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An Abdominal Workout Plan to Help You Build Strong, Flat Abs

An Abdominal Workout Plan to Help You Build Strong, Flat Abs


    Do you feel frustrated because you can’t build strong, flat abs no matter how many crunches or leg raises you perform? You’re not alone. I receive emails from guys and girls every day who do ab exercises constantly without getting the results they desire.

    This article makes the often elusive flat, strong abs a thing of the past. That’s because I’ve cracked the code and figured out what exercises really work. Give this abdominal workout plan a try for yourself and after a few weeks you will find your abs are flatter and stronger than ever before.

    First Things First – How Your Ab Muscles Really Work

    Many people think that the only functions of the abdominal muscles are to crunch your chest toward your knees and raise your legs upward. This is why exercises like crunches, leg raises, and sit ups are so popular. The main problem with this is that these are just a few of the ways your abs work. Another, perhaps bigger issue is that these exercises train the muscles of your hips more than anything else.

    In reality your ab muscles have several functions. They are to stabilize your spine, absorb force, flex and extend the trunk, and twist from the waist. A great abdominal workout plan is therefore one that uses exercises that work your abs in each of these ways. Since they are like any other muscle, you need to train them using enough resistance to force them to recover and grow stronger. This means sets of 5-12 reps. Anything else is a waste of time.

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    Hacking Your Way To Strong, Flat Abs – The Workout

    Before you proceed be forewarned. Don’t expect to find any crunches or situps in the workout below. I’ve instead included exercises that work your abs and the rest of your body in a more functional manner. Trust me, you’ll feel your abs are being trained 100% every workout. The results will speak for themselves.

    You should do this abdominal workout plan 3 times a week. I prefer doing it every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This allows for enough time to rest, recover, and grow between workouts.

    You will be alternating between 2 workouts, labeled A and B. Each are listed below along with an example as to how it’s performed.

    Ab Workout A

    • Alternating Kettlebell Swings
    • Kettlebell Front Squats
    • 1 Arm Kettlebell Row
    • Resistance Band Push Ups (only use resistance bands if you can do more than 10 regular push ups)
    • Farmers Walks
    • Medicine Ball Side Throws

    Ab Workout B

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    How To Perform These Workouts

    Alternate between A and B workouts at every session. I’ve listed how this will be performed for the first 4 weeks. After 4 weeks of training this way you can start a new workout or begin again with workout A.

    Week One
    Monday: Workout A
    Wednesday: Workout B
    Friday: Workout A

    Week Two
    Monday: Workout B
    Wednesday: Workout A
    Friday: Workout B

    Week Three
    Monday: Workout A
    Wednesday: Workout B
    Friday: Workout A

    Week Four
    Monday: Workout B
    Wednesday: Workout A
    Friday: Workout B

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    Sets and Reps
    Here are the sets and reps you will do for each exercise every week. Start with a weight that you can do for the prescribed number of repetitions with good technique.

    Every workout is to be performed as a circuit. Working out this way will help you burn more calories from stored body fat which will make your abs visible faster. You’ll do every exercise one after the other with no rest between each. Rest 2-5 minutes between each circuit.

    • Week 1: 3 circuits per workout. Perform 8 reps per exercise.
    • Week 2: 3 circuits per workout. Increase the weight used on exercises you can do 10 times.
    • Week 3: 4 sets for each exercise. Perform 8 reps per exercise.
    • Week 4: 4 sets for each exercise. Increase the weight used on exercises you can do 10 times.
    • Week 5: 5 sets for each exercise. Perform 8 reps per exercise.
    • Week 6: 5 sets for each exercise. Increase the weight used on exercises you can do 10 times.

    More Than An Ab Workout

    Since these are total body workouts you’ll find that you build muscle and get stronger throughout the rest of your body too. The only equipment you’ll need are a kettlebell, medicine ball, and resistance bands. You can substitute barbells and dumbbells if necessary.

    After performing this workout for 4-6 weeks you can switch to a new program with a new focus. I recommend always including at least a few of the exercises from this workout in your programs to ensure your abs are always being trained properly.

    Don’t Forget About Diet

    While this abdominal workout plan will build flat abs that are stronger than ever, you have to eat right to get them to look the way you want. Dieting to lose fat doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply cutting our flour and sugar rich foods alone will help you obtain visible abs.

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    I recommend reading 3 Hacks To Help You Lose 10 Pounds In 21 Days for detailed tips to help you lose excess body fat.

    Studies show that getting enough sleep is critical to keeping belly fat off too.

    Now you know the right way to work out to build strong, lean, and functional abdominal muscles. All that’s left is for you to give it a try. Once you do I guarantee that you’ll never feel the need to perform another crunch, leg raise, or sit up.

    (Photo credit: Man Showing Six-Pack with Woman via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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