We use cookies so we can provide you with the best online experience. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue. Accept and close

Shopping Basket 0
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.




By Frederic Delavier and Michael Gundill
ISBN:   978-1-4504-1399-2
Binding: Paperback
Pages:   Approx. 144
Price: $21.95
Available: October 2011




Two signs it’s time to change your workout program

Best-selling author says modification is the key to continued results


CHAMPAIGN, IL—Stalled results during abdominal workouts leave many wondering why their routine failed. According to Frédéric Delavier, coauthor of the upcoming Delavier’s Core Training Anatomy (Human Kinetics, October 2011), the same workout every day may reap rewards for a short period, but continued success requires modifying abdominal workouts to keep muscles challenged. “There is no set rule for how often you should modify your workout program. As long as your workouts are giving you regular results, why change them?” Delavier says. “But, there will always come a time when you will feel the need to make changes.”


According to Delavier, there are two obvious ways of knowing when a workout program needs to be revamped.

  1. Plateau or loss of strength. A workout routine is no longer effective when progress abruptly stops and muscles stop gaining strength. This phenomenon doesn’t occur in one or two workouts, but is a trend over at least one week. When improvement begins to stall, a radical change is required. “The difference between a beginner and an experienced athlete is how quickly the person perceives these signals,” says Delavier. “So be attentive and be sure to keep a notebook so you can quickly pick up on these clues.”
  2. Boredom. When a person loses enthusiasm for working the core, a program has become too monotonous. According to Delavier, there are two types of boredom, and determining which is which is important because each requires different changes to a workout program.

The first type is great boredom and a complete lack of interest in abdominal work resulting from the monotony of overtraining. “When you first start working out, you feel like exercising every day to see results quickly,” Delavier says. “But this excess enthusiasm can cause you to lose strength rather than gain it—a sign of overtraining.” He advises reducing the quantity of training and starting a new workout program.

The second type of boredom involves a lack of interest in a particular exercise. “This is a sign that you have burned out the specific neuromuscular pathway for that exercise,” Delavier explains. “You have to replace that exercise, but you may not need to make any other changes.”


Delavier also stresses the importance of rest in a training regimen. “Muscle growth occurs only during the rest phase between workouts and not during the actual workout,” Delavier says. “So it is just as important to know when to rest as it is to know when to exercise. If you aren’t making progress, then you aren’t getting enough rest.”


Delavier’s Core Training Anatomy is a comprehensive guide for strengthening and toning the midsection. It includes 362 full-color photos of over 100 exercises and 60 sample programs, including those for strength and athletic performance.


For more information, see  Delavier’s Core Training Anatomy.

About the Authors

Frédéric Delavier is a gifted artist with an exceptional knowledge of human anatomy. He studied morphology and anatomy for five years at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied dissection for three years at the Paris Faculté de Médecine.


The former editor in chief of the French magazine PowerMag, Delavier is currently a journalist for the French magazine Le Monde du Muscle and a contributor to several other muscle publications, including Men’s Health Germany. He is the author of the best-selling Strength Training Anatomy, Women’s Strength Training Anatomy, The Strength Training Anatomy Workout, and Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy.

Delavier won the French powerlifting title in 1988 and makes annual presentations on the sport applications of biomechanics at conferences in Switzerland. His teaching efforts have earned him the Grand Prix de Techniques et de Pédagogie Sportive. Delavier lives in Paris, France.


Michael Gundill has written 13 books on strength training, sport nutrition, and health, including coauthoring The Strength Training Anatomy Workout. His books have been translated into multiple languages, and he has written over 500 articles for bodybuilding and fitness magazines worldwide, including Iron Man and Dirty Dieting. In 1998 he won the Article of the Year Award at the Fourth Academy of Bodybuilding Fitness & Sports Awards in California.


Gundill started weightlifting in 1983 in order to improve his rowing performance. Most of his training years were spent completing specific lifting programs in his home. As he gained muscle and refined his program, he began to learn more about physiology, anatomy, and biomechanics and started studying those subjects in medical journals. Since 1995 he has been writing about his discoveries in various bodybuilding and fitness magazines all over the world.





20 Steps to Creating the Perfect Core Workout Program                                   



Increase the Visibility of Your Abs                                                                        



Basic Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs                                                                        



Advanced Exercises and Techniques                                                                     


PART 5                                 

Ab and Core Exercises Using Machines and Accessories                                                



Workout Programs for Abdominal and Core Muscles



Background Facts


  • Muscle growth occurs only during the rest phase between workouts and not during the actual workout. It is just as important to know when to rest as it is to know when to exercise. If a person is not getting stronger from one workout to the next, the abdominal muscles need time to rest and recover.  
  • Strength varies according to the time of day. Some people are stronger in the mornings and weaker in the afternoons. For others, the opposite is true. These fluctuations are caused by the central nervous system and are completely normal. It is rare to find athletes who have consistent strength throughout the day. Ideally, people should exercise when their abs are the strongest. The majority of athletes are strongest around 6 to 7 p.m.
  • A previous workout can determine the number of sets performed of a particular exercise. If a previous workout included increased intensity, weight, or number of sets, recovery time will be longer, and strength will momentarily decrease. This is why a really good workout is often followed by a poor workout. 
  • Scientific research estimates that only 30 percent of athletes have muscles that are better adapted for single sets, while the remaining 70 percent of athletes do better with multiple sets. That 70 percent group must increase the intensity gradually so that they can give their maximum effort during a workout.
  • Abdominal muscles cannot give their best effort during a new exercise. They require an initiation phase (called motor learning) so that they can mobilize their full power during an exercise. Therefore, changing abdominal exercises too frequently can be detrimental. Frequent changes don’t allow the abdominal muscles time to learn how to work hard on the old exercise. All the time spent learning a new exercise is actually time lost on aesthetic improvements. Changing exercises frequently when it is not necessary multiplies nonproductive periods of motor learning.
  • In general, abdominal muscles can be toned with 12 to 15 repetitions, but to slim down the waistline 20 to 50 repetitions should be performed. For endurance and cardiovascular health, circuits of 50 to 100 repetitions are best.

Facts taken from  Delavier’s Core Training Anatomy.


Media Contacts

United States

Maurey Williamson
Publicity Manager



UK & Europe

Graham Smith
+44 (0) 113 255 5665



Christine Traverse
1-800-465-7301 x11



Vanessa De Bernardinis
(08) 8372-0999


New Zealand

Bec Rosewall
Toll Free: +61 (0) 8 8372 0999


Get the latest news, special offers, and updates on authors and products. SIGN UP NOW!

Human Kinetics Rewards

About Our Products

Book Excerpts


News and Articles

About Us

Career Opportunities


Business to Business

Author Center

HK Today Newsletter


Exam/Desk Copies

Language rights translation

Association Management

Associate Program

Rights and Permissions





Certifying Organizations

Continuing Education Policies

Connect with Us

YouTube Tumblr Pinterest

Terms & Conditions


Privacy Policy


Safe Harbor