Abs. Six pack. Core. Apples. iPhone. Mac. McDonalds. Wait…this isn’t word association…
Whatever you call them people seem to want to get them. It’s believed to be a sign of health (not actually true), a sign of strength (not true either) and a sign that you look after yourself (definitely not true). Most of all, however, is that it’s supposedly attractive. Although, in a survey I read once, women ranked big arms above and beyond ab definition and in this comso article i found, abs were ranked fourth. They came behind ‘side neck area’ (???), forearms and ‘happy trail’. Nevertheless, research into the topic suggest that women find a good set of abs pretty attractive (especially for short-term mates).
In all actuality, nobody REALLY cares if you have abs. Sure, they look pretty cool and people will think you’re in shape, but that’s not going to pay the rent. Unless you work as a male stripper, that is.
The story is quite different for women. In another survey where men ranked women’s body parts for attractiveness, the torso came seventh. Not only that, it wasn’t even about the abs. It distinctly says that it’s not about the muscle definition. The others that came above the stomach were:
Yes, collarbone. Your actual bone on your collar. Why? Who knows. Why are babies born with a squishy area on their head like a self destruct button? Why don’t China stop trading with the west and take over the world? Why are you asking me all these questions?
I digress. The point is, if you’re aiming to get abs do it for the right reasons.
However, seeing as you’re still reading this post, you must be pretty desperate to get them so let me tell you how. None of that abs in 4 weeks nonsense either. I’m going to give you the truth. The cold, hard, washboard truth.
- To get abs you need a low body fat %. For men this is normally in the sub 12% parameter and for women it’s normally from 20% and below.
- The phrase ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ is pretty damn true. The easiest way to lose fat is through your diet, not your exercise. An hour of activity for the average person normally runs around 350 – 400kcal. 400kcal for a whole HOUR of exercise. 400kcal isn’t that much at all. A can of coke has 139kcal in it alone so you can see how swapping that to a diet coke can really save your waistline.
Say you exercise 3 times a week (arguably what the average person can fit into their schedule.) That’s between 1050kcal to 1200kcal over the week. If you were to simply reduce your calories by 200 each day, that’s 1400kcal over the whole week. You can see how this all adds up.
The workout for killer ab definition
The first step is making some of that good living from around your waist disappear. The second step is where the the ab training will actually make a difference. To make your abs have that nice, cut look with the V there are certain exercises that I recommend. The rep parameters for all rep exercises is 8 – 12 and for the holds, aim for 30 – 60 seconds. Rest for 2 minutes between each exercise.
- L-Sits: Great for all over body strength but provides really challenging work for your abdominal muscles.
- Leg Raises: Hanging from a bar or hiked up on dip bars.
- Side To Side Bent Knee Raises: Same as above
- Plank: These are quite easy to hold for 60 seconds so move your hands further away from your feet and drop your knees to make them harder.
- Hollow Body Holds: A gymnastic movement that can provide great stimulus for beginners.
- Bicycle Crunches: Go for 60 seconds and you’ll REALLY feel the burn across your whole abdomen
- Broom Walks: Hold on to a broom or a stick and walk your hands down to the bottom and then back up while keeping length across your body. Good luck!
- Weighted V-Sits: An absolute KILLER. If you haven’t tried these I highly suggest that you include them in your next training session. Grab a 2.5kg – 5kg weight plate and pass from your feet to your hands. You’ll want to look like you’re in a hollow body hold at the start/end and in the middle of a jackknife/v-sit in the middle.
- Ab Wheel Roll Outs: If you can’t do it with your toes on the floor, do it from your knees instead.
Introduce 3 sets of three of these exercises 2 times a week and soon enough you’re own belly button will be looking in the mirror thinking “daaaammmnnnn.”
The hard part is maintaining these wood blocks. Once you’ve got to your desired state of leanness, slowly work your calories back up – 50kcal/week – until you’re back at your starting caloric amount. If you’ve only cut 200kcal/day this should only take you 4 weeks and hey presto! You’re leaner than ever before and eating the same. If you do notice a bit of fat gain then simply back off the calories for a couple of weeks then bring them up again. Remember, there’s no rush. Abs take a long time to get so it’s worth keeping them.
Keep progressing with your ab routine by always trying to add a new stimulus, through changing your lever length or position as well as adding resistance through bands, ankle weights and weight plates.
Just don’t let the abs consume you. You don’t want to be “that friend” who can’t have a bit of popcorn at the cinema because it doesn’t quite fit their macros. Be free, be sensible and enjoy yourself.
However, most importantly, and I can’t stress this enough; stop taking stock photos like this –
And stay away from drugs, kids!