To really load the abs during the pulldown, you'll want to pull the bar all the way down to your chest and slowly do a crunch. Try to focus on only using your abs to do the crunch, and then when you're "fully crunched" hold for 3 seconds.Also, after the session, I do just a few extra abdominal exercises for fun, and wow, are they difficult! One shown by the trainer was the Plank Exercise. They're not necessarily needed though, as the "Pull Down exercise ... loads the musculature of the frontal torso, including the abdominal muscles", as the author wrote.
Might be better to do the same process but separate from the pulldown exercise though. For me, my back is pretty strong so trying to crunch that weight is a bit... 'shaky' let's say.
Yeah, if you have or can get access to machines that's ideal, but the big 5 can be adapted to fit what you have available. For a while I substituted weighted dips for the chest/bench press, and they were just as effective for instance.I suppose training to exhaustion/complex muscle fatigue worries me when training on my own.
I watched a short video and started right away before the book arrived. There was, however, a couple of adjustments I had to make once I had more info. But it's ridiculously effective. I had been working out consistently for several years and hit a plateau for sure. I caught myself in the mirror without a shirt on a couple of times this morning and went; "holy sh*t!" Monday I did the workout without timing the exercises. I think I went through the big five in about eight minutes. I know what I'm doing and can really push it to failure. So yeah, I'm happy with the results!
Yesterday I did my workout and the trainer said that he upped my weight more on the leg press than he meant to and I still went over on time, so next time he's going to have me do 800lbs on the horizontal leg press. I asked him what I started at and he told me 540lbs. So in 4 months I've increased my exercise weight by 260 lbs. Talk about effective! Definitely happy with the results so far as well.