The Ultimate Guide To Ab Training

The most important thing in building great six-pack abs is diet. Eating right is the foundation on which you should build your core work. There is an infinite amount of information on the internet which promises to give you secrets which will guarantee you huge and awesome abs, but most of it is nonsense.


The Ab Diet:

Getting enough protein is a major step. Protein burns fat as well as building lean muscle, it has the largest thermic effect of all the macronutrients, which means that it takes a lot of energy to digest, which is a good thing! So, think ‘calories via protein’ when it comes to getting your daily calorie count.

Fats are an important dietary factor; you need to be eating mono- and polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fats. Sources of monounsaturated fats are nuts and avocado for example. Polyunsaturated fats are broken down into two categories; omega 3 and omega 6. Both types provide essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot produce naturally. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fat sources are oils such as soybean and corn oil. Omega 6 polyunsaturated fat sources are walnuts and fish such as trout, herring and salmon. Unsaturated fats will help keep your insulin levels stable too, keeping these levels stable is what’s key to keeping the midsection from bloating.

Carbohydrates and Ab Myths.

There are many myths that carbohydrates are bad, period. However carbs such as potatoes and rice are very beneficial, especially when consumed post workout. Post workout your body is recovering and needs sources of energy, eating carbs here will mean that there is only the slimmest chance of it being turned into fat. Obviously don’t go overboard, as too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing and make you gain weight, but moderate amounts of starchy carbs are a must. In the daytime, it’s far better to have slower release and that’s why you see so many bodybuilders stick to brown rice and sweet potato.

Keeping a good balance to your diet is a necessity. Eat healthy with sources of protein, unsaturated fats and starchy carbohydrates. Obviously vegetables must be a big part of your diet! Packed with fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals vegetables are vital for losing fat and gaining muscle.

The Ab Workout:

Doing crunches for hours at a time will only get you so far, and actually spending all that time doing other exercises will actually benefit your abs more. Working abs directly for about 20 minutes two or three times a week is more than enough to building up enough muscle density to be ripped at a lower body fat. Combine some of these other exercises into your training regime and you will see the benefits! When it comes to using core in non-direct workouts, think bodyweight exercises such as dips, pull-ups and press-ups. And then big compound movements, especially front squats.

If you could do just one exercise for abs, it has to be the hanging leg raise. They’re hard for a reason. They are one of the few ab exercises that work the entire abs, lower, medium and upper abdominal sections. You have the option to rotate too, which hits the obliques hard. The hanging leg raise must be in your ab routine.

Ab Training

Athlete: Amer Kamra

Training using interval workouts/High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) combined with ab training is a better way of using cardio to lose excess fat than simple long distance cardio work, and it’s far less tedious.  During the recovery period of your interval training, perform an ab exercise such as exercise ball crunches. These crunches are much better than the simple seated crunches so if your gym has exercise balls (which it should!) then incorporate them into your training. Also try and incorporate other ab exercises such as planks and reverse crunches. This method of cardio-abs-cardio is a way the pros can avoid catabolic periods of excess cardio, but still increase fitness and reduce bf %.

The Ab workout:

–  Hanging Leg raises

Cardio/HIIT: Box jumps.

–  Crunches

Cardio/HIIT: Cycle Sprints.

– Gym ball sit ups

Cardio/HIIT: Treadmill Sprints.

– Plank superset with cable wood chop (obliques)

Do that workout just twice a week and you’ll notice a difference after just two months but you won’t lose any existing muscle weight, except shed bodyfat.


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