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A lot has been said about ab training in the past. A six-pack is one of the most desired muscle group for a man. Anyone who says otherwise might be lying. Look around your gym and you’ll find people crunching away all their time in the gym.
The reason most people can’t achieve the abs of their dream is because they’re training them too often or they might be overtraining. You can’t blame gym novices for this mistake. These people are told to work their abdominal muscles daily to see quick results.
Bro scientists are usually the culprit behind making these beginners go through these workouts. If you have been working out your abs for a long time but have not seen any results yet, it’s time you take a step back. There are things you’re doing wrong which you need to take care of in order to see results.
How Often And How Much Should You Be Training Your Abs?
It’s not only about how often you train your abs. Some people understand training their abdominal muscles every day can be counterproductive. They compensate for this by completely exhausting and overtraining their abs once a week.
Your abs are a very small muscle group. You can’t train them like you would train your legs and expect them to grow. You need to be working your abs in moderation to see the best results. If this helps, the fitness models on magazine covers don’t train their abs daily.
How Often Should You Hit Your Abs?
The frequency of your ab workouts completely depends upon your goals. Different people have different goals. If you are a powerlifter, your goals might be different as compared to a bodybuilder. Hence, your ab workouts will be different too.
For a bodybuilder, it’s important to have a well-defined physique. It is a sport where people are judged on their muscle definition and conditioning. A well-toned six-pack can make a huge difference in a competition. You will never see a competitor on stage without some well-carved abs.
Although it’s important for a bodybuilder to build abs, you shouldn’t be training them more than twice a week. Even in this time, it’s important to take at least 48 hours off between your abdominal workouts. Your abs are a relatively smaller muscle group which need time to recover.
The main focus of a powerlifter is to lift as much weight as humanly possible. This is the reason most of them give for not being in shape and having bloated bellies. A solid set of abs is much more than just aesthetically appealing.
It provides a solid core. A strong core plays a huge role in strongmen training. You can’t expect to lift heavy weights over your head without injuring yourself if you don’t have a strong midsection. A powerlifter should be working his abs at least once a week.
Fitness Enthusiast – Newbie
There might be chances you consider yourself in the ‘fitness enthusiast’ category. You might have joined the gym just to lift some weights and stay in shape but this can be no excuse to not training your abs.
If everything else fails to motivate you, a study conducted by the researchers at Western Illinois University concluded abs were one of the sexiest body parts in men, according to women. So, work your abs at least once a week.
Intensity Of Your Ab Workouts
Now that you’re training your abs, don’t go all out and completely smoke them. It can be counterproductive to your goal of having a well-defined and chiseled midriff. Since your abs are a relatively smaller muscle group, you don’t need to be doing 15 sets.
Bro scientists at your gym might guide you to treat your abdominal muscles just like you would treat any other muscle group. They can’t be any more misleading. You recruit your abdominal in almost all the exercises and thus don’t need to do another 12-15 sets just to exhaust them.
You’re good doing six sets of ab training. These six sets should consist of a superset of two exercises. Make sure you include exercises which focus on your abs and obliques. Do anywhere between 12-15 reps of these exercises and you’ll be on your way to building abs of steel.
Start with a hanging leg raises. Keep the movement as strict as possible and do anywhere between 12-15 reps. Switch to a Russian side twist. Hold a plate you’ll be comfortable doing 12-15 reps. Don’t let your ego get in the way of building some solid abs.
After completing one superset, rest for a minute and get back to it. At the end of this workout, your abs will be completely exhausted and be asking for mercy. Make sure you keep the intensity high through the six sets.