During a visit to Australia I was so delighted to catch up with an old time favourite friend and ex fitness competitor, Lisa Morgan.

Despite our competitive history of sharing the stage together we’ve always been rallying for each other, sharing tips, exchanging training methods and, I’ve even let her loose on my hair over the years!

Connected through athletics

And to my mind this is what it’s all about. I was recently heartened to see that notion alive and well in the highest echelons of athletics. You only have to watch the decathlon or heptathlon…

It is immensely competitive and hugely hard work but there is still a sense of team about it.

Never more so than when it’s all over and the entire field of athletes embrace and lap the track together.

It’s one of those things, you’ve all been through so much that you end up loving your neighbour even if they are a direct rival.

Discovering tips and techniques

To trade training and nutrition tips can mean discovering techniques that you don’t find documented or covered on the courses or in books.

There is nothing like actually trying things out for yourself rather than following manuals and theories.

Anyone who’s got into good shape knows how to reliably do it again and again, so always worth hearing from.

The difference between athletes

That is exactly what Lisa and I do. For instance, it has always been of mild importance yet of some interest to me as to why, unless I’m super lean, my abs have never been super cut and pronounced like a bar of chocolate. Hers meanwhile look a better for a lot less effort… and I’m not too shy to tell her!

She reminded me that bodybuilding and body shaping isn’t necessarily about total strength but superficial and localised strength.

Of course, that’s not to say that a body builder isn’t very strong in particular moves, but he may not be so strong as say a gymnast or dancer in sequential and chain moves.

Back to my question, ‘Why don’t I get super hot abs?’

She continued, ‘If the core strength is developed to a high level, why would the abs need to develop and grow?’

So has every sit up and crunch I’ve been knocking out over the years been futile? It would seem so, my core was taking the load all along.

shaping your abs_2

My hopes of stunning shapely abs seem shattered but at least I understand why.

Nonetheless I exchange some experiences and realisations from my part; everything from shaping the thigh to shaping up the liver. But non more important than whatever our age and whatever our condition, we can always make huge improvements and maybe be better than we ever have been.

The key is to be kind to yourself and trust that you have what it takes to meet your goal

That’s what an athlete of any field does all the time, they are on form, off form, in shape, out of shape, but it never slips their mind that by a certain date in their athletic diary, they’ll be on top form again.

It is confidence at the end of the day.

So in this festive season, remind yourself of that. A couple of kilos gained from fun food and less activity need not be a permanent gain.

Maybe get into some credit by upping the exercise and output level, but also bear in mind the mix of an abundance of rich food and high activity will be a burden on the immune system. Starting a new year feeling sick is very de-motivating.

Consider the impact that food and drink has on the workings of your body

It isn’t so much it gets stored as fat but what it does before that point. The typical festive food choices tend to be acidic and result in reversing the cells chemical balance.

To buffer this the body holds onto water and instantly and we look bloated, feel sluggish and have gained weight. But so long as we rebalance the alkaline and acidic, it isn’t permanent and you won’t be fighting a losing battle with getting back into shape.

So breeze confidently through these coming days , enjoying what you may, sharing tips and tipples with others.

The change of seasons will help you adjust naturally and guide you out of long term debauchery.

Just understand the changes the body might throw at you and trust that with a little know how, you will straighten things up when the tin of mince pies is finished.

Remember too how lucky we are that living in this hemisphere means we can cover up our Christmas podge and have fun… not so for those bikini clad Australians!

Connect with Expert Joey Bull

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