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How Often Should I Train Abs?

August 14, 2016 / no comments, on Fitness Blog

abs are made in the gym

Ever wonder, “how often should I train abs?” Getting a 6 pack abs is really not as hard as you think. The first thing you need to know is to have visibly defined abs your body fat needs to be at a certain low level. The less body fat the more defined you look overall – and especially in your abs and obliques. A lot of the time you may be able to feel your abs by touching them and flexing. If you notice they are there but you cant see it in the mirror, it just means your layer of fat under the skin is too thick. There’s a saying in bodybuilding,”Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym”.

Too many people under train their abs, so they do not see as much results as they could have if they just trained them more. Abs, although a small muscle is used in almost every main lift, and they get activated automatically when your body feels like  you have a heavy load to move. They are worked all the time and they are used to recovering much faster than your other muscles, so training them every other day, or more is ideal to grow that sixpack. I would recommend switching between a lower ab focused day and an upper and oblique focused day. Training frequency should be about 2 to 3 times a week. Don’t forget that the abs are just like any other muscle and need time to rest in order for them to grow. 4 to 5 sets is all it takes, so pairing an ab workout before or after chest/legs/back is a good idea.

The reason lower abs should get their own day is because they are the hardest to bring up. They do start showing the more you diet like I said before, but you should not neglect training them to develop the shape. Taking specific supplements to help you burn a little more fat during this process is commonly done. Keep in mind that supplements are not magic pills that will just make  you lose weight if you take them. They only help you lose a little more weight if you are already cutting your calories. Some of the best supplements proven to help people burn extra fat and help to show more of that six pack are Garcinia Cambogia (used to suppress appetite) and any type of a CLA supplement. 

lower ab raiseFor lower abs, any kind of leg raise or knee raise works best. If those are too easy try holding a weight between your feet. Breath out as you squeeze your abs and breath in when you stretch them. Vary your leg movements between up and down, side to side and in a circle. Your abs should be burning by the time you are done, especially your lower abs. Note that you can’t really isolate the lower or upper abs as it is one long muscle, however you can focus on one part a little more than the other.

Your second ab day should be focused on overall core development. This includes the obliques. Romanian Twists are a great way to hit the obliques and add striations to the sides of your lower torso. Start with no weight and slowly progress holding a dumbbell or a plate while performing this exercise. Crunches and sit ups are a great way to finish off your ab training. Another good exercise is the kneeling cable crunch.

Don’t forget that you should be activating your abs every time you are performing any type of heavy lift such as the Bench Press, Deadlift, Squat and Shoulder Press. Flex them hard and hold to give yourself some more strength. And learn to flex them while performing Ab workouts as well. So many times I see people just going through the motion and not engaging their core. Flex the muscle you are working on every rep you perform. So, get your diet under control and do your ab exercises regularly, and you will see how easy it is to get that sixpack.

 

To really get in the best shape of your life, the best thing is to follow a program that has been proven to work. We always recommend Ben Pakulski’s MI40 program for the best results you can hope to get. Check it out, see if it is good for  you.

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