Abdominal muscles are the part of the body that most people associate with a great physique. Many men strive to get a six pack and ripped abs, but so few actually get them. That’s perhaps why they’re they “gold standard”.
We’ve all seen those infomercials that show the guy with a chiselled set of ripped abs or the pretty gal with a flat stomach performing abdominal crunches on those ab workout devices. The marketers of these devices claim they make abdominal workouts more effective than the traditional floor ab exercises. Is there any scientific evidence that supports the marketer’s claims? The simple answer to that question is “no”.
However, a recent study examined the range of motion (ROM) obtained using an ab-roller, and revealed these devices might be less effective than the standard abdominal crunch exercise that you can do for free!
Using the latest research in biomechanical analysis techniques, this study showed that crunches performed with the abdominal devices resulted in less ROM in all angles measured when compared with a traditional crunch. ROM is a key aspect of muscle fiber recruitment, and these results indicate that ab-roller/rocker devices may, in fact, be less effective, not more effective, than the standard floor crunch, for working the abdominal muscles.
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I do recommend training abs twice a week but each ab training session is designed to accomplish a different function.
My first ab training session is on Mondays with the Swiss Ball. I do Swiss Ball ab exercises with body weight resistance to increase my core strength and stability. Core strength (the combined strength of all the muscles from your hips to your arm pits) is important as this is where you generate much of your power for compound strength movements. Improved core strength also guards against injury.
My second ab session is on Thursdays with resistance exercises. I do resistance exercises to overload the abdominal muscles and increase my ab development.
I think it is important for men to incorporate both kinds of abdominal work into your routine to achieve well developed abs and greater power through improved core strength.
First of all, spot reduction is impossible so regardless of how many crunches, sit-ups or bicycle kicks you do, you won’t remove any excess fat around your mid section. If you need to lose excess belly fat, your best bet is to go on a healthy diet and have the right combination of strength and cardiovascular training to maximize fat reduction while boosting your metabolism.
If you currently have a relatively flat stomach and are trying to build your abs, there are some facts you should be aware of. The abs are similar to every other muscle in the body and must be trained as such. Like every other muscle, men should not train abdominal’s every day and should wait at least 48 hours in between ab workouts.
Also, for a muscle to hypertrophy, significant external resistance is needed with a rep range of about 8-15 so if you’re able to do many crunches, you’re better off either finding a new exercise or to find ways to add resistance.
Muscle building supplementation program Q and A for someone starting out:
I just started using the ab workouts in your style and I never thought I would say this about working out, but I am totally enjoying the muscle building process! My strength is going through the roof and my muscles look better than ever. I wanted to ask if you could you help out with some suggestions on a supplementation program for someone starting out? I’m a hard-working young guy with a decent career. I have the resources and the desire for a “top-of-the-line” starting program–as long as it works!
Good for you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the programs and getting great results. Here is a program that will get you off to a great start. After you become consistent with these suggestions, you can build upon them later.
Whey Isolate or Micellar Casein – How can you ever go wrong getting the very best source of protein available on the market? I have one scoop of Whey or Micellar Casein with each of my “regular” food meals every day.
Micronized Glutamine – This is probably the one supplement most responsible for the 10 pounds of dense muscle I gained this past year. Because I heard all the research of how beneficial glutamine was to building muscle AND in promoting great general health, I use micronized glutamine daily.
A multi-vitamin/ multi-mineral formula. If you want to insure great general health and create an amazing physique at the same, I recommend you take a couple of multi-vitamins on a daily basis. I make sure I do every single day! Make sure you invest your hard-earned money in a powerful multi-vitamin.
I take one three times a day: One with my first meal at 7am; another one with a mid- day meal at 3pm; and the last of the day with my final meal at 9pm. Someone once said, “It’s the little things in life that make the BIG difference.” Getting your vitamins a couple of times a day is definitely one those supplements often overlooked that could possibly make a big difference toward achieving your physique-enhancing goals.
Creatine- This is one of the best muscle building and strength supplements of all time, and for good reason- it works. It can help you squeeze out an extra rep or two on each set- and lift a bit more weight. This is the key to getting bigger and stronger.
Find a creatine that has the Creapure logo on it, as this will ensure high quality. There are tons of ways to take it. Experiment to see what works for you. Right now I’m taking 5 grams pre-workout with some whey protein and 5 grams immediately after with some whey protein. It’s working great.
Do you think that mixing Gatorade powder with water might be better to drink during workouts rather than just plain water?
Drinking Gatorade and other sports drinks to supplement your ab workouts and muscle building weight training sessions do have some benefits. They can provide your body fast-acting, simple carbohydrates that help fuel your workouts. Sports drinks can also keep your body in a good mineral and water balance which can be compromised if you let dehydration occur.
Sports or “energy” drinks, however, can contain a considerable amount of calories. If losing body fat or staying lean are a couple of your major fitness goals, those extra calories need to be accounted for in your daily nutrition plan. Remember, when trying to lose body fat, the bottom line is that you need to consume fewer calories than your burn each day. You may wish to consume those extra calories during your meals throughout the day.
One way to eliminate the need for sports drinks while training is to keep your body properly fed throughout the day. If you eat a meal at least a couple of hours before your workout and eat another one soon afterwards, you should have enough energy to produce an intense and efficient training session. Your body should already be within an acceptable mineral and water ratio before you train and also replenish many of the minerals lost while working out.
While I don’t necessarily feel there is a tremendous need for sports drinks while you are training, I do encourage you to drink plenty of water. Try to drink some water at least every ten minutes while you work out. Never let yourself feel thirsty. Keep in mind that if you ever feel thirsty, your body has already been in need of more water for a considerable amount of time.
I just added GABA to my list of muscle building supplements. Should I take it on my days off?
It may be a day off but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about nutrition. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Your off training days are a necessary part of the muscle building equation and in order to take full advantage of this important time and maximize recovery you need to focus on nutrition and supplementation just as you would any other day of the week.
I would highly recommend taking GABA on your days off as well. A 5 gram dose of GABA shows a significant elevation in growth hormone levels and taking GABA before bed promotes a more restful sleep. The combination of increased growth hormone levels and a more restful sleep will greatly enhance your body’s recovery ability.
Get the most out of your days off by following a consistent nutritional plan capped off with a dose of GABA.
Abdominal Workouts for Men- Video Guide
What’s going on my name is brandon carter i’m from south side chicago now I live in New York City I’ve been a person who trained over ten years as opposed to fitness model for Puma nike brand Jordan and Adidas and today we’re going to do a real quick 15 minute abdominal routine it’s gonna burn fat and build muscles in your stomach city six pack show all right for this workout we want to be using a timer on my phone that goes off every 30 seconds and get one for android for ipod or blackberry but or just stop by soon or whatever words you need to make sure it goes off every 30 seconds so I’m gonna start first to warm up just put your hands behind your heads and lift up these to your elbows let’s get them as high as I’m getting can’t get them all the way just reached rod you don’t do just do as much as you can I’m going to make sure that you warm up real good because this work out some v you can go short it’s gonna be really intense so if any point you need to take a break stop the video and then please do that man you don’t want to hurt yourself all right 30 more seconds to this just get the blood flowing not too fast because the workout is gonna be intense just when it oops enough as you can get it above above the elbow that’s even better yeah pretty chick in it you’re going to get this high do that just want to be working out to the best of your abilities all right on the rest 30 seconds before we get into work out what I want to show you what we’re going to be doing it bicycles we want to live your go thanks same thing you were doing standing up but now you’re on your back it will do that for 30 seconds and go straighten some mountain climbers which is just like this bring your knees up we should start at now make sure you make a nice your legs straight it when they come out all the way try to give them to touch it is not a race you know you’re not good it’s not that professor Ken that’s going to pickle pace yourself look for long now mountain climbs again it’s not a race but just pace yourself so worked hard too can become don’t kill yourself this is broken apart in the bag and it any still works at lower abs as well after this one going to go right back in spices right remember if you need to take a break no stop the video ain’t tough this is a real difficult routine let me talk for me too should such as knees and fully stay their lives if you can you can you know just do the best you can back mountain climbers I’m going to take a break 30 like this is this is tough slow down you bisous I mean to stop comedians now the main so I’m just play should be pretty tough now they’re sweating the absa hurt really bad that’s and bicycles might be wondering one of my legs hurt they should her like right here is we’re almost done was to go a minute break after this all right all right take a break for a minute even longer for me too that’s water get that it’s difficult you got not corner waitin all right so remember take a nice break we’re gonna rest for a minute to you the rest longer oh it stopped the video come back can you know just start with this press this one minute with me but it’s not don’t kill yourself each and what we’re doing in the size don’t count your reps you know don’t don’t count anytime you’re doing these ourselves it’s not it’s not about that it’s about doing Smitty as you can join these 30 second don’t be starting second degree don’t you only have to try people with me to the best you can or like it if you can’t do a lot know this you’ll get better you’ve any time it’s all about improve in that while I was to rest and I will show your next exercise is this legs now the arms out and it bring them together hug them yourself some fucking knees but don’t grab on and hold you know like starting that I don’t know what this exercise is called we call a rhythm call in I hear me butterflies just say it is work out numbers two mins you can with your legs straight as possible don’t shoot as many as you can the right play now back to now maybe pace yourself you know you only sprint read about a workout you don’t go put me you’ll need no chin to just write it all back that Iron Butterfly somebody knows the real name since I let me know I got it going to miss cottagey when he was in a cook county county prison told me how about it so I don’t really know what’s called back the bicep was again better pace yourself no take your time please you take a break before with them these women to do it should be running out of bread by now excellent I can put the Flies to last one of these I know you’re grateful for that cuz I am keep going on those tongue at this point trying to cheat keep your legs straight as possible off the ground into your chest alright alright so this time don’t take a two-minute break no clothes iron I am butterflies another crazy difficult so you know you earned it two minute break I want to reiterate don’t count just sets many as you can during each 30 second I’ll try to meet on tribal it’s not a race just something festive king while arresting i want to show you next exercise put your hands behind your heads crossing your legs now you use your but if you’re back to do a half circle and then another half circle the other way that’s what we’re doing and then when the 30 seconds is up you just put mountain climbers from wherever you’re at you’re nothing you want to try to do two half circles in that 30 seconds try you can’t go worry about that’s really don’t work your side in doing the work you reach your top ads in your bottom and side probably the hardest one of the day so I’m gonna start again in about 20 seconds know when you’re ready you can take a longer break stop the video stuff some you drink stretch out and come back man just try to finish the whole room TV no matter how many got a breast just try please the whole thing I’m stuck ideally be able to do a half circle for like four or five twist but if you can’t more into no problem I stopped his goon and you’ve got the twisties all right that’s akin a long time almost there remember protective your back straight when you’re doing this you know it’s not it’s not this no I keep your back straight spot Stewart again remember the way half circle and then turn into it other way that when you work each section in your ads equal start where you are and lose background hunt remember to pace yourself isn’t real hard it’s a break take a break now I’ll try to people with me the notes not you what i do i do it like i do it if the TV in your home your best your kid we’ve got one more step up its with the bad twist I don’t know what they call I’m calling maps with stuffing call them today she’s really feel it I never talk stronger this is the end see me struggling yeah it’s over yeah it’s always like i said like i said it’s gonna be livable routine you see me on the floor management i can do you know I don’t believe in cooling down cool down suckers man you good you just here to get yourself something to drink make sure you get protein shake or you don’t eat eat a big meal after it’s like a break man good man you take you got your cardio and your ab workout done for the day man you know and I don’t please don’t try to do this everyday you you would do more harm than good and like yeah it’ll be sore tomorrow menu tonight so don’t do this again until you’re not sore and we should be able to stretch and and not feel pain that’s how you know you can do it again so like right now just a couple stretches like lean back or whatever maybe need to go chill man take it easy man done hey man congratulations.