Easter seems to be the trigger point for most people’s panic
alarm to sound, ‘’S*** I need to get into shape, my holiday is just a couple of
months away’’ OR ‘’there is no way I can walk down the beach looking like
this.’’ Those are what I would describe as normal thoughts in relation to this
topic, maybe for the more vain members of society the thought process is
slightly different – I am only guessing though, I am not one of these members
of society, right?!
Luckily, I am going to share some great tips which I feel
will certainly help you A) tighten up your waistline and B) condition your
abdominals and obliques.
For those who are unfamiliar with my rants, theories,
opinions or whatever else you might like to label them as – this is not a
magical code to get Mr World rivalling abs in 6 weeks. Of course, you can make
very significant gains with the advice I am about to share (in my opinion of
course) but please be realistic.
This article was meant to be strictly and abdominal
conditioning guide, meaning that I would recommend a specific way to train your
abs. However, just like a compulsive chocolate lover might find it hard to
resist temptation – I am unable to advise on abdominal training without giving
at the very least a brief mention on nutrition. Why? Thankfully the answer to
this is much clearer – 6 packs (8 packs if you’re a genetically LUCKY git) are
made in the kitchen, or out of Tupperware containers in my case.
Here goes – I really pity the guys and girls who pick the
typical glossy mags which tell them they can look like the ripped model on the
front in 28 days if they do the latest upside down, butterfly, eccentrically
eccentric crunch 452.7 feet above sea level. Get my point? It is called
recycling the wheel to sell units – in their case magazines. There are some
blinding abdominal workouts which I will share with you in due course (be
patient) but first, nutrition. . . .Just a small paragraph, OK?
To have visible abdominals not many would argue with the
fact that for men their body fat needs to be sub 10%, depending on genetics
this can be as low as 5% and for others it can circa 10%. Ladies, you can get
away with body fat in the region of 12-15% to have visible abs – again
genetically it differs slightly. Doing thousands of back crippling crunches is
not the answer, nutrition is.
Due to the fact this is NOT a nutritional article I will
keep the advice very brief –
10-12 calories per pound of body weight
60% protein, 30% complex carbohydrates, 10% fats
OR 60% protein, 30% fats, 10% complex carbohydrates – this depends on your
current body fat levels. If they are very high, I would recommend the latter.
Eat around every 3 hours to keep the metabolism
firing and to protect your muscle mass
Complex carbohydrate post-workout
Drop complex carbohydrates from your pre-workout
Cut any fruits out which are rich in fructose
Cut out sugary food
Keep all carbohydrates to low GI choices (sweet
potatoes, brown rice etc.)
Keep healthy fat sources to Nuts, Avocado, Lean
red meat, oily fish
Cut out dairy products
Enough of nutrition, we almost an essay through this article
and I haven’t even prescribed a single crunch yet. You get the importance of
nutrition in relation to getting washboard abs though, right?! OK, think you
got it – sorry I am just a little cautious people will follow the routines to
no avail because their diet consist of ‘’low calorie’’ HIGH sugar cereals and
the likes of.
Right, training your abs. What is the best way? There is no
single best way, but there is an approach I personally favour which I use with
my clients and I think there are a number of benefits to it:
Simple to follow
Avoids over training
Targets the entire body of the abdominals
One of the most common problems with abdominal training is
that people perform a host of exercises which focus on the upper regions of the
abs. The lower portion of the abdominals become neglected which doesn’t only
have a negative effect on aesthetics but potentially on your health. In simple
terms, muscles tend to work in pairs and if you’re lower abdominal strength doesn’t
equal that of your lower back you may suffer with lower back issues. Take it
from me; you don’t want any of that!! For different reasons I suffer with
severe lower back pains which has really impacted on my ability to train in
certain ways. The reason I am saying all this is to let you know abdominal
training is meant to enhance your health as well as your aesthetics. Boring bits
out of the way, let’s hit the gym.
My abdominal training is done twice a week with one session
focusses on the upper abs as where the second is on the lower abdominal region.
Workout 1 –
Crunches X 3 25-30 repetitions
Weighted crunches X 3 10-15 repetitions
Weighted Rope Kneeling Crunch X 3 10-15 repetitions
Workout 2 –
Hanging knee raises X 3 15-20 repetitions
Lying leg raises X 3 15-20 repetitions
Plank X 3 30 seconds
Workout Criteria –
rest periods between sets
on isometric contraction 1-2 seconds every rep
and eccentric muscle contractions
engage the abdominals
These two workouts will help cover all bases in regards to
your abs training. This may not sound like much but remember when you use
resistant training your abs are always engaged, during my last transformation I
didn’t actually train my abs which brings me back to my ‘’abs made in the
To enhance the beach body look it pays to keep a slim waist
line. This helps create the illusion of a bigger V-taper (difference between
your shoulders to waist ratio) or those curves for you ladies.
This is a little trick which I have used with many of
clients in the past to great effect. Kris Gethin taught me this, and in some
cases I have seen people pull over an inch off their waistline measurement.
Each morning perform 300 broom handle twists with a fast
tempo, always controlling the core and keeping the hips as still as possible.
Hopefully this guide has given you some insight into getting
chiselled abs. some of you may have expected something far more out there, more
complex and more time consuming. Ironically, I think this is why some people
find abs training so confusing because it is over thought at times!