I have followed all the magazines advice through the years - finding as everyone does that one opinion conflicts with another opinion but have slowly but surely built up my own rules on what constitutes a good method to get great
6 pack abdominal definition.
I work as a
Veterinary Surgeon - very hectic schedule but for those who complain that there isn’t enough time in the day for the gym and work and everything else - I find a way!
You have to realise first of all what
body type you are and therefore how much body fat you need to lose (and how much cardio you need to do) to get the results you are aiming for. I am a more naturally muscular build (good genetics) and this does play a part in how good your abs will appear.
For those with higher body fat measurements then time to hit a good diet (see later) combined with hard sessions of cardio to burn it off. You can’t spot reduce, that is to say working loads of abdominal exercises doesn’t readily burn subcutaneous fat from that specific area - all you do is raise your metabolic rate and therefore burn fat from throughout your body reserves. If only it were that easy.
For my cardio I do it as part and parcel with my weight lifting - research shows that a good heavy lifting session with limited rest ( ie supersetting body parts) burns nearly as many calories as running on a treadmill. I also play squash once weekly and jog 2-3 times also but nothing too intense.
Workout wise I now do full body workouts using compound exercises (ie exercises recruiting multiple muscle groups during the rep) as this has been found to stimulate greater muscle growth in a shorter space of time compared to doing split sets of individual muscles per day (like chest mon, back tues, biceps wed etc).
I do a circuit of 1 chest, back, shoulder, biceps, triceps and finally leg exercises (3 x 8 reps of each) then start at the beginning and repeat - for example I would do-
Chest - flat bench
Back - pull ups wide grip
Shoulders - Smith machine press in front
Bis - Incline bicep curl
Tris - Cable lying extensions
Legs - machine squat
Then I start again on chest and do-
Chest - flys incline bench
Back - wide grip seated row to chest
Shoulders - cable front raise
Bis - concentration curls
Tris - standing rope tri extensions
Legs - calf raise
In the rest periods between sets I do my abs routine - so 1 set chest then ball curl next set chest then plank hold etc etc
I do three days on, one day off. Each day I follow the same pattern but select different exercises for the same bod parts each day so in 3 days I do 6 diff exercises for each body part.
My gains on this system have been rapid and pretty ripped.
In terms of abs I vary the exercise to keep them guessing - ball curls, roman chair with medicine ball between knees, plank hold, weight plank hold hanging knees to elbows, cable crunches, side plank etc etc I change it up v frequently - no abs workout is the same two days in a row. Form is also key - I do all exercise with reasonable weight and slow proper contractions, holding at the peak of contraction for 2 count then lowering - all exercises done this way from pull-ups to ball curls. Fast momentum based jerkin movements build nothing in my opinion - form is king.
In terms of diet I do the well documented 6-7 small meals a day, porridge for breakfast with some fruit and a few eggs, lunch could be beans on toast or pasta and chicken, dinner stir-fry chicken and veg with rice, in between each meal a protein shake and 2 bananas/apples totalling 6 meals a day. I aim for roughly 40g carbs and 30g protein each meal. I find it hard sometimes because of work to eat this regularly but I stick to it as close as possible. The 30 g protein is easily worked out but the carbs - all brown no refined white bread/rice/pasta - 40g constitutes 2 large bananas 3 potatoes, 100g pasta that I use, 3 slices of multigrain bread.
I believe that abs have become an obsession and are probably now the most wanted body improvement in men - dedication is all that’s required to achieve THE goal.
Good Luck with the