Preparing Americans to Serve in the Military, Special Ops, Law Enforcement, & Fire Fighting

Meet Stew Testimonials  | YouTube Videos  | List of Articles  | Favorite APP Workouts  | FREE Workouts | Contact /Newsletter


Help Me Lose the Lovehandles!!

This week I received an email titled, "LOVE-HANDLES!! Help me lose them." I have been working on a routine that incorporates exercises that will help you work your love handles (the oblique region of the torso). Personally, I like to work my "obliques" on days I work my legs, so I created the Legs and Love Handles workout seen below. As with any abdominal exercise, you need to concentrate on three areas to help firm your mid-section. These are:

1) Healthy Diet,

2) Cardio-vascular and resistance training, and (arrangement of workouts too will help burn fat)

3) Abdominal exercises to firm muscles UNDER the fat.

The number one item if you will notice is food intake. As with any fitness and health goal - nutrition and exercise are always the main ingredients to success. Neither can be missing or you will not have the energy to exercise or you will be part of the yo-yo diet crowd, buying a new diet book every year. Here is how I would break it down to get rid of those "love handles":

*note - There are no isolation exercise that will spot reduce fat  from your body.  Fat comes off the body through healthy diet, cardiovascular activity, and water consumption together.  The abdominal routines / resistance  workouts below will help you firm the muscles under fat

#1 Healthy Diet

The most important factor in acquiring abs is eating a healthy diet. Here is a list of recommended healthy ways to help you lose a few inches:

Drink at least three liters of water per day (100 oz)
Eat five servings of vegetables and fruits per day
Eliminate fried foods
Eliminate processed sugar (for example: sodas, cookies, candy)
Eliminate fatty red meat - only lean red meats (1-2 times weekly)

Diets like the Atkins and other high protein diets may help at first, but to get rid of that last 10-15 pounds, it is recommended to lower calories to a range of 1500-2000 calories a day BUT you must make exercise a habit - both with abdominal exercises and cardio work.  Keeping carbohydrates low, protein high, and good fats will help you drop the final inches around the waist.

#2) Cardio-vascular exercise - For your health as well as a fat burner!

Losing love handles and increasing the metabolism so you can lose weight more effectively are all tied into a consistent cardiovascular / resistance training program. You should do 30-45 minutes of activities like walking, running, biking, or swimming daily 4-5 times per week, but also mix in 2-3 times a week of basic calisthenics like pushups, pull-ups, bench dips, squats and lunges. It takes a few weeks before you start to see the physical benefits or your diet and exercise program. You will see almost immediate results in your energy level, overall mental alertness when exercising daily. The sample routine below will help you better organize exercise into your week:

Monday & Thursday
Upperbody Program

Warmup 5:00 / stretch

Repeat 5-10 times
Pushups - 10-20
Regular Crunches - 20
Bench dips - 10-20
Reverse Crunches - 20
Pullups - max reps
Hanging Knee up
Stretch abs/lowerback

Cardio option 20-30:00
Run, bike, walk, swim etc

Tuesday & Friday
Legs and Love Handles

Repeat 4-5 times
Walk, bike or jog 5:00
Stretch legs
Squats - 20
Lunges 10 / leg
Left crunches - 25
Right crunches - 25
Hip rollers - 10/side
Stretch abs / lowerback

Cooldown walk or bike
5:00 / stretch

LONG Cardio Day
45-60 minutes of walking, running or combination of the two
Or biking, swimming, elliptical gliding machines

#3)  Ab Workouts - Below are some abdominal exercises taken from every eBook sold on the Fitness ebook Store.
For pictures of other exercises, see the Washboard abs article. Sample abdominal exercises are the following:

Advanced Crunches - (Bicycles - Legs up) - Lie on your back with your feet 6" off the ground.  alternate bending your knees as you were riding a bicycle and touch opposite elbows to your knees. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury - place feet on the floor.)

bicycles.JPG - 37400 Bytes

Reverse Crunch - In the same position as the regular crunch, lift your knees and butt toward your elbows. Leave your head and upper body flat on the ground. Only move your legs and butt. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury)

revcrunch.jpg - 66053 Bytes

Left Elbow to Right Knee - Cross your left leg over your right leg. Flex your stomach and twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee. Same as below pic just opposite:
Right Elbow to Left Knee - Same as above just switch sides. Cross your right leg over your leg. Flex your stomach and twist to bring your left elbow to your right knee.

relbowleftknee.JPG - 35872 Bytes

There are many other ab exercises to add variety in the eBooks and books...
*note - Anytime you work your abs, you should also exercise your lower back to build balance in your torso.
see Lower Back Plan

Thanks for the e-mails. Keep them coming at


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at



flag.gif - 12306 Bytessealpin.jpg - 3244 Bytessfjpg.jpg - 5513 Bytes1ranger.jpg - 3266 Bytes aflogo.jpg - 8052 Bytes1swcc.jpg - 3028 Bytes FBI

Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral


TRX Train Like the Pros


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format