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Beginner’s Guide to Ab Exercises and Ab Workout Program: Part 2

By Garrett Braunreiter, GHF's Success Coach

Step 3: Ab exercises – Getting ready

This stage combines intending to begin doing ab exercises while making some small changes in behavior. In this stage, your intention and behavior crank up a notch. This means more reinventing and imagery, plus some baby steps toward the real thing.

For example, ab exercises have been on your to-do list for years. After watching some fitness shows on TV, you fantasize about looking like the people in them. Then you decide you could do those abdominal exercises. So you start making tapes of the shows to fit them in when your schedule permits. Plus, you're walking to work more frequently, when you used to take a cab or drive to work.

Step 4: Starting with ab muscle exercises

This is when you begin doing ab muscle exercises on a regular basis. But this is the stage where most people equate change, overlooking the other steps that are part of the process. This is understandable, since in this fourth step you actually choose some type of exercise or group of activities and start working out.

People can see that you've changed your behavior in order to overcome your comfort zone that has kept you from doing abdominal exercisesand getting fit. You appear to have gotten off your duff by committing time and--yes--energy.

This is the most challenging stage. Many people overdo it. Then if they hurt or exhaust themselves, they become discouraged and drop back to Step 1. If you have begun exercising and kept at it for anywhere from a day to six months, you may think you're home free. Unfortunately, it's not so. For true change, you must also develop new habits and skills to keep from falling back and skills to deal with new problems.

One way to start your regular ab exercise program is to announce to the world what you're about to undertake. Once you've publicly connected yourself with exercise, social support pushes you to keep the connection. If you stop, people may ask what happened, and you probably won't feel good about admitting failure.

Your pronouncement is your "coming out." It can involve very personal meanings and is different for each person. It often involves a dramatic statement or gesture that signals a break from the past. You're declaring that the rest of your life will be different from your past. Your coming out could be as simple as buying a workout mat to do your abdominal exercise or joining a gym.

Starting your abdominal exercise program also involves making slight adjustments in your world. Move your exercise equipment to a more convenient location or join a gym that is on your way to or from work, or close enough so you can do your abdominal exercises on your lunch hour, rather than one you have to make an effort to get to.

In this phase, you should give yourself plenty of positive reinforcement. Promise yourself a treat if you do your abdominal exercises today. Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while, or get tickets to some show or concert or ballgame you would like to see. Use your imagination to reward yourself for signs of progress.

Step 5: Abdominal Exercises – Keeping on

You know that you've been keeping on when you can successfully overcome new obstacles that get in the way and not lose the gains you've made in Step 4. Mastering this stage is crucial if abdominal exercises are to be an integral part of the rest of your life.

The techniques for keeping on are the sum of everything that got you this far. So whatever tricks work for you, use them. It doesn't matter if they're different from the ones that help your best friend or that work for Cindy Crawford.

Remember what we said earlier: The stage you're in for your quest in implementing an ab exercise changes all the time. You may work yourself all the way up to Step 5, but then you get sick or injured, or take a trip, or otherwise get distracted.

You may have fallen to Step 2. Maybe even to square one. Nothing magical about reaching the final Step 5 will keep you there. If you find yourself at some lower level, you have to use the techniques appropriate to that level to climb back up. Then you may have to use bits of them to keep on keeping on.

Good luck: I hope you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of an effective abdominal exercise program. And don’t forget, click here to take our FREE Fitness Analysis for a free sample strength training program (with abdominal exercises) and for the book, Big Fat lies!

>> Click here for the Global Health and Fitness Program

Beginner Ab Exercise Guide Part 1
Beginner Ab Exercise Guide Part 2
Beginner Ab Exercise Guide Part 3

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