A moneyman’s secret to beating
stress and getting leaner abs
Telling people I’m a venture capitalist with
happy investors right now is almost asking
them to punch me in the stomach. But
really, there’s no need; the best investment
I’ve ever made already does that for me.
Pressure will always be part of my job, and as
stressful as the past year has been, I still love what I do.
The tremendous burdens of this tough economy have
taken a noticeable physical and mental toll on many of
my friends. But I have two young boys depending on
me, so I’ve tried to maintain a little bit of steadiness in
my life by focusing on the investments I can influence,
like my health. My tried-and-true routine: Hit the gym
for an hour before work. Not only do these morning
workouts pay dividends on the mental front by providing
a welcomed stress outlet, but also, they’ve made me
into the best shape of my life at 44. In the past year, my
body fat has dropped below 8 percent, my resting heart
rate has decreased to an incredible 33 beats a minute,
and I’ve dropped from 190 pounds to 185 pounds,
thanks to an increased metabolism that demolishes
even my indulgent chocolate desserts.
A lot of the credit goes to my personal trainer, John
Sitaras—the stomach puncher. In our weekly sessions,
he has taught me to incorporate simple but excruciating
abdominal exercises throughout my workouts rather
than just tacking them on at the end, which is when
you’re most likely to be exhausted or just get lazy.
Sitaras’s take: Why would you want to shortchange your
core, the most important muscle group in your body?
Overlook strengthening it, he says, and your back will
absorb the pressure instead, and that’s just asking for
trouble, especially as you get older. My hard-earned
core strength has made all the difference in the world.
In the gym, I lift surprisingly heavy weights for dozens of
repetitions. On the weekends, I’m a faster cyclist. Best
of all, I have so much energy left at the end of each day
that I can still tire out my 7- and 9-year-old sons. Here
are four of my favorite moves for a firm core.
AS TOLD TO GREG MELVILLE
Andrew Zalasin, 44, a general partner with the venture-capital firm RRE Ventures, is a competitive cyclist on the
weekends. His Manhattan gym, Sitaras Fitness, caters to
high-profile CEOs, bankers, traders, businesspeople, and athletes.
Hanging Inverted Lower-Abs Freestyle
Leg Lifts Pulsating Abs Reverse Curls Full-Range
Hang from a chin-up Raise an inverted sit-up Stay on the inverted
bar. Your hands should bench to its highest sit-up bench (keep it
Lie flat on the floor.
be slightly more than angle. Put your feet raised to its highest
Bend your knees at a
shoulder-width apart into the foot supports angle), but this time
right angle and raise
and your feet shouldn’t and lie flat on the lie on your back with
them into the air, as if
touch the floor. (Use bench. Extend your your head resting on
you were resting your
arm straps if you don’t arms so that they’re the foot supports.
calves on a bench.
have strong upper-body perpendicular to your Firmly grasp the foot
Extend your arms
muscles.) Keeping your torso. Keeping your supports with your
above your head. Reach
back straight, slowly lift back straight, slowly lift hands; your elbows
for ward from this
your knees until your your head, neck, and should point for ward
position, touch your
thighs are parallel to the shoulders off the bench while your forearms
toes, and then roll back
floor and your calves by t wo to three inches. gently touch your ears.
to the floor. Do three
are perpendicular to it. Hold this position for Position your legs so
sets of 20 reps.
Hold this position for one or two seconds, that your knees are
one or t wo seconds, then lower yourself bent and your heels
then slowly lower back to the bench and are touching your
your legs. On the 10th repeat. Do three sets of buttocks. Slowly raise
and final rep, hold the 20 reps. your legs up to your
raised-leg position for chest as far as you can,
10 seconds. Do three keeping your heels at
sets. As you become your buttocks. Hold the
stronger, add sets until position for one or two
you can complete 10 seconds, then lower
sets of 10 reps with your legs. Do three sets
perfect form. of 12 reps.