• Razz & Abs

    December 2, 2008

    Good morning! So, I have a pretty bad commute to and from work. It’s not difficult, but it takes for-ever! Door-to-door, my morning commute takes about 50-60 minutes; my evening commute is 60-70 minutes. It stinks, but I deal (aka books, magazines, iPod, etc.) This morning, however, my commute was insanely quick! I left my apartment at my usual time, but it took just 35-40 minutes! World record! The T was en fuego this morning, and it got me to work so quickly. It’s awesome, but darn it, I’m at work super early! I could have slept longer!

    Today’s breakfast reminded me of a bag of trail mix with fun add-ins of various colors, shapes, and textures.

    In today’s bowl:

    • 1/2 cup dry oats
    • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
    • 2 tbsp raisins
    • 1 tbsp peanuts
    • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
    • 1/2 tbsp sunflower seeds
    • 1/2 tbsp sliced almonds

    My trail mix bowl was delicious and filling— no need for a scoop of peanut butter today!

    At work, I made myself a mug of French Roast coffee with almond milk and agave nectar (not pictured). My coffee is going down like water this morning! It might already be time for another cup!

    Abs Class

    I haven’t posted about Ab Class in weeks (well, months)! Sorry, guys! I’ve been basically rotating the same few ab exercises over and over again in class, but last night, I switched it up with lots of planks. Here’s last night’s 15 minute workout…

    All exercises are timed for 45 seconds, unless otherwise noted.

    Flat Abs

    On Sunday evening during my Healthworks shift, a member asked for advice about how to flatten her abs. She said that she has been doing tons and tons of crunches, but nothing seems to help. She was frusterated, but also very determined to have a flat stomach!

    What I recommended to her: Switch it up and work your abs in different ways! I told her about the transverse abdominis, which is the deepest abdominal muscle. It is a major muscle of the core, and its fibers run horizontally across your stomach to create a strong, flat, muscular girdle of sorts. The exercises that I recommended to her: planks, push-ups, and various exercises on a Bosu or stability ball. Also, I reminded her about the importance of cardio. Even if you build up your ab muscles, no one will see them under a layer of fat. (A healthy diet is key too!) The member was already doing cardio exercise (elliptical and treadmill) for 25-35 minutes, 3-5 times a week, so I suggested that she increase that amount of time by 10-20 minutes and work in some high-intensity intervals. Or prepare your stomach for the summer with a new exercise ball.

    Question of the Day

    How often do you work your abs? Do you love or hate doing ab exercises?

    Pin It

    { 41 comments… read them below or add one }

    Amanda December 2, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Used to hate ab work…but slowly I’m starting to love it. I try to do a longer ab workout 2-3 times a week and some light abs every day just by contracting them while doing other things.


    Jennifer December 2, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I cannot imagine that LONG of a commute both ways everyday!! wow!


    Heather December 2, 2008 at 9:34 am

    I HATE doing abs more than anything else, and so I don’t do them nearly as often as I should.


    ashley (sweet & natural) December 2, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I do something for my abs every time I work out – my tummy is the part of me that needs the most exercise attention! 😛


    Mel December 2, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I used to do abs religiously, but I think I overdid it. Now it’s just a few times a week.


    zestycook December 2, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Don’t you love planks!! Great Job Tina. Breakfast looks great and a short commute is a huge bonus. Have a great day and see ya for lunch.



    Sarah December 2, 2008 at 10:00 am

    I try to do abs at least twice a week, switching up the exercises every couple of weeks. I also do a lot of cardio but it’s still hard for me to shrink or tighten up my middle. I think some of it’s excess skin too, so I do get frustrated with the way my stomach looks sometimes. Hmm…


    Emily December 2, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I love doing abs except planks. I will do anything else, but I hate planks!!


    Bridget December 2, 2008 at 10:05 am

    I love when the T gods are in my favor! Thats awesome.

    I do abs frequently. I figure it’s one of the easiest things to do anytime anywhere, esp if I can’t get to the gym or the weather is too crappy to go for a run. I do them in the livingroom or my bedroom before I go to bed, and at least it makes me feel better about working some sort of excersize in. Plus you don’t need any special equiptment…although I really want a Bosu! I try for 4-5 times a week, even if its just for 5 min 🙂


    Tina December 2, 2008 at 10:08 am


    I used to hate them too! However, they are an awesome core workout! What I tell my abs class “students” is BREATH and focus on your hands (wiggle your fingers) and stare at the floor. It’s all about focus and breathing! Give them another try! 🙂


    Buy a Bosu! Or maybe ask for one for Xmas? I love mine and use it all of the time!


    BethT December 2, 2008 at 10:09 am

    I hate abs…

    And dang, I though MY commute was rough. Why is yours so horrible?!? Multiple transfers, or what?


    caitlin December 2, 2008 at 10:13 am

    ya’ll know me… im an insane runner, love to work out, etc etc. i HATE DOING SITUPS or ANY type of AB WORK. I would estimate I have done ab work about three times in the last three months. LOL.


    coco December 2, 2008 at 10:14 am

    great trail mix breakfast! I bet it’s delicious and will hold you for hours!

    I don’t do abs frequently, maybe just some poses in yoga. But for my surprise, my abs look just like as before when I exercise twice a week focusing only abs.
    And my favorite is planks! 🙂


    Tina December 2, 2008 at 10:14 am


    Yea, 2 transfers and a short walk… plus the T “blows up” a few times a week, which delays my commute just about every day. BUT, I think Mal and I will be moving this summer! 🙂


    Megan December 2, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Thanks for all the tips! I love the Plank!


    katie December 2, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I try to do t least a couple ab exercises everytime I am at the gym so maybe 4-5 times a week. But I usually end up doing the same ones over and over again because I can never think of new ones that work well! thanks for some ideas!


    K December 2, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Wow – that is one LONG commute!

    Thanks for the workout! It sounds great 🙂


    Jessica December 2, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I always pound out a few series of different ab workouts after every cardio workout I do….usually 3-5 times a week!!!!

    love your blog 🙂


    Allison December 2, 2008 at 10:24 am


    I know you already do SO much for the blog-world, but I was thinking how cool it would be if somehow you could have someone tape your 15-minute ab routine so that us readers could follow along as if we were in your class. I know you prolly wouldn’t want to tape your actual class, but maybe Mal could tape you at home? I know your SUPER busy, but I thought it would be cool and I know that I would “take your abs class” a couple times a week! :-).


    Mara December 2, 2008 at 10:30 am

    I wish I liked raspberries in oats, but the seeds totally get to me…
    I work my abs every few days. If they hurt, i just can’t do it.


    HangryPants December 2, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I am an ab neglector. I mean I do standrd ab exercises, but nothing like that great ab class.


    Stephanie December 2, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I definitely “do abs’ a few times a week but the main way that I tone my abs is through cardio, believe it or not. I do a lot of running (outside) and spinning (inside) and the whole time I am either consciously or sub-consciously holding in my abs and working them. That has given me a flat and strong stomach. The concentrated ab work gives more of the definition.


    Julie December 2, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Gosh that commute stinks! At least you have entertainment for yourself, plus the riders on the T can provide some good entertainment too!

    I work my abs every time I hit the gym. It takes about 20 minutes to do my routine, which I try to change up often. I do russian twists w/ a 10lb weight ball, planks, bicycle crunches, captains chair, stability ball crunches and a few others. I have pretty nice upper abs (a four pack if you will) but the lower is covered in a layer of flubber.


    Erica December 2, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Hate to say it but flat abs aren’t due to crunches alone! Cardio and diet are what really flatten your tummy out!

    Glad the T was sooo quick this morning


    celine December 2, 2008 at 10:59 am

    your bowl wants to be right in front of me. ok, I’m the one who wants it to be there, I’ll admit it.
    I incorporate ab exercises in my other type of workouts, focusing on them when I walk or ride my bike. strangely enough, it seems to work just fine and be enough for me. thank you, past pilates workouts!


    Julia (Santa Barbara Dreaming) December 2, 2008 at 11:00 am

    I actually really loooove doing abs exercises! I think the two most important tricks to getting a flatter, more defined tummy, is diet, and switching up the exercises so you target all the muscles of your core, not just the rectus abdominus. Never underestimate the power of diet in the role of flat abs! or any muscle for that matter….
    Tina, your abs class sounds challenging and fun! Way to go! 😉


    Katie December 2, 2008 at 11:09 am

    It’s a necessary evil, but I wouldn’t say I love it… I do love how strong the exercises make me feel! Ab work and core strengthening is so important to any kind of cardio work you’re doing, so I try to do it after every workout session. I have a series of four exercises (straight- arm crunches, leg extensions w/ stability ball, stability ball seated-twists, lower-back extensions) that I do each time, and I always feel the burn!


    Andrea (Off Her Cork) December 2, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I work my abs almost everyday doing something. I love ab workouts! My abs while not flat are pretty strong so it takes different moves and more intense moves for me to feel anything. I love it when I feel the burn!


    Natalie December 2, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I work my abs about 2 – 3 times a week. I love planks & side planks! But a good diet and burning fat is the most important part.


    Molly December 2, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I sit on a ball at work and call it my ab work for the day… does that count :)?


    Rose December 2, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I remember days like that on the metro when I worked in downtown DC – I used to love it when I got there in 25 mins instead of my normal 40 🙂

    I don’t do as much ab exercises as I should…thanks for the tip!


    carolinebee December 2, 2008 at 11:46 am

    NO cookie for bfast!? 😀 maybe later…When I went to Boston my friend was SO happy when the T was a little behind, so it didn’t stop at it’s scheduled places and just took us straight back to BC really fast! haha it was a fun time!


    tami December 2, 2008 at 11:59 am

    wow, lots of comments for the abs….i go in phases of doing abs


    Rebecca December 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Not as much as I should. I do about 200 abs about 4 days a week. I wish I was lucky where I did not have to work out to stay in shape, but I do.


    Emily December 2, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Unfortunately, doing lots of crunches and ab workouts won’t give you a flat stomach. It will build ab muscle, but this doesn’t matter if there’s a layer of fat over it. Since you can’t spot-reduce ab fat (or any other area of fat), I do total-body workouts three times a week and run three times a week, then eat a bit less than I burn…it’s made my entire body leaner and more fit looking, abs included!


    VeggieGirl December 2, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    I work my abs almost everyday.


    Maggie December 2, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I do abs pretty much every day with yoga – I don’t do a specific workout for them though. Unless I’m doing “Core yoga” which is killer.


    Leah December 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I try to work my abs 2-3x a week, as part of my lifting exercises. I try to fit in at least 100 reps. Running and spinning seem to tone me up a bit too. I have mixed feelings about ab work-outs, especially since I find it difficult to target the lower abs. Haha, one day at a time…


    Elina (Healthy and Sane) December 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I love working my abs and the best way to do it is by taking abs classes! I love them because they “torture” you for 15 minutes when you probably would have stopped earlier than that on your own. so cool that you’re teaching one and thanks for sharing your routines!


    trojan December 2, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Abs are made in the kitchen….


    Emily December 3, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I tried your ab workout yesterday and even did the planks. Thanks for the advice! It was fun (well, compared to just plain crunches).


    Leave a Comment

    { 4 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post: