In early 2015 I received an email from one of my wellness friends about a new project he was working on…

I first met Sergei Boutenko in 2014 at UK premiere of his movie Powered by Green Smoothies. I’d followed his work for a while and when mutual friend Steve Barney arranged the movie screening I jumped in the car and shot up to Liverpool to check it out.

Two years later, Sergei is about to launch his latest documentary, I Want Abs. I first heard about this when Sergei emailed me saying: “This year I have resolved to accomplish my personal fitness goals and I want to inspire as many people as possible to accomplish theirs,” adding that his new project was about “discovering what it really takes to attain a high fitness level and sculpt a well-defined six-pack.”

I was intrigued to learn more and added my support to the Kickstarter campaign…

Neil Martin, Natural Juice Junkie meets Sergei Boutenko, the film maker responsible for Powered By Green Smoothies

Me and Sergei at Beatroot Liverpool in 2014

Exclusive Preview

Throughout the development of the film, Sergei has given regular updates and today I saw an exclusive preview of the new movie…

It was really interesting for me to watch I Want Abs, especially given my own change in training this year to incorporate a much wider variety of movement. Like Sergei, I too have been focusing on functional fitness – that is, training the body to have more strength and stamina for the activities performed in daily life, not just for show.

But isn’t getting abs all about show and vanity?

In a word, no. I guess it might be for some people, but this is not the approach Sergei takes in his film. His focus is on health, not looks.

One of the things I love about I Want Abs is that it shows the reality of training, and the need to focus on Attitude, Intake and Movement. Going to the gym alone is NOT enough.

For those who’ve followed Sergei’s work for any time, you may be in for a surprise what it comes to his intake. Having been raised on a raw vegan diet, Sergei reveals in the documentary how this was no longer proving to be best for his health. He listened to the warning signs from his body and adapted.

I think this is key – scientists may have shown that based on our DNA 99.9 per cent of all humans are identical, but that tiny 0.1 per cent difference is what makes you different from me and every other person on this planet. You need to monitor your own wellbeing, understanding what works for you and adapting as appropriate. Although the principles of Attitude, Intake and Movement may be consistent, there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the details.

Progress not perfection

On 25 March I had a small accident with significant consequences, tearing the ligaments off my right ankle. I narrowly avoided surgery and ended up non weight bearing for 7 weeks, in a cast and on crutches. I’ve slowly been getting active again – recovery is not worth rushing, due to risk of re-injury.

Having watched Sergei’s new film I am even more determined to keep improving my own levels of functional fitness. I guess you could say it has inspired me so that now I too want abs!

Click here to watch I Want Abs on FMTV

Click here to watch on YouTube


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