Creating a flat, well-muscled, and tight midsection is best accomplished via a “4-pronged” process that involves, (1) A solid abdominal training program, (2) An intelligent nutritional regimen, (3)
A progressive cardio routine, and (4) Smart supplementation. In this article we will take a quick look at how you should approach each of these key “terrific tummy tactics,” so that you can soon display your own set of washboard abs!
Although not set in stone, I find that most people respond best to training abdominals on three non-consecutive days per week (such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday).
Additionally, we think it is important to begin each abs workout by targeting (note: this does not mean “isolate”) the lower section first – and then attacking the upper area, oblique’s, and finally, the transverse abdominis. When it comes to repetitions, the abs are like all others muscles, and thus need some resistance in order to grow.
Of course, while we do not want “massive” abs, some thickening of these muscles is required to really show off an impressive 6-pack. That said I recommend varying reps from about 12-25 for the best overall development. Here is a sample program:
- -Incline Straight Leg Raise: 2 x 16-20
- -Seated Machine Crunch: 2 x 10-12
- -Cable Twist: 2 x 21-25 per side
- -Lying Stomach Vacuum: 2 x 10 (5 second holds each rep)
- -Hanging Bent Leg Hip Raise: 2 x 16-20
- -BB Incline Push Crunch: 2 x 13-15
- -Side Cable Crunch: 2 x 21-25 per side
- -Lying Stomach Vacuum: 2 x 5 (10 second holds per rep)
- -Elbow Supported Straight Leg Raise: 2 x 16-20
- -Cable Crunch: 2 x 10-12
- -Lying Side Crunch: 2 x 21-25 per side
- -Lying Stomach Vacuum: 2 x 15 (3 second holds per rep)
I recommend utilizing both HIIT and steady state cardio, as both have been shown to be effective, and variety is always best when approaching any type of exercise.
Additionally, cardio should be done in a progressive manner, so that each week you are increasing overall caloric burn. Here is an example of a 4-week routine:
- Morning 15 min HIIT (treadmill)/Post workout or evening 30 min SS (stationary bike)
- Morning 18 min HIIT (elliptical)/Post workout or evening 35 min SS (treadmill)
- Morning 21 min HIIT (stair climber)/Post workout or evening 40 min SS (stationary bike)
- Morning 24 min HIIT (outside sprints/walking)/Post workout or evening 45 min SS (treadmill)
In order to achieve a flat stomach and show off a true 6-pack, you need to get your body fat down to at least 10% or so (obviously the lower your body fat, the more defined your abs will appear).
As with cardio, we suggest a progressive approach that has you lowering overall calories by about 250 per day every week. So, if in week 1 you are consuming 2500 calories per day, you will decrease that amount to 2250 in week 2 (and so forth). we recommend that the majority of calories that you remove each week come from carbohydrates as this will encourage your body to use more fat for fuel.
This gradual approach to fat loss will help you to retain your muscle mass and energy levels, while gradually reducing overall body fat.
Again, no matter how much training you perform for your abs, if your body fat is not low enough, you will not obtain a flat or well-defined midsection. Certain well-researched and scientifically validated supplements can greatly assist with fat loss, and thus a terrific looking tummy!
Here are a few:
HYDRADRY – Even if your body fat percentage is low, your muscle definition can still be blurred if you are holding excess water under the skin (subcutaneous).
HYDRADRY contains a precisely engineered formula of ingredients meant to gently and naturally expel subcutaneous fluids, while also keeping all-important electrolytes in proper balance.
RAPIDCUTS –RAPIDCUTS uses a unique 3-stage T.R.I. process that targets every fat burning mechanism in the human body. Every ingredient contained within RAPIDCUTS has been scientifically evaluated and documented for efficacy, safety, and ability to produce maximum fat-crushing results.
LIQUID L-CARNITINE – Carnitine increases definition and muscularity because it enhances the body’s reliance on fat for energy. Additionally, Carnitine decreases lactic acid in muscle tissue, so that you can train your abdominals both harder and longer!