This 62-year-old chef uses a trap bar for the ultimate core workout

This seated trap bar exercise will put your abdominal strength to the test

Women flexes her abs as she lifts a trap bar in a studio
(Image credit: Getty)

You might not expect to take workout tips from an esteemed chef (at least, one that isn't Gordon Ramsay) but 62-year-old celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian has recently shared on Instagram how cooking isn't his only strength. He is also an abdominal machine when using a trap bar and has shown exactly how he uses it in a core workout.

You have most likely tried many of the best workouts for abs already using moves like the plank, bicycle crunches, or russian twists. And if you have built a strong and stable core from these moves then perhaps you enjoy the challenge of using something a bit more advanced in your workouts, like an ab roller (we can help you pick a best ab roller with our handy guide). 

But could you manage Zakarian's sitting trap bar workout? Watch the video below to see how he masters it...

He refers to the exercise as an 'offset weight setup' and while it does look unusual to use a trap bar in this way, he does look extraordinarily strong in the video.

The 62 year old is sat on the floor, legs straight out in front of him, lifting a weighted trap bar above his head. Zakarian said in his caption that doing this in a seated position takes the leverage away making it really challenging.

"You have to react and focus on movement. This helps to promote good form and the correct range of motion!", he explained.

It clearly impressed his Instagram followers with one commenting, "Yes it does look strange, but looks difficult also! Great job," and another saying, "Great core work!".

If you are over 60 and concerned about your back weakening with age, strengthening your core could help this as the core provides additional support for your back. Why? Take a read of our discussion on why over-60s need core strength to stay active – and how to develop it.

Personal trainer, Scott Laidler agrees that the removal of leverage when performing a seated trap bar lift, like in Zakarian's video, forces your core to take on a great deal more demand than if it were performed stood up where your weight is more evenly distributed.

"Essentially you are removing your biggest, strongest muscles (leg muscles) from the equation and forcing your body and brain to rapidly deal with the load in a way it's not overly accustomed to," Laidler notes.

The fitness instructor explains how the trap bar provides an excellent hand position for lifting a lot of weight but, if you find this too demanding (the bar is usually 45lbs prior to weight being added), there are other ways to replicate Zakarian's ab burning workout. 

He recommends starting out by simply holding the same position with your hands held over your head for 60 seconds. From there you add in light hand weights overhead and practice some pressing movements.

He finishes, "Another way you can use this same concept, train your core heavily but still make it a total body movement, is to do bodyweight squats with arms overhead."

Jessica Downey
Jessica Downey

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. She is a keen runner and is currently sweating her way through a 10k training plan. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen - which she loves sharing with others on her healthy living-inspired Instagram account, @jessrunshere. Despite her love for nutritious cooking, she stands by the saying ‘everything in moderation’ and is eagerly conquering the London food and drink scene!