Abdominals are one of the most sought after muscles. The first thing to get out of the way is that the abdominals will only be visible under a lower body fat percentage. Second is the following mindset: if you do strength lifts, you MAY NOT need to directly train your abs.
Before you feel the need to skip this section, read this: while abdominal muscular development can occur with Squatting and Deadlifting, this does not mean you’re training your core in various planes.
With this being said, there are a lot of things to talk about when training the abdominal area and we are strong advocates of doing so… not just for muscular development, but also for overall health!
This is an excerpt from our Muscle Compendium eBook.
The Abdominal area consists of the following four muscles: the Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominis, and the external and internal obliques. These four muscles assist in keeping our posture in check.
Now that we understand the functions a little more, let’s get into a few strategies in building these “cheese-graters”!
When it comes to effective ab exercises, I prefer to view them as “core” work: since the abs are a small muscle, we train abs for functionality. We optimize this by doing a leg raise, a crunch, and a twist exercise.
To conclude our abdominal training, let’s start by saying in regards to abdominal development, you might not necessarily need to directly train abs. This is because you may develop them from squatting and deadlifting heavy.
I prefer to utilize abdominal training to provide spinal mobility and to reduce any tightness or emphasis on my lower back. When training the abdominals, I would utilize high repetition bodyweight sets upwards in the 10-20 rep range. You should be able to get away with at least 16 sets per week with direct ab work if you’re passionate about working your abdominals.
Personally, I would do 4 sets of 10-20 reps on leg days. Which leads to the importance of training abdominals on your leg days. We emphasize this to allow adequate recovery for your next leg day. If you train abs the day before legs, for example, you might not be able to be as effective on a heavy squat or deadlift session.
Anything you would like to add or any other tips you would like to give? Throw them in the comments below!
One of the most difficult things to implement is a diet or exercise regiment. According to one study, more than 50% of people will drop out of their exercise program within 6 months. Most of the time, this is a result of our exercise program not meeting expectations. Our hesitations typically come from ourselves - and it's never always one reason.
There are typically multiple reasons as to why we drop out of our exercise and nutrition regiments.
In this post, we are going to go over the five barriers that hold most of us back from fitness.
Let's dive in!
We all witness the initial water weight loss that comes from dieting... it's so cool to drop 5-10lbs in one week when we start.
And then, it slows down... it even stops.
Some people get disheartened from this and believe that it's in their genetics... that the diet didn't work... that no matter what they do, it's useless.
I've been there.
I've tried Intermittent Fasting, Ketogenic, and low-carb diets way before they were cool. To be honest, most of these methods were never sustainable for me in the long-term: I would eventually always stop them. Being that I grew up with a family whose meals were Mediterranean-styled, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbs were always a part of my life.
Sometimes, having trouble eliminating food groups in diets is not because of willpower or discipline... it's because of adherence. To us, adherence is the most important thing in a diet, as it eventually breeds discipline and consistency.
It was not until I incorporated Flexible Dieting that my entire lifestyle changed for the better.
In this post, we will explore the Flexible Dieting system in its entirety. It's a system I have used through quite a few successful fat loss and muscle gain phases since 2013.