AbsEver heard the saying abs are made in the kitchen? I can tell you right now that saying is not the whole truth; it’s about a half-truth.

Abs aren’t made in the kitchen, they may be revealed in the kitchen, but they are made (built) in the gym.

Now, many people do workout their abs in the gym but they still don’t have well-developed or a good set of abs. Now, why is this? Keep reading, and I’ll explain.

 

The Number One Ab Mistake I See

Right off the bat, yes, you do have to have lower body fat levels to see your abs, but this is the case for virtually ALL muscles, not just your abs.

To see the definition in your legs, arms, and back you have to need lower body fat levels. Sure you can get away with subpar body fat levels and see your triceps or legs but there are also a few reasons for that.

One. Most, but not all, people carry less fat around their arms and legs than they do their abs hence why when they start dieting these are the first to show.

Two. The bigger reason is most focus SO much more time and effort on their arms and legs than they do their abs.

For most people, abs are an afterthought, they are what’s done at the end of a workout. A few sets up sit ups, cable crunches, or v-ups, maybe 10min worth before calling it a day

Does this sound familiar?

Well think about this for a second… When you spend the bulk of your workout on a body part (legs or arms for example) but only doing a few sets on abs, what do you think is going to develop faster?

Of course the muscles that you spent the most time on.

Calling it like it is…if you were to time the amount of work that someone spends on their abs each week they are probably resting more between sets than on their abs alone.

Most people that I run into that are struggling with their abs don’t spend enough time or train them hard enough.

The abs are a large muscle group…

…but I see more people spend time on their biceps, which is a much smaller muscle, than they do their abs…

which is no wonder why they don’t have very developed abs.

You have to remember that your abs are like any other muscle in that in order to develop them, they have to be worked out… hard.

Now if you continue to treat your abs as an afterthought you will continue to get afterthought results, but if you treat them and train them with the same intensity as you would your legs… well then, the results will be quite different.

 

 

Ab Workouts

Here at RTC, we treat abdominal training with the same importance as we do with legs and glutes.

In fact abs have their own several dedicated days because we place such an emphasis on a strong sets of abs (core, midline, whatever word you want to use)

Besides…

…I’ve never heard anyone complain their abs looked too good. 

Now our workouts here are a combination of weighted abs and short bouts of cardio. The cardio can vary from HIIT to slow steady-state but what you’ll notice is that you’re never resting between your sets.

Keep this in mind with you try these workouts.

-Train your abs with the same intensity as you would your legs, this means go heavy as you can with the weight while keeping form in check. (quality reps trumps weight any day)

-Chase the burn. Find that exercise and rep range that make your abs BURN. It’s not enough to go through the motion but instead put forth effort and make them work

-Increase your numbers each workout. This means each time you do the workout add weight, sets or do more reps. Never do the exact same workout/exercise but instead do more than you did last time

-No, doing weighted abs will not make your waist thicker, eating too much food does that.

 

Workout 1: Sweaty EMOM and Abs

Warm Up: 5min

Cardio x 1min

Straight Leg Inchworm x 10

World’s Greatest Stretch x 1min

14min EMOM (every min on the min)

Min 1: Devils Press x 8

Min 2: Weighted Ab Mat sit-up 15

-Control your descent and push your back into the pad

Rest 3min

15min EMOM

Min 1: Reverse Crunch x 20

– Can be subbed in for hanging

Min 2: Cals x 8

Min 3: 21 Knee Raises

-7 Right side, 7 left side, 7 front

-Can be on a bench or hanging

-If on a bench focus on CONTROL

Rest 3min

10min to get as far as you can…

Alt Shoulder Taps (R+L =1)

Alt Leg V-ups (R+L =1)

2-4-6-8-10…

Notes: Next time you decide to do this workout add one round or 1min to each block of exercise.

 

Workout #2: Bodybuilder Abs + Cardio

Bodybuilder abs and intervals

Cable Crunch (this can be kneeling or standing) x heavy 20

90sec cardio at 80% of max HR

x 4 rounds

Cable oblique rotation x heavy 20/side

90sec cardio at 80% of max HR

x 4 rounds

Handing knees to elbows x 20 or max reps

90sec at cardio 80% of max HR

x 4 rounds

*Focus on a full stretch at the bottom

Reverse Hyper x 20 reps

Weighted Plank (heavyish) x 30sec

90sec cardio at 80% of max HR

x 4 rounds

Notes: Next time you do this workout add more weight or more reps.

 

Workout 3: Steady state cardio + Abs

90/60 (90sec cardio of choice keeping the HR at 70-80% of max, 60sec of each exercise below) x 50min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

1. Weighted Alt Leg V-ups

2. Side Plank Ground to Overhead x 30sec/side

3. Hanging Alt Leg Raise (can be done in support or seated on a bench)

4. DB Walkouts (walk out as far as you can)

5. Hollow Body Tuck-ins

6. Kneeling Cable or Band Crunch (go heavy)

Note: The next time you decide to do this workout add time to the ab exercise. Example: instead of doing 60sec of abs you do 75sec of abs. 

 

Starting on Monday

When it comes down to getting and showing a set of well developed abs, it does come down to a combination of lower body fat levels aaaaand dedicating more time to your abs.

If you find your abs are nowhere near the level you want then dedicate two workouts a week (at least an hour each workout) to your abs or add more into your current routine such as the ones I listed above.

Try to accumulate about 2 hours worth of ab exercises/workouts each week. If you’re only used to doing 10min of abs 3-4 times a week watch what happens to them when you spend a few hours a week on them!

One of the side effects I have seen when we have people here that start dedicating time/effort and intensity to their ab training is they don’t have to be as lean for their abs to show since the muscle is much more developed. Cool huh? But, when they do decide to get leaner…damn they show so much better.

 

 

In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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