Before I start anything I would like to say all of my articles are based on my beliefs, knowledge, experience and results not just with myself but with clients, family and friends. I write to give people another spin on what has already had many vast variations but as I always say to my clients there may be 100 ways to achieve your goal . . . . . this is my way!
I am lucky to be writing this article looking out from a balcony in the beautiful and HOT location that is India courtesy of team Physique Elite one of the largest global networks with some of the best trainers, athletes, fitness models and even PHD’s.
Well that’s enough about me let’s get down to business. I would first like to list what I see as common mistakes before I give a couple of secrets/tips to help you getting the six pack you so desire.
Common Mistakes and Misconceptions
Over training- anyone and everyone who has started getting into training to either lose weight or build up get lean has made a mistake guaranteed I myself have made dozens how else would we learn? One of the most common mistakes I will see from people in the gym or clients is over training your abs! “Guys lets hit some abs before we go” . . . “I haven’t done abs yet today” . . . . . . “I have to do abs every day to get my six pack” WRONG! I will expand on my reasoning later.
High volume- Everyone I ever see do any form of abdominal training will always be extremely high volume sets of 30-40 reps with 3-4 different exercises doing the repetitions as fast as they can with very little control or technique. Wrong!
Standard Crunches- Guys and girls in the gym who do your bog standard crunches or hook your toes underneath something to pin yourself down only using one plane of movement. Wrong!
“Abdominal workouts will burn fat around my abs”- People who do abs workouts because they think doing abs on its own is going to help them lose that “muffin top, Tyre etc.” You guessed it WRONG!
Over training the key to getting results in any muscle is to train high intensity no matter if it is high volume, hypertrophy, strength, power or even endurance without high intensity you are not going to trigger any response in your body that will force change. Just like in any muscle group tear and repair of the muscle fibres is key for the muscle to grow and come back bigger and stronger than before which means every session should be a progression of the last and the intensity should always be maximal. “I have to do abs every day to get my six pack” Would you train your chest every day to build a better chest? HELL NO! If you are training to the right intensity at most I would advise you hit individual muscle groups a maximum of twice a week to allow for repair and growth so why should your abs be any different? STOP over training your abs and start training them to the right intensity. Remember if you are using compound lifts like deadlifts, standing overhead presses, squat variations or even snatch and clean & press you are using your core as stabilisation so it is getting worked every time you do these movements!
High volume is not necessarily a bad way to achieve abdominal development guys all I am saying is it’s not the only way! If you use correctly cycle different stages of training for example in a 8 week format like endurance, hypertrophy, strength then the repetition ranges for each of those principles will change as will the tempo. Once again if it’s good enough for your legs back chest arms then it is good enough for your abs! In my opinion heavier sets with lower reps will build a lot more depth. More depth means even more visible abs! Like any other muscle group your abdominals will plateau if you are not using different methods to stimulate a response and as soon as you plateau you are restricting growth and progression!
Your trunk is made up of more than just a “six pack” you have your rectus abdominous, transverse abdominous and interior/exterior oblique’s. These make up your “trunk” regular crunches will only hit the top part of your rectus abdominous which means you are wasting your time. If you want to build a bigger chest you use variations of exercises - incline decline flyes for example. Once again if it’s good enough for any other body part why is it not for your abs? Using different planes of movement i.e. rotational exercises such as a Russian twist or Wipers using exercises like rollouts or hanging leg raises will promote better stimulation across more muscles in your trunk and create a greater “six pack.”
Just a quick side note guys if you do like to crunch and have your feet pinned down do you feel like you can do sets of 50-100? Then 9 times out of 10 you are using far too much hip flexor and not even working your abdominal region if you can’t feel it in your target area it’s not working simple as that!
Nutrition is 70-80% of how you will achieve that shredded six pack guys any real trainer/fitness model knows this if you look at any muscle and fitness/ men’s health cover they do not look like that every day! They have dieted down which can be a very time consuming and exhausting experience you will never be able to maintain a 5% body fat all year round so forget it! Firstly it’s not actually good for your hormonal balance and secondly your central nervous system would be absolutely shot! However if you would like to maintain a 10% or lower body fat then nutrition and not 100s of crunches is always going to be key to your success.
In conclusion my top tips for great abs would be.
• Nutrition is 70-80% if you don’t have great nutrition you won’t have great abs
• Always train to the correct intensity remember “if you can’t feel it you’re doing it wrong”
• Variation in training i.e. repetition, weight, tempo. I can’t stress this enough guys if you plateau you will not grow simple
• Use different planes of movement hit every area of your trunk DO NOT JUST CRUNCH
. Once you have all of these areas nailed, supplement with Grenade Thermo Detanator!! I am fortunate enough to be sponsored by this great company and you only have to look at the athletes in our team to see it works!
If you would like any advice on Nutrition, Training, Supplementation or even an online program please contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Physique Elite Specialist Trainer
R3P3 Fitness Consultants