ABS Showdown Abs are hard to develop. It takes more than just mega-crunches but also strict diet and cardio workout. The good thing about having developed one is that even if you lose it, it's easier to regain it. My abs obsession dates back to 2002 when I had an abs-showdown with an office colleague. It was the start of many abs-showdown event for this site. Here in Loboc, I get to indulge in an abs workout every once in a while. This time, I have an abs-buddy to do it with - Jeffrey.
Core After doing the high-intensity interval cardio workout with Jeffrey, we decided to strengthen our core - abdominals, obliques and the lower back muscles: 360° of fortification. Of course, this was followed by pranayama and meditation for vault-solid reinforcement.
Breathing I treat any workout as yoga with elements of controlled breathing (pranayama) - long thin breaths, slow, deep and steady breathing, emptying the lungs on the outbreak and fully inflating the lungs on the inbreath and honoring the pause (kumbhaka).
Mindfulness It's not enough that the physical workout is done with the breath. The mind has to be there will clear intention, observing body sensation without reacting to it.
Point of Failure The exercises are held until point of failure. So this is not about using a timer or a number of counts. You will always have strong days and weak days - your point of failure will change accordingly. By pushing yourself to that point without any mental reaction (just observing that increasingly difficult pose with a calm mind), you don't only become strong, you also become non-reactive in your daily life. No typhoon or earthquake can rattle you from your placid composure. You make sound and intelligent decisions when others are already panicking.
sustained high plank - holding the upper push-up position until reaching the point of failure. Shoulders right above the wrists, toes tucked-in. Great for abs.
sustained chest and thigh raise - lie flat on the mat face down, arms extending forward. Inhale lift the arms, shoulders and chest, thighs and legs lifted up, with only the belly pressing itself against the ground. Breathe and sustain this pose until point of failure. Great for the lower back.
sustained side plank - the body is sideways - one arm is fully stretched with palms against the ground, shoulders right above the wrist. The other hand is raised up towards the sky. Breathe and hold it until point of failure. Do the other side. Great for the obliques.
crunches - lying flat on your back with knees bent and pointed up, exhale and lift the chest and shoulders and have the arms reach beyond one knee, hold it there for a few counts, then inhale as the body lowers down to the ground. Repeat on the other knee. Keep doing this until point of failure. Great for upper abs near the solar plexus.
weighted side bends - hold the dumbell with the right hand while standing. Lower down to the right on the exhale while pushing the left foot against the ground and flairing the hips to the left. Reach down to your safety edge and hold it there for a few counts. Inhale and come back up while pushing against the right foot. Do the other side. Repeat until point of failure. Great for the obliques. Note: use only light weights (eg - 10 lbs for me). A heavy weight ruins symmetry and from my experience, is injurious.
neck-loaded dead lift - with dumbells behind the neck while standing up, exhale and lower the body with a flat back into a half forward bend making it parallel to the ground. It helps if the hips are pulled back as the body goes down. Hold it there for a few counts while breathing, and on the next inhale, come up slowly.
pranayama - alternate nose breathing (Anuloma Viloma), abdominal outbreath push (Kapalabhati) and stomach suction.
stomach suction breath-hold
meditation - seated, observing the natural breath without changing anything or reacting to it (Anapana).
Ending Thoughts The abs are a load-bearing structure of the body. Nearly every action we do begins with the abs or passes through the abs. If the abs are weak, the load is passed on to the back - but our backs are not designed for such loads and it won't take long for back pains to develop. People with weak core often suffer from back problems. Of course it also helps to strengthen the back - thus the 360° routine, and not just abs. Vanity-wise, good abs make for a good selfie!
the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to Panglao
You can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat
** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.