Abs. Men love them. Women love them even more. Why are they so attractive? The real question is, “What isn’t attractive about them?” Regardless of your experience with abdominal workouts, developing these muscles will help you in all activities that you perform on a daily basis.
Here’s the real secret…NO GREAT SET OF ABS were made outside of the kitchen. Think of food like jet fuel. The kind of gasoline you put in an airplane will greatly affect the engine’s performance. This is very much the same with food and the human body. Finding a happy medium in your diet and maintaining that is essential to keeping those abs around.
I have developed and maintained my abdominal muscles through a high protein diet. On an average day I’ll consume between 250-300 grams of carbohydrates (this is the daily recommended amount), I have no wacky set number on carbs in my diet.
Three rules: Rest, Eat, and Listen. After every workout, drink a protein shake as soon as you are done. The first 15 minutes after your workout are critical for nutrient absorption. Always, always, always, ensure that you allow your body enough time to recover and build up muscle tissue between workouts. The worst thing you can do is overtrain your body. You will breakdown muscles, causing them to become smaller, and possibly develop injuries. If you want to make those gains in the gym, eat right and give your body the nutrients it demands. Listen to your body, if something hurts then lay off of it. Your body is brutally honest. If it is painful, STOP.
*Always consult your doctor prior to starting a new physical exercise regimen. Ensure you are healthy enough for exercise and discuss and past injuries*
Before starting the ab workout, do as many crunches as you can in 2:00 minutes. Record this number. By doing this before every ab workout, you will be able to measure your abdominal strength and notice the huge gains! Note: As you progress through your workouts keep a journal of your progress, # of reps, weight, and type of exercise. This way you can see if you are improving or if you need to change up your plan.
BEGINNERS start reading here. Developing the base for the abdominal muscles is perhaps the hardest hurdle for many to get over. After that jump is made, it’s all down hill. To begin building the base for your abs, you must start with the basics. This means you won’t necessarily be doing high rep sets. You must allow time for your muscles to build up the endurance and strength to perform at a higher intensity. An essential item to know is that cardio is THE ONLY WAY you are going to show off your abs. You can do crunches until the cows come home, but it won’t do you any good for getting rid of fat. If you don’t do any medium to high intensity cardio workouts, you won’t have a six pack.
This is a beginner’s sample workout for you to adjust to your own ability.
Standard Crunches 3 sets of 20; Leg Levers 2 sets of 10-15; Scissor Kicks 2 sets of 10-15; Bicycle Crunches 2 sets 10-15. Repeat this workout until failure.
At the bottom of the page I’ve posted a great routine. For your benefit I recommend cutting the rep range in half and working your way up to the higher rep range as your progress 🙂
INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED Now that you have some base or a good set of abs built up, it’s time to really get them to shine. I cannot stress enough, the importance of cardio in your workout. Whether it’s biking, swimming, or running, you must have some form of cardio in your workout. Do this at medium to high intensity at a minimum of 3 times per week. Cardio, combined with the proper diet, will will burn off those unwanted layers of subcutaneous fat on top of your abs. Adjust the amount of cardio and its intensity based upon your goal (muscle gain or getting definition). Unlike other muscle groups, the abdominal muscles can be worked every day. They require little recovery time. The only day I don’t perform an abdominal workout is on sunday.
Below are 5 various abdominal workouts, all of which will yield excellent results. I picked these up while training to be an officer in the Marine Corps. I recommend doing all five workouts every week at the very end of your exercise sessions (This means monday you would do Abs (1), Tues Abs (2),…Fri Abs(5). Adjust this to your workout schedule and mix up the order as you like.
By clicking on the workout, it will be enlarged for printing purposes.