Besides chest and arm training, abdominal training certainly gets a lot of focus in the muscle magazines and workout programs. For most bodybuilders, muscular and defined abs are the mark of success.
However, achieving a muscular, defined "six-pack" abdominal area is not easy for most bodybuilders. Why is this? Well, because attaining good abs is not just a function of weight training. In addition to an intense weight training program, good abs are only developed by a very comprehensive program involving abdominal exercises, strict diet and cardio training. So, let's discuss these three keys to "ripped, six-pack" abs.
For that "ripped, six-pack" look, the abdominal muscles must be trained like any other muscle group. The key is to choose the proper exercises and use the proper techniques that will elicit the best development. Forget about those ab crunch machines or "ab rockers" you see on TV. They're a waste of time and money!
If you want to thoroughly stimulate your abdominal muscles to grow and achieve the "six-pack" look, then you must rely on the science. The study at San Diego State University revealed that the Bicycle Maneuver, Captain's Chair Knee Raises, Crunches on Exercise Ball and Reverse Crunch are the best and only exercises that you need to do. These four exercises are the most effective and offer variety in your abdominal training.
Perform all your abdominal work for 8 to 20 repetitions. As you become more conditioned, perform 2-4 sets of 8-20 repetitions. All repetitions should be performed slow and deliberate motion. No ballistic or quick motions. Let the abs do all the work. The rest between sets should be 30-60 seconds and no longer.
Depending upon how much bodyfat you have around your waist, you should consider your diet. If you're an ectomorph, then you may not have much bodyfat, if any, around your waist. Mesomorphs may need to "tune-up" their diet if they have put on some additional bodyfat during their mass building phase. Endomorphs probably have some body fat on their abs, and therefore, some serious diet modifications must be made by limiting carbohydrates and increasing protein. Avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar and fat laden foods. Loose the booze…alcohol metabolizes into fat. Men should avoid beer as it "feminizes" the body.
If you have bodyfat around your waist, then you must engage in a serious cardio training program to rid yourself of this excess fat. I recommend that you perform Interval Training for your cardio. Taking long walks or jogs for 45-60 minutes will not do the trick. Numerous research studies have shown that Interval Training is far superior to walking or jogging for fat loss.
To do Interval Training, run or sprint for 30 seconds, then walk for one minute to recover, then repeat this sprint/walk cycle about 8-10 times. Be sure to warm-up before and cool down after Interval Training. The key to Interval Training is to push yourself as hard as you can during the running or sprint for the allotted 30 seconds. This form of Cardio Training will burn more body fat while also improving your cardiovascular conditioning.
All three keys are essential to obtaining the much-desired "ripped, six-pack" abs. As with any fitness endeavor, consistency and persistence are needed to achieve success.
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