We all know that gymnastics have a well-defined, super strong and athletic set of abs which many of us (if not all) admire and envy. By incorporating a few of their exercise in the end of your workout routine, regardless of what it is, you are making your core stronger and develop all of the four main muscles in your core (which are the Rectus Abdominis, Transvenous Abodominis, and the external and internal obliques). In theory, the process and training to get six pack are pretty simple. All you need to do is to be persistent, perform the right exercises that are effective for your core and keep your diet on point. In Calisthenics for Life, we believe that “abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen”.
It Is Mostly About Body Fat
If you have a super strong core muscles with amazing muscular development but with a super high body fat percentage, you will not notice your abs (not even with glasses). The lower the body fat, the more visible your abs are. That is a fact! We believe that the optimal range of body fat for most men is around 10-12% and around 20% for women. However, When your body fat percentage is too low (such as in bodybuilding competitions), you will start experiencing hormonal imbalances and decreased workout performance. In extreme cases, super low body fat can even lead to heart attack:(.
The General Training Blueprint
To get those aesthetic six-pack your training plan should ideally include both, dynamic and static exercises, that will allow a full muscular development of your abdominal muscles. Dynamic exercises include leg raises, windshields, crunches, etc. Static exercises include the plank, L-sit and the challenging front and back lever. Ideally, it is the best to include both.
The crazy 5 mins Abs workout – Sample routine
Not everyone has hours each week to train their abs. Therefore, we’ll use a simple workout routine that uses supersets to make your abs workout more time efficient. Perform the following exercises for 3 circuits in order:
Leg raises variation (for 30s)
Diagonal Abs Wheel Roll Outs (for 30s)
Any plank variation (45s)
*Remember: Follow the above routine consistently (2 -3 times a week) for optimal results. Switch the exercises up every few months to keep challenging your core, and progress in the gym (or outside of it).
Bonus Question: Can I bulk and still make my abs more visible?
Undoubtedly, that’s a very interesting and common question. The short answer is only two words: it depends. The long answer is that if you are a beginner or have an amazing genetics, you can definitely build muscle (during bulking) and shred off fat at the same time. If you are an intermediate or advanced trainee, then it will be almost impossible for you to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Therefore, if you fall under that category, you still need to train your abs consistently but remember that they will be less defined when you are bulking (i.e. gaining mass). Your abs will be visible again after your shred off the layer of fat that covers them!
As seen above, abs training is mostly about a matter of body fat %. By incorporating the right nutrition, with the right training plan (such as the 5 mins abs workout above:)) you will have amazing abs.