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Awesome Abs: The Gut Busting Selection for Men & Women Paperback – December 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 47 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Kennedy (December 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552100022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552100028
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #936,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Chek, HHP, NMT

More About the Author

NOW AVAILABLE! My Blog is now available as a subscription through the Kindle Store. I update my blog 3-5 times a week and each entry is generally a lengthy essay, not just a tweet about what I had for breakfast! Subscribe, read and post your comments for others to respond.

I began my career as trainer of the US Army Boxing Team at Ft Bragg, North Carolina in 1984. There, it was my job to develop exercise and nutrition programs for 30 of the best boxers in the world, a job offered to me by the team coaches when I was an active member of the team. My job also included caring for sports injuries for Army athletes that trained at Callahan Sports Arena. While I was not well versed in this area when I began as trainer, I applied my self to the never-ending task of studying all necessary information, while at the same time being tutored by our team boxing doctor, Charles Pitluck, who is a doctor of osteopathic medicine.

Upon leaving the Army, I studied sports massage at the Sports Massage Training Institute in Encinitas, California, while at the same time working with a chiropractor that specialized in sports injuries here in San Diego. I was then asked to work at the largest physical therapy clinic in San Diego - Sports and Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. This was a unique opportunity to learn, as there were 13 orthopaedic surgeons and 22 physical therapists and athletic trainers working together in that center. My rapidly expanding practice allowed me to work closely with orthopaedic surgeons and to attend many surgical procedures.

In 1989 I completed my training in the St. John method of Neuromuscular Therapy and was asked by the physicians of the center to complete my training to give medical injection as a physician's assistant. I did this because the physicians had a hard time accurately injecting trigger points due to lack of fine palpatory skills, which often take years to develop. After giving hundreds of injections, I found that dry needling, or needling trigger points with a 30-gauge acupuncture needle worked just as well and was less traumatic to the patients. The physicians were happy to allow me to further develop my skills in this area.

All the while I was being referred many very challenging patients, patients that had often failed with traditional approaches, I was finding that a key reason for the results I was able to obtain stemmed from applying strength training exercises as a mandatory part of my therapeutic regimen, something I had learned the value of as an athlete and as trainer of the Army Boxing Team.

While the doctors and physical therapists I worked closely with could not dispute the results I was able to achieve with their patients (and many of them), my approach went completely against the grain of their training. For example, on more occasions than I can count, I found myself in a heated debate with a doctor or a physical therapist over the fact that I was teaching people with injuries (particularly back injuries) to perform squats, deadlifts and many other functional free-weight techniques. The doctors and physical therapists expressed great fear that I would hurt someone, yet these interrogations as to my methods almost always took place immediately after we had just visited the doctor for the regularly scheduled patient check-up, at which time the physician, physical therapist and myself would all meet with the patient to discuss progress.

While the patients were most often elated at the progress they were making with my combinations of stretching, massage, joint mobilizations and exercises, the treating doctors and referring physical therapists seemed to loose all sense of logic in the presence of the fears that emanated from their medical training. It was their training that if you hurt your back squatting or bending, for example, that you must NOT do that movement any more to avoid injury!

Most of these interrogations of my approach, which began by my being told I could not use such methods anymore - ended with my pointing out that the patient was referred to me as a last chance approach before their insurance ran out or before the doctor was to attempt another surgery, and that in as little as four weeks on my program, most had made more progress than they had in all previous attempts at rehabilitation!

As medical professionals trained in an academic environment that touted scientific principles, they routinely challenged me to prove beyond the subjective comments of my patients that my methods worked. It was under these pressures, and my own interest to validate the selective prescription of exercises as therapeutic modalities that I began an intensive search for and application of goniometric (calibrated) measurement technologies.
Under pressure to "prove" that my approach worked, I invented calibrated tools for measuring such things as forward head posture, the angle of the first rib (informs about shoulder position and breathing mechanics) pelvic tilt, and applied standard physical therapy goniometry to assess the range of motion of the musculoskeletal system.

After collecting data for two years, I began to see a trend developing - the more crunches and sit-ups athletes did, particularly in absence of exercises for the extensor muscles (pulling exercises) the more out of alignment their bodies became. Using my measurements, I could both better select exercises and could prove that my approach worked. This really attracted the attention of the doctors and physical therapists, who eventually suggested I start teaching these methods to physical therapists. Word of my approach spread and resulted in an invitation to contribute a chapter on "Posture and Craniofacial Pain" to a book directed toward non-surgical approaches to chronic head pain titled "Chiropractic Approach To Head Pain" by Williams and Wilkins, which was published in 1994.

My practice grew to be very large, so large in fact that I was producing 36 per cent of all the business in the largest physical therapy clinic in San Diego, which led me to leave and open my own clinic with a partner, Steve Clarke, MHS, PT, OCS, SCS. Steve was an expert at shoulder and knee injuries, while I had developed a reputation as the guy to see when your spine was not responding to conventional approaches. We ran our clinic successfully for three and a half years in La Jolla, California, before selling it because the insurance game was killing our practice ethics. During the nine years that had elapsed since leaving the Army, I had travelled worldwide, spending about half my annual income taking courses from the best doctors and therapists I could find. My style was to find the best, learn from them and immediately apply what I had learned upon returning to the clinic. My extensive assessment and record keeping allowed me to document what worked and what didn't.

After selling my physical therapy clinic and having a challenging time selling my concepts to the American machine-based exercise and rehabilitation world, I decided to travel internationally and share my methods. My first stop was Australia, followed by New Zealand. My seminars were well received and well attended, which was exciting for me. The world spread quickly, leading to many successive seminar tours in the South Pacific. It was in 1995 that I had decided to develop an internship program to teach my methods to those that wanted advanced training. I developed a four level training program that was designed to be completed in two to four years.
My program was very expensive and challenging, specifically designed to produce elite exercise and rehabilitation professionals and was modeled after my training as a paratrooper in the military.

Today, I have expanded these advanced training programs to cover many different areas and topics, and there are over 5000 trained through one or more of my programs spanning the South Pacific, USA, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Europe, South Africa and many other countries. I spend most of my time split between writing, teaching and one-on-one coaching.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book does a good job of explaining the anatomy and function of the abdominal & back muscles, but it's hard to follow because you have to flip back and forth to get to the correct diagrams. There isn't a good variety of exercises. Many of the exercises require cable machines that aren't available at the gym I go to. Definitely not a book for doing exercises at home.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Mihalic on November 11, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is good, and really details the proper way to train your core. It is focused on training your lower abs so that they will adequately compensate for antagonizing muscles. Proper training of the abdominal muscles will result in better posture, less exposure to injury and better definition of the core muscles. It's critical to strengthen your core since it must stabilize you in almost all body movements. This book is a great step in learning how to do this. The diet info at the end is a little out-dated, and based on low fat intake. After reading this section, I would recommend skipping it and instead following the advice for diet and nutrition found in Paul Chek's latest book Eat, Move, and Be Healthy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Definitely very good for beginner, although I have to agree that flipping pages back and forth during the exercise is not very convenient. Authors could position material better or include a separate workout sheet. Most of the excersices can be done at home.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I've read on how the abdominals work and how to development them. It begins with a technical section (low interest for me), but then moves to a helpful beginner, intermediate, and advanced level workout routines. That's the best section. Well worth the money!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rashid Shakirov on December 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to know how to properly develop,not just your "six pack", but abdominal muscles,as a very important component of core muscles,without any fancy machines,but using your common sense and properly firing right muscles at a right time, this book for you.You need to have some knowledge in human anatomy.Don't be mislead by photographs,you have to have 4-6% fat to see your abdominal muscles as you see on photographs.One digit number of fat not healthy for most people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is full of solid information. All of Paul Chek's jewels of advice are backed by solid research as to the why's and why not's. Some terminology may be a little intimidating to the person with limited anatomical background. There are exercise programs broken down into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. References included for research. Didn't care for the multiple muscle head poses. First abdominal book I read that explained physiologically why proper technique is paramount. When Paul Chek talks, I listen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
Finally an intelligent book on ab training. Of all the hundreds of books I've read about abdominal training this one surpasses them all by far. It is superbly written and teaches you everything you need to know about ab training as well as how to prevent back pain. The fitness world has been in need of an intelligent source of information for so long and now Paul Chek has joined the elite few. Hopefully we'll get to see him publish more books in the not too distant future.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is very informative and comprehensive on the abs and their function as related to exercising them.Very little information concerning dieting.however it's a must have for everyone from layman to personal trainers.
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