ABS of The Month Joe Haywood

Joe Haywood
Age: 29

Height: 5ft 8″

Weight: 175 pounds

Body Fat: 8%

Favorite Body Part: Abs and Forearms

How I got started?

I got started working out by playing sports as a youth. I have never stopped since. I played football, basketball, ran track and power lifted throughout high school. I then decided to join the Army and was enlisted for 5 years . Fitness has become a passion for me and I have always been interested in the body and how it works. This led me to completing my certifications in Personal Training, Corrective Exercise and Performance Enhancement. I then completed my Bachelors Degree in Fitness and Wellness. Once I really got grasp on how the body works I really started taking training and nutrition more seriously.

What keeps me motivated?

Looking at magazines and meeting other people that have a better physique then me keeps me motivated. I am trying to become a fitness model/competitor and like most other people that train, be in magazines. Also being a personal trainer you are a walking billboard for your services. Nobody wants to take advice on nutrition and fitness from somebody that does not look in shape. As a trainer you can have all of the knowledge in the world on training, but most people that are trying to get a six pack are not going to want to pay somebody to train them that does not have a nice set of abs.

How often do you train your abs and how do you approach your training?

I really don’t train my abs that often. Maybe one or two times a week. I have actually gone weeks at a time without training them. If your body fat percentage is low enough around 12% or under, your abs will be visible. I see people in the gym doing hundreds of crunches and weighted ab exercises with a layer of fat covering their abs. A lot of people are under the misconception that training their abs frequently and for long periods of time will flatten their stomach. Doing all of this will lead you to a bad back before it leads you to six pack abs. These same people usually also believe in spot reduction which is not possible. I also wouldn’t train my chest, shoulders or arms everyday so I don’t believe in training my abs everyday. The rectus abdominis, which make up the six pack, is muscle like any other and needs time to rest after it is trained to rebuild itself. Training Abs too much can actually have a negative effect on their growth. When I am training for a shoot or competition I will train my abs 3 times a week to gain that extra definition. I usually do a circuit of 3-4 exercises using high repetitions of 15 to failure on each exercise making sure to keep an emphasis on keeping proper form. I take 45 to 60 second rest periods in between exercises. I will repeat the circuit 2-3 times. I also make sure that the exercises that I chose for the circuit hit all planes of motions.

What exercises are your favorites?

A few of my favorite exercises are hanging knee raises, reverse crunches, swiss-ball crunches, swiss-ball oblique crunches and anti-rotation cable presses.

What is a typical days diet intake?

My typical days diet consist of 6-7 small meals a day, eaten around 2- 3 hours apart. Breakfast will be my largest meal of the day with the rest of the meals continuing to get smaller as the day goes on. All meal will contain a lean protein source. I try to never eat the same protein source in two consecutive meals. The majority of my Complex/Starchy carbohydrates will be consumed early in the day. Fibrous vegetables will make up the majority of carbohydrates eaten after 5PM.  A typical days diet will look like this.

830AM– 2 packets of Original Instant Oatmeal mixed with a ½ scoop whey protein and raisins,  1 banana, and 6 egg whites

1130AM – 50g whey protein shake, 1 pack instant original oatmeal

200PM – 1  medium sized Potato , 8 oz grilled chicken, 1 cup Broccoli

430PM – (Pre- Work Out)6 Egg whites, 1 slice of wheat bread with peanut butter

600PM – (Post-Work Out) 50g Whey Protein Shake, 1 Peach

2130PM – 8oz Salmon, 1 cup Broccoli

Before Bed if Hungry- 25g Casein Protein Shake

How much cardio do you do?

I usually do cardio 3-4 times a week for approximately 20 to 30  minutes. I switch cardio equipment every session using a HIIT routine. This is always done after my upper body weight training. I do not do cardio on leg training days.  When preparing for a photo shoot/ competition I will do my cardio as soon as I wake up on an empty stomach. I use a slow to moderate intensity starting off at 30 minutes the first week. Depending on my progress I will add 5 minutes to the time weekly. By photo shoot/competition time I will do between 60 to 90 minutes of cardio daily.

How often do you weight train?

I weight train 6 days a week. My weight training sessions last 45-60 minutes and never more. Weight training more then an hour at a high intensity can put you body into a catabolic(Muscle wasting) state. My rest periods between sets are never more then 1 minute. After a minute your anabolic (Muscle building) hormone levels start to decrease. Here is a sample workout out.

Day 1: Chest, Calves

Incline Dumbbell Press or Incline Barbell Press:  4 sets (15, 12, 10, 8 reps)
Superset w/ 15 push-ups before next exercise

Flat Dumbbell Press or Flat Barbell Press: 4 sets (15, 12, 10, 8 reps)
Superset w/ 15 push-ups before next exercise

Decline Dumbbell or Barbell press:  4 sets (15, 12, 10, 8 reps)
Superset w/ 15 push-ups before next exercise

Dumbbell or Machine Flys: 4 sets (15, 12, 10, 8 reps)

Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets 15 reps full range of motion immediately followed by 15 reps half range of motion.

Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets 15 reps full range of motion immediately followed by 15 reps half range of motion

Day 2: Back

Warm-up w/ Pull-ups: 4 sets of 10 each (2 wide, 2 narrow)

Lat Pull-Downs (wide): 4 sets (15, 12, 10, 8 reps

Bent over Barbell Rows: 4 sets-2 overhand, 2 underhand (15 reps each)

One-arm Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets (15, 12, 10, 8 reps)

Seated Rows: 4 sets (15 reps each)

Hyperextensions: 4 sets (10 reps)

Day 3: Quadriceps

Leg extensions: 4 sets (15 reps each) Superset with (10 reps) one leg at a time

Front Squats : 4 sets (15 reps each)

Leg press: 4 sets (15 reps each)

Walking lunges: 4 sets of 10-15 reps each leg

Day 5: Shoulders, Calves

Military press or Dumbbell press: 4 sets (15, 12, 10, 8 reps)

Dumbbell Lateral raises: 4 sets (15 reps each)

Dumbbell front raises: 4 sets-2 sets overhand, 2 sets hammer-grip (12-15 reps each

Rear delts raises: 4 sets (15 reps each)

Shrugs : 4 sets (15 reps each)

Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets 15 reps full range of motion immediately followed by 15 reps half range of motion

Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets 15 reps full range of motion immediately followed by 15 reps half range of motion

Day 6: Arms

Standing EZ Bar Curls: 4 sets-2 narrow-grip, 2 wide-grip (15 reps each), Superset w/ Hammer Strength Dips: (4 sets 15 reps)

Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls (Incline Bench): (4 sets 15 reps each), Superset w/ Dumbbell Triceps extensions- (15 reps)

Preacher curls w/ EZ Curl Bar: (4 sets 8-10 reps), Superset w/ Overhead EZ Bar Triceps extensions: (4 sets 15 reps each)

One-arm reverse grip cable push-downs: 4 sets (15 reps each)
Superset w/ cable machine bicep curls (15 reps each)

Day 7: Hamstrings

Seated leg curls: (4 sets 15 reps) Superset w/ Lying single leg curls:(4 sets 15 reps)

Leg Press-very wide stance w/ feet pointed outward 45 degrees: (4 sets 15 reps)

Machine Abductors: (4 sets 25 reps)

Smith-machine squats w/ very wide stance: (4 sets 15 reps)

Barbell Dead-lifts: (4 sets 15 reps)

What would be your top five tips for getting great abs?

I feel like saying diet 5 times but I wont do that. But I would say that diet is 80% of achieving great abs.

  1. DIET is the most important thing. Your body fat percentage need to be low enough to make you abs visible. I’m sure that everyone has heard the sayings “You are what you eat” or “ Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym”. Believe them, they are true statements.
  2. CARDIO is a must to burn the extra calories that you consume and prevent them from being stored as fat.
  3. EDUCATION is a great advantage to attaining great abs. Understanding how the body functions and metabolizes foods will give you a better ideal on what foods to eat and how the body responds to different training.
  4. DEDICATION is a must. You have to be dedicated to your diet and training. After a while those this will become second nature and eventually a lifestyle instead of a hassle.

5. PATIENCE is crucial. You are not going to see results overnight or even in a couple weeks. If you stay motivated and dedicated to your diet and workout, your six pack will have no choice but to come.

All the best guys and good luck with The SixPackNow Plan!

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