The Most Effective Way to Use an Abs Bench X2


Many people today continue to erroneously believe that proper ab training requires a high number of repetitions to be effective. But there’s a better way, a simpler way, and here it is:
Train the upper abs separately from the lower abs, and train the upper abs first. Work the upper abs like you would other upper body groups with similar number of reps for the upper body. And once the upper abs are exhausted, and cannot be used to synergistically assist the lower abs, turn your attention to training the lower abs separate from the upper abs. Phil’s routine has been modified below to make it more user friendly for the average member. The premise is the same however – Tire out the upper abs then burn out the lower. Give it a shot!

Here is the workout:

  1. Upper abs 4 sets 20 reps.
  2. Lower abs 2 sets 20 reps. That’s it.

This workout takes so little time that you could even work this muscle group 3 or 4 times a week. The best way to perform this workout is to find an abs machine where you can do only an upper-body quarter crunch, without engaging your lower abs at the same time. A machine that uses upper and lower abs in the same exercise will not work and defeats the purpose. The exercises must be separate.

That’s why the Abs Bench X2 is the perfect abdominal machine for this routine. It allows the user to perform forward crunches (upper abs), as well as reverse crunches (lower abs), separately (or together) on the same machine.

For the uppers abs we want you to perform ‘half reps’ for a total of 20. What we mean is come only half way up, return and repeat. This will keep your abs under constant tension while only engaging the upper abs! Recover for one minute and repeat for 4 x 20 reps. As you get stronger decrease the amount of rest between sets or increase the resistance by adding 5 pounds to the upper bar on the Abs Bench X2

Remember the body responds to progressive exercise. Now that upper abs are exhausted your upper abs cannot synergistically kick-in to assist lower abs with the reverse crunch exercise on the Abs Bench X2.  When you try to train your lower abs before the upper abs are exhausted, the upper abs and hip flexors will compensate and “help” perform the exercise, causing the lower abs not to work hard enough. Once the upper abs are exhausted, when you lift your legs during your reverse crunch exercise on the Abs Bench X2, you should feel little or no assistance from the upper abs. You will instantly feel your lower abs working.

Perform 2 sets of 20 FULL Repetitions on the lower crunch. Rest 1 minute between sets. We recommend having some resistance for the lower crunch right from the outset. Again, as you get stronger reduce the rest between sets or add more resistance. Remember – progression is the key!

Trying to work all of the ab muscles at the same time is less efficient and can take a long time. It also results in needless extra stress on the spine. Using the protocol described above allows you to train your abs more efficiently and more frequently. And the Abs Bench X2 makes it easy to perform this workout all on one machine. Variety Abounds You’ve heard it said that variety is the spice of life. They same is true of your training. By constantly challenging your body with new stimuli you force it to continue to adapt and improve.


The Most Effective Way to Use an Abs Bench X2


Many people today continue to erroneously believe that proper ab training requires a high number of repetitions to be effective. But there’s a better way, a simpler way, and here it is:
Train the upper abs separately from the lower abs, and train the upper abs first. Work the upper abs like you would other upper body groups with similar number of reps for the upper body. And once the upper abs are exhausted, and cannot be used to synergistically assist the lower abs, turn your attention to training the lower abs separate from the upper abs. Phil’s routine has been modified below to make it more user friendly for the average member. The premise is the same however – Tire out the upper abs then burn out the lower. Give it a shot!

Here is the workout:

  1. Upper abs 4 sets 20 reps.
  2. Lower abs 2 sets 20 reps. That’s it.

This workout takes so little time that you could even work this muscle group 3 or 4 times a week. The best way to perform this workout is to find an abs machine where you can do only an upper-body quarter crunch, without engaging your lower abs at the same time. A machine that uses upper and lower abs in the same exercise will not work and defeats the purpose. The exercises must be separate.

That’s why the Abs Bench X2 is the perfect abdominal machine for this routine. It allows the user to perform forward crunches (upper abs), as well as reverse crunches (lower abs), separately (or together) on the same machine.

For the uppers abs we want you to perform ‘half reps’ for a total of 20. What we mean is come only half way up, return and repeat. This will keep your abs under constant tension while only engaging the upper abs! Recover for one minute and repeat for 4 x 20 reps. As you get stronger decrease the amount of rest between sets or increase the resistance by adding 5 pounds to the upper bar on the Abs Bench X2

Remember the body responds to progressive exercise. Now that upper abs are exhausted your upper abs cannot synergistically kick-in to assist lower abs with the reverse crunch exercise on the Abs Bench X2.  When you try to train your lower abs before the upper abs are exhausted, the upper abs and hip flexors will compensate and “help” perform the exercise, causing the lower abs not to work hard enough. Once the upper abs are exhausted, when you lift your legs during your reverse crunch exercise on the Abs Bench X2, you should feel little or no assistance from the upper abs. You will instantly feel your lower abs working.

Perform 2 sets of 20 FULL Repetitions on the lower crunch. Rest 1 minute between sets. We recommend having some resistance for the lower crunch right from the outset. Again, as you get stronger reduce the rest between sets or add more resistance. Remember – progression is the key!

Trying to work all of the ab muscles at the same time is less efficient and can take a long time. It also results in needless extra stress on the spine. Using the protocol described above allows you to train your abs more efficiently and more frequently. And the Abs Bench X2 makes it easy to perform this workout all on one machine. Variety Abounds You’ve heard it said that variety is the spice of life. They same is true of your training. By constantly challenging your body with new stimuli you force it to continue to adapt and improve.


What a Difference a Tour Makes

Why don’t they join?

It’s no secret that in order to run a successful health club business you need to continually gain new members. Attrition rates have stayed steady for many years and we know that over half of members are gone within 6 months of joining your club. Therefore it is critical to constantly have new members joining the club. The key to gaining new members is understanding why they do and do not join. Do you know the number one reason that a member will not join your club? If you guessed price or location you would be mistaken! The number one reason prospects leave your club without joining is that they don’t think they will feel comfortable there – that they won’t be successful. Research tells us that one of the top things prospects want is a flat stomach. You don’t even need the research because the prospects themselves will tell you this in their interview. If you overwhelm them with all of the things they need to do to achieve this, how do you think they will feel? Perhaps like they won’t fit in there? That they won’t be successful?

A New Perspective

If a prospect walked into your club, told you exactly what they wanted and you showed them you have it, would they join? Of course they would! Let’s go back to our prospect who told you they wanted to flatten their stomach – they wanted to strengthen their core. Instead of talking to them about the diet and cardio, what if you said “That’s great. We have a dedicated area in the club just for this – it’s called the Core Strength Zone. Let me show you!” And then you take them over to a few fun and effective ab machines such as the Ab Coaster or Ab Solo, and show them how it’s done. Don’t you think this will take the tour in a whole new direction? Now the prospect says to themselves – she listened to me, they have what I want here, I bet there are a lot of other great things this club has to offer! The prospect will now feel more comfortable and open to seeing what else your club has to offer. This approach doesn’t just go for people who talk about getting a flat belly. It’s what you could be doing for every prospect that comes through the door. Instead of a standard tour showing the things that you feel are important, customize the tour and gear it to what THEY want to see (based on their initial interview) and watch your closing ratios climb!


What a Difference a Tour Makes

Why don’t they join?

It’s no secret that in order to run a successful health club business you need to continually gain new members. Attrition rates have stayed steady for many years and we know that over half of members are gone within 6 months of joining your club. Therefore it is critical to constantly have new members joining the club. The key to gaining new members is understanding why they do and do not join. Do you know the number one reason that a member will not join your club? If you guessed price or location you would be mistaken! The number one reason prospects leave your club without joining is that they don’t think they will feel comfortable there – that they won’t be successful. Research tells us that one of the top things prospects want is a flat stomach. You don’t even need the research because the prospects themselves will tell you this in their interview. If you overwhelm them with all of the things they need to do to achieve this, how do you think they will feel? Perhaps like they won’t fit in there? That they won’t be successful?

A New Perspective

If a prospect walked into your club, told you exactly what they wanted and you showed them you have it, would they join? Of course they would! Let’s go back to our prospect who told you they wanted to flatten their stomach – they wanted to strengthen their core. Instead of talking to them about the diet and cardio, what if you said “That’s great. We have a dedicated area in the club just for this – it’s called the Core Strength Zone. Let me show you!” And then you take them over to a few fun and effective ab machines such as the Ab Coaster or Ab Solo, and show them how it’s done. Don’t you think this will take the tour in a whole new direction? Now the prospect says to themselves – she listened to me, they have what I want here, I bet there are a lot of other great things this club has to offer! The prospect will now feel more comfortable and open to seeing what else your club has to offer. This approach doesn’t just go for people who talk about getting a flat belly. It’s what you could be doing for every prospect that comes through the door. Instead of a standard tour showing the things that you feel are important, customize the tour and gear it to what THEY want to see (based on their initial interview) and watch your closing ratios climb!


Profiting From Your Existing Members

Many club owners I speak with focus their non dues revenue around personal training and the ever growing Small Group Training. The member who uses a personal trainer is typically their most valuable member to the club, so naturally owners want to provide offerings that cater to this profitable group. This includes equipment selection and programming options. Though a sound plan on the surface, it has an inherent flaw. What percentage of your members participate in training? If you are a non studio facility the national average is around 10%.

That means 90% of the membership is not using these services yet the club is not being designed for them! It is this 90% that will typically spend less and be most likely to quit. If the equipment and program offerings at your club are being dictated by the needs of the personal training community you are risking the other 90% of your membership. That’s a horrible risk.

It is imperative that club owners listen to the needs and wants of this segment of the membership and make sure that they too feel comfortable and successful in the club. A great way to accomplish this is to create dedicated spaces in the club that the average member wants to use and can do so successfully. One example is the selectorized strength circuit. Though not overly popular with the training population, the general membership still flocks here because they know they can get an effective workout and be successful doing it. Another great option is having a Core Strength Zone – a dedicated area in the club for your members to train their abs and strengthen their core. Such an area can include 3-4 popular Ab Machines and some open floor space as well for non equipment based exercises. We have installed such areas in clubs world wide and members love it. The idea is to create a space where members can focus on a body part that is important to them and allows them to train in a comfortable, non intimidating environment.

It’s clear that providing your members and prospects with areas of the club where they can feel comfortable and successful will help you to grow and retain membership. It’s also clear that non-dues revenue is critical for the long term success of most fitness centers. Let’s bring it all together to create a well oiled, profitable operation. We know that some members will be coming in for the latest fitness activities such as small group training and high intensity interval training. We know others will want to work one to one with a personal trainer. Having these offerings inside the club walls is critical or they will seek them out elsewhere as the industry has seen. The question remains how do you increase the usage of these services to the 90% of members that are not currently participating? The answer lies in providing yourself with ample opportunity to offer training services to that other 90% of the membership. You can do this if they are coming to the club and are being exposed to it. They will only keep coming to your club if they are feeling comfortable and successful. Areas such as your strength circuit and Core Strength Zone do just that which is why we call them The Gateway. They bring the members in, keep them coming, and give you the opportunity to engage them in all the other great fitness options your club has to offer! Don’t ignore this very important aspect of club/member dynamic and you will stay on the road to success.


Profiting From Your Existing Members

Many club owners I speak with focus their non dues revenue around personal training and the ever growing Small Group Training. The member who uses a personal trainer is typically their most valuable member to the club, so naturally owners want to provide offerings that cater to this profitable group. This includes equipment selection and programming options. Though a sound plan on the surface, it has an inherent flaw. What percentage of your members participate in training? If you are a non studio facility the national average is around 10%.

That means 90% of the membership is not using these services yet the club is not being designed for them! It is this 90% that will typically spend less and be most likely to quit. If the equipment and program offerings at your club are being dictated by the needs of the personal training community you are risking the other 90% of your membership. That’s a horrible risk.

It is imperative that club owners listen to the needs and wants of this segment of the membership and make sure that they too feel comfortable and successful in the club. A great way to accomplish this is to create dedicated spaces in the club that the average member wants to use and can do so successfully. One example is the selectorized strength circuit. Though not overly popular with the training population, the general membership still flocks here because they know they can get an effective workout and be successful doing it. Another great option is having a Core Strength Zone – a dedicated area in the club for your members to train their abs and strengthen their core. Such an area can include 3-4 popular Ab Machines and some open floor space as well for non equipment based exercises. We have installed such areas in clubs world wide and members love it. The idea is to create a space where members can focus on a body part that is important to them and allows them to train in a comfortable, non intimidating environment.

It’s clear that providing your members and prospects with areas of the club where they can feel comfortable and successful will help you to grow and retain membership. It’s also clear that non-dues revenue is critical for the long term success of most fitness centers. Let’s bring it all together to create a well oiled, profitable operation. We know that some members will be coming in for the latest fitness activities such as small group training and high intensity interval training. We know others will want to work one to one with a personal trainer. Having these offerings inside the club walls is critical or they will seek them out elsewhere as the industry has seen. The question remains how do you increase the usage of these services to the 90% of members that are not currently participating? The answer lies in providing yourself with ample opportunity to offer training services to that other 90% of the membership. You can do this if they are coming to the club and are being exposed to it. They will only keep coming to your club if they are feeling comfortable and successful. Areas such as your strength circuit and Core Strength Zone do just that which is why we call them The Gateway. They bring the members in, keep them coming, and give you the opportunity to engage them in all the other great fitness options your club has to offer! Don’t ignore this very important aspect of club/member dynamic and you will stay on the road to success.