Build Massive Abs
If you just want a flat stomach, this article is not for you.
If you just want a slim midsection, this article is not for you.
If you want shredded, massive abs that turn heads and make people think they saw you in the movie 300, keep reading.
The secret to getting a muscular six pack is to train like a body builder. Think about it, your abdominals are muscles (just like and other muscle in your body) and who builds the biggest muscles in the world? That's right, body builders.
To pack on muscle you must use the bodybuilding principles of:
This is the single most important aspect of building muscle; you must push yourself to the limit on every set.
Your body builds muscle in order to adapt to its surroundings. If there is not enough stress placed on the muscle, your body won't feel the need to build it bigger. Think of it like this: let's say you have a wooden fence around your house to keep people out. A kid comes and throws a hundred tiny pebbles against your fence to try and break it. Do you go out and build a stronger fence? No, because even though the kid threw a hundred pebbles, your wall isn't even dented, so there is no need for you to change anything.
This is like when people do hundreds of sit ups and don't understand why they aren't getting the results they want.
Now imagine the kid comes back with 10 heavy bowling balls and throws them as hard as he can. Guess what? Now your fence is broken, so what do you do? You adapt by building a bigger, stronger, fence!
To force your body to adapt and build bigger muscles, you have to break down your muscles by using a weight that will allow you to do only 8-12 reps. Weighted ab exercises? Yes. Bodyweight exercises are good for toning, but you don't see a bodybuilder doing push ups to build up his pecks, you see him doing bench press. Why? Because bench press allows him to add enough weight so that by the time he gets to the 8th, 9th, or 10th rep, his muscle is completely fatigued and he can't do another rep.
The same principle applies to abs. Do exercises like weighted physioball curls or weighted hanging leg raises, and choose a weight that allows you to do 8-12 reps. If you do 20 reps, it's too easy, bump up the weight. If you can only do 3 reps, lower the weight until you can do at least 8 reps. And most importantly, make sure each set is intense. That means when you think you might be able to push out one more rep, do it. Then try to do another one. Even if you physically can't, try!
Now, your muscles are broken down and it is time to give your body a chance to build them up stronger. Let's go back to the fence example. Imagine the kid comes with bowling balls every single day and knocks down part of your fence. You start rebuilding your fence, but here comes the problem, it takes you two days to repair one section of fence. So every time you repair one section of fence, the kid knocks two more down. Your fence is never going to get bigger and stronger!
You must give yourself at least one day of rest between workouts to let your body build the muscle back up. That's right, that means you should be doing ab workouts no more than 2-3 times per week. To make sure you are getting the full benefit of your rest time, make sure you are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Protein is the building block of muscle. You can't build a fence if you don't have any wood, and your body can't build any muscle unless it has protein to work with. So eat protein, and lots of it!
Protein is especially important right after a workout, so get a recovery meal within 45 minutes. This is when your muscle has just been damaged and your body is searching for protein to rebuild it as fast as possible. Make sure you get at least 20 grams of protien within this period of time.
Check out our Shredded Six Pack workout program for a six week plan to get massive abs.