Hardcore lifters want to see their numbers training numbers climb and their muscles bulge from workout to workout, but not every guy who picks up a barbell wants to look like The Hulk. One goal that just about EVERYONE in the gym has, though, is building a set of strong, ripped abs.
In their zest for tight abs, however, many lifters turn to fads and end up going nowhere, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, by following these simple high intensity abs workout tips, you might be surprised at just how simple effective ab building can be!
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Train Abs Like Every Other Muscle
One common approach to abdominal training is to do crazy amounts of exercise every day or every training day. It’s not uncommon to hear about people doing 1000 crunches per day trying to get ripped!
That’s a misguided effort that a) doesn’t burn many calories, b) doesn’t do much for your abs, and c) leaves you tired and frustrated, and maybe injured.
Fortunately, productive abs training is not that complicated if you remember one simple fact: your abodominals are a muscle group, just like all the rest. So train them that way!
That means picking a few “smart” exercises and doing them progressively — adding weight or reps in good form when possible. Don’t train abs more than a few times per week, and keep your reps in a reasonable range, usually less than 20.
And don’t be afraid to train to failure!
Only by building thicker, more dense abs can you ever hope to display a muscular midsection.
Train Lower Abs First
On the most basic level, abs help you either curl your trunk toward your pelvis OR lift your pelvis toward your chest. It’s a subtle difference that impacts how you should order your exercises.
While there is debate about the existence of “lower abs” and “upper abs,” there is little doubt that the two types of movements help you mentally focus better on one area or the other. What’s more, lifting your legs toward your chest brings into play other helper muscles, making moves like leg raises and reverse trunk curls compound exercises.
Because of this, you should usually train your “lower abs” first when you’re freshest and before you hit your “upper abs.” Knock off a set or two of incline leg raises or reverse crunches and then finish off your workout with heavy weighted crunches.
You’re sure to get a deep growth ache from sternum to pelvis.
Train With the Big Basic Exercises
The truth is that you could likely build a really great set of ab muscles if you did nothing other than squats, dips, chins, and other major movements without ever doing any direct midsection work. That’s because these big exercises require tremendous abdominal pressure to keep you in position, which means you’ll be contracting your abs hard for a majority of your workout time.
Focus on the core movements in your training and YOUR core will benefit from it!.
Don’t Train Obliques
Unless you are a power and strength athlete you should generally avoid direct work for your obliques, the muscles at the sides of your waist. The obliques get plenty of stimulation from big compound movements like squats and deadlifts, and they also tend to grow quickly. Thick obliques make you appear wide-waisted, and that’s not what you want if you’re a bodybuilder!
The truth is, it doesn’t matter HOW strong and rippled your ab muscles are, you will never see them if they’re covered in a layer (or two!) of fat. So, to get that chiseled midsection that you want and deserve for all your hard work, you need to keep your bodyfat in check. For most guys, abs begin to appear below 15% bodyfat, and they’re really popping below 10%. Get lean and stay (relatively) lean if you want show-stopping abs.
Keep It Boring for Extreme Ab Development
The bottom line is that ab training should not be complicated if you want to reap the best results. These simple high intensity abs workout tips can help you get a ripped, muscular midsection if you train hard and watch out for ab-training fads.