What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. If you’re like most men, you have a problem in either one of the three main areas. That is: accumulating too much fat either on your belly, on your chest, or in the love handle and waist line. Today I’m going to show you how we can conquer those three trouble spots. Most importantly by taking a phase by phase approach. It doesn’t matter if you have all three. I’m going to show you how we’re going to hit them all in this one video.
Right off the bat, guys, the one thing that all three of these areas have in common is that they are body fat issues, first and foremost. Meaning, if your nutrition is not in check, if you’re not following a proper nutrition plan, you’re never going to be able to conquer these things, and get them to look better. However, you don’t necessarily have to be able to dial it all the way down to single digit body fat levels to be able to start to see improvement.
I believe that small improvements are what give us the motivation to continue to make bigger improvements. So when you just get started, the one thing you want to do from a nutrition standpoint is take out the obvious crap. Go through, make one pass through. You know the things you shouldn’t be eating. Start eating less of those, or start drinking less of the stuff that you know you shouldn’t be drinking, and I promise you, as your body fat levels start to decline you’re going to be able to see the impacts that the first level Phase I changes will make. We start right there. When it comes to the abs, and this belly area the one thing you have to start doing is, you need to be able to feel the abs contracting.
I know when you have a lot of mass in that area it doesn’t really feel like anything is working. As a matter of fact, when you try to crunch things get in the way. So what I want you to do is, I want you to lay down on the ground first, Phase I, and just learn how to activate the muscles under there. The key here is to try to do two things. One: cross your legs over each other so you can squeeze the adductors, squeeze your thighs together as hard as possible, and then pull down on your belly. Try to flatten out what we call the ‘transverse abdominus’. In other words, we want to act like we just went into this freezing cold lake, and the water is so cold that we have to pull back, and in.
When you get the ability to feel that contraction, even though it’s under layers, and layers of fat, potentially, the ability to feel that contraction is going to be a key first step to getting you further down the road in Phase II. Next, moving onto the chest. We can do things here too, in phase I that don’t require having to have those low body fat levels. That means we can start just by stretching the chest muscles themselves and strengthening the muscles on the other side of the shoulder joint. This is what I’m talking about. If we have a problem with chest fat, we have these rounded shoulder, likely, because everything is brought forward. Especially if we have the belly here in front as well. A flattened out, rounded shoulder look is going to take a bad chest and make it look worse. What we can do, just by getting our chest open, and strengthening the muscles in the other side, is going to get the chest to instantly look better.
Right off the get go, that’s what we’re trying to do because we haven’t had that chance yet to make those drastic changes through nutrition. So here are a couple stretches. You do this stretch right here that I’ve shown you before for the pec major, and as you get this stretch, and you sink it in here – I’ll link the video at the end of this so you can get an in-depth on how to do every, single step here – you also want to stretch the pec minor as well, because that’s going to pull your shoulder blade forward, too. But we get both of these stretches done, and then of course we want to work on that rotator cuff. We do that through some of the banded external rotation work here. I know it could be boring, but I promise you, even a little bit of this added to what you’re doing right now could have a major impact on your posture. When you add to – as I’ve devoted a whole video to before – the face pull, in just a few sets here at the end of your workouts is going to go a long way toward improving your posture.
But this is Phase I, and it will allow you to see a better look to your chest, even as you’re carving away, and chopping away through your nutrition at those body fat levels. Now, when it comes to the love handles we have to understand the anatomy of what we’re talking about first. That is, it’s the oblique muscle covered, again, in too much body fat. What we can do here, from the beginning – again, realizing that we haven’t really gone too far yet with our nutrition improvements – we can at least start working the lats. The more we can get a lat differential here with the waistline, you’re going to start creating that visual tapering that will be important for you as you start to get more encouraged by how you look, as you’re making those changes. The big key I always point out here is, you want to make sure you’re taking all of your lat exercises to a full contraction. We short change them constantly. Every rep, we try to move as much weight as we can without focusing, maybe, on dropping the weight just a little bit so we can get a better contraction.
The lats will always insert all the way down here, low on the waistline, and if we allow it to get a full contraction on every rep we get a better development of the entire muscle. We want to take advantage of that. So don’t shortchange your reps, and certainly don’t overlook your lats when it comes to making quick changes to the visual appearance as you’re continuing to work on those body fat levels. Moving onto Phase II now. Things are getting a little more serious. Your nutrition is getting a bit more in check. You’re starting to care a bit more about the macronutrients – maybe not just getting rid of the obvious stuff, you’ve done that – but now you’ve got to get a bit more fine-tuned on optimizing the good things that you are putting into your body. I’m going to tell you, it will become a lot easier for you, and you’re going to become a lot more interested in it because you’ve already started to see the changes, which have inspired you to keep going down this path. So when we go back to these three problem areas, Phase II now, of what I want you to do when it comes to that belly fat, and that lower abdomen is I want you to start including some direct training for the area.
Not just feeling the contraction, but using rotational ab training. You can see that I love doing rotational ab training here, and all it takes is a single band. You need to do this because a lot of times people at this body fat level don’t respond well to crunches because their own body fat gets in the way. As they start to crunch up everything crunches up together. They never feel a really strong ab contraction. They get frustrated, and it’s not the way to go.
You can totally train your abs using rotational ab movements, and it’s definitely something that’s appropriate now, at this stage of the game. As far as the chest now, we have another target area that I want you to start incorporating. That is the serratus. A lot of people are thinking “Why am I training something that’s not related to the chest?” But it is. Even just by its own anatomical positioning here, the serratus muscle, which is activated when we push our arms away from our body, almost acts like an internal bra for men. The more you can develop this muscle underlining the bottom, and lower area of the chest, or the outer area of the chest, the more you’re positioning your body to look better. Especially as you carve out those body fat levels. So the way we can hit this muscle, again, is with anything that helps us to protract our arms away from our body.
We can do that in a simple pushup position, as I’m demonstrating here. Instead of just going down, and up, down, and up, we can go down, and up, and then push away, keeping our arms straight, and trying to push our hands through the floor. We could also do it from a dip position. Whether or not you even have the strength to do dips yet, that’s fine. You don’t necessarily have to do them, but you can still do the plus portion of that, which is going to train the serratus.
You can even take cables, or a band, and work on straight arm punching, away from your body. The fact is, this area is going to become more visible, and it will respond to your early training. Especially if you have not trained it yet, at all. So it’s going to allow you to start getting a visibly better looking area around that chest, as you continue to work toward dropping those body fat levels. Okay, wrapping up Phase II here, we’re actually back on the love handles. Really, we’re back on this abdomen area. The focus is back on ab training again. You see, the more you can start to develop the rectus abdominus here through our rotational ab movements, if that’s all you’re going to do at the moment; that’s enough to allow us to start seeing some changes, even at the top row of our abs.
We know that when it comes to dropping body fat, especially in guys, it works its way from the top, down. The lower area being the last to go. But as you start to see those top two rows of abs there, it starts to visibly look better, and start tapering in, and allowing the obliques – as they start to come in as well – to look better overall, as we’ve framed out something here in the middle. Whereas before, it was pretty much absent. So you want to keep focusing on this as you continue to move onto Phase III and dial it all in.
Phase III now, you’re now locked in. You’re not just caring about macronutrients, but you’re actually caring about micronutrients as well. You realize that the small details matter and they can manipulate your body fat levels even a percentage point up, or down. And that’s where it starts to really, really show. In Phase III there are things that we can do to really bring out those three areas that were once trouble spots that are now starting to look great for you. When it comes to the abdomen what we can do here is actually start to do dedicated ab training. I recommend doing it at least five times a week, up to seven times a week. Yes, it sounds like a lot, but we’re talking about short, condensed workouts that pack a punch. We have posted many, many videos here on this channel that are really short, but effective. Our Six Minute Ab workout – that, again, I will link in this video as well, and down below – is one that you can try, just to feel what it’s like when you actually go through all the major functions of the abs.
From the top, down, the bottom, up. The rotational top, down, and bottom, up, and using your midrange, and your obliques as well. When we tie it all together it’s a pretty impressive impact you can make on your abs, and it’s something you’re going to want to focus on now because with those body fat levels dropping, you want to develop those muscles as much as possible. Moving onto the chest here in Phase III, the key point, once again, is you want to train these muscles if you want them to look their best. With the body fat now stripped down because of your efforts through your nutrition, you’re going to have the opportunity to really start showing off something that was once not impressive, that now can be. I like to use this very, very simple band/tubing series that you can use with a cable, and load it up with a lot heavier weight.
But the concept is watching where I’m trying to target. Watching the direction of the band here, as I try to hit the different areas because the chest is divided into different areas, providing us the opportunity to hit different areas. For instance, if we want to hit the lower portion of the chest we have something called the abdominal head of the chest, which is all the way down at the bottom. We can take the band and move it across our body, as I’m doing here. Just from the side, and across. Of course, we can take it from a high position, and then come down, and low. Again, you can use cables, and heavy weight if you want here, but what we’re doing is simulating a dip, which we know works more of the bottom portion of the chest, which is more technically this abdominal head. So we can come down, and across, but we also know that we have our upper fibers – the clavicular fibers of the chest – which are oriented more in this direction.
We can hit them by reversing the direction, having our arm low from here, and coming up, and across our body. So now you can see we can hit these upper chest fibers with a better angle, just by changing the positioning of our arm, and we can wrap it all up by allowing ourselves to make sure we get toward a full contraction of the chest. No, we can’t preferentially target the middle of our chest, but we can make sure that we’re fully contracting the chest. Meaning, we’re bringing it all the way across the body here, into a full contraction, which is going to give us a better opportunity to make sure the entire chest is fully developed.
Again, you can do this with any, single implement here with a cable, or with a piece of tubing here. But the fact is, you want to make sure you’re training, and hitting your chest from all angles if you want it to look its best. Especially now as it’s in its full glory, at its lowest body fat levels. Finally, when it comes to the love handles, guys, the reason why I’ve been talking about the obliques all along, from the very beginning of this video, was the fact that these muscles that once looked so bad, that were once those big, thick areas that had all that fat hanging over them; this is what they actually look like if you can get rid of that. You see, the oblique is the muscle that is going to be responsible for causing that “V” shape, that “V” line down into the abdominal area, into the groin, that’s going to make you look a lot leaner, and more ripped.
The people that tell you to avoid it don’t necessarily understand the main goal of what you should be focusing on. So I want to implore you, train your obliques. Now is the best time to do it. Here are a couple of options right here that I’ve shared before in a video that, again, I can share and give you here at the end of this video so you can watch it in full. But there are ways to train your obliques that don’t require a lot of fancy equipment, or even a lot of sets, and reps, and time. The fact is, now, at the right time, with those body fat levels primed, and ready to show them off, you want to make sure that you’re doing the right things. So there you have it, guys.
There’s a three phase attack plan to get you to start hitting these big problem areas once, and for all. Most importantly, giving you a strategy for not getting discouraged along the way. I know the hardest thing to do sometimes is to lock in that nutrition, but the thing is, it doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect from the beginning. Especially if you have these other tactics in place that are going to allow you to start seeing the early results that will keep you motivated to keep working on that nutrition, and keep allowing you to see the results that I know you can make. If you’re looking for a day by day, step by step plan where we lay out everything for you – meal plans, workouts, everything – head to ATHLEANX.com and get one of our ATHLEANX training programs. In the meantime, if you’ve found this video helpful leave your comments and thumbs up.
Let me know what else you want me to cover here on this channel and I will do my best to do that here for you in the days, and weeks ahead. All right, guys. See you soon. .