Schock Your Abs into Summer Shape (and yes, I know how to spell shock!)

By: Julie Manriquez (

Congressman Aaron Schock's abs on the cover of June's Men's Health

Last week freshman congressman, Aaron Schock, opened his shirt for the cover of the June issue of Men’s Health. Holy House of Representatives, Batman! There’s no denying that even with the airbrushing and Photoshop® removal of every bodily hair, this 8-pack (yes, with the transverse abdominus, it’s an 8-pack) is worthy of some superhero Spandex. But, Mr. Schock is 29-years-old and a Republican, which means that gravity is currently working in his favor and he enjoys sporting at least a couple of guns at all times (I’m pretty sure I see them under the shirt sleeves!). Some of my best pals are Republicans and occasionally I find myself wavering in a moderate or even (gasp!) right hand direction on issues, but these conservative abs and hyper-masculine peacocking are simply not enough to urge this mostly leftwingin’ mother of two to inch my pinkie toe across the aisle. Mr. Schock’s stance on women’s rights (he voted to defund Planned Parenthood) and global warming (opposes the reduction of coal and oil usage and believes there is little, if any, evidence of global warming and it’s effects) does not fall in line with his reported desire to reach out to the MTV generation.

Not much makes me waver from my usual news sources (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, and Chelsea Lately on E!), but this kind of hypocrisy offers the kind of intrigue that even the most credible installment of TMZ might miss. So off to CNN! (Note: the above comments are pure hyperbole; of course I don’t get ALL my news from Comedy Central and E! Channel). As I snooped around an array of ‘reputable’ news sources I found the most disconcerting detail of Mr. Schock’s political platform: his opposition to gay rights. Mr. Schock voted NO on passage of the House Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This is The Matthew Shepard Act, named after the young man who was targeted, tortured and murdered in Wyoming in 1998 for being gay. He also opposes same sex domestic partnership benefits and supports bans on gay marriage.

Aaron Schock opposes gay rights? Seriously? Nice turquoise belt!

Enough with the political crap, I know. These posts and Bobby’s website are “improvement” and “wellness” based. I just wanted you all to see a nice specimen of over-achieving-bi-curious abs (the best kind out there!) before I give you my spiel on core strength. Now, down to business.

On the TODAY show, Mr. Schock spoke about his dedication to exercise (5-7 days per week for 1-2 hours) and his belief that as long as you keep your diet in check most of the time, you are good to go. Easy for the 20-something to say. Let’s check in on him in 15 years. He actually said that 80% of the time he’s right on track but occasionally falls short and has some bread and butter or some ice cream or a misstep at the buffet table. Just like Bobby and I have preached, that 80-20 rule comes into play once again. Mr. Schock’s workouts are a little excessive and probably not practical for most of us with families and work to balance. He begins his day at 6:30 a.m. in the gym. Does this mean that with shower, chest waxing, application of hair products, warming up the smoldering gaze and consuming a healthy breakfast, he doesn’t hit his stride as Hottest Congressman until 9:00 or 9:30 a.m.? Hmmmm…just sayin’! Again, I digress. So, 5-7 days a week, Mr. Abdomilicious chooses from the following:

  • A 60-75-minute P90X training session (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. Tony Horton’s infomercial-marketed DVD training system is actually completely legit and highly recommended).
  • A 60-75-minute weight routine, focusing on high-weight, low-rep exercises and alternating upper-and lower-body days.
  • 3 sets of 30 pushups and 30 situps; plus a 5-mile run or 1-mile swim

Hottie McSchockPants sports a simple and more traditional maintenance plan here, but for pure midsection change to happen, most of us need abdominal-specific exercises to rotate into our regular cardio/strength workouts. Here are some tips I suggest you work into your routine:

  • Challenge your abs 3-4 times per week. Give your abdominal muscles a one-day break in between workouts to recover and rebuild. Also, make your abs a priority. Don’t save your abdominal routine for the end of your cardio/strength/plyometric workout; knock out abs early when you’re fresh and strong.
  • Toughen up and wheel ’em in. Make each of your various moves tough so that by the 15th-20th rep, you are feeling it (you should do three sets of each exercise you choose, 12-15 minutes of ab work altogether). Work in the old-school abdominal wheel. This is an awesome tool when used correctly (body in push-up position, knees on floor, wheel under sternum, roll it forward 8-12 inches then control movement back under your sternum steadily). My clients hate this, so of course I love it!

  • Have a ball! Use a Swiss ball to protect your spine and add some burn. Some of my faves like the oblique crunch (in photo) and the transverse abdominus (lower ab) plank roll are shown in this quick video:

  • Eat flat belly foods. Reduce overall belly fat when you replace carbohydrate calories with lean turkey, fish, chicken, some dairy, eggs or nuts. Eliminate any added sugars. The average American eats 20 teaspoons of sugar daily in the form of processed foods like soda, baked goods, cereals, fruit drinks and even flavored yogurt (that’s an average of 300-350 empty calories every day). Inevitable insulin production from added sugar slows your metabolism and may put some at risk of developing diabetes.
  • Good fats will make you lean. Don’t fear fat. Because fat is filling and adds flavor you will not feel deprived and therefore stick to healthy choices. Eat unprocessed foods rich in monounsaturated fats (olives, avocados, nuts). Research has also found that it’s OK to enjoy whole foods that contain saturated fat (milk, cheese, butter) in moderation.
  • Take probiotic supplements or include probiotic-rich foods in your diet DAILY. Probiotics rebalance the growth of beneficial bacteria we need in our bodies to aid digestion and promote health. Beneficial bacteria in the gut ideally comprise 80-90% of the total intestinal bacterial flora. So an average of 15% of “unbeneficial” bacteria is left. When the harmful bacteria overgrow, they take over the space needed by the beneficial bacteria and crowd them out. Eat these foods or take probiotic supplements (like my favorite, Florify available at unprocessed yogurt with active cultures like Greek Fage yogurt, Kombucha fermented tea, fermented milk such as kefir, various pickled fermentations of cabbage, cucumbers, onions, carrots.
  • Optimize your nutrition with magnesium. We require magnesium to absorb and utilize nutrients. Without it, the body cannot properly use the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates we eat every day. When we don’t get what we need from our diet, the body craves more food to obtain those vital nutrients. Magnesium activates hundreds of enzymes in the body so we can be satisfied with the amount of food we genuinely need and avoid feeling sluggish or fatigued. Liquid minerals are my favorite form of magnesium supplement, and magnesium-rich foods include: almonds, Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, buckwheat, cashews, kelp, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, whole grains. Refined sugar and processed foods drain the body of magnesium and should be avoided.

Remember there are four areas of the abdomen and not one should be denied its chance at super-AB-dom, so work all areas (rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, external obliques, and internal obliques) and get ready for your close-up!

CLICK HERE to learn More About Julie! 


About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

19 Responses to Schock Your Abs into Summer Shape (and yes, I know how to spell shock!)

  1. Marie Hemming says:

    Hilarious and informative Julie! I like the ab workout link!

  2. Sue Schreibman says:

    thanks for entertaining and educating me at the same time. I love the blog.

  3. Julie Cockrell says:

    Great Information! The magnesium info was interesting. Any recommendation on the brand of magnesium?

    • Julie Manriquez says:

      I like LM-911 Liquid Ionic Minerals. It contains over 50 trace minerals and is a rich source of magnesium. Not the best tasting so I drop it in pure cranberry juice and water. It is definitely the most efficient. xo

  4. Jane says:

    Thanks for the probiotic tip!

  5. Alec Manriquez says:

    mom you should have but a pic of me to show what real abs look like 10 pack baby

  6. Amy Chope says:

    Love this, Cuz!! Very informative and politically entertaining! And don’t kid yourself – we know what news sources you get your info from!

  7. Curt Frederick says:

    Love the message and F-AB writing skills Julie! I’ve steered clear of core work with the exception of swimming… Thanks for the motivation and loved learning about the benefits of Magnesium.

  8. Alex Brickner says:

    The fact that he can work out 3 hours a day, six days a week is proof that we need to overhaul our political system. Oddly enough, I can’t believe Michelob Ultra isn’t part of his daily diet. Or maybe Zima? Diet Smirnoff Ice? Nice blog Julie!!

    • Julie Manriquez says:

      Hahahaha….no kidding! And if some hot congressWOMAN bared her abs for the cover of Shape Magazine, it would be “inappropriate,,” right? Such a double standard. And I think if he drinks at all it is the “Skinny Margarita” that the Real Housewives pitch!

  9. Kristen says:

    Ha!I love the political rant…here’s the next Republican men’s room scandal just waiting to happen!!

  10. Carrie says:

    “Some of my best pals are Republicans….” Damn Julie ya kill me sometimes. My gayest friends wouldn’t even sport that turquoise belt. Great writing as always. And tell Alec that Auntie Carrie wants pics of the ten-pack cuz she is not a believer!!!!!!!!!

    • Julie Manriquez says:

      Super funny, Carrie…..I think I have that same belt in my memory box from 1985!! xox

  11. Lyn Denend says:

    Funny and informative…always a winning combo! Thanks for the great article. Let’s hope voters aren’t blinded by the abs at election time (because his politics are frightening!).

  12. Laura Fraser says:

    Hahaha! So well written! This boy is frightening! How could he be 29 years old and “sporting” the values of an 80 year old, elitist white guy!!??!! As I write this, I am snacking on my almonds. Thanks for the info and the commentary — I enjoyed them both.

  13. Kari Dobak says:

    My favorite post yet!! Schock is the most distasteful kind of politician — yuck yuck yuck. Love the photo of him in the tight white pants. Thanks for the great info AND the laughs!

  14. Doug E. Fresh says:

    Call me old-fashioned, but I still find Newt Gingrich a lot sexier from a GOP perspective. Give me the salt-and-pepper mess o’ hair and a pony keg rather than an 8-pack. Sorry, I know this is a health blog/site/forum, but working out is difficult for me due to my indifference and laziness.

    I must admit that this is the first time I’ve seen such a handsome young workout freak wearing a pink plaid shirt, white slacks (slacks, slacks, slacks…so fun to say), and an aqua belt who wasn’t redesigning something on HGTV. And he opposes gay rights? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight…….and there’s this little river in Egypt called Da Nile…

  15. Kayt says:

    At least he’s better to look at than Mr Trump!! Shame he is such a facist as the abs really are lovely to look at, but as you so rightly say, when real life kicks in might be a little hard to maintain, unless of course he is genetically manufacured!! All we can do to keep up is to eat healthily and try to fit some exercise in, great overall advice for those of us with real lives!

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