Essentials for Developing 6 Pack Abs

Copyright (c) 2008 Athleticbodysystem

We all want to possess killer abs – male or female, young or old. What myths are out there about developing athletic abs and what do you really need to do in order to develop a lean and defined midsection?

Below I have listed the four key ingredients you will need in order to develop a killer midsection and I have listed them in order of importance. You might be surprised to see that ab training is listed last. The four key areas that need to be addressed are:

1. Nutrition

2. Resistance Training

3. Metabolic Training

4. Abdominal Training

Ingredient 1:

The Importance Of Nutrition In Developing Lean Six-Pack Abdominals They say that your abs are made in the kitchen. Well I like to think that the recipe for developing lean abs begins in the kitchen. However, there are other ingredients you will need in order to cook you up a set of lean abs, but let’s focus on the importance of nutrition here.

You cannot get your abdominals to stand out and trim your waistline, unless you address the area of nutrition. The only way to get your abs to stand out is to remove the layer of fat that’s keeping them from being exposed.

You can do all the abdominal training in the world, but it will do nothing to remove the fat that’s covering your abs. You must look carefully at your nutrition, addressing your eating habits and meal planning. Even if you are performing the perfect training program, it won’t matter if you are eating poorly. There is no training program that I know of that is powerful enough to overcome a poor diet.

Ingredient 2:

Resistance Training is of the utmost importance when Developing Lean Six-Pack Abdominals. Remember the primary objective is to get your bodyfat levels low enough to expose your abs. Resistance training will help you enormously in getting your bodyfat levels down to a point where your abs will be able to be seen while helping you to maximise the development of the muscle itself.

The BIG Lifts!

Focus on the BIG lifts and bodyweight exercises. The BIG lifts are exercises such as the barbell of dumbbell bench press, squats, lunges, dead lifts and Olympic lifts. These exercises will do more for your abs than any isolation abdominal exercise or abdominal gadget could ever do.

Unilateral Training!

Unilateral training (single leg or single arm exercises) of ANY description requires the abdominals to perform anti rotation movement and stabilization of the entire body. These actions are the primary function of the abdominals. The idea that abdominals are for trunk flexion is a massive misconception!

Bodyweight Training!

People have developed the notion that bodyweight training is easy and they MUST do weights in order to tax themselves. I beg to differ. Just because you can do 10 half arsed push-ups does NOT mean you can master your Bodyweight!

Bodyweight exercises such as push ups, chin ups, parallel bar dips, inverted body rows, bodyweight squats, single leg squats, jumps, burpees and plank exercise variations all have progressions and they can all create a VERY effective workout that EVERYONE can benefit from. Supporting your body in all these positions not only taxes the abdominals, but it’s functional as well! You should always have the goal of been able to perform these exercises and it’s never too late to learn how to master your own bodyweight. Not only that but once you master these bodyweight exercises you can always start adding additional load in order to further challenge yourself and keep progressing.

Ingredient 3:

The importance of metabolic training in developing lean six-pack abdominals. We just told you that you have to remove the layer of excess fat from your midsection in order to get your abs to show. So how do you do that??? Well you primarily want to be using fat loss training principles and protocols. thats where the problem originates. They DON’T KNOW how to properly train for fat loss.

Way to many people train like endurance athletes when it comes to fat loss. since when did endurance equal fat loss??? Just because endurance athletes are skinny or slightly built does not mean that it is the way to train to get lean and burn bodyfat. Sprinters are much better built and leaner than endurance athletes, and sprinters DO NOT perform endurance training. They train metabolically and to increase work capacity, not endurance. Remember you are training for fat loss, not to increase your endurance or become an endurance athlete.

You need to HIT the fat loss accelerator and you do that by performing HIT (High Intensity Training). This means you should be doing full body resistance training routines, various bodyweight or weight training based circuit training protocols, and interval training protocols.

All these training methods have a metabolic component to them. They not only attack the muscle, which is metabolically active, but these training methods also create EPOC. EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption is your friend. I like to refer to this as ABE (After Burn Effect). ABE is your fat loss friend. Performing metabolic type work will not only allow you to burn a load of calories whilst you train, but due to the elevation in your metabolism post exercise, you will continue to burn more calories post exercise. This is why we say you need to think outside the workout. You must not only be concerned with what impact the training you do has on your body and metabolism during training, but also what impact your training has on your body and metabolism after you complete your session (POST EXERCISE).

Sprint Training!

Sprinting has shown exciting results for both abdominal development AND spot reduction. This is simply an observation that I have made, but I DON’T think it’s in any way a coincidence that SPRINTERS have highly developed and LEAN abs. I very much doubt it’s from the crunches they do before they go to bed every night. . Correct me if I’m wrong but I think it just MIGHT be the sprinting!

So remember to train METABOLICALLY for fat loss, not aerobically. Train like the sprinter, not the endurance athlete.

Ingredient 4:

The Importance Of Abdominal Training In Developing Lean Six-Pack Abdominals. How important do you think ab work actually is in developing a lean set of abs??? Most people tend to give the right answer, but the amount of ab work they tend to do doesn’t line up with what they say. The fact is that you don’t need to do endless amounts of ab work. The priority is getting your bodyfat levels down.

However, everyone seems to love doing ab work. Problem is that most people perform the most ineffective ab exercises possible. Multiple repititions of crunches, oblique work and leg raises. You may need to adjust the way you think about training your abs. Don’t forget that the big lifts and the big movements, such as sprinting, will do more for your abs than any isolated or direct ab exercise.

Here’s are the main problems I see with people and their abdominal training routines:

Too much direct or isolated ab work

Too much ab work, performed too often

Too much emphasis placed on trunk flexion (crunches)

Too many exercises performed in a lying supine position (crunches, oblique crunches, etc)

Too many total repetitions and not enough load/stress placed on the abs

Instead you should focus on performing the following

Perform ‘ab work’ no more than 2 times per week. Perform stability based, anti-rotational and anti hyperextension exercises

Perform exercises that require transfer of energy through the midsection; back muscles and the abs through full body movements. Perform exercises in various positions. Supine, prone, side positions and grounded.

Abdominal Training Tools and Gadgets! There are numerous abdominal training tools and gadgets on the market today. Tools are useful. Gimmicky ab rollers and other gadgets are a waste of money. These gadgets do sell but they do not work and they are most certainly not needed.

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