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Posted by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 9:21 AM
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So I have gotten so many email about abs and I thought I would pass you on the knowledge that my friend emailed me last year that I live by!

Heres te email:

I, like just about everyone else, thinks about having ripped abs all the time. It has been my focus but I don't only focus on abs. I work very hard on all areas of my body so I'm not the chicken leg guy with anaconda biceps or the guy with a huge chest with a weak back toothpick calves. I just much a little more emphasis on it since it takes a lot of hard work and dieting to make them come out. There's a reason why very few people have a 6 or 8 pack......IT'S HARD!!!

I just thought I'd type up some of the rules I go by to develop my abs and forgive me if I make everything very basic. Feel free to message me for clarification but I'm not gonna get technical here. If you don't agree, feel free to speak your mind. I'm just typing this up as it comes to me so it's not even in any specific, well thought out order. For some people, this may be a good refresher (do you remember all of the capitals for each state? I used to but I'm sure if I had a refresher I could spit it out for at least 6 months).

  • First and foremost, your diet is key. I'm still in the learning process in regards to nutrition. If you eat bad foot, it will go straight to your gut and it's almost immediate. The other day I went to celebrate with a buddy so we had some beers (Michelob Ultra of course), some mexican food and WAY too many chips and salsa. I probably had about 1,000 calories at about 1am and went to sleep within an hour (not to mention the alcohol already turned my liver off from processing ANYTHING anyways). I felt bloated as hell, woke up the next day to see that I lost at least 5% of my definition. Of course I did crazy HIIT the next day and ate as clean as possible for the next 48 hours and I was back to where I left off. The point is it's not worth it. Food is a temporary pleasure but you'll feel fat much longer than you'll be happy from the taste of the food. Do your due diligence and find out why the food you crave is so bad for your abs/health and it should stop you from doing it next time. If you don't know why something is bad, you most likely will be tempted sometime in the future. What if all those people who smoked back in the Marlboro Man days knew that cigs had over 400 chemicals and could cause all kinds of cancer? I seriously doubt smoking would have been SOOO popular. Also keep in mind that however you choose to eat may (I'm being nice - I'm almost positive it will) affect your kids eating habits as well. This is what I call "generational obesity". Seems like something sh*tty to pass down to your kids.
  • When working your abs, you need to remember that it's pretty much your entire torso and if you want to build it, you need to hit it from all angles. You also need to be crazy intense when doing it. Don't stand around, think about what you're gonna do and then hit a set and get water. You need to have your ab routine planned out (mine is planned out according to my gym layout because it gets so packed sometimes) so you don't forget to hit any areas.
  • Focus on having good posture throughout the day. When you slouch, you're relaxing your abs. It is counterproductive to have your abs relaxed all day long (not to mention looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame). Stand/sit straight and your abs will automatically tighten up. You want them to always be tight.
  • Always work lower abs first since it's most strenuous and your upper and middle abs need to flex just to move the lower abs (stabilization). If you blast your upper abs first, it will affect your lower ab workout. It's like making sure not to blast your forearms before you hit are you going to hold the DB's for all of those curls? Same goes for abs.
  • I have recently been using a program that I made that hits the abs in this order all in a Giant Set: lower, then upper/middle, then obliques. Since all of my blood is flowing to my midsection, I might as well keep it there....I don't like standing around waiting for the next set. When I get done with one, I go to the next exercise until I'm done with the Giant Set. Then I repeat one more time and move on to the 2nd Giant Set. You don't need to do this pattern because I'm still testing it out but for me, it works great. Your abs may develop differently than mine.
  • I believe very strongly that most people don't have enough intensity when it comes to abs. Because your abs are used everyday for posture and keeping your organs in, they can be worked more intensely than other muscle groups. Don't count reps when hitting abs. If you set a goal of 15 reps, I doubt you're going to do 16 or more. Just hit your abs until it starts burning.......then do 10 more!!! You should feel like you have to lay on the ground and roll around (I do this all the time) after hitting your abs....especially your lower abs. Ever see someone kill bicycles??? It looks like I'm literally on fire and trying to put it out when I'm done with a set. Make your abs BURN and I promise you'll have results. There's no reason why you shouldn't be dripping with sweat after an ab workout.
  • Make sure that when you work the abs, it's not about doing hundreds of reps. If you can, you need to add some resistance (cable crunches, weighted knee-ups with DB, etc). No matter what exercise you hit, you want to make sure to "think" about each rep you're doing and fully contract. Same goes for all exercises but especially your abs. Your abs are a huge chunk of your body. You need to focus on each rep, have proper form, don't bounce or jerk around and have full contraction in your abs. Imagine posing for a photo shoot and you have to show off your abs. You should be squeezing as hard as you can. Remember - if your body feels like you're putting it through something intense where it feels it needs more muscle to do the job, it'll make more muscle. You need to TEAR apart those muscle fibers.
  • Kill your cardio!!! I mean murder your cardio. I used to not like it so much but you just can't get abs without it (unless you circuit train all the time but most people that do circuit have no problem doing cardio anyways). It's also a cool way to "delete" some calories that you ate that day. Maybe you went over your diet by about 200 calories....go do about 10-12 mins HIIT and it's gone! Even better if you didn't go over. 3,500 calories = 1lb of fat. Burn an extra 3,500 calories a week and you're losing 1lb of PURE FAT every week! That's bad*ss! I do abs and then cardio so that I can burn fat after I've already burned glycogen and can now burn fat. It also helps me dedicate my energy towards hitting my abs HARD since that's my focus (personal choice).
  • Get a set of ab slings (I use ab-originals). You won't have to expend energy just to hang from a bar and instead can use that energy only for your abs. Roman Chair leg lifts are cool but it has a back for a reason: support. If you are just starting, you will probably need it to stabilize. Just graduate to the ab slings or just hang from a pullup bar to do your leg lifts/knee ups (you can even use straps). Besides doing bicycles, hitting leg lifts and knee-ups (I usually hit leg lifts and when I'm dead, I finish off with knees since knees are's kind of like spotting myself and burning out) is one of the best things you can do to grow your abs. It will also train your hip flexors which are needed in so many motions. Next to that, I personally think jacknives on a swiss ball are phenomenal!!! I've never experienced a "twitching" feeling before like I did after doing one set of these.
  • Switch up your ab routine once every few weeks so your abs don't get used to it. Same I guess goes for all muscle groups.
  • Give your abs 48 hours to heal after an intense workout. I know some people feel that you can work them more than 3-4 times a week but unless you're already fit, I wouldn't advise it (this is just my opinion). I like to let my muscles heal before hitting them. Listen to your body. What if you didn't get enough sleep? Ever notice that it may take 3 days to full recover instead of 2? Then give it another day, hit that glutamine, make sure to get enough protein, water and rest and hit it the next day when it's healed. No need to over train and go backwards instead of forwards. Ever heard of 2 steps forward and 3 steps back? Not something I wanna do.
  • Lastly, I HIGHLY suggest getting a fat burner to speed up your results. I'm currently using an ECY stack and it's working phenomenally. There's a few ECA stacks that are supposed to work well and my workout partner just ordered one last night. I'm suggesting but it's not required. I'm just an impatient bastard and I know that most people are like me. That's not the only reason though - most people get discouraged easily and if they see fast results, they'll be much more likely to stick with it. If anyone wants to know what stack I'm currently using, just PM me or leave me a comment and I'll share it with you.

*** Just murder your abs, don't have late night carbs (especially simple carbs), eat good fats like in nuts, eat plenty of protein, hit your abs from all angles in each workout, flex on each rep like you're trying to let out a fart, space out your meals and avoid sugar. I know what I should and shouldn't do and just follow those rules. I try to keep it simple and work hard. ***
OK, I think that's about it people....I'll probably think of something else as soon as I click "Save and Exit" but oh well. I hope I can at least inspire a few people to do what it takes to get ripped abs and possibly have rekindled some other veteran's desires to have them as well.

by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 9:21 AM
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