How many of us have asked our trainer, fit friend, or the internet.com, “How do you get abs?!”. After asking the age old question, how many times have we heard the tired adage, “Abs are made in the kitchen!” I am sure we have all heard this answer at one point if not many times before.

Yes, it’s true. The subcutaneous body fat that covers your abdominal muscles is a in factor in why you may not be seeing the definition in your torso that you’d like. While the food we choose to eat and how much we choose to eat is a large determining factor of visible abs, a large and often overlooked factor is whether or not you are WEIGHT training your abs.

What do we do when we have a particular body part we’d like to grow or see more defined? We target the area by lifting weights!

 

A few things to understand before going into a training program:

  1. Abs are often trained by doing hundreds of sit ups or crunches with out properly understanding their anatomical makeup and how they are activated. The rectus abdominis (better known as your “6-pack”) is best activated by removing the air from the torso and rounding the back. As for the obliques, twisting and crunching motions (favoring one side at a time) is the best way to activate them.
  2. Rounding the back is often a lifting no-no. When you are focused on building your abs, the opposite is true. While you can access your abs by keeping your torso straight and tall, the best way to target growth and definition is to get a deep contraction which occurs by bringing your abdominal muscles closer together. This can help build a mind to muscle connection so that you can feel your abs and each section of your torso more easily as you keep weight training your abs.
  3. Breathing is a huge factor when trying to access your abs! Anytime you crunch, or tighten your torso, exhale! Rid the air from your lungs to become as tight and small as possible. When you are resetting or opening up again, inhale.

 

Week 1 Program:

Day 1:

Superset:

  • Weighted Cable Crunch 4 x 12
  • Side Dip 4 x 8 ea

Hanging Leg raises 4 x 15

Day 2:

Superset:

  • Weighted Hold Crunch 4 x 12
  • Hanging Side Knee Crunches 4 x 6 ea

Bench Leg Raise with Kick at Top 4 x 12

Day 3:

Ab Wheel roll outs 4 x 12

T Side dip and Crunch (optional weighted) 4×10 ea

Day 4:

Superset:

  • Hanging Knee Twist 4 x 6 ea. side
  • TRX Pike 4 x 10-12

Plank 3 x 1 minute

30 sec rest between sets

Week 2 Program:

Increase weights  from previous week.

Day 1:

Superset:

  • Weighted Cable Crunch 4 x 10
  • Side Dip 4 x 8 ea

Hanging Leg Raises 4 x 15

Day 2:

Superset:

  • Weighted Hold Crunch 4 x 10
  • Hanging Side Knee Crunches 4 x 6 ea

Bench Leg Raise with Kick at Top 4 x 10

Day 3:

Superset:

Ab Wheel Roll Outs 4 x 10

T Side Dip and Crunch (optional weighted) 4×8-10 ea

Day 4:

Superset:

  • Hanging Knee Twist 4 x 10
  • TRX Pike 4 x 10-12

Plank 5 x 1 minute

30 sec rest between sets

 

In Strength,

Coach Rileigh Lienemann