Let’s go over Micah’s goals again: To get more defined abs and pecs (which translates into: Lose body fat (specifically in the abdominal area) and gain some muscle mass so he can have more sculpted pecs and abs). But before that, watch the final video!
I decided to focus primarily on posture. All of us have muscular imbalances that throw off our posture in one way or another. I’d say the most common postural issues we see nowadays are hunched over shoulders from sitting at the computer all day as well as super tight hip flexors or super tight hamstrings (or both) from sitting all day which tilt our pelvises either forward or backward. These issues can all cause crazy things to happen up and down the body and until those issues are addressed, I believe it is irresponsible to throw in super heavy in an effort to “get big pecs”.
When we started training, Micah was hunched over with rounded shoulders. This caused his upper/mid-back muscles to be lengthened and his chest and lats to be really tight (but not necessarily strong). In order for Micah to have stand-out pecs, we first had to get his shoulders and chest to open up and his back to get a bit stronger.
Micah’s pelvis also happens to be rotated forward a bit. This usually causes a few things: stretched out hamstrings, stretched out abs and a really scrunched up low back. In order to try to pull that pelvis into a more neutral position, we had to focus on strengthening his core and hamstrings. With two sessions per week together for a relatively short amount of time, I chose to focus primarily on his upper body, core stability and keeping his heart rate up to maximize the calorie burn.
This kind of work takes longer than the seven weeks we had but I think you can see a pretty great postural difference in these pictures (I added black lines to trace his alignment from his ear to his hips so you can see the progress more clearly; you ultimately want a straight line down from ear to shoulder to hip):
· 4 lbs lost – ALL BODY FAT!
· Down to 13.85% body fat which is less than 1% away from going from a “fitness” level to “athlete” level!
· Skin fold testing showed losses at all sites but the most significant loss was at the abdominal site (4 mm lost).
· Circumference testing showed 2 inches lost around his waist, 2 inches lost around his hips and 2.5 inches gained around his chest!
Muscle mass remained the same before and after which means Micah did a great job with his nutrition (specifically post-workout) so that his lean muscle could recover after workouts and not break itself down (see this post for an explanation). Micah’s fat loss and postural corrections alone make Micah’s pecs and abs stand out more than they did seven weeks ago.
I hope these last 7 weeks have proven that the way to get a six pack and pecs does not happen by doing pushups and crunches all day. Putting together a program that addresses the individual’s needs and wants is tricky and I believe it is best to consult with a fitness professional before embarking on any new fitness regimen so you can avoid injury and get the results you want!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these last few weeks as much as I have. If you’d like to know more about IzzyFit Personal Training and how personal training might benefit you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-497-8999.