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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 January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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