The “Wicked Wiper” is supposedly the ab move to end all ab moves. According to Women’s Health magazine, they couldn’t find a single fitness model who could do it (for the photoshoot they had a guy hold up the model’s butt and then they photoshopped him out!). It has since become my personal quest to find a person who could demonstrate Wsquared under their own power. Just as I was beginning to think only Sasquatch, the Loch Ness monster and the second gunman were honing their abs with this doozy, it happened. I saw someone do it at my gym. And he made it look easy. I jumped up off my weight bench and screamed and clapped, pointing until all the Gym Buddies joined me in rapt wonder. “Is that the…?” “It IS!” “And there’s nobody holding up his butt!” (Of course it was a “he”). The poor man almost had a heart attack and quickly left the area. I have that effect on people sometimes.

We debated chasing him down and apologizing but decided that might make things worse. Instead we left a trail of protein bar chunks and returned quietly to our weight lifting (and by “quietly” I mean grunting and laughing and making our favorite Zuzana noises) waiting for him to come back. Eventually he did and we mobbed him again begging him to show us how to do it. We all tried it. We all failed. But! The moral of the story: it is possible! I haven’t given up on the Wicked Wiper yet. I don’t think it’s a matter of strength – I recently held a plank for 10:30 minutes (you like how I throw that in there? totally bragging!) – but rather I lack the coordination.

I share this with you not to give your abs an inferiority complex but rather to point out how complex our abs – and our relationship with our abs – are. Many of the most frequent questions I get asked have to do with the stomach region. So, because I am not an expert of anything (except the art of public humiliation) I am going to answer all your ab questions … by giving you links to people smarter than myself. You’re welcome.

Q: How many times per week should I work my abs – every day or every other day?

A: The answers are mixed. Conventional wisdom for a long time said to work your abs a little every day. Most experts now say to work them every other day to give them time to recover and repair. But a growing faction advocate avoiding ab work – especially conventional ab exercises – all together, seeing it as pointless. For myself, I usually do them 2-3 times a week unless the Experiment I’m doing calls for something different.

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