Blog, bodybuilding|fitness

Specialization Training


Winter is a good time for specialization training. Since I usually cut down on the frequency of my weight training workouts (averaging a workout every other day, except when I have Zane Experience clients—then I train three days in a row and take the fourth day and fifth day off)— I allow time to do more work for areas that need it. Earlier in my training career, especially when I was competing, I’d devote this extra time to training body-parts, such as calves and biceps, but now since everything is relatively proportionate, I use the extra time to specialize on abs and aerobics. It’s usually necessary after the extra caloric consumption over the holidays.

Years ago I found a great way to do ab work and aerobics at the same time. Since you need to do them both, why not do them together? Abdominal work is most effective when done for higher reps (30 to 100 range) with no rest between sets. Done this way it gets you breathing hard and takes your pulse up to the target level (which is 220 minus your age, then multiply this by .70).

Stationary aerobics, because of the redundancy of doing the same thing (walking on a treadmill, stationary bike, stair-climber) is boring. Ab-aerobics is the answer to get positive results from ab work and aerobics. It not only saves time but also keeps your training more interesting.

Ab-Aerobics is especially effective when done with a group of people. You need as many stations as people. Simply arrange the exercises by putting your aerobic equipment between abdominal movements. Start with a person at each station with one person leading the session who has a stopwatch and gives the command to change after one minute at each station. When Christine and I operated Zane Haven, our live-in bodybuilding learning center in Palm Springs, between the years 1981 to 1988, this was a very popular program we did every afternoon. Some exercises were harder than others, but for those that were (like hyper-extension) you‘d just do as many reps as you could, rest a little while, then do some more.

The circuit we used was: hanging knee ups, treadmill, crunches, rowing machine, leg raise, stair-climber, seated twist, hyper-extension. Depending on the group we‘d do this routine nonstop to music for 20 to 30 minutes. It was great because you feed off other people’s energy, making it easier to keep going. I often noticed results after 5 straight days of doing ab-aerobics. Try it and see for yourself.