six pack

Abs in 8 weeks? AB-solutely!!

Abs in 8 weeks? AB-solutely!!
by Corey Springer

October 12th 2009

I promise that this isn’t another one of “those” articles. You know the type I’m referring to: Articles which promise unreasonable (and some would argue, IMPOSSIBLE) results in an unreasonably short space of time. I know, I know… they’re attractive. Articles like that seem to speak to our innermost desires. The supplements they inevitably push have the “it factor”. But do they honestly work? No… So let’s move on to some things which do!

Here are the things I’m going to assume:

  • I’ll assume that you want a lean and sexy mid-section.
  • I’ll assume that you’ve been pushing hard at the gym, following the last four installments of our “Lean and Sexy 101” series.
  • I’ll assume that you’re stoked and ready to take your work-outs to the next level.

So why sit around waiting for the next ‘sure thing’? There are only two more months left in the year 2009 after all.





NB: If you’re just joining us for the first time, I encourage you to check out the “Lean and Sexy 101” series:

  • Part 1: Killer shape-up tips – “Groove your way forward”.
  • Part 2: Killer shape-up tips – “Get your Game Face on”.
  • Part 3: Killer shape-up tips – “Run, baby Run!”.

…They’re chock-full of tips and tricks to bring you up to speed. 🙂

So how DOES one go about changing one’s body in 8 weeks? I’ll show you! Let me introduce you to Abdominal Anarchy (c1) – the core-blasting circuit work-out which WILL kick your ass!

c1: The general ‘warm-up’… 5 exercise which you may know, executed in a way you may not recognize.

Exercise 1: The basic crunch.


Caption: Basic = Easy… right?


Caption: Trust me when I say that he’s only smiling because he doesn’t know what’s coming next.

Here, you’re going to do as many repetitions as you can (with good form) for 30 seconds. Then we’ll move on to the next exercise.

Exercise 2: Oblique static hold

Peak contraction:

Caption: See what I’m mean? That smile is quickly fading.

Again, we’ll be executing this movement for time… However this time around we won’t be doing multiple repetitions. What I want you to do is to hold the contraction for 30 seconds on either side.

That’s right… ONE rep on either side.

Trust me when I say this won’t be as easy as it looks!

Exercise 3: Leg raise w/ hip thrust




Here we’ll be doing 10 reps (or as many repetitions as you can [with good form] over 30 seconds). Sounds easy huh? Well, wait until you see what I have planned for the REST of your session!

Exercise 4: Jack-Knife Static Hold

Peak Contraction:

Here we go again, frying that core at its very core. We’ll be doing one repetition of this movement… which we’ll be holding for 30 seconds. After you’ve experienced our version of a core meltdown, we’ll move on to the next exercise in this circuit. Can you say BURN?!


NB: Our intermediate-level readers out there can do the mid-level versions of this static hold instead of the above version:


NB: Our advanced readers out there can do the elite version of this static hold instead of the above versions:


Exercise 5: Jack-Knife



I figure by now that you’re ready to send a hitman my way. While I wait for the doorbell to ring, I’ll accept no less than 10 repetitions of this exercise from you. You’ve got 30 seconds to work with… so if you can exceed 10 repetitions, DO SO!

I know you’re fatigued as hell, but you’ve got to keep it tight.

Keep that chin tucked in to your chest and remember to breathe, breathe, breathe!

NB: Our advanced-level, ab-ninja readers out there can do the elite version of this static hold instead of the above version:




Winded? I expect you are… but we aren’t finished as yet! I’ll allow you 60 seconds of ‘rest’ at this point.

“How gracious of you Nark”.

No… not really. Here’s what I want you to do when you’re ‘resting’:

Active Rest AKA ‘The Vacuum’:

Yep… this is exactly what it looks like: I want you to lay on your back, with your feet together… and I want you to extend your arms overhead, reaching as far as you can. While reaching, I want you to exhale and suck your stomach in. When you’ve fully emptied your lungs, your stomach should be sucked in as far as it can go. Upon reaching this point, I want you to hold it for 10 seconds… and then release slowly, inhaling at the same time. Repeat as many times as you can during your allotted 60-second break.

Then it’s back to the grind. I want you to repeat this entire circuit three times. That should take you approximately 15 minutes. i.e. half of the total duration of this work-out. If you think that was brutal, wait until you see the other half of the work-out!

In our next article, we’ll be introducing c2 – “The Finisher” – a core-killer like NONE OTHER!

Stay tuned!


Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of:
NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Apollo Fitness Barbados
NarkSide Apparel

Narkissos’s killer shape-up tips!!! Part 3!

Narkissos’s killer shape-up tips!!!Part 3
by Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of: “The NarkSide” Fitness Forums,Apollo Fitness Barbados, & NarkSide Apparel.

October 12th 2009

Dear Readers,

October’s here… and the temperature is slowly dropping in my part of the world. Everywhere around me I see people dragging their butts behind ’em. Gym-enthusiasts seem to have lost their enthusiasm.

Well I’m here to tell you guys to SNAP OUT OF IT!

I assume you’ve read the previous two installments of this series, and have been hungrily awaiting the third (and final) article in this series. Your wait is OVER! Let’s get this party started!
NB: For those of you are now joining us, here are links to this series’ previous two installments… Narkissos’s killer shape-up tips:

Part 1 (tips 1-3):
Part 2 (tips 4-6):

7. Need motivation to move daily? Then start a running club!!

Let’s face it… running kicks major ass, literally AND figuratively! The motion burns a hell of a lot of calories, as it heavily recruits a lot of musculature… particularly those of the core, hips, buns, and thighs… i.e. our problem areas. Need an endorphin boost? Then just about nothing beats a good all-out sprint. On a budget? Then hit the park. Running doesn’t cost much in and of itself… it requires very little equipment, and can be done just about anywhere!** Running just rules.

( **NB: For the sake of joint preservation, please avoid running on uneven and overly hard surfaces. Also…Please select footwear appropriate to your activity.)

So where’s the catch? Well, it’s the same for any form of exercise: Motivation. People often complain that they “can’t” motivate themselves to start or adhere to the activity. As regular readers of the NarkSide, you know that I don’t believe in coddling… however, I’ve had my moments of impaired motivation myself. I’ve found that even the most hardcore athlete has ’em… and even said athlete can benefit from the structure and support that a group can lend. At the very least, it’s great for a change of pace… and we all know that a change, however small, can help us bust through plateaus. So, let’s get some plateau-busting action going!

6 simple start-up tips:

  1. Think about what you’re trying to achieve, and set goals.
  2. Connect with like-minded individuals, and bring only those individuals on board.
  3. Discuss and implement a running schedule that each of you can stick to.
  4. Plan your distances in advance.
  5. Sub-divide your group into smaller groups based on individual fitness levels (re: pace-setting)
  6. Set up a notification system to alert your group to cancellations.

8. Circuit-train!

And no, I’m NOT talking about those generic, bordering on geriatric, circuits that some health clubs have set up for self-processed couch potatoes. Those things are obsolete. Health clubs generally set up those useless little circuits so they can pack as many people as possible into each square foot of the gym. Logic would dictate however that a 5 dissimilar people, with dissimilar builds, workout experience, and goals would not benefit equally from the same workout… particularly where, as is typical for health club circuits, the resistance and machine settings aren’t adjusted to the individual.

No… for the purpose of this article, we’re talking personalized circuit training: exercise with purpose. Cookie-cutter work-outs SUCK!

That being said, why circuit training?

Why? Because it works… particularly for our purpose: getting in shape quickly.

Let’s face it… most of you have full-time jobs or classes. Ergo, most of you require work-outs that are efficient, and not overly time-consuming. Workouts don’t get much more efficient than circuit training! With circuit training, one gets the benefit of moderate resistance work as well as that of aerobic work… via keeping one’s heart-rate up. What’s not to love?

Sample circuit-training week:

Monday: Back; abs; Biceps

  • Hyper-extensions — 10 repetitions
  • Horizontal Pullups — 10 repetitions
  • Crunches — 10-15 repetitions
  • One Arm Dumbell Rows — 12-15 repetitions
  • Lat Pulldowns — 15 repetitions
  • Laying leg-raises — 10-15 repetitions
  • Barbell Curls — 15 repetitions

NB: Rest 60 seconds, then repeat 3 times.

Wednesday: Chest; Shoulders; triceps

  • Dumbbell Pullover — 12-15 repetitions
  • Dumbbell (floor) Fly — 12-15 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Floor press — 12-15 repetitions
  • Kneeling Lateral Raises — 12-15 repetitions
  • Kneeling Overhead Press — 12-15 repetitions
  • Kneeling Bent-Lateral Raises — 12-15 repetitions
  • Triceps Kickback — 12-15 repetitions

NB: Rest 60 seconds, then repeat 3 times.

Friday: Legs; abs

  • Squats — 20 repetitions. (Use dumbbells if bodyweight alone isn’t a challenge)
  • Hyper-extensions — 10 repetitions
  • Decline sit-up — 10-15 repetitions
  • Dead-lifts — 10 repetitions
  • Step-ups — 10 repetitions (each leg)
  • Reverse Hyper-extension — 15 repetitions
  • Standing Calf Raises — 20 repetitions

NB: Rest 60 seconds, then repeat 3 times.

Suggestions: Add aerobic work on alternating days. 45-90 minutes should do the trick!
“Everything Nark?”

Yes… everything: from calories, to protein, to fats, to carbs, to training intensity/duration… cycle it all!

The best way to avoid getting stuck in a rut in life, is to add variety. Why would we approach fitness in any other way I ask? Most trainees don’t have an answer… though their motivating factor is plain: it’s easy. Yes, it’s easy to get up and do the same thing everyday. It’s easy to complain about it as well. It’s easy to eat the same thing every day… boring yes, but easy… much easier than putting some thought into it. Much easier than scouring the grocery aisle for something new, ‘exciting’, and low-calorie to incorporate into one’s diet… again, much easier than doing a little research on a new approach. It’s ‘easy’ to look the same way for years on end… but hell, I doubt any of you is actually satisfied with just that, though you behave to the contrary. Let’s nip it in the bud. Let’s have a targeted approach!

Cycle your training:

  • Weeks 1-2: Low volume, low frequency weight-training

(NB: 4 days per week, 2 exercises per body part, training each body-part once per week)

  • Weeks 3-4: High volume, high-frequency weight-training

(NB: 6 days per week, 3-4 exercises per body part, training each body-part twice per week)

  • Week 5: De-load

(i.e. moderate weight-training: 3 days per week, 1 exercise per body part, training each body-part once for that week)

Cycle your diet:

  • Weight-training days: Moderate protein; High carbs; Low-fat
  • Cardio-only days: High protein; Low carbs; moderate fat
  • Off-days: Moderate protein; Low carbs (vegetables only); High (healthy) fats

Cycle your cardio:

  • 3 days each week: high volume/duration cardio
  • 3 days each week: low volume/duration (high intensity)

Part of the reason I wanted to write this series, is because of the number of people I see struggling in gyms across the country. Hopefully you guys internalize these tips, and use them to the best of your abilities. I’m looking forward to seeing some KILLER transformations over these coming months… so don’t let me down. 🙂

Good luck all!

-Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of:
“The NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Apollo Fitness Barbados
NarkSide Apparel