I often get asked questions about ab training. I wanted to cover a few of the key points in a short video.
I also wanted to give a quick overview of the content
If your abs are not visible and you want them to become visible then ab work isn’t the main answer to your issue. The number one problem you have is you have body fat covering your abs. We all have muscles in this area and definition here come from having a low enough body fat to reveal them.
Ab exercises will help to build muscles in this area which will help with ab size and therefore impact when you drop body fat but the key to seeing abs is to get nice and lean.
Lose fat around the abs
Unfortunately we cannot spot reduce body fat as a general rule. There isn’t a secret exercise for dropping tummy fat or muffin tops. What we need to do for solid definition is drop body fat as whole. Dropping body fat is achieved with the balance of training and calculated nutrition.
In order to drop body fat you need to be in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time. In order to determine your calorie needs you first have to calculate your maintenance calories. This is the number of calories required to maintain your current weight. From this point I suggest you reduce the number by 10-20% to ensure you hit the calorie deficit. Dropping too low on calories is a common problem. Go too low and it will impossible to maintain for sufficient duration to achieve your results and you will likely lose excessive muscle in the process. Whilst calories are the most important element the macros also play a part. Following a food plan that provides the majority of energy from protein and fat will support your body’s ability to use fat for fuel .
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Fat loss training should be focussed predominantly on resistance training. Lifting weights will support lean muscle and your fat loss hormones. Lifting big weight is always good for big results. I suggest you mix your rep ranges for the best results. Anything from 6 reps to 50 reps can be useful whilst on a fat loss plan. In addition to resistance training intervals and low intensity steady state cardio can also be very useful, they will increase the number of calories you burn and help you hit that calorie deficit (or allow eat more whilst still getting results, which ever way you want to look at it) Intervals and LISS both have their benefits and a lot of it will come down to personal preference.
The best ab exercises
Whilst dropping body is the most crucial element to revealing your abs exercises do also have their place. Increasing strength and muscle in the area will help when you drop body fat to present a solid looking set of abs.
In terms of rep ranges I train abs in the same way I train other body parts. For strength, I typically work to 5-8 reps on the tougher movements. If you are able to do more than 8 of these movements then adding some extra resistance will be beneficial. For example perform roll outs with a weighted jacket.
- Swiss ball roll outs
- Ab wheel roll outs
- Dragon flags
- For the strength endurance and hypertrophy of the abs I use rep ranges of 10-15 typically. I do not perform that many sets personally.
- Hanging knee raises
- Hanging leg raises
- Windshield wipers
- Hanging windshield wipers
Now its time to put this information into practice. Time to go get abbed up.
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