If you over do it, you’ll end up over training your abs.
I’m going to go over my 3 best abb workouts that I use for different phases.
There’s 2 phases; the build up phase and the cut down phase.
Depending on which one I’m doing will depend on the type of ab workout that I’ll do, but generally, I like to keep it heavy when it comes to training abs.
I’ll get to what that means here in a bit.
My 3 Best Abb Workouts – Build Up Phase
In the build up phase, we’ll be building our abdominal muscles.
The first time that I cut down in weight, I lost a whole bunch of weight but didn’t see much muscle definition in the stomach area.
I believed the “everybody has abs” clan who said that you don’t need to train abs.
The fact is, if you want defined abs, you need train them and you need to train them hard!
That means we need to add resistance and/or weight to our exercises to properly stimulate growth in the abs.
I like to keep reps in the 10-15 rep range and always going to failure until I can’t do another repetition.
With this phase, I’ll do one exercise and then rest for about 1-2 minutes, and then do another set or another exercise and then rest 1-2 minutes and repeat for a total of about 3-5 sets.
That’s 3-5 heavy sets of ab exercises TOTAL, not 3-5 sets per exercise.
As you can see, it’s not a whole lot of work because the intensity is HIGH.
When the intensity is high and you’re using heavy weight/resistance, you’ll need to lower the total volume to avoid over training.
Here’s the exercises that I feel are the best to build up your ab muscles:
1) Hanging Leg Raises
This is where you hang on a bar and lift up your feet as high as you can. Try to lift up your legs towards your head.
2) Decline Crunch W/Heavy Weight
This exercise is performed on a decline bench with a heavy weight. Hold the weight on your chest if you can and crunch.
3) Cable Crunches
Performed on a cable machine with a rope attachment. Use as much weight as you can for a total of 10-15 reps.
4) Captains Chair Leg Raises
This is performed on a captains chair with the back support. Simply raise up your legs as straight as possible to around mid to high ab area. If you can’t do it with your legs straight, you can bend your knees just a bit. For extra resistance, hold a weight between your legs.
Those are my top choices for ab work. These exercises allows you to add resistance so you can continue to progress and get stronger.
You can do one set of each for a total of 4 heavy sets and you’re done with abs. Work on the abs no more than about 3 times a week and you’ll see great results!
My 3 Best Abb Workouts – Cut Down Phase
In this phase, we’re looking to lose some weight so we can see our abs.
We’re done with the build up phase, we’ve got us a good 6 pack going on and now we want to get them sharp and defined.
That means we need to cut some fat around the mid-section to reveal our hard work.
I usually like to keep my ab training hard and heavy when cutting down just like the build up phase above, but if I want to lose some extra calories and get that burning feeling, I’ll do a circuit routine.
I’ll do the above 4 exercises with a little bit less weight for higher reps in the 20-30 rep range.
I’ll do one exercise, then immediately go to the next so on and so forth.
Here’s an example:
1) I’ll start with the hanging leg raise as that’s usually the hardest to do. I’ll do 20 reps then immediately move on to…
2) Decline crunch with a weight. I’ll do about 20 reps and then immediately move on to…
3) Captains chair leg raises for 20 reps then immediately move on to…
4) Cable crunches to failure.
The only exercise I go to failure on with this routine is the last one, all the other exercises I’ll just do 20-30 reps and top a few reps before failure.
Once you get through one cycle of the above 4 exercises, rest for 1 minute and repeat for 2-3 total cycles.
You’re guaranteed to get a burn and an awesome workout!
My 3 Best Abb Workouts – Mix
The last workout is a mix of the 2 phases. This can be performed at anytime and is really something I do whenever I get bored with the same routine.
I’ll simply do my “build up” routine above first, and then I’ll do 1 or 2 cycles of the “cut down phase”.
You’re getting a mixture of strength and endurance when you combine the 2.
I don’t recommend you do this more than a few times a month as you can easily burn out and possibly even over train your abs.
The key with abb workouts is to keep it simple!