Thursday, March 31, 2011

Does training = Abs? Or Training Abs = Abs? Part I of III

6-pack.  Washboard stomach.  Abs of steel.  All these nicknames for aesthetically pleasing abs might have one specific look in common, but to many a surprise, the methods used to achieve these results might not be so similar after all.  In addition, are all those walking around with those chiseled midsections TRULY functional and strong?  These 5 answers to some commonly asked questions about ABS might surprise you...

1) How do I get a 6-pack (or at least a flatter stomach)? 
Sarcastically, I usually reply, "Scissors and a scalpel".  But in truth, consistent, frequent training, along with simple meal restructuring (typically, most people undereat protein and overeat carbs & saturated fat), is the best combination for someone who is struggling to find their abs in the mirror. 
Solution: Aim for a minimum of 2 days a week of planned, simple strength training with free weights, bands and kettlebells.  This, paired with eating well balanced meals 90% of the week, and 2 days of different interval training/cardio, are the most discussed methods of achieving that elusive flat stomach.  

2) What is the best exercise for my abs?
An old trainer joke for the best ab exercise: press yourself away from the table after your first course.  That way you can't eat seconds.  Seriously though, this age-old question never gets old (or never stops getting asked), and yet the formula remains the same: total body exercises (squats, deadlift variations, push, pull, rotation and resisting movement) remain the foundation of which every 6 pack is founded.  Yes, there are those that can diet extremely well and see their abs, without mastering one of the 6 movements needed as the foundation.  BUT, the best exercises remain the same. 
Solution: Master 6 basic movements to achieve a 6-pack!
  • Squat variations (sumo, front, back, zercher, overhead barbell, single arm overhead)
  • Deadlift variations (romanian, sumo, single leg)
  • Push movements (overhead press, pushup and bench press variations)
  • Pull movements (from above/vertical, from in front of you/horizontal)
  • Rotary movements (windmill, Turkish get up, chops)
  • Resisting movements (plank, side plank, anti-rotation press, rollouts, walkouts and fallouts)
 Stay tuned for tomorrow's additional questions about how to get your own abs!

-Coach Kev


  1. Don't forget those land mines!

  2. ah yes! Most people don't have a landmine, yet know how to use a barbell in rotary fashion!