Most people like to train abs more than any other body part, but few people train abs correctly. When it comes to ab training, it isn’t all about numbers – endless super-high reps or marathon sets of crunches and situps. You have to mix it up constantly if you hope to build a shredded midsection. Training variable such as exercise variety and order, the number of reps and sets you do in your workout need to change with some regularity and your abs must be trained in all three plan of motion, with weight and from a number of different positions. The more you mix things up, the more your abs will respond to your training and the more attainable that elusive six-pack will be. Below we have list 8 ab training principles to help build deeply etched and shredded abs.
Train your abs at least 2 times a week and up up to 6 days per week. This is because your abs are postural muscles that stay flexed for long periods to support the spine. As such, they have a higher percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers than other body parts and require more regular training for adequate stimulation. However, depending on the load you place on them from one workout to the next, you might need more days of rest before you train them again. For example, if you perform weighted exercises during your ab session, you are going to need additional rest days compared to sessions where you strictly use bodyweight exercises.
The more days per week you train abs, the lower the total number of sets should be performed. In general, you should train your abs in the 2-4-set range depending on how many times per week you train them. But adjust your training volume accordingly. If you train abs, say, twice a week, perform four sets per exercise. On the other hand, if you do abs 4-5 times a week, do just two sets per exercise.
3. Exercise Selection
Choose a total of four moves each time you train abs, one for each of the different areas: upper abs, lower abs, obliques and transverse abdominis. This will allow you to build overall balance and symmetry in your midsection.
4. Priority and timing
Prioritize your ab training session by beginning your ab training with the weakest link in your ab region. For most of us, this means the lower abs. If this is your weakest area, do exercises such as reverse crunches before moving on to your stronger areas. If obliques are your weakness, do oblique crunches first.
Many people avoid using weights when performing ab exercises for fear that their abs will become thick and blocky. Yet abs are muscles just like biceps, so they need definition and separation to stand out. So use varying degrees of resistance if you really want your abs to show. Do weighted exercises using a cable station or a lightweight plate or dumbbell to make your abs pop and more pronounced. On the other hand, use your own bodyweight as resistance, if you just want to maintain a flat and lean midsection.
The rep range you choose to work within is critical to how your abs develop and show when your bodyfat is low. If your goal is maintain a flat and lean midsection, use your own bodyweight as resistance and keep your reps between 15 and 30. However, If you feel your abs need to grow so you can see them better, then do some weighted movements in the 8–10-rep range, which is standard for optimal ab development.
With ab training, timing is crucial. Always Train abs after your weight session. This is because your abs are so important for stability and spinal safety and it’s critical not to get them too fatigued before a rigorous workout on large bodyparts, such as legs and legs.
Just as you need to change up your exercises, weights, be sure to modify your rep speeds to meet your goals. Incorporate fast reps by going explosive on the positive, but going slow and controlled on the negative. The fast reps will help recruit more muscle fibers which are ideal for building strength and power as well as for burning body fat. You can also change your rep speed from slow and controlled to fast and explosive. This will force you to utilize more fast-twitch muscle fibers to build more power, strength and size.