We can all agree that for most bodybuilders, training abs is usually 9th or 10th on our list of priorities. We often focus so much of our energies upon developing these larger muscle groups, which allow our bodies to grow and our body weights to climb. Abdominal training, for some, is relegated to the pre-contest phase. Some bodybuilders even design it this way, as they feel training abs only serves to develop a thick midsection. Other bodybuilders will make an effort to hit the abs year round, but they will fall short of a truly well developed midsection because they just throw a few sets of crunches onto the end of some of their workouts each week. It is only the thoroughly devoted bodybuilder with a thorough, complete routine that is able to best develop the midsection to the most complete degree. Here is a workout which, when used consistently for at least 8 weeks, will deliver that complete midsection.
Start your day – each workout – by training abdominals. This may seem foreign to most bodybuilders who are used to starting their training days with the largest possible body parts and working their way down. The problem with this formula is that you also begin your workouts with the most energy and strength. After you’ve been training for 45 minutes, there is a good chance you aren’t going to have much left in your gas tank. By constantly beginning your workouts with the larger muscle groups, the bigger groups keep getting bigger and the smaller groups, well, they stay smaller. It’s akin to the phrase “The rich keep getting richer, and the poor don’t get a thing!” You can always go back to starting workouts with larger muscle groups after you have given this method a shot for 8 weeks. By then, your new level of abdominal development may have you convinced that giving them priority pays off!
Your actual abdominal workout should last about 20 minutes. This may seem like a lot of time, but when you consider the amount of real estate the abs take up on your body – connecting the pecs to your posing trunks and lat to lat around the front – you may come to the realization that certain focus needs to be given to them, which does include time. Every abdominal workout should be identical for these 8 weeks. You will find the number of reps per set will increase as you develop greater muscular endurance and stamina, but the number of sets and exercises will remain constant.
Your first movement should be broomstick twists. You should use them for 5 minutes, or about the length of one song on your mp3 player. These will hit the obliques and warm up the entire midsection. From there, move to hanging leg raises for lower abs. Four sets of at least 15 repetitions is more than adequate. Complete them with one minute (or less) rest between each set. From there, move on to crunches. Five sets of 20 or more crunches will stimulate the upper abs to growth. After that, you will spend about 5 minutes on any abdominal machine of your choice. That’s it! Enjoy the fruits of your labor, which will be a new set of abdominals!