Copyright 2006 Marc David
All About Abs – Ab Training
Exercises for Variety and Development Step by Step Abdominal Training Explained
Concept #1: How Many Times Per Week to Train Abs
Do you remember hearing somewhere that in order to get the abdominals you want; you’ve got to train them everyday? I know I heard that from several sources. None of those sources had super ripped abs.
Fact: Many of the people who DO have ripped abs train them 1-3 times per week.
Train your abs 1-3 times per week. I would recommend training them after a smaller body part workout like chest and biceps and abs, or shoulder, triceps and abs. You can do them on your off days as well. Try to avoid doing them with legs as it’s a major body part. Try to avoid doing them first as you’ll need your stabilizers to be 100% when they are used in other compound exercises.
You probably already know this… your abs can be trained a bit more frequently then most other muscle groups because of two factors:
1. The muscle density is different allowing for different recovery time
2. 99.9% of programs do not encourage you to train abs to muscular failure
You don’t want to train abs to muscular failure for the purpose of this guide.
Concept #2: How Many Exercises Per Session
If you’re like me, you don’t want another session added to your workout that is going to add another 20 minutes to your gym time. But like any other muscle, the abdominals require a bit of stimulation but just enough to grow and change and become stronger.
Unlike other body parts, you won’t be doing countless sessions for abs. In fact…
Use 3-5 exercises per session
That’s all you really need. Use the schedule listed in this guide or just pick 3 different exercises and do 3-5 different exercises per session. You can vary your rest up to 90 seconds.
You’ve got to wonder why people train abs by themselves for 30 or more minutes at a time. That’s crazy! And most of the people coming out of those “Ab Blaster” classes don’t even have abs. They are doing longer sessions for a single muscle group then you ever need to engage in.
Simply put, 3-5 exercises will do just fine.
Concept #3: Using Cardio as A Metabolism Boosting Tool
For maximum fat loss, you should do cardio 4-7 days per week for 30-60 minutes (the amount is variable depending on your results). You could continue running or mix up the type of cardio you do (stationary cycling, stairclimbing, elliptical machines, and other continuous aerobic activities are all excellent fat burners without the high impact and joint stress of frequent running).
If time efficiency is an issue for you, you could perform high intensity interval cardio training and achieve very efficient results with even briefer workouts (20-30 min per sessions, or less, if the intensity is high enough) Once you are satisfied with your level of body fat and your abdominal definition, you can cut back to 3 days per week for 20-30 minutes for maintenance.
Concept #4: Advanced Techniques
Part of this guide is to ensure that you use all the techniques possible in order to achieve the results you want. There are two techniques you can use so that your routine doesn’t become ‘routine.’
1. Tempo Variation: Another way to increase the effectiveness of the training program is to focus on the tempo of the exercise. Tempo just means the speed of the exercise. For example, a 3-1-1 tempo means you’ll take 3 seconds to lower the weight, then you’ll pause for 1 second, and then you’ll lift the weight back up in 1 second.
2. Variety: It’s been said that your body will adapt to any routine within 5-6 workouts. By including many different exercises, it will be impossible to adapt. Not only will your body be continually challenged but the variety will help to ward of getting bored of doing the same things every week, every workout.
3. Multiple Angles: While the abdominals are classified as a ‘single’ muscle, that doesn’t mean you can’t work it from a variety of angles in order to achieve the maximum stimulation. Many times an individual will have their upper abdominals developed but are lacking any real “visual” development in the lower abs. Rather then focus on a section of the abdominals, this guide will encourage you to work the muscle from a variety of angles for the best possible stimulation.
Stay tuned for Part 4 that will flat out give you 6 months worth of ab workouts you can do.