If insanity can be defined as doing the same thing and expecting a different result, then a lot of lunatics are doing an awful lot of sit-ups among other similar belly fat exercises. Most of us treat ab training as a necessary chore, methodically racking up reps with the same intensity we apply to flossing our teeth. Same lethargic routine, same stagnant progress, and still we do it all over again next time. It’s time to stop the madness.
Fearing a bigger waist, many people do high reps precisely to avoid growing their abs. They want to keep their waists toned and defined – the classic chiseled look.
Fear not: the abs typically don’t grow much, even with heavy weights and low reps. Furthermore, to get the look you seek – deep abdominal definition – you need to maximize your midsection muscle. Just as a sculptor chiseling a statue’s waist day after daywould quickly find himself shaving off details, you can’t simply subtract your way to great abs. You need to do some addition.
The following 3 month training program is designed to add to your abs by both increasing the intensity and altering the stress each month. Here’s the plan:
The focus is one endurance, though not with the endless reps too many people do. Instead, utilize moderate reps and intensity with limited sets.
Hanging Knee Raises: Hang from an overhead bar. With your knees bent 90 degrees flex your abs to curl you hips toward your chest. Do controlled, fluid movements without swinging.
Rope Cable Crunch: Grasp a rope attached to a high pulley at a cable station. Kneel on the floor facing the station and hold the rope slightly above your head. Flex your abs to pull your shoulders down towards your hips. Hold briefly at each contraction.
Russian Twist: Lie face-up on the floor. Extend your arms overhead, grasping something secure. Keeping your shoulders on the floor but elevating your hips slightly, extend your legs above you and slowly lower them to the floor on the right side. Reverse to touch the floor on the left side.
Do 3 sets of 15 reps on each exercise.
With the emphasis on strength and growth, you’ll increase the intensity and rest periods. The exercises chosen will work your mid-section in conjunction with stabilizing muscles.
Prone Back Extension: Lie face down on the floor. Secure your ankles and hold your arms out straight in front of you. Raise your shoulders and chest off the floor as high as possible. Hold briefly.
Exercise Ball Crunch: Lie face up on a Swiss ball and place your feet on the floor. Pick a point on the ceiling and focus throughout the movement on it. The closer together your feet are, the less stable your position and thus the more difficult the exercise.
Roman Chair Back Extension: Position yourself face down in a Roman Chair. Bend at the hips until your upper body is at a 90 degree angle to your lower body, then return tothe start position.
Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each exercise.
The final phase focuses on strength and power with moderate to heavy reps and intensity. Speed plays a crucial role. The first three exercises are plyometric and should be performed explosively to activate fast-twitch fibers.
Hanging Leg Raise with medicine ball kick-back: Hang from an overhead bar so your feet almost touch the floor. Have someone roll a medicine ball toward your feet. When the ball reaches you, kick it away as you bring your legs up.
Exercise Ball Crunch with medicine ball throw: Do a crunch on a Swiss ball and throw a medicine ball to a partner at the top of each rep. Hold the contracted position as your partner throws the ball back to you. Use your abs to resist the direction of the ball as you return to the starting position.
Cable Woodchopper: Stand at a cable station so that the high pulley is above and in front of your right shoulder. Grasp a D-handle with both hands. Pull it across to the front of your body to your left hip, rotating at the waist. Work both sides.
Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each exercise.
With this plan in hand, your days of mindlessly ripping out on the same no intensity, standard belly fat exercises are over. Not only will you now be putting an end to boring ab training, but you’ll be crafting a strong, ripped mid-section.