12 answers

Fitness Results

I am wondering how long and how much exersize it takes to get real results, like flat abs! I see those mom's at the pool every summer and I was wondering how much exersize and how long. I have been doing mostly group exersize classes at the gym( I just started) and wonder if that's enough. I don't really need to lose much weight, it is more about toning etc. And how much is diet related to tone? I eat fairly healthy, salty stuff is my weakness. Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?™

Thankyou so much for all of the great responses! I have been working out 4-6 days a week, I realized after the first week I really like the group classes, it makes the time go quicker and can actually be fun. I have been doing Pilates( thanks to those moms who reccomended this, I really like it!), cardio and core. I actually really like, I have had problems with headaches and this is helping! And after 4 weeks I am happy to say I am seeing results, abs are defiantely more defined, now for the rest! I do think I probably need to refine my diet a little but not too much, I am happy with my weight. Thanks again moms!

Featured Answers

If you are in decent shape and don't need to lose weight but would like toning, I would highly recommend Pilates. My favorite is Winsor Pilates; fun, simple and quick. After my sixth baby 2yrs ago I used the basic 20min workout 5 days a week and after just a couple of months I was a very trim size 4 (before him I was a 6-8), weighed 10lbs less than when I got pregnant with him (which was a few lbs less than even when I was in high school), and had 17% body fat. Other than my body fat % being a little low and giving me need to gain a few pounds before I could get pregnant with my youngest, it was amazing! : )

By comparison, after my youngest was born I began slowly training for my first triathlon, and even now with continual training I was in better shape last time with the Pilates. Guess it's time to break those workouts back out! I would love it if I looked like I did 2yrs ago!

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It takes a lot of discipline to get thoes flat abs!! (unless you are lucky and have good "flat ab" genes!) It is about burning the fat overlaying the ab area. What you eat is soooo important! So really the combo of exercise and eating right is the way to go. Remember, salt retains water and makes you look puffy, so that could hinder your progress too! I just was reading this article, maybe you will like it! http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/3-all-new-ways-to-b...

Hi M.

I am a Fitness Professional working from home where I have a private 1,100sq ft studio in which I train all my clients. I have been in the fitness industry for 25 years and seen a lot of fads come and go. In all reality, the only thing that is going to get rid of excess fat is total body workouts where you sustain predominently mouth breathing for at least 30 mins, 5 - 7 days a week. The only way you can gain muscle is working with external resistance (weights, cables etc). As for weight loss, you should see about 2lb/week fat loss (not muscle) and with strength gains, you should physically see results within 3 - 4 weeks (depending on the weight you lift and if there are any fat cells still covering the muscle being developed).

Muscle gains will also raise your resting metabolic rate (you will oxidize fat cells at a higher rate when at rest)but as muscle cells weigh the same as fat cells....myth busted, they don't weigh more....they are half the size. Sort of like a pound of feathers verses a pound of bricks - you may see a plateau in your weight loss and actually see a slight weight gain. In all reality, you should keep tabs on your measurements and body composition readings.

Stay away from the popular 'ab crunch' as it places enormous pressure on the spine and is done incorrectly most of the time. If you would like some info on effective exercises you can do, please visit my website at www.myfridayfitness.com. I have great rates as I work from home and all sessions include testing (body composition, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, meausrements etc) It is quite possible to have flat and toned abs after childbirth. I have had 4 pregnancies and no one can even tell I had one! You can do it too. I'd love to help. I hope to hear from you.

Take care and have a healthy day,

C. Friday

Flat abs are great, but don't forget about the rest of your body. You want to do resistace training for all your major muscle groups. Yoga and pilates are both good, so are resistance bands and even weights. Don't worry, you won't get a "body builder" look - women just don't develop that kind of muscles. And make sure you stretch well, too. It is good for your muscles after all the work, plus it gives them a long, lean look.

For abs, you want to vary your routine. Muscles get stronger as we use them and what worked 3 weeks ago isn't going to be as efficient now. Crunches are a good start. Also do cross-abdominal for the obliques (like a slow bycicle, just think ribcage to opposite hip) and hip lifts and leg dips for transverse (that's the lower abs, where most women get the "pooch") - put your hands, crossed palm down, under your hips with your legs straight up. Lift your hips, like your trying to touch the ceiling with your heel (it's a very small movement!); from the same starting position slowly lower your legs (one or both) toward the ground but stop as soon as your back starts to arch, then left back up. Another great exercise for your entire core is the plank. It's like a push-up position, on the balls of your feet, but with your forearms on the floor instead of your hands. You hold the position for as long as you can. Make sure to keep your back straight (thats what really works the abs). Also, anything requiring balance, like standing on one foot, engages those core muscles.

As far as time, I'd start right now. The results don't happen all at once. If you spent 15-20 minutes a day (I do it while I'm watching t.v. but you could just add them at the end of your exercise class - unless they're already doing abs there, then it's enough for the day) you should start getting results within a couple weeks. But how much fat is over the muscle will affect whe you start actually seeing the results. So a healthy diet (lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, low on the fat and sugar) and regular cardio exercise are a must.

Windsor Pilates! It really changes the shape of your body very quickly. I did this after the birth of my first child and noticed results within 2 weeks. It tones without resistance and you really feel it working your deep lower abs. I would combine with 30 mins. of cardio, and stop eating processed foods. I myself want to lose 30 lbs. and have lost 10 simply by eliminating high frutose corn syrup.

Hello M.!
I just had my second child and i invested in those Turbo Jams workout DVD's. It is mostly cardio and I absolutely love it. I wasnt overweight to begin with, just needed to tighten up a few spots. In the first 2 months I noticed a difference in my legs and belly. the little love handles that I had were starting to be less and less. I do the 48 minute workout 5-6 times a week and the turbo sculpting once a week, just thrown in there whenever.
I hope i helped a little bit. but i do seem to favor cardio over other exercises.
take care and good luck

If you are in decent shape and don't need to lose weight but would like toning, I would highly recommend Pilates. My favorite is Winsor Pilates; fun, simple and quick. After my sixth baby 2yrs ago I used the basic 20min workout 5 days a week and after just a couple of months I was a very trim size 4 (before him I was a 6-8), weighed 10lbs less than when I got pregnant with him (which was a few lbs less than even when I was in high school), and had 17% body fat. Other than my body fat % being a little low and giving me need to gain a few pounds before I could get pregnant with my youngest, it was amazing! : )

By comparison, after my youngest was born I began slowly training for my first triathlon, and even now with continual training I was in better shape last time with the Pilates. Guess it's time to break those workouts back out! I would love it if I looked like I did 2yrs ago!

If you learn anything good, let me know. :)

My sister majored in exercise science, and I know one key for getting toned is slow steady movements. Crunches are great for abs, and to really get toned, make sure your moving with slow and very controlled movements, and then hold it for a little bit before you come back down to the ground. It also helps to keep your eyes at the ceiling instead of tucking your chin to your chest. Try and stay straight. If you don't have a lot of flab or fat on your stomach, I don't think it would take too long to see at least some results. Just do 3 sets of 15 or so every day. It doesn't take too much time. Or start out where your comfortable and then just add more as you get stronger/as they get easier.

Good luck. Hope that helps. I don't really know much about diet, but I would think that if you need to lose weight then it is a big key, if you only want to get toned, I don't think it really has anything to do with it. But that is my personal opinion from my personal experience. And with working out, being strong doesn't mean being toned. Try yoga or rock climbing...those slow movement strength exercises are really where your tone is going to come from. Have fun!

I have found through a lot of years of exercising that diet is pretty much 90% of your results. If you want flat abs, you need to focus on a healthy diet. (It's been found that belly fat is caused by unhealthy eating). Healthy diet and exercise are going to give you the results your looking for! A smart place to start is to write down everything you eat..sometimes we think we're being healthier than we actually are. (But when we write it down we see all those little bites of this here and there.)

Good job doing classes at the gym; this is a good place to be! I hope this helps and good luck achieving those flat abs!

I have had great success with a program called StrollerFit powered by mommymuscle. Have you heard of it? There are 3 different class formats to choose from and you can bring your baby to the classes with you...they're actually part of the workouts! It's alot of fun, but at the same time, you get a great total body workout. They have a mat based pilates style class called restore the core, which is what's helped me flatten my abs, and cinch in my waistline after having my daughter. If you'd like more information, feel free to email me, or visit their website: www.strollerfit.com

Good Luck!

Your post made me smile! Last year I had a baby in August and I was at the public pool a lot over the summer for my other children's swim lessons, feeling enormously pregnant. I noticed those workout babe moms, too. I chatted with one and told her, "Next year I won't be wearing this maternity suit and I'm going to look like you!" I've done my best to keep my word.
I go to a Gold's Gym and there's a sign there that says if you go to a Body Pump class nine times (which would be Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three weeks) you will start to see results.
I don't do Body Pump regularly, but I do try to run some for cardio and then do free weights and machines for one hour three mornings a week, and I would say my results match that time frame. By three weeks into it, I thought, "Huh, I am not so squishy!" and by six weeks into it I was thinking, "Dang, girl, you're looking pretty toned!" Now, six months into it, I am looking forward to picking out a swim suit this summer! Consistency is the key.
Also, when I was really working at losing my baby weight, I made a point of not eating any junk and drinking only water. I think I was eating 300 or more calories a day in cookies or a soda or even fruit juice and cutting that out definitely helped a lot! Losing just the little layer of extra fat (it was less than ten pounds for me) made it so the toning work I did could show. Good posture is everything, too. (And a great bra to keep the girls from falling into your waist area! I love Wacoal bras--so worth the expense.)
I started working with a trainer at first and I definitely recommend that for getting started if you can find it in your budget. A workout buddy can hekp a lot, too, to keep you motivated and consistent.
I started having Triscuits as my salty snack since they are filling and high-fiber. Maybe they can be your salty friend ;)
If you start now, you'll be a hot mama by summer, and you'll feel great, too. See you at the pool!

I have been doing 10 minute Trainer with Tony Horton for a little over a week now and so far I love it. I already feel much stronger. I usually do 2 or 3 a day, but if my time is short I only do one. I love it because even if you are short on time, you are getting the absolute most out of your workout. They are hard exercises but it has gotten easier as I have gotten stronger!

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