Whether you like it or not six pack abs in the last couple of decades have become a signature of what makes a man sexy and attractive. Everyone has a different opinion on this but it’s a fact that most of us love to have that sexy lean physique with visible abs that grabs everyone attention when you take your shirt off. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?
However the fitness community is divided on approach to building great abs. Things like training frequency, amount of repetitions, sets and exercises vary a lot and to be honest the information overload is confusing to anyone who tries to learn a way to develop amazing abs.
Problem of training frequency has been particularly been interesting to me, I’ve wondered many times if it was OK to train my abs every day or should I train them only after particular workout and the information I found on was also very controversial at the time so I had to test everything myself. So I decided to share my experience with you guys, have fun reading :)
Training abs every day
I got the idea of training abs every day from some old bodybuilding magazines and training programs from 50s and 60s Mr. Olympia’s. They did crazy volume abs workout each day since they believed you could Burn fat directly in the abdominal area. How crazy was that? From scale 1-10 I’d say this is a 9, basically you had to do at least 500 crunches every day (That’s around 200k crunches a year :) ). Later on research on fat burning proved that this very time consuming was ineffective way of burning fat and that doing that many crunches is actually bad for abs. As far as my results with this kind of training I think my overall physique development was hindered since I’ve had to work out abs after every weight training sessions for a long time so my recovery rate was suffering.
Today you know that it’s not possible to burn fat locally and that there are more effective ways like HIIT to get to low body fat percentage but unfortunately I didn’t know this information when I started. So I kept this crazy routine going for 2 months and I must say that my abs have slightly improved in the beginning but after a month and a half I started to feel like it wasn’t going anywhere. My Muscle tone remained the same, and I even had a slight imbalance between my abs and oblique muscles from all the crunches not to mention that my recovery was pretty bad at the time.
Training abs once a week
So soon after that I gave up the idea of training abs every day, next thing I tried was to train abs once a week with heavy weight and 10-15 rep range like other muscle groups. You pick 3 exercises and do 3 sets for each exercise. Going heavy like this increased the size of my abs a bit and I got some nice details. I recommend this for my clients when they first start a workout routine as it will increase their Core strength which is necessary in developing that early strength.
My current Six Pack Training
Now I’m training my abs as soon as I feel that they are full recovered. This is usually 2-4 times a week depending on recovery. My abs workout right now is based on a circuit routine, I’m doing 3 exercises in a row without rest and finishing my abs with a nice 2 min plank. I typically do 3 of these circuits after my regular workout or in the morning on empty stomach.
- Hanging leg raise 25-30 reps slowly > no rest switch to
- Cable Crunches 15 reps very heavy > no rest switch to
- Oblique exercise > take 2 min rest
- Holding plank for 2 min > take 2 min rest
Best time to do abs exercise
Without any doubt the best time to do any abs exercises is as soon as you wake up. When your stomach is empty your abdominal muscles can do full contractions and it’s also an awesome way to start the day. I usually manage to do only 1 morning abs workout per week with my busy work schedule and it really feels better than the other workouts which are after my weight lifting. I personally recommend everyone who has free time in the morning to do all your abs workouts on an empty stomach. Of course if you must drink something then a little bit of water is OK.
Share your favorite ab workouts with other readers in the comment section below or ask any questions, we’ll be happy to help you :) Good luck with your awesome fitness journey!