Summer figure: Improve the posture

Monika's problem:

© Veronika Faustmann

"I know that everyone thinks I do not have to worry about my figure, I do not want to lose weight, on the contrary: In some places I would like some more padding, too much of it on my stomach: The muscles are limp, and around the navel a visible crease has settled in. The flaccid muscles are not comfortable for my back, I have discomfort in the lumbar spine and a forward bent posture. "

Monika's goal:

"I want stronger abdominal and back muscles, so I stand upright and the roll on the belly should be gone."

This resulted in the investigation:

BMI: 19.5 (weight divided by height squared) Body fat percentage: 20.9 percent Muscle content: 36.9 percent HBU: 0.85 (abdominal circumference to hip circumference)

That says sports physician Dr. Wolfgang Schilling's:

"There may be more muscle, especially in the torso and shoulder-neck area, and if the abdominal muscles are too weak, the abdomen bulges visibly forward."

That's what dietitian Claudia Neiss says:

"The laboratory shows a significant iron deficiency - this is not surprising in a woman who eats little meat, whole grains and pulses. First, iron tablets help to fill the depots."

The fitness strategy:

Twice a week for half an hour to run, including Tabata interval training, to two to three times a week the body art workout. Perfect for muscle building is also high-intensity training (HIT), so there are two additional special strengthening exercises. (Instructions for running training, workout and the extra strengthening exercises see article "The most beautiful figure of the summer" in ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Issue 22, 22 May 2013 to 4 June 2013 at the kiosk, or here for download, free for subscribers).

The nutritional strategy:

Although losing weight is not the main focus, sugar should be avoided as much as possible, since it destroys the intestinal flora, irritates the mucous membranes and can cause inflammatory reactions in the body. An extra portion of protein is important so that the body can build muscle - preferably in the form of vegetable protein from legumes such as beans, lentils, peas, soy or lupins, a well-tolerated soy alternative. In addition, there is a protein shake three times a week.

Monika's assessment:

"I was hoping to lose weight only on the abdomen, but that does not work, so I'm curious to see if more body tension and a better posture will make the tummy disappear, if the Bodyart workout combined with the extra portion of protein would give you muscle , I would be overjoyed. "

Are you interested in the program of Monika? On the following pages you will learn how she is doing.

Before the start

Compared to my three comrades, I pulled the big ticket: no diet, no prohibited foods - I just have to eat more protein. It's easy and I think there's more air for it.

That's why I've decided to compensate for the iron deficiency that has been discovered by dieting instead of swallowing tablets. Since I largely do without meat, it will not be easy. I'm curious if it works.

Although I do sport forever - but before the sweaty interval training while running I have real respect. So far, I've always been shy of such nastiness. Hopefully, next time, I can already tell you more.

First week, day 2

I have just come back from running. Expelled, relaxed? and happy. 30 minutes just for me. Spring smell, flowers, freshly mowed lawn. Drizzle, a pleasant cooling on the heated body. Finally outside, finally moving. Basic stamina at a steady pace. Just right, to sort the thought-chaos in the head.

I feel great. Yesterday it looked quite different. I did the workout. The burpees, my additional exercise, bring me to my limits in record time. Standing up, arms stretched up, squat down, jump into the support, crouch down again, stretch your arms. The whole thing 3 times, 40 seconds each, with a break of 20 seconds in between. 3 times? After the first lap, I'm lying on the ground, panting for air, unable to even say beep. Well that can really become something. My leisurely laps? In addition to yoga my previous training - have prepared me for such nastiness anyway. It is in the ChroniquesDuVasteMonde program of the original Burpee a bit easier? without a push-up in between.By the way, there is a motivational video on YouTube for those who want to try the original.

First week, day 5

I believe that many people take extra protein, although they do not need it. 45 to 60 grams of protein per day (0.8 grams per kilo of body weight) rich, which can be achieved with normal diet relatively easily.

Nevertheless, in the six weeks I will increase the protein content in my food. The reason: My nutritional protocol has shown that I actually take too little protein to myself. And muscles (not even visible) need protein to grow. Meanwhile, I also realize where the cause of this? Too little? protein is: I eat almost completely vegetarian and so far have animal protein suppliers such as meat and sausage just omitted? without replacing them with herbal alternatives such as pulses or soy products.

Although I have been exercising regularly for more than 20 years, I have recurrent back pain and poor posture problems. My muscle is too low? This has also resulted in the sports medical examination. I will therefore? in addition to the sports program - eat more legumes and soy products. In addition, there is a protein shake three times a week, as the nutritionist recommended.

Second week, day 2

Warm up slowly for 10 minutes, then install 1-2 Tabata intervals (20 seconds sprint, 10 seconds slow, alternating - a total of 8 times). Then continue loosely, total running time: 30-40 minutes.

So should according to the program my (advanced) running training once a week look like. Would not slow me down an annoying coughing with every attempt to make pace. Even with slow running, my pulse today was about 15 beats higher than usual. The body is clearly bruised. Interval training is out of the question. I would need it. Although the performance diagnostics has certified me a super basic stamina, but in the higher pulse range is definitely still potential (politely expressed). Well, that comes from the years of cozy Dahintraben. On the other hand, I was fine with it ... Let's see if it will work with the interval training next week (or if I'll be glad for the cough as an excuse).

Second week, day 5

The rain brings a whole new motivation for me: Is there really a short rain break, I do not hesitate long, whether I run now or not. I start immediately, otherwise I'm sure the next shower will catch me ...

Speaking of running: This sport is said so that he casually trained the core muscles. I do not know about you, but up to my flabby abdominal muscles, this realization has not yet rumgesprochen - I see that at least in my abdominal muscle additional exercise clearly. (The exercise is quite classic: in the supine position lift upper body / legs, pull left shoulder to right knee, stretch left leg, change ...)

That's not my favorite exercise anyway. My favorite instead: the exercise "arch and curl in lunge" from the bodyart workout (lunge, stretch back leg, stretch arms out to the side, tilt the head back slightly, then bend the back leg, bring your arms forward , Head between the arms). An ingenious exercise after a desk day, which in addition stretches the hip flexor muscles and loosens the shoulder and neck area.

Unfortunately, the body needs, above all, the exercises that we would rather avoid. For me these are the classic abdominal exercises and all push-up variants ...

Third week, day 2

My greatest discovery of the last days: millet. Yes, millet! That did not happen in my previous diet. Why? No idea. Probably because millet sounded like healthy (not delicious) whole foods for me. But millet is not only a great source of protein and iron? it also tastes great. My favorites: millet broccoli casserole and millet and orange curds. Both are quickly finished - and have convinced even very skeptical family members.

My second new discovery is lupine products? a recommendation from the nutritionist. Lupines have some advantages over soy: they are domestic plants (even if the cultivation is still expandable), the products are well tolerated and u.a. The iron content is higher than that of soybeans (more info at I found lupine slices in my organic supermarket and cooked it with whatever the fridge provided - within ten minutes it was a great dinner That's how it's done: fry the sliced ​​meat with onions, mushrooms and peppers, add the cream and couscous leftovers from the day before (or rice or pasta), bring it to a boil again and you're done: The catch: Lupine products are hard to come by. Best in the organic supermarket or buy online (eg via

Third week, day 5

I almost missed it, if my colleague Daniela had not asked me if the program has worked for me: the back pain is gone! The persistent drawing in the lower back, which has accompanied me faithfully for the past few months, has left without a fuss.In fact, I have the feeling that the hull gets more hold. It slowly feels like I have a muscle corset. The exercises are also more enjoyable, it is really fun. Abs? I? I'm excited! And it does not bother me at all anymore, that after my measurements on the belly circumference nothing has happened.

Fourth week, day 2

After the initial euphoria, with which I have plunged myself on new recipes and ingredients, I have now caught up with everyday life with the usual time pressure. Yesterday afternoon I ate half a bag of dried apricots. Dried apricots contain a lot of iron, because of my low iron value they are therefore more on my menu? but against so much unfamiliar and heavy food, my body has once properly rebelled. In the evening I lay with the hot water bottle on my stomach on the couch.

What I miss are the quick standard recipes for everyday life. When my son wants pasta with mince sauce, am I ever so annoyed with my own theater about food that I just eat the meatloaf sauce? instead of cooking extra soy schnitzel as a minced meat alternative. I really do not want to eat any more meat. But at the moment that's just too complicated for me ...

Fourth week, day 4

Lunch with a colleague who has been a vegetarian for years. I cry out to her that the food gets too complicated for me. Unfortunately, I had also read before that vegans are often even more likely to have iron than vegetarians. No wonder, with them, the dairy products fall away, which supposedly inhibit iron absorption. But I do not even eat consistently vegetarian, let alone vegan. In addition, I do not find it particularly smart to omit protein-rich dairy products and drink on the other side protein shakes to support the muscle. No way. The conversation with my colleague made it clear to me that I want to change too much at the same time when eating? and make my life unnecessarily difficult.

I try to focus on the small changes: I no longer just eat side dishes, but try the dishes, for example. To supplement with tofu or lupine products and vegetables more often to grab beans or peas (vegetable protein in legumes). To replenish the iron stores, there is now morning porridge with fruit (more whole grain), as office snacks sesame bars, trail mix or dried apricots (the latter in smaller quantities, I'm learning) and in the salad a lot of extra-parsley.

Fifth week, day 1

I like the full body exercises in the body art workout, but I want to train the upper back more intensively. That's why I added the extra back exercises from Josephine to my program (prone position, bending and stretching the arms alternately, stretching the legs and lifting them so that the knees have no contact with the ground). I was really happy about the first sore muscles! Stupid, for the body it would of course be better without muscle soreness. But a sore muscle is also a confirmation that it was an intense workout.

And I've changed something else: I just made the burpees very irregular. The reason: Often I do not exercise until half past nine or ten o'clock in the evening? and there I do not want the neighbors among us the gait no more. To calm my guilty conscience, have I decided to at least practice push-ups? another vulnerability. I can only do women's pushups with my knees down, but from 10 initial reps (very tormented), I've improved to at least 15 reps (comparatively easy).

Fifth week, day 4

The cough has finally passed, so I can try the Tabata intervals while running just before the end of the program. But the joy does not last long. Interval training is really stress for me. And that, where sport is actually my synonym for recovery: In the evenings when yoga or relax while jogging, I think great. Sprinting means a giant overcoming for me. The 10-second break between the 20-second sprint units (which casts my pulse to 192) seems incredibly short. Feels like it's not even enough for a breath (which definitely can not be, as fast as my breath goes). Fortunately, the torture takes only 4 minutes in total, but it's not that pretty.

And for what? An acquaintance enthusiastically enthused me about the effect of her interval training on the last half-marathon she had run. She could easily overtake other runners without getting out of breath. Hm, I'm afraid I have to register for a half marathon to see the meaning of this drill for me. Maybe it will be better next time.

Sixth week, day 1

A little motivation for the final spurt would be nice. Daniela and I think a small bet: Anyone who manages to gain more muscle mass will be invited to the coffee by the loser. Nothing big, but it's enough to put a few repetitions on the workout and volunteer to haul the move boxes.The ambition is newly awakened.

Oh yes, and of course no protein shake is left out at the final spurt. You never know. My poor fellow campaigners with the hard diet programs I prefer not to tell me that I have such a shake? which should actually replace a meal? just for dessert.

Sixth week, day 4

The nutrition and fitness program is now routine. At the end I spent a few hours mountain biking - as endurance training instead of running. I love this sport! Shutting down and challenges such as tight turns or rooted roads provide variety? and through the short, exhausting uphill passages, I automatically do my interval training (without having to force myself to do it like running). Okay, for the attitude, the sporty, strongly bent seating position is not good at all, but from time to time it still has to be. There is a set of back training the next day.

Much has settled down during the meal: So now some old favorite dishes are back on the table, correspondingly amended and modified. Pancakes with spinach, for example, are simply sprinkled with sesame seeds - for the iron value.

The result

Final exam in the Athleticum of the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf: We are extremely excited about the results. Above all, Dani and I want to know which of us has built more muscle mass? and the bet wins.

Dani is first and learns that she has lost 400 grams of muscle in the six weeks. How, mined? How is that possible? Dani has? just like me ? also trained regularly before An increase in muscle mass is of course not so easy to do, but that it is less, we really did not expect. "Now you can spend each other a coffee," said the sports scientist after he measured my muscle mass. Also 400 grams less. Why is that? Such fluctuations can be attributed to the cycle time (more or less water retention in the body) and also to what we ate and drank before the measurement. And six weeks is just a very short period of time to notice significant changes in muscle mass. Nevertheless, we are disappointed.

Fortunately, the tape measure is much kinder and shows me that I have lost three centimeters in the six weeks waist circumference. The good news reconciles me.

But best of all, my back pain has disappeared! And do I actually feel upright? and rely on a supporting muscle corset in the middle of my body. It was worth it! And of course I will keep on.

PS: For all women with too low iron values: The diet change was successful. My iron storage values ​​are clearly in the green again after the six weeks. Without iron tablets.

The result after 6 weeks in detail: BMI: 19.5 (previously 19.5) Body fat percentage: 21.8 percent (previously 20.9 percent) Muscle proportion: 36.2 percent (previously 36.9 percent) Waist circumference: 77 cm ( before 80 cm)


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