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Abs Christmas Present October 1, 2007


The Right Stuff
Since I developed my abs in May 2002 for a showdown with a colleague, I've managed to keep my 6-pack all these years by regularly working-out, eating right, sleeping right, and thinking right (the mind is a very powerful ally). Yeah, it's pure vanity but in a lot of ways, it was also my validation about a healthy lifestyle and wholesome outlook. I couldn't be doing something too bad if my abs were ok.

Losing It
With my little operation in Manila, I couldn't workout at all in the entire 3 months I was there. I ate too much, drank too often, and always out in smoke-filled music bars. The lifestyle was colorful and animated, but it wreaked havoc on my fitness. I gained 22 pounds and my waistline got 4 inches wider. My muscles sagged, my abs was gone, and a beer gut was inching its way. Additionally, confidence was eroding and self-doubt was sinking in. Not to say the least, I was out of my equilibrium.

thru the years

A Christmas Present
I want my fitness back. I miss it bad. As a Christmas present to myself, I've resolved to progressively workout to regain my fitness level and put the ripped-look back into my abs. From October 1 to Christmas, I have a little under 3 months to look the way I did in 2002. I'll be posting my weekly picture (below) to monitor my progress.

For me to succeed, I have to have motivation. My 2002 Abs showdown was between 2 friends out to earn bragging rights. Hey, whatever works to get the job done. Now? Well, the stakes are higher. It not about bragging rights but keeping face. I went online with this. Hmmm...Christmas better be a blast!

(click on thumbnail for daily visual diary)
Oct. 1
Oct. 1
Oct. 8
Oct. 8
Oct. 15
Oct. 15
Oct. 22
Oct. 22
Oct. 29
Nov 5
Nov. 5

Nov. 12

Nov. 19

Nov. 26
Dec. 3
Dec. 3
Dec. 10
Dec. 10
Dec. 17
Dec. 17
    Dec. 25
Dec. 25

Ending Thoughts (Dec 25, 2007)
Was I hamming it? OF COURSE! Was I full of myself? OF COURSE! Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, wow...what a 3-month journey! Although I really didn't meet the goal of looking like I did in 2002, that's cool. I didn't have to after all. Along the way, I realized looking that ripped wasn't as important as regaining my health and fitness and putting order back into my paradigm, keeping focused on what's important to me. Surprisingly, at a certain level of intensity, it was my body telling me, "enough". Hey, when the body talks, I listen. Ultimately, it was for the better...I got my fitness back without the crazy diet and without killing myself in the gym (make that the metaphorical gym, there's no gym here)...just a yogic approach to a sound diet and a sound workout routine. I arrived at a healthy fusion between the meditative and visualized approach to weight training.

From the outside, it might seem like just working-out more and eating less. But that's really just the tip of the iceberg...the visible component. I went through a lot of introspection, going through junctions in my head deciding which way to go. For measures, I've skipped the Log Cabin dinner buffet just to remain more focused. I've practically locked myself up in my little abode just working out, doing yoga, meditating and getting a sense what this all means. I was clearing a lot of clutter in my head and body...all types - toxins, people clutter, idea clutter, emotion cluter, etc. In the process, I was streamlining my headspace putting all the variables in a unidirectional alignment.

Even with my bike rides, I chose to ride alone trying out a few different approaches - riding hard non-stop simulating a race, or going as slow as I can to nail a technical climb, or just going with the flow and following the many forks on the trails...eager to find out where it takes me.

As I was doing all that workout, I was also pushing the boundaries of what I could do with my web project. Those were the 2 things that consumed me in the last 2 months. I was taking the experimental multi-day approach, perfecting a new design idea instead of the proven 1-hour coding. Sure, I wasn't getting paid extra for this, but I had to stay real...had to focus on the challenge and not the money. By doing that, I was getting paid to have fun...and that's the key. What's it got to do with the abs workout? The intensity I put into my workout carries through everything I hard, play hard, live hard...staying real and focused on what the deal is all about.

Now that it's all over, coming back is like returning from a monastic retreat. I carry with me a renewed commitment to life with a clearer understanding of what I want from it. Yeah, it's not just abs (and if you've read the ABS Showdown 2007, it's not about the next guy either). It's a whole morphing package, much of it happened inside my head. What a trip!

A Continuing Thing
Hmmm...since I already built-up momentum on this routine, it would be a shame to let go of it simply because the 'event' is over. In keeping with my fitness, I think I'll continue updating this page, posting a monthly 'report card'...just to keep the 'machine' well-oiled.

jan 08 feb 08 mar 08 apr 08 may 08

--- TheLoneRider

ABS Workout videos:

  1. THENX
  2. Calisthenic Movement
  3. Saturno Movement

ABS Benchmarks:

  1. Beginner: standards like crunch, leg raise, V-sit, bicycle (when you can do more reps or hold longer, it's time to level up)

    V sit

  2. Intermediate: lolasana, L-sit (leveling up)

    L sit

  3. Advanced: manna (very few people on the planet can do this)


ABS Tips:

  • drink lots of water (with pinch of salt and juice of 1 lime) instead of soda or fruit juice
  • avoid fatty foods, deep-fried dishes, or food with visible fat (pork chops)
  • decrease your food consumption but eat healthier
  • you can't do it just by doing mega-crunches. you need to diet and do lots of cardio.
  • to measure your progress, you can do a fixed number of abdominal reps/week and increase the number every week. by the end of the program, you should be able to do 600 reps/session - a combination of side-bends, crunches, leg-raises, sit-ups, etc.
  • ideally, you should only use body weight 'coz you want your waist slim and lean...not wide and bulky
  • high rep/low load is ideal until you feel the burn...and then continue until you feel fire!
  • best to take the photo shot with a uni-directional yellow light pointing highlights shadows

Abs Blogs:

Comments? Email

Reader Comments:

(Dec 19, 2007) OMG, I just found the page to the ABS showdown of 2002 on your Lonerider site. That is way tooooooooooo funny to look back on and read!! Brings back a lot of good memories!!!! Aaaah the good times!!!

Laura WolbachLaura Wolbach
(Oct 17, 2007) You look great w/ all your yearly 6 pack abs. You look like you were just slouching in this year's initial pix. You look fine in your 2004-6 pix if you're trying to regain some of that.

FazMichael Fazackerley
(October 7, 2007) Hmmm...what is the opposite of Killer Abs? If your abs represent your commitment to a healthy life then that should be their descriptor.

I wonder if I might enter your showdown? Perhaps it would not be fair. Recent changes to my food habits and training for a marathon I ran last week have left me rail thin but more cut than I have ever been. That said I have not been a good little puritan. I sleep too little, still occupy my mind with too much negativity, have taken to occasionally smoking, and need to do more exercises for muscle tone and flexibility. I have taken to putting forward goals as little tricks I play on myself knowing that that is what they are. The goal of life-affirming abs is really the life-affirming part and not the vanity of great abs.

Mark AnthonyMark Anthony R. Samson
(Oct 1, 2007) go go go! to show my support, i'll eat all the bad stuff, so you won't have to, hehe.

(Sep 30, 2007) Oooh!!! Good luck, be sure to post your weekly pics haha!

DennisDennis Lopez
(Sep 29, 2007) haha. kaya ko din kaya yan?

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