Crunchless Core by Brian Klepacki is a unique program with a focus on both core muscles and spine integrity. It offers a complete solution for core stability, strength and integrity.
It is a comprehensive training program for all the muscles in your midsection, the front rectus abdominis, the side obliques, and your back to create full core strength and balance, not just a front six pack.
Most notably, it employs a workout schedule targeting your whole body with the focus on the core section. The idea is to develop your core by using calisthenic movements and gym equipment to hit your core section in every plane, without stressing your spine with crunches.
Because of this, this plan is ideal for those suffering from back pain or spine issues but also for anyone who wants a safe, all-round protocol for core strength and stability without injury and back pain. This critique will take you through the program and reveal you how it works.
Who Is Crunchless Core For?
This plan is ideal for both men and women, from beginners to advanced, from the regular guy to the athlete. Since the workouts are quite short, it may be of interest to those with limited time.
However, the most important consideration is that people with back pain, or spine issues may particularly benefit from these workout routines, as well as those who want a safe and injury-free way to train their core muscles.
According to the author, Crunchless Core has been successfully used by already injured athletes, restoring them back to health.
In fact, the first phase of the program was designed exactly to reset your core and build strength, better posture, more power and greater stability, eliminating any underlying problem behind previous injury.
In case you worry about how to do exercises that you have never done before, the programs comes with a useful video library to follow along, demonstrating exactly how to perform the moves for correct implementation, thus preventing potential injury.
However, use your common sense, consult your doctor first, if you have any back problem or health issue, as this review is offered for informational purpose only [see disclaimer].
You should also check our Total Six Pack Abs review.
The Crunchless Core Strategy
The Crunchless Core exercises are designed with function rather than isolation in mind. This translates into a training resembling a bit high intensity pilates or yoga workouts.
This is not a specific muscle building or fat loss program, even though it can contribute to general strength, lean muscle and low body fat.
It is more like a fitness program with a focus on core muscles and spine, as such it may complement other plans that you are already following, if you have a back problem or are dissatisfied with your mid section.
These routines work your core through all three planes, not just back and forth, as many movements are taken from calisthenics precisely for the purpose of avoiding spine flexing regular ab exercises like crunches.
However, some advanced exercises of the program require home gym equipment with a range of different weights, or access to a gym, something you should consider if you are looking for a bodyweight only solution.
The Pitfalls Of Crunches
According to the author, there are quite few drawbacks to crunches:
Crunches do not work – For a start, they only help you achieve a burning feeling that may trick you into believing that you are doing well, whereas in fact crunches do not target your whole core, just your front rectus abdominis abs, and even that comes at the price of stressing your spine.
The limited range does nothing for the deep abdominal muscles like your obliques and transversus abdominis. In other words, they may only offer some cosmetic value in conjunction with proper diet, but the lack of focus on the sides and rear creates an unbalance in strength, increasing the risk of injury.
Crunches are unnatural – They engage the front abs in a way they are not supposed to. Crunching actively conflicts with your spine, working against it rather than moving naturally as with bending and twisting. The way you body works is dictated by function, not isolation, and crunches do just the latter.
Crunches reinforces bad posture – They basically replicate the same unnatural, bent posture you keep at you job’s desk.
Crunches age your spine – Your spine has a limited expiry date. That is, you have a set number of flexions you can get away with in a lifetime.
Once things start going downhill, you cannot fix your spine anymore. The bottom line is that crunches speed up your spine aging process or make it worse, if you have already a problem.
Crunches place enormous stress on your spine – Specifically, they can lead to herniated discs. What happens is that the spine disks are made up of two parts, a gelatinous center called “nucleus pulposus“, and a rubbery outer ring called “annulus fibrosus“.
The continuous flexions and extensions of crunches place enormous pressure on this two disk components, causing eventually the outer ring to wear away and the jelly-like nucleus to squeeze out, causing chronic back pain.
Unlike with other six pack abs programs, Brian Klepacki’s workouts effectively target each and every mid section muscle for a balanced core and functional fitness and strength.
In other words, function comes first with the implementation of natural moves, with a shredded mid section just the pleasant by-pass product of the program.
The program revolves around a patented two-phase principle spread out on 8 weeks, 4 weeks each. There are more than 70 exercises covering 8 total body workouts.
Phase 1 – This is the resetting phase where you re-learn how to use your core section the functional way it was supposed to, performing certain exercises to achieve strength and stability, a bit like tactical drills.
Phase 2 – This is an advanced phase with the workouts taken at a tougher level, reaching deep inside all muscle groups.
The workout schedule is not a walk in the park, it implies some healthy discomfort while you are going through the drills, which means the plan requires and effort on your part and discipline for optimal results.
On the plus side is that this core program is usable for the rest of your life, as it was not designed as a quick-fix before summer time. The guidelines provide you with an effective, pain free and functional approach to training your abs, obliques and back.
Crunchless Core Workouts
The workouts are also surprisingly quick to implement and way less boring than traditional crunches. What makes this program different is that the so called ab workouts are in reality complete workouts.
There are a variety of calisthenics like side planks and many other exercises, some requiring gym equipment, that offer a complete training system focused on functional, natural movements that do not cause problems and pain to your spine.
The Creator Of Crunchless Core
The program was designed by Brian Klepacki, a Certified Strength Coach, owner of and Head Coach of Optimax Performance Training from St. Petersburg Florida, as well as Resident Strength Coach for Critical Bench.
Optimax stands for ‘optimize your training, maximize your performance’ and was developed to coach people and fulfill their athletic potential through highly customized methods.
Brian Klepacki holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Barry University as well as a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from Florida Atlantic University.
He has a vast online presence with accounts on YouTube, LinkedIn, FaceBook, Instagram, and runs his own website. This means the guy is a genuine article with plenty of expertise and qualifications for the job.
The Program Components – What’s Inside?
For a change, this program comes both in digital and physical version. This is a rarity, as the vast majority of digital programs do not have the physical equivalent, or vice versa.
Both the digital and physical versions are identical in that should you choose the physical version you also get the digital version for free for immediate access.
However, for the physical version you incur in handling and shipping extra charges, while the program costs the same for both versions.
The components are as follows:
The digital version comprises workout PDF and exercise video files spread out in two phases described above, plus 2 bonuses.
Bonus 1: Crunchless Core LITE – This is a bodyweight only training schedule that you can do anywhere, at home or traveling. Every workout is over in 30 minutes, ideal for busy people with limited time.
There are 16 core workouts in this extra program, split into four workouts for each different goal you may want to achieve, stability, strength, power or a combination.
This extra protocol does not require any equipment, quite handy as the main program partially relies on some gym gear.
Bonus 2: Exercise Exchange Manual – An ancillary exercise manual with variations in case you cannot or do not want perform a given exercise due to lack of equipment, injury or personal dislike.
Again, this may come particularly handy and complementary to the main program if you do not have a home gym nor do you want to join one.
Final Thoughts On Crunchless Core
Crunchless Core is a unique program designed with a focus both on core muscles and spine integrity. It offers a complete solution for core stability, strength and balance that makes use of calisthenic and weight resistance exercises intended to offer injury-free, pain-free and functional movements.
The program discards traditional crunches or other spine flexing exercises as the main culprits behind back pain and spine disk problems. Instead, it offers a safe, spine-friendly alternative to ab and core workouts in order to recover from or prevent back pain and injury while strengthening your abs, obliques and back.