and stability of the spine. They are the Intra-Abdominal Pressure Mechanism and
the thoraco-lumbar Fascia Gain Mechanism.

The thought behind the Intra-abdominal pressure mechanism is as you draw your belly button
into your spine you push your body organs up into the diagrammatic area and down into the
pelvic area. This creates a force and pressure, which aids in stability for your spine.

Additionally as you use the Intra-abdominal pressure mechanism to aid in stability of the spine
you also draw upon the thoraco-lumbar fascia gain mechanism. Again as you draw your belly
button in you create tension or tightening of the fascia (this is the area on your body’s lower
back that no muscle appears you can really see is on a lean person). This also aids in stability
of your spine. For additional information about these mechanisms you can contact me at
david@fit-zone.com

Core Strengthening and Fat Lose

As far as working out, your goal should be to perform your workouts on an empty stomach. At
most, have a good protein meal feeding prior to training. But let it digest first. This will force
your body to get its fuel from fat since its main source of fuel (carbohydrates) will be minimal.

The warm up is important. You should begin all abdominal workouts with cardiovascular
activity such as a stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine. This is an important part of
safety and maximizes the fat-burning process. Special attention should be paid to your spinal
column in the warm up. Warming up the spinal column will reduce soreness and injuries.
Cardio should be done at the beginning to warm up your body then after the abdominal
workout another 10 minute session should be performed to burn additional calories and keep
the fat burning cycle fired up.

If you normally do not work out, you should start with about 10 minutes of cardio twice a week
only. Gradually work your way up until you're performing up to 20 - 25 minutes of cardio
comfortably (breathing easy). For example, perform 10 minutes of low impact cardio for about
three weeks.

Add five additional minutes to your cardio sessions every two weeks after that until you're at
least able to perform 20 minutes of aerobic (i.e. using the heart) activity.

Try to avoid hill levels on bikes and treadmills. It's a waste of time and won't really do any
additional fat burning. Running is also "not" required or recommended on a treadmill or
outdoors for the same reason. Instead, focus on gradually increasing walking speed or bike

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 33


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

resistance over the duration of the exercise. Cardio should not be strenuous. It should be
extremely low impact and easy to perform.

Going to muscular failure mentioned time and time again in the bodybuilding arena subjects
you to overuse injuries and only adds a slight degree of improvement so be cautious when
working the abdominal/core region.

Muscle responds to resistance or stress. The abdominal muscles especially the rectus
abdominis has specific neurological interventions. The abdominal region has eight nerve
interventions into the surrounding muscles while the bicep only has one. This complexity leads
to a slightly different approach.

Depending again upon your current physical condition you must make the decision on how
much is appropriate for your physical body. Sticking with the program is the most important
part to developing a core region that many body builders and models possess.

I have put together a control and stabilization plan plus many different levels of core workouts.
Each workout effectively targets every major abdominal/core muscle group. These routines
use the traditional one-after-the-other exercise technique with little rest between exercises.

You can also put together your own routine using the exercises in this book. Just make sure
you can do the exercises in proper form and never go to failure (muscular fatigue) like in
bodybuilding. If you are working out other muscles groups in the same session always do core
conditioning last. This prevents stabilizer fatigue and possible injury.

Another way to develop your workout routine is by doing lower abs on day one, followed by
obliques on training day two, and upper abs on day three. This way you do not exhaust each
group at each workout.

A basic example:

Workout 1: Lower Body Workout 2: Pushing Workout 3: Pulling

Lunge Bench Press Chin Ups


Squats Dumbbell Flies Bent Rows
Leg Curls Military Press Back Extensions
Leg extensions Triceps Extension Bicep Curls
Lower abdominals Obliques Upper abdominals

This routine can be changed to what you desire, however, the basic idea is present.

Before you go into abdominal/core conditioning you need to assess your current upper and
lower abdominal strength. Here are two modified tests that you can complete with the aid of a
mirror.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 34


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Lower abdominal strength test

Lie on your back on the floor and place your hands palm down under your lower back. Lift your
legs up so they are perpendicular to the floor. With your fingers under your lower back or
lumbar spine simply roll your pelvis back so you are placing slight pressure on your fingers.
Slowly begin to lower your legs toward the floor and note at which leg angle your back begins
to arch. This is the point at which your lower abdominal can no longer stabilize your lumbar
spine.

Males should work to 100% and women to 80% just take a look at the picture above.

NOTE: This Lower abdominal strength test should not be performed if you have any existing
back pain.

Upper abdominal strength test

Lie on your back with you knee bent with you arms across you chest slowly raise you back off
the floor. With out any addition muscles being used and absolutely no momentum. Keep you
chin toward the ceiling and tongue on the roof of your mouth. If you cannot lift your back up off
the floor, I suggest seeing your physician or physical therapist. This is an indication of
additional orthopedic problems. DO NOT DO ANY OF THE EXERCISES IN THIS BOOK
BEFORE YOU ARE CLEARED BY YOUR PHYSICAN.

The exercises listed below follow a simple method. Each section has listed the following
headlines: exercise, rest, Intensity, tempo, reps, and sets. Each variable has its place and
need. To understand each variable here is a short description of each:

Exercise: The exercise to be performed in the core routine. Each exercise is placed in order
of execution.

Rest: This is the period of time you rest between exercises or if given more then one set
between sets of the same exercise. Min or sec can display the number.

Intensity: This is the amount of workload or how hard you are going to work. (BW) indicates
bodyweight. You will find out what intensity you should use with regard to amount of weight by

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 35


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

the repetition number. If you see –2 then this means stop two reps before your maximum
effort.

Lifting Speed or Tempo: This indicates speed of movement. The first number indicates the
first movement of the exercise, the second number indicates isometric part of the exercise,
and the third number indicates the final part of the exercise. For example: 323 simply means
three seconds on the first movement, hold for two seconds, and three seconds on the final
part of the movement. Also there are times where it will be displayed in 10-second hold (H)
and 10-second rest. Plus there will be times when you see slow, medium, and fast.

Reps: This is the amount of muscular action you do within a set. When you can complete
more then the described amount of reps with no muscle soreness increase the weight by five
percent. A – sign may be in front of some repetition suggestions in the exercise table. The –
sign is indicates do not go to the maximum amount of reps. A – 2 simply means do not go all
the way to 10 if the rep window is 8-10.

Sets: This is the amount of workload for a given exercise sequence. For example: if you see a
exercise that says sets 1-3 then begin with one set of the exercise. You can add sets as long
as you have no muscle soreness at the next scheduled workout date.

The following exercise routine would be performed after your five to eight minute cardio warm
up session:

RULES TO TRAIN BY:


♦ Always train with perfect posture.
♦ Activate deep abdominal muscles by drawing in your belly button.
♦ Do not use a weight belt.
♦ Train muscle through a full range of motion.
♦ Avoid machine training for the core (they place you on a fixed path way and stabilize your
body for you).
♦ When doing any crunch type exercise always keep you tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Core Functional Stabilization and Control Exercises

Abdominal/Core Level 1

Exercise Intensity Tempo Reps Sets Rest

Horse Stance Vertical Body weight 10 H - 10 R 12 2 min


Pelvic tilt Body weight 10 H - 10 R 12 2 min
Heel slides Body weight varies 10 L / R 2 min
4 point transverse- Body weight 10 H - 10 R 15 3 min
abdominis vacuum

This beginning abdominal/core routine lays a foundation for more advanced abdominal
training. The above training program develops the inner unit, a set of muscles that are
neurological linked (transverse abdominis, diaphragm, multifidus and pelvic floor), providing

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 36


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

joint stabilization and integration. If the “inner unit” does not activate properly your spine,
pelvis, and joint structures are placed under undue stress. This stress creates an atmosphere,
which leads to many orthopedic and spinal injuries. Good communication is necessary
between all the musculature involved in core movements.

The core muscles and spine stabilizers must be trained in the correct order. Lower abdominal
then obliques and finish with upper abdominals.

This level I core conditioning program should be performed daily for at least two to three
weeks before advancing. I advise everyone to follow the above program to insure proper
muscular communication, stabilization, and integration. This will prevent injuries from
occurring as the programs increase in intensity. Also perform these exercises with perfect
posture and form. One of the main considerations when training the core is to maintain
muscular balance between the trunk flexors and trunk extenders.

Abdominal/Core Level II
Exercise Intensity Tempo Reps Sets Rest

Day 1 and 4
Prone Alternating Arm and Leg BW 15 H-10 R 10 each side 1-3 60s
Lower Abdominal: Leg Lifts Alternate BW Slow 10 each leg 1-3 60s
Lower Abdominal: Leg Cycle Alternate BW Slow 10 each leg 1-3 60s
Transverse Flat Vacuum BW 30 H-10 R 2-4 4 min

Day 2 and 5
Russian Twist: With Swiss Ball BW Slow 8-12 each side 1-3 60s
Horse Stance Horizontal BW 10 H 10 each side 1-3 60s
Cross Crunch BW Slow 8-12 each side 1-3 60s
Floor Crunch BW Slow 8-12 1-3 60s

Abdominal/Core Level III


Day 1 and 4
Russian Twist: Leg Straight BW slow 8-12 1-3 60s
Dumbbell Side Flexion Standing 202 8-12 each side 1-3 60s
Reverse Crunch on Floor BW 313 8-12 1-3 60s

Day 2 and 5
Horse Stance Horizontal BW 10 H 10 each side 2-3 60s
Prone Knee and Hip Flexion BW 323 8-12 2-3 60s
Forward Ball Roll BW 333 8-12 1-3 60s
Swiss Ball Crunch BW 313 8-12 1-3 60s

Abdominal/Core Level IV
Day 1 and 4
Supine Lateral Ball Roll BW 1 sec holds 6-8 2-3 60s Horizontal
Woodchopper -2 reps 202 8-12 each side 2-3 60s
Core Twister on Swiss Ball (prone) BW Slow to Mod 8-12 each side 2-3 60s
Reverse Crunch on Bench BW 313 8-12 2-3 60s

Day 2 and 5
Lunge BW 212 8-12 each side 2-3 60s
Prone Bridge BW 202 8-12 each side 2-3 60s
Horse Stance Alphabet BW Max each side slow 1-3 60s
Swiss Ball Crunch BW 303 8-12 2-3 60s

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 37


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Abdominal/Core level V
Day 1and 4
Woodchopper Standing -2 202 8-12 each side 2-4 60s
Bent Rows -2 333 6-8 2-4 60s
Reverse Crunch on Incline Bench BW 313 8-12 2-4 60s

Day 2 and 5
Hip Extensions on Swiss Ball (supine) BW 223 6-8 2-3 60s
Swiss Ball Side Flexion BW 303 8-12 2-3 60s
Straight Arm Pull Downs -1 212 8-12 3-4 60s

Abdominal/Core level VI
Day 1 and 4
Reverse Woodchopper Standing -2 202 8-12 2-4 60s
Front Squat -2 303 8-12 2-4 60s
Single Arm Cable Pulls -2 202 8-12 2-4 60s
Reverse Crunch on Swiss ball BW 313 8-12 2-4 60s

Day 2 and 5
Supine Hip Extension (one leg) BW 303 8-12 2-4 60s
Supine Single Arm Dumbbell Press
Reverse Hyperextension on Swiss Ball BW 333 8-12 2-4 60s
Cable Crunch 202 8-12 2-4 60s

Abdominal/Core Level VII


Day 1 and 4
Supine Lateral Ball Roll BW 2 sec holds
Multi Directional Lunge
Woodchopper Dynamic -2 202 8-12 2-4 60s
Hanging Leg Raise BW 102 8-12 2-4 60s

Day 2 and 5
Single Arm Cable Push -2 202 8-12 2-4 60s
Forward Ball Roll BW 333 8-12 2-4 60s
Weight Crunch on Swiss Ball -2 202 8-12 2-4 60s
Reverse Hyperextension on Swiss Ball (dynamic) BW 202 8-12 2-4 60s

That's it! There is no hidden secret to training abs! You don't need fancy TV or gym equipment!
You can even perform most of these routines at home with the aid of the simple workout bench
and Swiss ball. Some of these exercises do require some cable apparatus and can be
accomplished with a light dumbbell. Since you have purchased this book you are free to email
me any time for substitute exercises.

Modify your routine as needed to prevent your body from adapting to the workout. Once your
body is able to adapt to your workout, you won't get results. Therefore, it is extremely important
to mix it up and switch your workouts around constantly. Do not neglect the power of this
advanced training technique.

This abdominal routine should take about 10 minutes to complete at the beginning stages. I
have offered suggestions of the sound, solid core conditioning routine. You must ask yourself
how much time you are willing to devote to flattening your abdominals. If you can only muster 5

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 38


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

minutes a day then do 5 minutes a day. Make your training regiment work for you! Experiment
with different training styles to find which method works the best for your body type.

More Questions

Question: Should I use weights while performing abdominal work so they will show up better?

Answer: Yes you should use weights at particular times in your progression. There are many
exercises that are executed with a weight stack or dumb bells. Remember abdominal muscles
are the same as any other muscles such as your quads. However, I caution you about using
excessive weight without proper form. When the exercise gets to the point where the form
begins to break down it should be stopped. You are placing a large demand upon your body so
those three extra reps can do you more harm than good.

Question: Should I sit in the sauna to lose some extra weight around my abs?

Answer: I'll admit . . . After years of being a highly successful wrestler (not professional, but real)
you will lose weight by sitting in a sauna, but only temporarily. Any weight lost in the sauna is
only water weight, which means it will naturally replenish itself the next time you have a drink. I
suggest a sauna for recuperation ability after a workout and on your days off. Make sure to drink
plenty of mineral water to replenish you fluid intake. Remember you should drink half your body
weight in ounces each day.

Question: How often should I train my abs?

Answer: You should train your abdominal region and core just like any other muscle group. It
needs time to recover and repair. You would not do 100 biceps curls and the next day to
another hundred. Follow the above advice and always train the lower abdominals first, followed
by the obliques, and then finish with the upper abdominals. No more than 4 light sessions a
week.

Question: Is there any type of abdominal training equipment I should use?

Answer: In my opinion, the best and most basic piece of equipment is a Swiss ball and maybe a
soft exercise mat to protect your back. Anything sold on an infomercial or any high-end,
hundred-dollar abdominal exercise machine is a waste. They offer no additional benefit. Some
may offer more convenience, but no additional results.

Tip: Try performing abdominal exercises such as crunches and leg lifts on your bed. The
softness of a mattress allows the best lower back protection. It works! And if you're having lower
back problems try placing a folded towel the thickness of your hand underneath your lumbar
spine.

Question: What's the best time of day to train abs?

Answer: The best time of day to train abs is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach after
a good to warm-up. This is when glycogen stores (carbohydrate) or blood sugar levels are at

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 39


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

their lowest availability. They're low because a substantial amount of them are burned overnight
during sleep.

Workout energy usually comes from muscle carbohydrates previously eaten earlier in the day.
On an empty stomach, the body is forced to use fat as an energy source. This is why the
morning hour is the best time to train the midsection.

If you decide to train in the afternoon, try to ensure you have gone at least two hours without
food. For maximum results, you want to have the lowest amount of carbs present in your body
at the time you workout. By restricting your carbs or energy intake, you give your body only one
alternate source to go for energy . . . fat.

Question: What are the three best abdominal exercises?

Answer: Just follow the recommendation of training and gaining coordination and
communication to the lower abdominals first this allows for pelvic stability while increasing the
intensity loads

My Take On Supplementation

Question: How about fat burn and weight loss supplements? Do they work?

Answer: The answer to this question is yes and no. All fat-burn supplements are basically the
same. If you mean Don Lemmon’s Multi Nutrient that has a special combination of vitamins and minerals
that burn fat without caffeine and stimulants, that works. If you mean something that tears your
system down for an outward benefit, NO.

For the records, the sole purpose of a fat burner is to help increase the metabolism. I guarantee
you each fat burner will contain at least one or more of the following ingredients:

CAFFEINE

I didn't think there was a need to go into what caffeine is and how it works. Caffeine is by far the
most popular energy and fat burn supplement on the market. Sources of caffeine include soda,
coffee, chocolate. It does NOT burn fat, it simply races your heart.

GUARANA

Guarana is really just another name for caffeine. It has also been shown to help treat diarrhea,
decrease fatigue, curb the appetite, and help with arthritis pain. Guarana also helps to reduce
hangovers from alcohol abuse and headaches during menstruation. See above.

ASPIRIN

Aspirin in fat burners is used to thin out the blood, making the effects of herbs and additional
ingredients more potent. It will more than likely be listed as white willow bark or extract. White
willow is actually what aspirin is derived from. Aspirin rots the lining of your belly.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 40


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

L-CARNITINE

The amino acid L-carnitine is used (and needed) to release energy from fat. Research shows
that individuals who supplement with L-carnitine while engaging in an exercise regiment are less
likely to experience muscle soreness.

You may see a label that has "acetyl" L-carnitine. This version of L-carnitine does basically the
same thing as regular L-carnitine; metabolize food into energy.

Don't let these findings urge you to go out and buy a bottle of pure L-carnitine because it isn't
effective as the studies show! You need 20 grams a day for real results!

VITAMIN B6

Vitamin B6 (aka Pyridoxine) in a fat burn supplement is used to process amino acids, the
building blocks of protein. It also plays an important role in the regulation of the mental process
and mood, and acts as a natural diuretic. Doesn’t work without all other B-complexes.

CHROMIUM PICOLINATE

Chromium picolinate is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood
sugar levels. Chromium has been shown to increase HDL (High Density Lipids, good
cholesterol), while lowering LDL (Low Density Lipids, bad cholesterol). However, it is chromium
poly-nicotinate that actually stimulates a fat burning process.

MA HUANG

The purpose of ma huang in a fat burner is to increase energy. The effects are similar to that of
caffeine, but more potent. It stimulates the central nervous system, dilates the bronchial tubes,
elevates blood pressure, and increases the heart rate. See caffeine.

CITRUS EXTRACT

Some weight loss formulas may also contain appetite suppressants such as Citrintm or
Citrimaxtm. You may find it listed under a different name, but the "citri" prefix is what you're
looking for. The citrus extract [hydroxy citric acid (HCA)] is a chemical derived from fruits. It's
supposed to help curb the appetite.

Some fat loss supplements contain herbal diuretics. This is to help rid excess water weight.
Natural herbal diuretics include uva ursi leaves, buchu leaves, goldenseal root or extract, and
juniper berries to name a few. It is one of the biggest scams around. Eat an orange.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 41


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

My take on supplements:

I believe that most supplements in their "original" form do work and can be a tremendous asset .
. . The problem is that what you can buy in stores is only the "diluted" version of the real thing.
For example, fat-burn supplements and lean muscle mass supplements in their original form
(i.e. pharmaceutical grade) I believe are extremely effective.

To be up front with you, Don Lemmon's Multi Nutrient and Lemmon's Oil have no comparisons
as far as quality, processing, nature, etc. when it comes to vitamins, mineral and essential fatty
acid supplements. Take a look here fit-zone.com

When “researchers” perform before and after result studies, I believe them to often times be
true. Often times, the dosages used in experimental studies are an extremely high and
concentrated version of the supplement. It may even come in the form of injection. All of which
are usually doctor prescribed and closely monitored. The problem is that they use these study
results to sell a watered down version of the supplement in magazines, stores, and on TV.
That's where the problem is.

Bottom line: You don't really need fat-burn supplements or any other kind of supplement if you
diet properly. They can be misleading. What I don't like in particular is the word "fat burn." Fat
burners burn very little fat. They're supposed to speed up the metabolism, which should
ultimately burn fat. They do, but never long enough for anything to really happen. After taking
them, you may feel a 15- to 30-minute allergic-like reaction or rush, and that's it.

To truly burn fat, you must increase the body's metabolism over the course of an entire day. The
worst mistake you can make is to assume fat-burn supplements are magic pills. They're not
magic bullets! You mostly notice increased energy when you first take a fat burner. But continual
use of fat-burn supplements will cause your body to become immune to them. Fat burners
become less effective the more you take them. The body will begin to adapt to the effects. You'll
more than likely notice the wearing down effect within weeks after using a fat burner.

Take a look at The Know How Nutritional Manual

Taking excessive amounts of high caffeine and ephedrine pills can cause harmful side effects.
They can damage the stomach lining, kidneys, and the entire nervous system by causing
uncontrollable shaking and jitters. That's why almost every fat burner has the natural diuretic
vitamin B6. It helps rid the body of potentially harmful and side effect-causing herbs.

If you drink a cup of coffee and it makes you tired, your system is telling you “enough is enough”
and you need a break. Your adrenal system is fried.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 42


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Supplement Questions

Question: I saw an infomercial advertising a caffeine-free fat burner. Is this possible?

Answer: For the record, nothing on an infomercial is worth the money. What companies do
when they make a caffeine-free claim is use a derivative (or extract) of caffeine known as ma
hang. Technically it's not the same thing as caffeine but has the same potential effects on the
body.

Sometimes you may see "Contains No Ephedrine" or "Ephedrine-Free" claims. Ephedrine is an


extremely powerful alkaloid that naturally speeds up the heart rate. The end result is a higher
metabolism. Ephedrine is also used to treat asthma (i.e. inhalers), acting as a bronchodilator,
and has been known to cause deaths when taken in excess. A bronchodilator opens air
passages, which helps you to breathe deeper.

Now, don't let this information scare you. Most ephedrine-related deaths are a result of stupidity.
For example, someone taking too many ephedrine pills once they find out they "really" work.

When the "ephedrine-free" hook is used, supplement companies just use an alternative
metabolism booster such as caffeine or ginseng, or a combination of the two. By the way, the
"ephedrine-free" hook is only used to boost sales. It's a marketing strategy.

Note: You may find ephedrine listed as ma huang. They are derivatives of each other. Each has
the same effects on the body. If you decide to use fat burners, it's best to use a quality, trusted
brand name fat burner.

Please take all fat burn supplements in moderation. It may be best to take fat-burn supplements
for two or three weeks at a time with a two-week lay off. During the two-week lay off, drink only
water to clean the system.

Tip: If you've never used a fat burner, consider starting with only half the recommendation on
the back of the supplement bottle, then work your way up to normal recommendations. For
example, if a bottle says, "For best results, take four capsules four times daily." This can be
dangerous to someone who weighs 110 pounds. It may be too much to start out. Instead, take
one or two capsules per day, see how you feel, then begin to work your way up to normal
recommendations.

PROTEIN

Another supplement that can be beneficial in an abdominal training regiment is protein. For
some people, this supplement may not work. Even though it's pure protein, it can still cause you
to gain weight in some cases. Ultimately, it will come down to individual body type.

This supplement is mainly recommended for people with high metabolisms who wish to build
lean muscle mass. If your goal is to trim down your midsection, it's probably in your best interest
not to take a separate protein supplement but to eat real food.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 43


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

The only protein powder on the market I would ever recommend is Pure Whey Protein
from Dr. Fred Hatfield’s Pro Power Supplement Web Site.

HERBAL LAXATIVES

Herbal laxatives are used to loosen bowels and ease constipation as the result of low dietary
fiber or a lack of proper fluids. They can be found in many different forms, usually in pill or tea
form. You can find them in almost all health food stores.

Most herbal laxatives are a combination of digestive enzymes and herbs. One of the most
commonly used is the senna leaf. Herbal laxatives are by far the easiest way to lose weight, but
also the most dangerous. What people fail to realize is that they jeopardize themselves when
they take them in excess. They risk the possibility of an electrolyte imbalance, weakness,
dehydration, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, and even death. They lose the essential
ingredients needed to function properly on a daily basis.

Bottom line: Herbal laxatives are dangerous when taken for the sole purpose of losing weight.
They can kill you! Also, most herbal remedies and natural supplements have not been tested by
a nationally recognized, credible organization, which is why many companies put exaggerated
claims on their bottle labels.

Question: How about the all-natural chitosan supplement I saw on TV? Does this stuff work?

Answer: Chitosan is supposed to act as an insoluble dietary fiber. As a weight loss product, it's
supposed to bind with fat and eliminate itself from the body.

The fat is supposed to go through your system without ever being absorbed, which should
ultimately enable you to burn more stored fat as energy and lose weight.

Retailers of chitosan claim that when you take it with meals, it's as if the fats were never
consumed. In addition to weight loss, chitosan has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, while
boosting HDL cholesterol.

Chitosan is definitely another hyped-up supplement. Even though doctors and experts advertise
chitosan on TV, it still doesn't work as effective as they claim it does. There are no successful
studies on humans. And mixing oil and fiber in water is not the same as mixing it in your belly.

Question: Are supplements FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved, and is there a
place where I can go to find out if a particular supplement is approved?

Answer: Most supplements are not FDA approved; in particular the newer ones. Supplement
companies do not have to register with the FDA or get FDA approval before selling
supplements.

The manufacturer is supposed to make sure that information on the outer label is truthful and
not misleading. Supplement companies are also responsible for making sure that all of the
dietary ingredients in the supplements are safe.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 44


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

The FDA does not" keep a list of manufacturers or supplements that are currently out on the
market. If you want specific information about a particular product, your only option is to contact
the manufacturer directly.

Popular Products

Yes, there are more scams and secrets that must be revealed. My next topic has to do with
"spot reducing." For the record, there is no such thing as spot reducing. This concept was
thought possible a long time ago by scientists and doctors. It's definitely a thing of the past
because it doesn’t work. The idea behind spot reducing is to lose fat around specific areas of
the body. For women, this specific area is usually the thighs, hips, and buttocks. For men, it's
the abs.

Ever since the spot-reducing concept came on the scene, there have been several companies
who have tried to develop spot reducing products. These products include everything from
massagers to suits and belts. From herbal rubs to creams and sprays.

BELTS

We'll start with the spot-reducing belt first. The belt is approximately eight to 10 inches high, yet
long enough to fit around anyone's waist, even if they're overweight (because of its elasticity).
It's usually some type of "solar" style belt. The claim is that you will lose inches after wearing the
belt. In defense of this belt, you can lose inches. Yes, I admitted that it worked!

What they don't tell you is that it will only make you sweat, not burn fat. Sweating is what causes
you to lose inches. But the water you lose will replenish itself soon after. There's actually no fat
burning with this type of product whatsoever.

I tried one of these belts to ensure what I'm telling you is accurate. The belt is rather
comfortable. It's made of neoprene material. I worked out with it. When I was finished with my
workout, I took it off to see what my new set of abs looked like. All I noticed was a slimy, whitish
gray film of sweat that lined my abs.

SUITS

The suit involves the same concept only it's in the form of a full-body jumpsuit. The claim is that
when your body hits a certain temperature in the suit, you burn fat.

Not so! Again, you will lose weight and inches. But it's not fat you're burning, it’s water you're
sweating. Water loss is only temporary. Any weight you lose as a result of wearing a product like
this will soon naturally replenish itself.

Herbal Rubs

Herbal rubs are supposed to be rubbed directly on the problem area, usually about three times
per day in conjunction with a fitness program. I have yet to see this stuff work.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 45


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

I checked the ingredients of one of these products to see what the contents were. It was very
similar to lotion in appearance. It did have some of the herbs you find in fat burners, but it didn't
give the amount of each herb.

Who knows what's really in these things? How do you get an herb to sink into the pores of your
skin? They do have doctor prescribed "steroids" that can perform this task, but stay away from
all "target area" rub-on products, or anything that specifically targets a certain area of the body.

Question: What about the Torso Track or Ab Slide? Do they work?

Answer: My honest opinion is that these products will work, but aren't needed. They make
exercise easier and that makes the benefits diminished. Do a forward ball roll and you are
basically performing the same exercise and getting more bang for your buck.

I've seen almost every fitness infomercial product. What I noticed with each was that they had
already been invented. Most of the infomercials advertised improved or slightly different
products, which were already on the market under a different name.

For example, the abdominal wheel has been around for years. A single abdominal wheel goes
for about $8 new. It provides the same range of motion as the "three easy payments of $29.99"
products do. Also, what I noticed was that each of these products could easily be made yourself
with items you already have in your house or can buy in a hardware store for pennies.

If you take note of each infomercial abdominal product, you'll see how each is made to make an
already existing exercise "easier." To me, this translates to "no results." As stated before, the
abdominal muscles respond to constant resistance [using natural body weight] over an
extended period of time.

They're basically taking the "mandatory" resistance factor out of the picture and saying, "You
can still get results!" Not so, my friend.

What I also noticed was the strategy used to sell infomercial products: "Get defined abs in only
three weeks, guaranteed!" Or "Lose 20 pounds in two weeks or your money back!" Any time
they make a claim this bold; they're telling you only half the truth.

It's impossible to predict the success of each person that uses a particular product. For
example, my results are going to be different than yours because our bodies are different.

For the record, "fat" is the only reason why abdominal muscles become non-visible. You can
perform 200,000 sit-ups a day, but they will never appear as long as fat is what hides the
abdominal muscles.

The makers of abdominal infomercials know this because almost every product will include a
diet program. Or you may see in small print at the bottom of the TV screen, "Ultimate success
comes as a result of a healthy diet. Individual results may vary."

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 46


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Question: I'm thinking about buying those Kick Boxing videos. I would like to get your opinion
before I do.

Answer: I would advise looking for a top of the line personal trainer. These Video’s use a
strategy that combines aerobics, Tae Kwon-Do, and kickboxing performed at an upbeat tempo.
For the record, they can work but in the short term and can lead to many over use injuries.

These videos do not promote "consistency over an extended period of time." The same applies
for almost all exercise videotapes. They only provide a "short-term" benefit to the consumer.

Basic cardiovascular activity such as riding on a stationary bike, walking on a treadmill or an


elliptical machine burns as much fat and is as effective as any exercise video out on the market,
and you're still doing less work!

Low impact aerobics is much better and safer than taking your heart rate on an almost
anaerobic roller coaster ride with these martial arts videos. Ride a bike for 20 minutes 3 days a
week and leave the worries behind.

Question: I saw an infomercial advertising supplements that are called Fat Neutralizer. Does this
work?

Answer: Impossible! I have send these infomercials and I’m here to tell you they are not worth
anything.

Fat Neutralizer supposedly "eliminates fat from your diet." For example, if you want a piece of
cake, you just take a Fat Neutralizer pill before you eat the cake and it's supposed to be almost
the equivalent of eating a piece of lean chicken breast. Give me a break! TAKE SOME FIBER
AND SAVE THE MONEY!

I personally haven't seen the ingredients in any of these so-called Fat Neutralizers, but there is
absolutely nothing out on the market that's 100% natural, which "eliminates fat from your diet"
and make cake the equivalent of a chicken breast. If this product worked so well, why isn't
everyone taking it?

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 47


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Top 15 Abdominal Secrets

1. Cut Calories
Cutting calories is the key to maintaining a trim midsection. When you drop caloric intake your
body is forced to burn fat all over, not just in one area. This doesn't mean starve, it means drop
the junk.

2. Eat at Least Five to Six Small Meals Per Day


Small meals eaten frequently helps to keep your metabolism high, allowing you to burn fat, even
while you sleep.

3. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake At Night


Since the majority of carbs consumed are complex (slow release), tapering them off toward the
end of the day will minimize the possibility of carb-to-fat turnover.

4. Eat a Healthy Serving of Fiber with Meals


Fiber helps with the digestion of protein, carbs, and fat. It is key to burning the sugar from carbs
and makes muscles leaner. Adding fiber to your diet is one of the best things you can do. Also,
anything containing fiber is usually going to be low in calories (i.e. vegetables). Get as much of
this stuff as you possibly can.

5. Drink Plenty of Water


Water contains no calories and can be used as an appetite suppressant. Water also aids in the
metabolism of stored fat. It helps to keep sodium levels down and regulates vitamins and
minerals. Consume at least ½ your body weight in ounces.

6. Moderate Sodium Intake


High sodium means high water retention. This really happens when you are dehydrated. If you
are dehydrated and your sodium intake is high, it can actually cause you to gain weight in
addition to many other ailments such as high blood pressure. I recommend staying away from
table salt altogether and using natural salt like sea salt. Also try not to add additional sodium to
foods. When possible, eat plain. Keep sodium low to prevent excess water retention and weight
gain.

7. Lower Fat Intake


This is the one rule everyone seems to know, but can't seem to abide by. It's also the rule
nobody wants to hear. I don't think I need to go into this one much. Good fat such as Don
Lemmon’s essential fatty acids along with olive oil is great for fat loss. Other fats just make you
fat.

8. Limit Late Night Bingeing


Late night junk food eating is one of the best ways to gain weight. This is due to the body being
non-active. Calories aren't being burned they're being stored.

9. Prepare Your Own Food

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 48


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Eating "low-fat" food from fast food restaurants may not be good for the following reasons: (1)
Most make false or half the truth claims on calorie info.

(2) The consumer doesn't really know how the meal was prepared (fried, baked, grilled, etc.) or
which ingredients were added (fat, sugar, genetically produced, etc.) that could possibly
produce more fat around the abs.

For example, some foods may not be made with fat, but they may contain fat-producing oils,
which can contribute to fat buildup. And breaded fish or meat is not acceptable.

10. Don't Binge


This is probably the most commonly made mistake by people wanting to trim their midsection.
They go on a diet, get good results, and then feel the need to treat themselves because of their
progress. Treating yourself is okay, but don't overdo it.

11. Never skip meals


This is an easy one to do for most people. If I skip this meal then I’m ahead right? WRONG!
Skipping meals slows your metabolism and contributes to fat storage. The exact opposite of
your goal!

12. Exercise daily


This is a no brainer! Just find something you like and do it everyday!

13. Eat Organic


I say this because I’m a firm believe in organic food. It will serve your body well to go organic as
much as possible. E-mail me for more information david@flattenyourabs.net

14. Avoid deep fried foods


As I have stated though out this book - good fats are good for you and aid your health, bad fats
are bad and deep frying is bad!

15. Get enough sleep


Being sleep deprived will only circumvent your progress. Get 8 hours and you will feel much
better. If you would like more information on sleep and what it can benefit you e-mail
david@flattenyourabs.net

There are several ways to enjoy eating healthy. You don't have to diet, but you do have to use
diet modification. This process involves eating what you normally eat, but making simple and
healthy modifications to it. You have to enjoy life.

Tip: If you ever decide to eat any type of food that's high in fat or carbs, try to eat it early in the
day (around 11:00 am is ideal). Your goal is to minimize your body's ability to turn excess
calories into fat (this is an entire books worth of information). Most people are active (i.e. moving
around) early in the day.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 49


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Being Realistic

Question: What's realistic? How long should it take to get a decent set of abs?

Answer: The answer to this question is weeks. Some can get them in two weeks, some in 12
weeks. Everyone is different. Techniques that work for me may not work for you. So don't let
anyone tell you about a "six-week abdominal guarantee" program. It's a scam! There's no way
anyone can pinpoint a specific amount of weeks to achieve results in, let alone guarantee it
because everyone is different.

Try not to worry about seeing a six-pack or a significant drop in weight from the start. The
adjustment of body fat and muscle when read by a weighing scale can sometimes be
misleading. Instead, monitor the "inches" you lose. This is the best way to determine if your plan
is working. Looking for a six-pack from the start can cause you to get discouraged and lose
hope, because it won't happen overnight.

Once you begin working toward your goal with techniques such as diet modification and
cardiovascular activity, you should instantly notice results. You may not see a six-pack within a
week, but you will notice that your pants don't fit as they used to. This is what you should be
looking for.

Question: How does the guy on the magazine cover maintain his set of killer abs?

Answer: Often times, the people you see on magazines have normal body types. Meaning on
any given day, they won't have a visible abdominal muscle in sight. Some are naturally defined
and muscular. The secret is in their ability to diet down within a matter of weeks to get ready for
a photo shoot.

Most of them use the same techniques many bodybuilders use; only they take it to the extreme.
They cut and manipulate calories, eliminate sodium, and drink nothing but water. Some of them
even starve themselves. They can do this because they only need to maintain their peak, photo-
ready condition temporarily.

Sometimes the guy you see on the magazine cover isn't the guy you see on the magazine
cover. Huh? Yes, they now have computers. All they need is a good-looking face. They can take
inches off of a waistline and add shadow definition to a midsection.

I regularly get emails that contain photo attachments with success stories. Every now and then,
the sender will apologize for sending poor quality photos, but I actually prefer these photos.

Original, cheap, store bought cameras tell the truth! These photos are hard to doctor because of
the low quality. High quality magazine style photos can be altered, which to the naked eye, you
can't tell if they have been or not.

On that note, if you ever have a success story please let me know. I really enjoy and value
testimonials and success stories. Your feedback is like my report card.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 50


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

The Truth About Abs

I'll be honest . . . the average person doesn't possess the patience required to maintain a great
set of abs. They lack the discipline and determination needed to achieve their goal. Many
people go on "quick fix" fad diets in an effort to reduce their midsection. These fad diets are
usually highly effective, and do as they're supposed to do.

The problems begin the minute you go back to old eating habits. Going back to old eating habits
results in a rebound effect. This rebound happens every time you diet, then go off of the diet.
Each time you rebound, you gain more and more. The only way to permanently maintain quality
abdominal muscles is to get serious and actually change your lifestyle. Motivate yourself! Diets
don't work . . . lifestyle changes are what work.

There are no quick fixes. You can get a skin fold or liposuction, but they also are only temporary
fixes. The fat will replenish itself eventually. Even then, you still have to change the way you live,
as far as eating and maintaining good health are concerned.

You don't really have to eat healthy or make special arrangements to wake up at 4:00am to train
. . . and don't waste time counting meal calories, or using a crazy point system. That's no way to
live. You don't have to make drastic lifestyle changes. It can be something as simple as
switching from soda to juice. It's easy!

Remember: The true secret to obtaining great abs is mainly in the diet. You can have the best
abs in the world, but if fat covers the underlying abdominal muscles, they'll never have visibility.

Fitness Related Questions

Question: How do I determine my BMR (basic metabolic rate)? I am 5'10", 22 years old, and
180 pounds. With those same figures as above, what should my calorie intake be?

Answer: BMR calculates your daily caloric needs. I traditionally don't recommend the use of
"formulas" to calculate how many nutrients needed per day. Reason? Lets' be realistic . . . most
won't use it and it's too inconvenient.

I purposely exclude formulas from everything I write. I don't feel you should have to do math
problems to determine what you should eat. Chances are, the formula results will yield a
number of calories you're already very close to consuming on a daily basis.

Another reason I don't recommend calorie-per-day calculators or body mass calculators is


because they're not always accurate. For example, a BMR will show an incorrect reading if the
test is being done on a bodybuilder, wrestler, or football player with extremely low body fat
levels. The BMR cannot distinguish between fat and lean muscle mass.

With that said, ideally, someone of your stature would require approximately 3,000 to 4,000
calories per day, depending on what you're goal is. If you have weight to spare, keep calorie
intake toward the low end (3,000). If you want to increase your size, eat 4,000 plus calories. If
you're wondering how much you should eat in one meal setting, it should be just enough to

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 51


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

carry you over to the next meal, assuming you want to maximize the fat-burning process. If it's
size you're going for, you may have to temporarily sacrifice your lean condition and increase
your caloric intake.

Question: I understand that diet is the most important aspect of ab development. I also know
your opinion of ab machines in general.

I would like to hear your opinion of the AB-DOer specifically. I know these products are all
grossly overpriced. I have had some problems with my back, which has caused me to give up
squatting and make some ab exercises uncomfortable. Do you think the AB-DOer could have
some merit for someone in my circumstance?

Answer: To answer your question, the answer is yes and no; but I'm definitely leaning more
toward the no. Here's why:

Typically, any machine that involves gripping handles out to the side for support aren't good
because once you begin to get tired, your body will naturally have a tendency to use the arms to
force the abdominal motion, taking the abs out of the picture almost completely.

I've tested similar gym equipment, which use handles in almost the same position as the AB-
DOer, but never the AB-DOer specifically. It shouldn't differ that much. Even though you're
sitting upright using the AB-DOer, it still uses almost the exact same range of motion as the
abdominal crunch.

For example, if you were to turn this product clockwise, you would clearly be able to see this. I
understand the AB-DOer uses a circular rotating motion, but 50 percent of that exercise doesn't
even incorporate abdominal muscles. The other 50 percent uses the lower back muscles.

Now, a product like this may feel better on your back (regarding my yes answer), but I doubt it.

Here's a self-test you can try: Sit in a chair with your back pressed against the chair's back.
Pretend to have your arms out to the side, just as the AB-DOer displays. Now contract and
crunch your abs . . .You probably felt a slight lower back strain because the body is naturally
designed to slouch down when you try to crunch the abs from an upright position. This lower
back strain can actually feel more acute if you add the resistance of the AB-DOer. There's one
exception to the rule: Sometimes, gym abdominal equipment will have the same range of motion
as the AB-DOer, using weights, but no hand grips. The difference is the fact that you're pushing
a padded weight forward with your chest.

This range of motion naturally keeps your back straight mainly because you must push the
weight forward. You can do a test to see what I mean by finding an adjustable chair, lowering it
so that a desk edge is at chest level, and pressing against it. Your upper body is "forced" to stay
straight in order to push the weight forward. It won't allow you to slouch down, as the AB-DOer
will.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 52


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Question: I travel a lot. How do I keep myself in shape while traveling?

Answer: I suggest you purchase a bodylastics. This device keeps me going while I away from
my regular gym. I love it! Take a look at Bodylastics at bodylastics.com, the $50 Bowflex
alternative. Save Hundreds of Dollars and get the same workout! Recently named Editors Pick
by Self Magazine! The unique clip-system helps create 15 levels of resistance. So, it is easy
enough for grandma yet challenging enough for Mr. Olympia. Work every muscle group to the
max. Order and save an addition 10% for being a flattenyourabs customer just enter the
customer code "zone" on the shopping cart page. http://www.bodylastics.com

PLEASE NOTE: customer code is "zone" If you do not enter this code into the customer code
section you will not receive the discount at bodylastics.com

Question: What's better, long or short workouts?

Answer: The answer to this question is widely debated. It actually depends on what someone
defines as long and short. I tend to favor the short workout. I don't see how anyone can workout
for more than one hour HARD let alone two hours. In my opinion, this is over training. It's a
mistake often made by beginners.

By working out longer, your muscles won't get bigger, faster, or stronger than they would under
normal circumstances.

Try to keep your workouts quick and to the point; one hour is the longest I would train, including
all aspects of the session, although my workouts rarely exceed 40 minutes. On the other hand, if
you normally workout for two hours and are getting good results, then by all means keep doing
what you're doing!

(you go into great detail earlier about fat burners that you don’t need to repeat it here.)
Question: What's the best exercise to lose my love handles?

Answer: There's really no exercise needed to lose love handles. The solution to this problem
and all other abdominal problems is in the diet. Cut calories, eat frequent small meals, lower fat,
lower sodium, lower sugar, limit late night eating, drink water, and exercise.

When you perform these eight steps, the body's metabolism is increased causing you to burn fat
more efficiently. The first area affected by this fat-burn process is where fat is most abundant,
usually in the abdominal area.

Question: It's obviously hard to stay on a training and diet regiment indefinitely. What's a good
rule of thumb for how many times a week someone might deviate and still have acceptable
result? As long as the deviation isn't something like bingeing of course?

I'm very good about staying with something once I get my mind on it, but there will be
occasional social settings or something similar.

Answer: As far as "straying" from a good diet regiment, you shouldn't have to. You should be
able to fit in maybe one or two good meals a day to where you're eating whatever you want. I do

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 53


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

it all the time! You have to enjoy life. I can do this because I know my body. I know exactly what
I can and can't get away with.

But at the same time, I don't worry about losing abs because I know exactly what's needed to
get them if I ever started seeing excessive flab. A suggestion would be to trim your abs to
decent form, and then begin to eat goodies here and there.

Question: I don't want to be a bodybuilder, I just want to tone up and get abs. What should I do?

Answer: There's really nothing different from what a bodybuilder does and someone who wants
to tone up. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines bodybuilding as, "the developing of the body
through exercise and diet." This makes almost everyone a bodybuilder! The only difference is to
what extreme you decide to take it.

Bottom line: Training is used to build the muscles, but the actual sculpting of the muscles and
"toning" must be done primarily through dieting and exercise.

Question: You say not to eat much in the evening.

Here is my problem….
I usually work till 7:00pm and go to train afterwards (i.e. 8:30pm - 10:00pm). Usually when I
come back home, I eat foods with high protein like eggs, tuna, and protein shakes. Is this a
good idea? What should I do? Unfortunately, I am not able to move my training to another hour
of the day? What should I eat before and after the training? My goals are to lose fat, and to get
bigger.

Answer: Because of your daily work schedule, you're a little different from the example I
described in earlier. Basically, as long as you're "moving," meaning not lying around and eating,
you'll still burn fat. The problems begin when you work from 9 - 5, come home, then treat
yourself after a hard day's work, right before you go to sleep.

I personally have been in situations where I had to train late. And what you're doing now is
exactly what I did! You're doing the right thing! Your post workout meal is an "essential" part of
the muscle-building process. Plus watch protein drinks, most of them are of poor quality and
they suck up water from your system to aid in the digestion of these drinks which in turn make
you dehydrated.

It is recommended that you eat very little or nothing before you workout. You don't want to eat a
big meal right before you workout because it takes too much energy to digest the food you ate.
This would explain why we sometimes feel tired after consuming big meals. You'll definitely be
weaker on a full stomach. Many don't realize how much energy it takes to digest a big meal.

Your post workout meal should usually be higher in carbohydrates than in protein. This helps to
restore lost energy as a result of working out. Most people think protein is needed after a
workout, when in fact it's the other way around. You can eat protein with a post workout meal,
but the majority of the meal should consist of carbohydrates. Don Lemmon has taught that for
years.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 54


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Question: There is such brouhaha over abs. But abs aren't the only problem. In fact for women,
fat deposits are more over hips and thighs. What do I need to do to lose the hips and thighs?

Answer: You're right! But…The same "fat loss" techniques needed to define love handles for
men are the exact same techniques needed to tone the thighs, hips, and buttocks for women.
Fat is fat. It doesn't matter where it's located on the body.

The following fat-burning strategy must be used to combat problem areas, regardless of their
location:

¾ Reduce fat
¾ Cut calories
¾ Eat small meals frequently
¾ Reduce sodium
¾ Limit late night eating
¾ Limit sugar intake
¾ Exercise regularly
¾ Drink water
¾ Never skip meals
¾ Exercise daily
¾ Eat Organic
¾ Avoid deep fried foods
¾ Get enough sleep

Question: Just for clarification purposes, you're basically saying don't overstress ab exercises,
just do them until they feel difficult to do: leg lifts, crunches, and the like. Is just a few minutes
okay? Not that it's needed, but do you like something like the abdominal wheel.

Answer: Your interpretations are correct! For years I would get ripped off from buying products
and supplements that weren't needed. If someone would have taught me these basic, yet key
concepts when I first started I could have saved a fortune and I wouldn't have had to write this
book to save you money.

To answer your question, it takes me approximately 15 - 20 minutes to complete an abdominal


training routine. Everything is performed with about 1 minute rest between sets between sets.

I used to think the more exercise the better because "it was what I heard." Your abs can only be
trained one way and that is by shortening the distance from your sternum to your upper legs, or
bending at the waist.

The products they sell on TV target the abs in the exact same way as sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts,
etc. They hype them up and mislead consumers by making it seem as though traditional ab
exercises don't target every section of the abs. WRONG!!

They get their ideas from traditional exercises. The movements are exactly the same. The
inventors of abdominal exercise equipment try to make their products seem new, but they've
actually already been invented.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 55


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Question: I'm having problems with my weight. What causes people to gain weight?

Answer: Weight gain is caused when someone consumes more calories than their body
requires. For example, if a smaller woman was only required to eat 1,200 calories per day and
upped her caloric intake to 2,000 calories per day, it's possible she will notice a weight gain from
the 800-calorie increase.

Question: I work abs everyday. Why am I still not seeing a six-pack?

Answer: You can works abs every minute and you still won't see a six pack without a proper
diet. You must modify your current diet to see the goods. It's not that you don't have a six pack,
it's just a matter of stripping away excess fat from around the abdominal area. Training doesn't
really have a lot to do with obtaining great abs. The secret is in the diet.

Question: I saw an advertisement for a "How to Lose 50 Pounds In Three Weeks" book. I
wanted to get your opinion on this.

Answer: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. This is a scam! For some it can happen, but a loss
of 50 pounds in three weeks is unrealistic for most people. It's a scam because the author or
authors of the book automatically know that this won't happen for most people.

These books are mainly targeted at beginners because it's eye-catching and sounds good to
them. Any advanced athlete will tell you that this loss is near impossible to accomplish naturally.
Also in a book like this, they won't really tell you anything you don't already know. You may hear
the information in a different form, but nothing will be new. These guys are out to make a quick
buck. Take your money and run!

Question: Is it ok to train a sore muscle?

Answer: No! That would be a big mistake. Sore muscles need to be rested as long as they
remain sore or you'll deprive them of maximum strength and growth potential. It is okay to train
muscles other than the muscles that are sore. For instance, if your abs are sore, you can train
chest or arms. .

Question: I threw up and almost passed out the other day during my abdominal and leg workout.
I've never felt this way before. What happened?

Answer: You probably ate too much before you worked out. Basically, a substantial amount of
blood from your head went straight to your legs, and then to your stomach to digest the food you
ate. This lack of blood in the head caused you to feel faint. It is recommended to train on an
empty stomach or with very little in the stomach.

Question: I keep hearing about this term "stacking." What is stacking?

Answer: Stacking is when two or more natural supplements are combined in an effort to get
increased muscular results.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 56


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

A sample stack would be protein powder, a fat burn supplement, and creatine. This would be
considered a lean muscle-building stack.

Question: I'm trying to define my abs and gain 30 pounds by the August timeframe. I'm already
170 pounds right now. In your opinion, what kind of program should I start to reach that goal?

Answer: I like your motivation, but your goal is unrealistic. Assuming you want to do this weight
gain naturally, the most you'll probably gain in a year is about five to eight pounds max. Some
hardgainers or beginners can gain up to 30 pounds (extremely rare) when they first begin, but
it's impossible for the average person to do this in less than a year.

They now have supplements such as creatine that can put 10 pounds on someone within a
week, but the gains will all disappear the moment you stop taking it. The only real way to gain
"quality" weight is to increase your calorie intake, get plenty of rest, drink water, keep a positive
attitude, and don't quit.

A word of advice is to have patience. It may take years to look the way you want to look. Be
patient and don't lose self-motivation.

Question: Ever heard about something called CLA (fat burner)? What do you think about it?

Answer: CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), originally produced by EAStm is not as effective as it was
originally thought to be. Some friends of mine put it to the test so that they could give me their
opinion . . . No results! It does nothing! Besides, CLA can be found in cream for free!

Question: I would really love to get your opinion on omega-3 fat. I heard that the omega-3 fats
can elevate your fat-burning process.

Answer: Omega-3 type fatty acids don't do anything "significant" to the body. The only additional
benefit is health. Meaning, it's a better fat than saturated fat.

It actually acts like fat inside the body, but has a very slim chance of actually being converted to
body fat because of its genetic makeup. You may have heard of MCT (medium chain
triglyceride) oil. Both MCT oil and omega-3 fatty acids are the types of fat the body won't hold
onto.

Typically, people who eat foods like fish are much leaner than those who eat foods like
hamburgers. That's partly due to the type of fat being consumed. The possibilities of it becoming
flab are very slim.

Use Lemmon's Oil for the best fat supplementation.

Question: One of the main differences in the diet you recommend is obviously in the amount of
carbs, such as oatmeal, breakfast bars, cereal, juices, breads, rice, and so on. It's certainly fine
with me, especially if it works.

I'm trying to get an idea of some things I've used to see if you think they'd be okay.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 57


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Here are a few questions: In the morning, I typically create a shake which consists of
unsweetened soy milk (8 ounces), water and ice (4 - 6 ounces), mixed fruit (1/4 cup), one
packet of Sweet & Lowtm, and 2 teaspoons of minerals. Would this shake be good in the place of
Meal 1 or Meal 4?

Also, are there any prepared meals (Lean Cuisinetm) that you think are particularly good or
acceptable for one of your meals each day?

Answer: For the record, carb intake should be tapered off as you begin to lessen your daily
activities. To answer your first question, you could actually drink the shake in both places,
assuming it's just the drink as a meal replacement. If you had to choose, the shake would be
better in the place of Meal 1 because of the type of carbs (simple, natural sugars from the fruit).
This translates to quick-burn carbs.

Typically, for morning meals I recommend more of the "complex" carbs (slow release) because
they're long lasting. But yes, you could definitely fit the shake into your meal plans. That's a
pretty clever idea for the shake ingredients.

To answer your second question, some of the already prepared meals can be eaten. Different
lean meals have different caloric information. Even if they were the regular fattening TV dinners
for example, you should still be able to eat them and still stay lean if your diet modifications are
correct. The only thing with lean frozen dinners to watch out for is the high sodium.

Anything preprocessed and frozen (i.e. fat free lunch meat) for later used will always have high
sodium content for preservation reasons.

Question: Is there a single trend diet you advocate or recommend?

Answer: Absolutely not! Almost every trend diet promotes a quick fix, which is the entirely wrong
concept. None of them promote consistency. This would explain why people lose weight on
trend diets, only to gain it all back, and then some.

Question: Where, if anywhere, would it be safe to add in dairy items like cheese, cottage
cheese, or eggs? Are they best eaten in the morning, or can something like cottage cheese be
eaten in conjunction with any of the five to six times a day meal plans?

Answer: Dairy items can actually be eaten with just about any meal you choose. The only way
dairy foods can become a problem is if they are repeatedly eaten in excess, whole fat or late at
night.

Most dairy foods will naturally be high in protein, just as meat is. I would caution the fat content
of some dairy products. But even high-fat content dairy products can be eaten; you just have to
know how much you can get away with before they become love handles.

For example, take fat-free cookies and regular fattening ice cream. If you were to eat six of
these fat-free cookies in one setting, it would equal a half serving of ice cream. Technically, one
is the better of the choices, but they balance out when you eat the "equivalent." Experiment by
eating your dairy products at different times of the day and monitor how your body responds.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 58


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Question: What's a good repetition range for abdominal exercises?

Answer: I don't recommend counting sets or reps. Here's why: The time spent counting sets and
reps can be quality time spent concentrating on form and technique. For example, it's more
important to think about the squeeze and feel of a muscle than it is to know what rep you're on.

This is why I feel it is a waste of time counting sets and reps. You are basically putting a big wall
up when you say, "I'm only going to do 10 reps and five sets." Without that barrier, the
possibilities for awesome results are endless. Allow yourself to always do more and you can
toss away the charts.

This is why I recommend training abs until failure or until you cannot perform additional
repetitions due to muscle fatigue. Abdominal muscles seem to respond well to constant tension
over an extended period of time. Bigger muscle groups such as the quadriceps or pectorals
respond well to both high and low reps.

Question: Can you give me a brief explanation and examples of each of the following types of
fat? I don't know what the difference between saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and
polyunsaturated fat are.

Answer: Polyunsaturated fat examples include items such as fish, almonds, and peanuts. The
body cannot function without polyunsaturated fat.

Monounsaturated fat includes canola oil, olive oil, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. These are also
essential types of fat. Examples of saturated fat would be animal fat, butter, and cheese.

The terms poly- and mono- refer to different amounts of hydrogen atoms. For example when oil
sits, hardens, and turns white, it contains more hydrogen atoms than normal. Keep your intake
low, and then allow real butter, olive oil, Lemmon's oil, flax seed in sparing amounts.

Question: You mentioned 20 to 25 minutes of cardio on the treadmill or riding a bike. I've heard
that for maximum results, it's best to do 30 to 45 minutes.

Answer: Unfortunately, 30 to 45 minutes for maximum results is just another myth. Everyone
seems to do this exact same amount of cardio because it's the "ideal" number, but they don't
really know why they do it for this long. Typically, it's going to be because it's what they "heard."

Ultimately, it will depend on your body type. People who usually do not workout could have a
heart attack just by brisk walking for 30 minutes. Their heart rate may not be ready to take in this
type of oxygen capacity. That's why it's best to gradually build up to a level at which you feel
comfortable. It will vary from person to person.

I only say more than 20 because I know you want to hear it. 15 minutes is plenty if you work
hard.

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 59


David Grisaffi’s Flatten Your Abs: Abdominal Slimming Manual

Question: Everywhere I look I always see exercises for upper and lower abs, but I never see
anything that specifically targets the middle abs. It's annoying to have definition in the upper and
lower abs, but have absolutely nothing to show in the middle. How can I cure this problem?

Answer: When you train your upper and lower abs, you're actually training your "entire"
abdominal region [including the obliques], but the emphasis is put on whatever section of the
abs you're trying to train.

Another example of this type of situation would be the bench press. In this example, you have
the option of a flat, incline, and decline bench for working the chest muscles (pectorals). Each of
these different bench press angles works mainly the middle portion of the chest, although the
emphasis is put on the upper pectoral region if you're using an incline bench, and the lower
pectorals if you're using the decline bench.

Question: I have been working out diligently for nearly six months on my abs and I am beginning
to see definition and gains in size. However, I am also noticing that my six-pack is not
symmetrical. That is, the definition lines in the left area and the right area of my abs do not seem
to be lining up. What am I doing wrong and what should I do to balance them out?

Answer: Not everyone was blessed with a "six-pack" per say. Some people have a four-pack,
and others only a two-pack. Some even have eight mid-range abdominal muscles. It really
depends on what God blessed you with.

You're not doing anything wrong. Many wouldn't know this because their body fat percentage
will never be low enough to notice their abdominal muscle structure. If anything, you should be
thankful because you can actually see how your abdominal muscles are developing.

I hope you have enjoyed the book and find it a wealth of knowledge for your health.

Remember: “An Idle Butt is the Devils Fat Depository”


David Grisaffi 253-383-5370
http://www.fit-zone.com
e-mail: david@flattenyourabs.net

FREE Newsletter at www.fit-zone.com 60