The Absolute Guide to Abs

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ab guide 1

Know that six packs don’t have to feature beer yeah?

It might seem odd to talk about six packs and the like seeing as it’s well and truly bulking season. But not everyone is adding on the pounds for winter, so we thought we’d do it anyway!

If you ask any gym goer, it is, or has been, their goal to have nice defined abs. But it can also be a massive challenge for many too.

But follow these rules (and put in a lot of work) and you’ll see a rippling six pack before the summer comes.

Step 1: Reduce your body fat

This is without doubt rule number one of getting a six pack. Many gym newbies and people looking to get in shape for the first time naively get down, start doing sit ups, then go and eat a burger. Yes, that’s an extreme example, but the point is clear. There is no point in putting the work in to build your abs, if you aren’t going to let them show.

Everyone has abdominal muscles, and even though a person may have a bit of a gut, they may have very strong abdominal muscles. So if they wanted to show their abs off, they’d have to get rid of the gut.

Doing this is easier said than done. But as a start, you need to reduce your intake of fat, and decide on a safe calorie deficit, which will in turn allow you to lose weight; and in this comes fat loss. It is important to not discount fat all together, as sources such as nuts provide energy that is helpful to your general health.

When working out to lose fat, try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). By working out in this manner, you keep your VO2 max higher for longer, which allows you to lose weight. You can find more info on HIIT training here…as well as sex…

Step 2: Learn about the anatomy


Image source: Caltech

Before you really dive in, you should do a bit of research on the abs and take it from there. You wouldn’t start cooking without knowing the recipe, so treat your body the same.

In short…

Upper abdominals
No prizes for guessing where these are, but to work them you want to look at traditional exercises such as sit ups and crunches.

Lower abdominals
Again, you can work out where they are. But to bring them into play, exercises such as leg raises need to be performed.

The obliques
These are situated at the side part of your abs. To work them, you need to be doing twisting motions.

Step 3: Treat same as any other muscle

When you start a workout regime, you probably find some decent discount supplements, sit down and decide on a rough programme, and take it from there. You should treat your abs the same.

You should work on a plan for abs, based on these tips and on your schedule. You should decide on a new diet and what supplements you want to take, whether that means fat burners or protein powders. And you should also rest.

This doesn’t mean sit at home and do nothing. But it does mean that like any other muscle group, you need to work, then rest in order for your muscles to recover and grow.

Step 4: Hit the different parts

If you’ve learned about the different sections of the abdomen, (which you should have in step 1), then you need to decide on a way to work on all parts. A simple way to do this is to split it up across the week.

On a Monday, work on your upper abs, with traditional sit ups, or more adventurous exercises like the ones in the Rocky IV montage. Have an ab rest day, then work on your obliques on a Wednesday. Russian twists with a medicine ball are a good choice for this. Then, on your last ab day, say a Saturday, go for the lower abs. Reverse crunches are a good exercise, and are easy to do anywhere.

The days and exercises might be different for every person. but the process remains the same. Work, rest, move to another section of the abs, repeat.

Step 5: Train them indirectly

You’d be surprised at how much physical activity requires you to keep a steady core. Golf, cricket, swimming and parkour are just some of the many, many sports which need you to be steady.

Activities such as these will work your core, and at the same time, need you to have a strong abdominal region. So you can enjoy yourself safe in the knowledge that you’re building your abs, but also knowing that you still need to do work.

If sport isn’t your thing, then try and perform exercises at the gym which require a steady core. Cable cross overs and squats are a great example, and if you do have a strong core, you’ll get more out of those exercises anyway!

Step 6: Be realistic

homer gym mirror gif

Image source: Giphy
Homer needs to get his mind straight.

Losing fat is hard, building muscle is hard and following a strict routine is hard. Don’t believe the hype on those spammy internet adverts that promise a six pack in days, and remember that you probably have other commitments; unlike some Z list celeb, you can’t employ 12 personal trainers for your transformation.

So don’t get downhearted, make a note of your diet and training, and know that you will get there, it might just take a while!

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