Welcome to the most comprehensive and best abs workout and nutrition guide. Let me show you how to improve your midsection for FREE!
Last Updated: 6/25/2019
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From the desk of Justin Leonard:
Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a well-defined set of abs?
Does it seem impossible to get that prized midsection you’ve always wanted?
My website, Abdominal Secrets Revealed, will teach you virtually everything you need to know in order to achieve great abs in the shortest amount of time possible. Best of all, it’s completely FREE! If you’re serious about your goals and you want to enhance the way your abs look, you’ve come to the right place. This website will teach you the following:
- How to train abs effectively
- Useful tips for improving the way your abs look
- Dietary tips that actually work
- Abdominal exercises that get results
- Ridiculous abs workout myths
- Answers to commonly asked questions
Know someone who might benefit from Abdominal Secrets Revealed? Tell them about this site.
Let’s get started…
The proper way to train abs is widely debated by experts. In reality, what works for someone else may not work for you. Since everyone has a different body type, results will vary from person to person.
Best Abs Exercises
There are several exercises you can do for abs. Many of which are ineffective for isolating the rectus abdominis (the “six pack”). However, most exercises offer some benefit; even if it’s just burning more calories from repetitive movements.
There are several noteworthy abdominal exercises. Below are just a few that should be considered for any abdominal training program:
Most already know how to perform this exercise. It is basic, yet highly effective. Abdominal crunches can be performed on various surfaces (mats, balls, etc.).
From the supine position (on your back), contract your abdomen, then return to the starting position. The neck should elevate only a few inches from the ground. Never crank the neck. It should literally remain in a relatively static position during the entire movement. Crunches should be performed in a slow and controlled fashion. You should exhale as you contract your abs.
Here is the same exercise performed on a stability ball:
Please connect with me at workoutz.com for more FREE exercise video demonstrations, premium fitness equipment, and more! You can also see more personalized workout programs.
2. Twisting Crunches
Twisting crunches are similar to regular crunches, except the main focus is on the oblique muscles, which are located on the sides of the abdomen.
From a supine position (lying down on your back with head facing up), crunch the abdomen. As you near the end of the movement, twist your torso as far as you can. Focus on “crunching” each side of your abs. When done correctly, you should feel the burn in the oblique muscles.
Sample Abs Workout Program
The following chart shows how a typical abs workout might be structured. This template gives you the freedom to add unlimited variety to your workouts.
|Crunches||up to 5||10 or more|
|Side Crunches||up to 5||10 or more|
To get the most out of your workout, try to hold each contraction/repetition (aka “rep”) for approximately three seconds. The key is to perform the exercise slowly so that it is more effective. As you contract the abs, breathe out (simultaneously). It should take less than 15 minutes to complete a moderate to vigorous intensity ab workout. As you progress, you can slowly begin to add exercises and/or repetitions to make the workout more challenging.
Useful Abs Nutrition Advice
“You don’t have to diet. Try diet modification instead.”
The fastest way to improve your midsection is through nutrition modification. Here’s the thing: Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. But you should never go on a trendy diet to achieve your goals. Sure, you will find temporary success. But in the end you will fail in your endeavors. A better strategy is to use the diet modification technique, which involves eating the foods you love, but in a way that allows you to tighten up your midsection. “Dieting” requires too many inconvenient nutritional sacrifices which cannot be sustained indefinitely. The reason is because there will be health consequences, which will either be mental or physical. Your body will literally tell you, “Something isn’t right” or “I can’t do this anymore.”
Listed below are helpful diet modification techniques:
What is the best way to diet for awesome abs? For many, a caloric reduction is suggested. When you eat and don’t burn enough calories, you increase your chances of storing excess bodyfat. A caloric reduction is the first step in getting flat abs. It will help to minimize the amount of excess energy available for the body to store as fat.
The use of protein shakes or meal replacement drinks can be a highly effective tool in caloric reduction and overall nutrient balance. These convenient, on-the-go meals may also help to curb the appetite.
Portion sizes count! A low fat diet can still result in a protracted gut. The stomach is an incredible organ that can “make room” for unusual amounts of food. So one way to shrink your belly is to reduce the amount of food it can hold. This can be accomplished by simply controlling the quantity of food you eat; particularly in one sitting. You in essence have to create a virtual Lap-Band(TM) or stomach staple in order to reduce the amount of food the stomach can hold.
Change The Way You Think
Psychology plays an integral role in achieving and maintaining a lean midsection. There are a multitude of environmental stimuli which profoundly impact how we behave. Here are just two examples:
The first is with regard to dietary habits. Many of us have been conditioned to “clean our plates” because there are starving kids in the world. This horrible logic gets passed on from generation to generation. While this may be true, it also leads to overeating which can result in obesity, and subsequently, a myriad of metabolic disorders.
The second example… Don’t be so quick to buy that economically priced value meal at your favorite restaurant. The food industry has conditioned us to pick meals based on value. Such deals are hard to refuse and they make sense financially: If you buy item X plus item Y, then item Z is only 40 cents more. Avoid these deals as much as you can. Instead, consider buying only the sandwich and the smallest drink they sell. Skip the fries/chips, as you will save tons of calories (and the 40 cents).
Listed below are three sample nutritional programs that I have used with success. They are provided as general guidelines and should never be tested without approval from a doctor or licensed/certified nutrition expert. Each plan is intended to accommodate my individual needs. For example, if I only have time to eat four times per day, then I use program #1. Alternatively, I can start with nutrition program #1, then progress to programs #2 and #3 as needed.
Sample Nutrition Program #1 (one shake, 2 small meals, 1 light snack)
Meal 1: Light breakfast
Meal 2: Small meal
Meal 3: Snack
Meal 4: Small meal
Sample Nutrition Program #2 (two shakes, 2 small meals, 1 light snacks)
Meal 1: Meal replacement drink/protein shake
Meal 2: Snack
Meal 3: Small meal
Meal 4: Meal replacement drink/protein shake
Meal 5: Small meal
Sample Nutrition Program #3 (two shakes, 2 small meals, 2 light snacks)
Meal 1: Light breakfast
Meal 2: Snack
Meal 3: Meal replacement drink/protein shake
Meal 4: Snack
Meal 5: Small meal
Meal 6: Meal replacement drink/protein shake
Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.
Next, with one example I’ll explain how I apply the proper nutrients to each abs diet plan for best results. The indicated food choices are just a few of the possibilities. I vary the food selections often to meet my individual needs. The following example applies to Sample Nutrition Program #2:
Protein shake with any fruit blended in
Cinnamon raisin bagel (half), applesauce or pineapple chunks, water or water-based beverage of choice (preferably natural fruit juices or watered down sugar drinks)
Half sandwich (6 inch), fruit cup/cocktail, water or water-based beverage of choice
Protein shake with fruit mixed in
Seasoned chicken strips with spinach, 1 dinner roll, any dessert (up to 200 kcals), water or water-based beverage of choice
Is it bad to eat late at night?
No. The metabolism constantly burns calories at all hours of the day. The late night rule is folklore that is almost certainly derived from non-scientists. Your favorite athlete definitely eats late at night. Overeating and prolonged physical inactivity is what you want to watch out for, and not so much the time at which you eat. If you are physically active, there should be no reason to eliminate food late at night, as your energy expenditure is always elevated… even while you sleep.
Typically, those with more lean muscle mass have a higher metabolic rate. So if you really want to boost your resting metabolic rate, incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Surprisingly, strength training has a better effect on metabolism than cardiovascular training. Reason? Muscles consume more energy usage because of their cell size. The cells (myocytes) are larger than other cells. They also have more capillaries, which are essential for oxygen and nutrient delivery. Simply put, the body has to expend more energy to service and feed lean muscle.
It is important to note that you must still perform cardiovascular activity regularly. But adding lean muscle mass will enhance your fat burning efforts considerably.
My main points:
- Be cognizant of caloric intake (but don’t count calories)
- Protein or meal replacement supplements may be helpful
- Eat high-calorie foods in moderation but never eliminate them from your diet
- Show restraint and eat smaller meal portions when possible; especially in restaurants
- Change the way you think; rid your brain of bad traditions, bad habits, and folklore
- Don’t be tempted by popular fad diets; use my diet modification technique instead
Helpful Abdominal Tips
Tip #1: Perform cardiovascular activity before your abs workout.
When the body is warmed up as a result of cardiovascular activity, it may allow for a better contraction on the abs when you work them. In essence, the warm up enables you to better feel the deep muscular burning sensation when your abs are worked. It also helps to prevent abdominal pulls or muscle strains.
Tip #2: Minimize rest time in between exercises.
Limit rest time in between each exercise to about 1 minute or less. This technique makes your workout more “aerobic” and keeps the heart rate elevated, which may promote fat burning at a greater rate during exercise. The term aerobic means “using oxygen.”
Absurd Myths About Abs
You must train abs for several hours for them to be defined.
In reality, long workouts provide no additional benefit for your abs. It may even cause them to get weaker as a result of overtraining. As previously mentioned, effective ab workouts are typically short in duration.
Fat burners will help me burn fat around my abs.
Although they can be effective temporarily, fat burners do not target specific areas of the body. Fat is burned throughout the entire body. I mentioned earlier that most fat loss will come as a result of both diet modification and exercise.
I have to go on a strict diet to get flat abs.
In fact, with the diet modification technique outlined above, anyone can turn their abs into a decent work of art. You do not have to go on an extreme diet to see results. Instead, simply aim to be more cognizant of the types and amounts of food you eat.
My six pack abs will show up better if I incorporate weighted abdominal training into my routine.
Don’t waste your time. Unless you are looking to build strength, weights provide no additional benefit for your abs. Abs will never grow as the larger muscles of the body do (e.g. legs or chest). The increase in abdominal thickness is minimal with abdominal training. Why is this? Well, it’s because the abs are predominately a type 1 muscle fiber, which means that they are highly resistant to fatigue. If they were meant to grow in size, they would have type 2 fibers as we see in the larger muscles of the body.
Here’s the truth…
To get your abs to show up better, you have to sculpt them. The sculpting of the abs is best done with a combination of sound nutrition and exercise, not weighted abdominal training.
I can eat fattening meals because if I workout, I can easily burn if off.
In some cases, this is true. There are many who have genes that can quickly metabolize any type of food as usable energy. However, many cannot eat high-calorie meals consistently and get away with it.
I should do leg lifts and leg raises to target my lower abs.
This is a classic myth. Leg lifts are not Justin Leonard approved. The abdominal muscle, which is scientifically referred to as the rectus abdominis, functions as a single muscle. Lower and upper abs are not separate muscle groups. Need proof?
1. Get into the crunch position and touch your “lower” abs.
2. Now slowly lift your upper back off the ground to perform a crunch.
3. Be sure to keep your neck straight.
Did you feel that? The lower and upper portion of the abs contract in unison. Bottom line: You cannot single out the lower abs. It is true, however, that the fibers of the lower abdomen tend to contract more so than do the upper abs during the later phase of the leg lift exercise.
If I do hundreds of sit-ups everyday, I’ll have toned abs.
Exercise alone does not define the abs. However, exercise may make the abs more prominent once the fat has been removed from around them as a result of both exercise and/or nutrition modification.
Abs Questions & Answers
How can I get a six-pack?
Anyone can have defined abs with a few key concepts and techniques. Everyone actually has a good set of abs; it’s just a matter of removing the fat and sculpting them through nutrition and exercise.
How many sit-ups should I do to tone my abs?
Remember, nutrition is what mainly “tones” the abs. Total body exercise should be your second choice in your quest for the prized six pack.
What is the best way to lose fat around my midsection?
The best way to burn fat over the entire body is through diet modification and exercise. The human body burns fat best when calories are reduced and you are consistent with a diet that doesn’t exceed the demands of your daily physical activity level. In addition, supplementation with thermogenic formulas, meal replacements, and whey protein may be beneficial. Check with your doctor to ensure such products are safe.
What is the best abdominal exercise?
There is no single best exercise per se, but if I had to choose, it would be the traditional abdominal crunch with the knees elevated on a bench or workout ball. With the knees elevated, it minimizes the need for hip flexor involvement, which are the primary muscles used during leg lift exercises.
What is the best way to train the abs?
Consider performing all ab exercises using high repetitions. The abs have a high level of resistance to muscle fatigue. Rest time in between sets should be kept to a minimum.
How often should I train my abs?
Opinions vary from training abs just once a week to every single workout. The key thing to remember is that everyone has a different body type and different goals. Test different training intervals to find out which method works best for your body. For starters, consider training the abs once or twice per week.
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