Mel B’s Scary Workout
Mel B. is Scary Spice, but she’s also got a scary workout routine. Never mind that she looked great on “Dancing with the Stars” and managed to parlay that into a second career: She’s done it and stayed in shape too!
I call Mel’s workout scary because it seems so simple that it might be off-putting. If you’re big you’ll think, “I can do that” and if you’re just starting out you’ll think, “This is nuts!”
Take a minute and think about it. Someone who used to be in a “band” called The Spice Girls turned herself into a worldwide celebrity all over again by looking great on the dance floor. Somehow she managed to get us to forgive her for “If You Wanna Be My Lover.”
I’m sorry, but anybody who can pull that off should be commended and her their workout should be taken seriously. What does she do?
30 Minutes of Cardio and 100 Crunches
Three times a day. Yep, Mel says that she does this workout three times a day. I think we can all imagine why. She’s busy, she doesn’t have time on her hands, but she can squeeze in 30 minutes here and there.
It may seem like a one-sided workout but consider the benefits. If you’re doing cardio for 90 minutes a day you’re going to have more energy than you know what to do with. Frankly, I can understand why she’d do cardio three times a day. If you need to recharge the batteries you can just work out!
Doing 100 crunches three times a day seems light for guys who can do sit-ups by the thousands, but it’s a great idea if you need a way to whip yourself into shape. Just imagine you’re in your own personal boot camp. Forcing yourself to do 100 crunches could do a lot for your self-discipline.
Mel even says that she “like[s] how quickly—if you stick to it—you can see results.” So, this is a test of self-discipline for some and a good starting point for others.
If you want to get big then this might be a simple way to get yourself in shape for the gym. If you’re already big this could be a great distraction or a nice alternative to your typical ab workout.
What Kind of Cardio?
Who cares!? Run on a treadmill. Play a game of pick-up basketball. Spin at the gym. Play racquetball. It doesn’t matter. I think that’s why Mel just does 30 minutes of cardio.
If you find yourself at the gym with an available partner you can squeezer in some Racquetball or Basketball. If you’re at home you can go for a run through the neighborhood. If you’re like the elliptical you can hit that. It’s only 30 minutes.
Instead of committing yourself to this insane cardio schedule — which I know many bodybuilders hate — you can just do what comes to you at the time. Heck, I bet playing with your kids for half an hour burns more than some of the things you could do to yourself at the gym.
Don’t be afraid to try something new and don’t be afraid to settle. Just do what you can when you can. Making it hard on yourself is just going to make you hate it more. Nobody wants to hate their workout. Nobody.
How Do You Make 100 Crunches Three Times a Day Interesting?
Mel says she changes positions every 10 reps. I know, I know, but it’ll be worth it. It keeps you from doing mindless crunches, and it forces you to work really hard when you’re trying to think of which position comes next.
Just adding a few positions to your repertoire will increase your results and give you a chance to work all of your abdomen. Don’t be scared, Scary Spice is a just a nickname. I’m sure that Mel’s workout won’t kill you. At least I’m pretty sure…
Lay on your back with your hands behind your head. Place your feet on the floor and pull your knees together. Raise your head and when your shoulders get off the ground squeeze your abs and come back down.
The basic crunch won’t feel anything like a sit-up because you aren’t straining your back. You actually stop moving before you have a chance to do that. In Mel’s plan you do 10 of these before you change positions.
Start in position for a basic crunch and get your shoulders off the ground. Twist your body to one side turn back to center and come down. You want to alternate sides as you complete the 10 twist crunches in Mel’s plan.
Working both sides of your abs equally encourages symmetry and forces you to take note of which side of your body is weaker.
Lay down with your hands on the floor. Lift your legs up and cross your ankles. Now you’re doing the opposite of a basic crunch. Pull your knees toward your chest and squeeze your abs. Relax by pushing your legs back away from your body.
In this exercise you are working your legs, but that should not overshadow the work your abs are getting. It’s an ab workout whether you like it or not. Don’t strain your legs — that’s what a leg press is for! In Mel’s plan you’d do 10 of these as well.
Cross your ankles and place your hands behind your head. Raise your legs straight up in the air so that your body is positioned at a 90 degree angle. Lift your shoulders off the floor and squeeze your abs, and don’t forget to control your legs. Letting them wabble just makes the whole exercise worthless.
Complete 10 sets of 10 three times per day to fit yourself into Mel’s plan.
Now you can start to rotate the crunches until you’ve reached 100, 200, or whatever your favorite round number is. The idea is to mix them up so you can keep your body guessing. Anything to keep the workout interesting is good, and changing positions is the perfect way to handle any possible boredom.
And you thought 90 minutes of cardio plus 300 crunches a day would be boring!