Hi, I’m Raymond Burton and this is my tutorial on how to make 6 pack abs in 1 month at home. We’ll cover the whole deal in this article and it will be quite long and in depth. At last writing it was 11,000+ words long and growing but I will also make it a downloadable PDF.
For some reason there is a misconception that there is something special that you do different from regular training in order to get a six-pack.
The truth of the matter is that developing a six pack comes back to the same information that we have heard before. You need to train your whole body, and eat properly in order to reduce your body fat so that your abdominals become visible. But here is the fastest route I know…
All the exercises for this abdominal program have video demonstrations as well as extra specific topic articles which I have linked through out. If I’ve missed anything, just let me know.
Can you get a six pack in 4 weeks?
A few facts about getting 6 pack abs. You hear a lot about core training these days.
There is a lot of truth to what you are seeing however as per most things in the media, its getting a little far out. Almost daily in the gym I see trainers getting people onto swiss balls, standing on one foot, rubbing their tummy with one hand and patting their heads with the other. Well, not really but you get the point.
To answer your question, yes you can get a six pack in 4 weeks but there are stipulations.
It depends on:
- How defined you want your 6 pack
- How many pounds you have to lose
- Doing everything right
If you can just see your abs in good light when you squeeze hard and are about 8-10 pounds away from being in the 10-15% bodyfat range then you can get a six pack in 4 weeks if you get your diet and training perfect.
First, What Are Abs? Where Exactly Are They?
A Strong Core Is A Matter Of Exercise – Seeing A 6 Pack Is A Matter Of Diet
The fact of the matter is that without a strong core, you have no power and are susceptible to injuries. The methods to getting a strong core however, are a lot less complex then some people are making it.
Core training in of itself is a simple concept. You are working the diaphram, multifidus transverse abdominis, and pelvic floor deep inside. On the exterior you have the prime movers. These are the more visible ones that everyone wants to see.
If you work movements such as the overhead lifts that directly involve the spine you are on the fast track to productive core training. Yes, the stability ball has its uses but there are limits and when the complexity of the movement exceeds the effective results you can stimulate with it, you are heading down the “fad/gimmick route”.
Looking out at the gym floor and watching the infomercials you can see that it’s getting crazy. Granted, most of the movements are a hoot to try and fun to play with on an off day, but that in itself does not make them the most effective methods of getting a six pack in a month. It makes them fun to do with beneficial side effects.
Is training your core the fastest way to getting a six-pack of attention grabbing rippling abs? Absolutely not.
Core training makes your core stronger, more conditioned and more muscular. This is a great thing and everyone that wants pain free optimum performance needs a strong core. However, getting 6 pack abs to show in the mirror is a result of getting the fat off them. Take off the fat blanket and voila, there are your abs.
An Example Of Training VS Diet For A Six Pack
Do you think a 359 pound Olympic lifter that can pull 551 pounds from the floor and then stand up with it overhead has a strong core? The answer is yes without a single doubt.
Does that lifter have a set of strong and well developed abs? Again the answer is yes.
Now for the kicker. Can you see them? Nope. Not even a hint of a six-pack to be seen anywhere. So then if fastest way to getting a visible, beach ready six pack is through fat loss, then how do we do that?
You burn of fat by creating a small calorie deficit through several factors including a proper eating plan, exercising your WHOLE body with multi joint, multidimensional movements like the clean and press or overhead squat and including some high intensity cardio.
If this is really the case, then why is everyone and their dog selling core training?
Answer: Because everyone and their dog is willing to buy a promised shortcut to the land of easy six packs.
Really effective training is simple, but simple doesn’t mean easy.
How To Make 6 Pack Abs – How Do You Work Out Your Abs?
The Training: Abdominal Workout #1
This Is Where You Are Going To Start As An Untrained Beginner
If you are just starting out, the best way to safely get into training your abdominals (or abs as we will call them from now on) is the simple crunch and hip roll.
Easy Abdominal Exercise: Crunches
The crunch is a simple yet often incorrectly done exercise. Here is how I teach my clients on the Fat To Fit Program to do them. Place your hands behind (support, but don’t pull) your head. I like to support my head by using the fingertips to cup the ears. It’s a light support but it keeps you from cranking your neck forward. From here, curl your upper torso forward. As you do this you want to keep your lower back in mind and push it into the floor. Bring your rib cage toward your pelvis until you feel a contraction in your abs. Holding your hands down by your hips is an easier version. Pause for the contraction and slowly return to the starting position.
Exhale on the contraction – this breathing advice applies to all abdominal exercises unless speed is the objective.
Easy Abdominal Exercise: Reverse Crunch Or Hip roll
To do hip rolls correctly you lie on the ground pushing down on the floor with your hands by your sides. Keep your feet off the floor and bent 90 degrees at the knee the whole time.
You then raise your pelvis off the floor so the tailbone comes right up and squeeze the abs!
You should now be rolled into a ball with your knees over your chest. At the top if you get really good, not only will your pelvis be off the floor but also a portion of your lower back.
You can see a picture of these done on the floor at the end of the book. Both versions work great.
Now Put Them Together: These exercises in an easy abdominal workout would involve doing three sets of 20 reps for the abdominal crunches, with one minute of rest after each set. Soon as you are done with the abdominal crunches move on to the abdominal hip rolls for the same set and rep pattern.
Crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps. Each set followed by 1-minute rest.
Hip Rolls: 3 sets of 20 reps. Each set followed by 1-minute rest. When you are done with the easy ab workout, you can step it up a notch with this slightly harder workout that you can even do at home.
The Beginner Home Six Pack Ab Workout
Three sets of crunches and hip rolls for 20 reps a set is a nice place for a beginner to start. You can rest anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute depending on how hard of an effort that was for you.
If that’s not a problem then superset each set of crunches with the next exercise called hip rolls. Superset is just a fancy personal trainer term for no rest. This means then that the first set of crunches is immediately followed by the hip rolls and then a brief 30 second rest to let the burn fizzle a bit. Do three sets of this combination.
When you are showing supersets in a workout, it is designated by using the same letter followed by a number. Exercises with the same letter are supersetted together. Here is the next step up from beginner.
A1: Crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps.
A2: Hip Rolls: 3 sets of 20 reps. 30 second rest. Now if you have come this far (about 4 weeks) and you have been watching your diet and doing your cardio and the routine that you will see soon, you are starting to see that six pack come out.
The last step in the beginner ab routine is to add in some bridges or “planks” as the yoga folks like to call them. This is basically a pushup position but you don’t rest on your hands, you rest on your forearms and just hold it for 30-60 seconds. Don’t let your lower back sag!
Keep a slightly inverted c posture like your trying to pull your hips toward your chin.
As per the other exercises you can see the pictures at the end of the book as well as the videos on the download page. Now to combine all these fine ab exercises into an abdominal workout you can do at home and get a little sweat on.
Beginner home abdominal workout
A1: Crunches x20
A2: Hip rolls x20
A3: Planks for a 30-60 second hold
Once you finish the circuit, you have two options. The first is to work through the three ab exercises non-stop and at the end take a 30-60 second break. The second option that is a real ab burner, is to go through the whole abdominal circuit three times with no rest at all!
So there you go. A way to start from the basic crunch and work your way into a pretty serious ab burning routine all from the comfort of your living room. Now if you feel better about yourself when you are a little sore, you probably will want to add in a little work for the love handles.
You can alternate the above routine with this one below.
Ab Routine #2 – Getting Into Those Love Handles
Abdominal Workout – Attack of the Russians
Don’t look for any of these abdominal exercises below in the books. I have no idea what to call them, and they are based around Russians so that’s what we will call them. Half of these exercises came to be because of trial and error with my clients.
Often I find them later in books because someone else has come up with the same idea from their experiences. At any rate, as long as you know how to do them, we will call them whatever name I’ve made up for them. On the download page for this book you can find videos of the more complicated movements.
No rest on this six pack abdominal workout, its done giant set style until three circuits are done.
Abdominal Exercise Sets and Reps:
Russian Eights 3×30 through leg
Russian Punch 3×30 per arm
One Arm Bridge 30 Secs per arm
No Rest What SO EVER!
Moving Forward With A Little Re-Cap
We are getting real close to having some Crazy, ripped, hard abs by now! That’s the key to really having a body you are proud to show off. If you think that all training is about is making sure your chest is big enough to make your shirt hang out past your stomach then your missing the boat. Chiseled abs are awesome!
Again..How do you get ripped abs?
It’s about diet, training your whole body, cardio and hard ab routines. I’ll give you the low down on how to crank it up another notch in intensity and get some washboard abs with this killer ab routine.
First of all if your not training abs yet, started! Everything I’m telling you here has to be put into action if you want to get rid of that belly. We’ve pretty much covered the beginner stuff at this point. Three sets of crunches for 20 reps a set.
If that’s not a problem then superset each set of crunches with a set of hip roles, followed by a brief 30 second rest to let the burn fizzle a bit.
Alright enough of the easy stuff, we’re here for some serious abs, Killer abs.
Onto Ab Routine 2: The ab killer!
I love pet name. This ab routine will all be done on the decline bench. First ab exercise?
Decline hip roll/leg raise. Beauty!
Step 1: Put your head where your feet should be
Step 2: Grab the bench or the footholds; whichever is more comfortable (not that it will matter in a few minutes)!
Step 3: Stretch out and do a straight-legged leg raise.
Step 4: Once at the top of the leg raise turn it into a hip roll so that you point your feet at the ceiling. Hold for a three count and go back down!
Second ab routine exercise: Decline sit-ups:
- Put your feet in the foot holds (you’ve turned around!)
- Lower yourself until you’re about a foot short of lying fully back
- Come back up if your still with me!
Third ab routine exercise: Decline Russian twists (even sounds evil doesn’t it?)
Step 1: don’t move out of the sit up position. Just grab a medicine ball or a 10- pound weight.
Step 2: straighten fully your arms right to your front and lower yourself to the bottom position of the incline sit up and hold it.
Step 3: Rotate to the right 90 degrees with your arms straight and then back to the left at 90 degrees. That’s one rep. You don’t come out of the bottom at all! Fun huh?
Here it is ab routine layout:
A1: Leg raise/hip roll x20
A2: Incline sit-ups x20
A3: Russian twists x20 or 40 if you count both sides! No rest between ab exercises, and only 30-60 seconds rest after completing the tri-set.
Third Ab Routine:
And the granddaddy hardest ab routine ever? For mortals anyway? Because I remember something about homer Simpson and a cannon ball, but I think you need to have access to the applesauce bar for that ab routine to work! Well let’s call it the “commando cardio ab annihilation” workout.
I have to have a fancy name on it or you wouldn’t be interested! It involves a pre-stretch, a contraction and a dynamic stabilization (I just made that up, but you get the idea and the Swiss ball junkies will love it) exercise. Here are the ab routine exercises.
1.Smith machine, Swiss ball hip rolls
2. Partner resisted Swiss ball crunches (or weighted)
3. Swiss ball rollouts (or ab wheel)
4. Profuse sweating and clutching of the stomach.
Ab routine exercise 1: Smith machine, Swiss ball hip rolls
Step 1: Set the bar low in the smith machine, just below the top of the Swiss ball.
Step 2: Sit on the ball and roll out so that you have to reach back and grab the bar as you lie on the ball. You should be about 2-3 feet away, stabilizing your self by holding the bar and flexing everything!
Step 3: Using only your abs, stretch your pelvis down as low as it will go and then do a hip roll. Legs straight is the hardest.
Ab routine exercise 2: Partner resisted Swiss ball crunches.
Step 1: It’s a normal Swiss ball ab crunch but your arms are crossed across your chest and your “friend” pushes down on your shoulders to apply resistance. That’s it,..ahem.
Ab routine exercise 3: Swiss ball rollouts;
Step 1: Kneel on a pad with legs crossed ball in front of you not on the pad.
Step 2: Your hands are on the ball so it now looks like your praying? Maybe you are! Good for you.
Step 3: Roll the ball out until you’re straight as a board with your head between your arms and pull it back in.
Step 4: Profuse sweating and clutching of the stomach; This should come naturally.
In an ab routine all together?
A1: Smith machine/Swiss ball hip rolls x20
A2: Partner resisted Swiss ball crunches x20
A3: Swiss ball rolloutsx20
Rest 30-60 seconds after each tri-set circuit or continue right through if you’re a freak of nature or slightly “touched”.
I’ve never gotten 20 on all ab exercises on all three sets in a continuous circuit; let me know if you do! I’ll have to buckle down!
If you’re partner is mean to you on the partner resisted crunches, give it right back to them when it’s your turn.
What About Cardio And Weight Training?
While this is about getting a six pack, the shortest route to seeing those bad boys is going to be a combination of ab work, cardio, diet and weight training. I see a theme here don’t you?
Here is a routine that has worked wonders with my personal training clients. It has worked fantastic for the men but for the women that have never weight trained, the results are unreal.
I first saw this routine in a T-Nation magazine and is truly is gross.
Don’t let any of these exercises scare you. If you cannot do them, there are alternates and modifications that can be done.
As well, you can always email me.
The Full Body Fat Burning Workout Geared Towards Getting A Six Pack
WEEK ONE (Day 1 and 2 are to be repeated twice per week)
Day 1 on the road to a six pack!
A1)* Chin-ups, supinated (palms facing you)
Rep Speed: 3 seconds up (pull yourself up over a period of 3 seconds), 1 second down
Rest Interval: 0 seconds (after one set, move directly to the next exercise below)
Rep Speed: 3 seconds up, 1 second down
Rest Interval: 0 seconds
Rep Speed: 3 seconds up, 1 second down
Rest Interval: 0 seconds
Rep Speed: 3 seconds up, 1 second down
Rest Interval: 120 seconds
* The A1-A4 designations mean you do one set of each exercise with no rest in between. After the last exercise, in this case deadlifts, you’ll rest for the prescribed amount of time and then repeat the whole circuit two more times. After that, you’ll probably puke, and then you can move to the “B” exercises.
B1) Hanging leg raises Sets: 2
Rep Speed: Hold 3 seconds at the top
Rest Interval: 0 seconds
B2) Decline reverse crunch
Rep Speed: 3 seconds down, one second up
Rest Interval: 60 seconds
The decline reverse crunch is performed on a slant board or a Swiss ball where you raise your legs up towards your face.
Day 2 A1) Push press
Sets: 3 Reps: 10
Rep Speed: 3 seconds down, explode up
Rest Interval: 0 seconds
The push press is a shoulder press that utilizes the entire body. Start by standing, with a shoulder-width grip and the barbell resting on anterior delts. Squat one-fourth of the way down to initiate the momentum. Next, press the bar straight over the head to a soft lockout while exploding up on to the toes. Finish by lowering the weight to your shoulders.
A2) Walking lunge with dumbbells
Rep Speed: 3 seconds up, 1 second down
Rest Interval: 0 seconds A walking lunge looks like a regular lunge except instead of stepping back to the starting position, you step forward with the back leg. You’ll end up walking across the floor 20 to 30 feet.
Reps: 10 Rep
Speed: 3 seconds up, 1 second down
Rest Interval: 0 seconds
A4) Bent over barbell row
Reps: 10 Rep
Speed: 3 seconds up, 1 second down
Rest Interval: 120 seconds
B) Twisting crunches on Swiss ball or hanging leg raises with twist
Rep Speed: Hold 3 seconds at the top
Rest Interval: 60 seconds
WEEK TWO: Same as above. Increase sets to four in the “A” series and three in the “B” series.
WEEK THREE: Day one and two are again to be repeated twice per week. The only differeance is you will be doing a second session of skipping at some point in the day. As an alternate schedule, the lactic acid interval training can be performed on the morning of your off days before your first meal. Simply skip rope for 15 – 20 minutes doing 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off.
Supercharging the Six Pack Program
Here are a few tips to get the best results from this program: This type of training is best adopted after the completion of a strength phase and would then meet the intensity-to-volume periodization model I usually use.
If it fits your schedule better, you can switch the AM and PM workouts. It’s not a pain in the butt. Anyone can take a couple of minutes at night and do some rope jumping at home.
There is no need for two trips to the gym. If you must, get it all done in the one session.
The program is so intense that many athletes actually gain muscle while burning fat but this depends largely on nutritional factors. If your goals are weight and fat loss then make the appropriate caloric cuts.
If you’re abs are getting too sore from the separate ab workouts in combination with the workouts in the program above then drop the separate ab program.
Keep the routine above intake unless you need to substitute in an easier exercise from the master list for your ability level. So how’s that sound? No more long boring, excessive cardio.
Get ready to experience what “feel the burn” really means! This workout is no joke, its one of the hardest workouts I have ever done.
Use the watch for your rest periods and don’t tell me it’s easy until you are supersetting 315 squats and 315 deadlifts in this baby!
Now If You Insist On Extra Cardio…
When is the last time someone told you that low intensity cardio is the best way of achieving maximum fat loss in the shortest time possible? I hear it from clients everyday.
Could you really have been steered wrong all this time? Everything you’ve read over the last ten years has said that when you want to lose weight fast that slow long low intensity cardio sessions are the rule. If you dare to buck the trend and do that new high intensity interval training all you will do is burn of carbs. Right? Wrong!
We’ll get into this in a bit, but first..
Should you do cardio before or after your weight workout? Many prefer to do their cardio before lifting to get it out of the way and as a general warm-up. I do endorse a 5 minute pre-workout general warm-up for safety’ sake, but for maximum fat loss, post weight training aerobics are the main stay of the Fat to Fit Program and the same here in the Six Pack Abs program.
The funny thing about being on the cutting edge of weight loss science is that people are reluctant to believe you until someone with a M.D. says it is so. Well, wonder of all wonders, it just so happens that a recent study suggests that the best time to do cardio is after a weight workout and that how long you rest between the two can make a difference in both hormone release and fat burning.
This is not new information to bodybuilders who specialize in rapid fat loss year in and year out. My experience as a competitive bodybuilder is what prompted me to use this style of training for fat loss in my clients.
The study was presented at the 2006 ACSM meeting and featured 10 healthy men who did three types of exercise routines on different days:
1) Endurance exercises only
2) Endurance exercise after weight training and a 20 minute rest
3) Endurance exercises after weight training and 120 minutes rest
The weight training workout consisted of six exercises each done for three to four sets of 10 reps. Pretty standard fair and similar to the second phase of the Fat to Fit Program.
The cardio exercises consisted of stationary cycling for an hour at low intensity (50 percent of maximum heart rate).
For maximum fat loss I would suggest a higher intensity level and a more High Intensity Interval Training style as opposed to the low intensity approach used in the study.
Doing the weight workout before aerobics led to marked increases in lactate, norepinephrine and growth hormone levels. These are all great things when it comes to maximum fat loss.
Before the endurance exercise started those in the 120 minute rest group showed the highest levels of free fatty acids in the blood, while those in the 20 minute rest group showed higher levels of norepinephrine and growth hormone.
During the endurance and weight training exercises, blood levels of free fatty acids and glycerol were higher in both weight training groups than in the endurance only group.
The bottom line is that those in both weight training groups were burning more fat during the aerobic exercise than the aerobics only group.
You can compound the case for post workout aerobics further by adding in the fact that not only did the group that did weight training first burn more fat during their cardio but also burned more calories in total by virtue of an increased overall daily metabolism increase and calories expended through the actual resistance training itself.
The study clearly shows that doing a weight workout before aerobics leads to hormonal changes that increased fat oxidation (read weight loss or fat burning) during the following aerobic workout.
Here is another angle to the story. Imagine yourself doing 30 minutes to an hour of aerobics and then going on to do your weight training. How much energy do you really have left to do justice to your weight training?
After all that cardio, you have burnt through your glycogen stores (which are the muscle preferred source of fuel) and will not have the energy to stimulate the most outrageous fat burning method available to you. An all day long, increased metabolism, because you stimulated your muscles.
It kind of makes you smile when you find out information like this doesn’t it? What if I told you there was a special way to do your cardio that would knock the socks off what most people are doing? Welcome to the world of High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT.
So How Do You Do HIIT?
If you have come this far I know I have you interested in the possibility that High Intensity Interval Training may be the next big thing. I can promise you that if you keep reading you will never look at a treadmill the same way again!
First, what is “normal” slow, static, fat burning cardio defined as? Low intensity cardio is when you exercise at 60-65% of your max heart rate. Your max heart rate can be most easily figured out by subtracting your age from 220. For a person that is 35 the equation would look like this. 220-35= 185 max heart rate.
Take the 60-65% fat burning recommendation and you would be shooting for a sustained heart rate of 120 beats per minute.
If that is low intensity what is high intensity cardio?
High intensity cardio is defined as exercise that gets your heart rate into the 75% and up range. This can be done in a sustained fashion but not for very long and that is where the interval training comes in. Intervals of high intensity combined with a downshift in gears to rest for 30 seconds to a minute before ramping it back up.
If high intensity interval training is so good, then why does everyone recommend low intensity cardio sessions? Good question and here are the answers:
Because it’s easier – Lets face facts. Its human nature to try and conserve energy and take the path of least resistance. If most of the world is recommending low intensity cardio and you just happen to be feeling a little less then energetic, guess which option you are going to pick.
The more people you get using a certain method the better the odds of getting testimonials to its effectiveness. 1 million people using slow long cardio sessions gets a lot more positive talk out there then a couple of hundred fighters and athletes ripping it up in the back rooms and basements.
No one wants to get sued – It’s scary out there and when you write for the general public, the safer your recommendations the better. When you write for a major media source or develop programs for the general public you do not know the level of fitness the audience is going to have. From this stand point, you want to be safe when recommending levels of intensity for cardio work. In the wrong hands and the wrong body, a high intensity interval training session could put some out of shape people in the hospital or morgue.
Low intensity cardio burns fat not sugar – Ah, this is the really big one. Looking at the surface you would think that if you want to burn fat, then the cardio that burns the largest percentage of fat per session would be the obvious choice. Not so grasshopper. There are gold in those high intensity hills if you know what to look for. We do and I’ll show you.
When they say that low slow cardio burns more fat, what they really mean is: Low intensity cardio burns more fat then high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) cardio WHILE YOU ARE DOING IT.
So how exactly does H.I.I.T. burn more fat then the slow and low method? Again, another great question! Let me explain.
Low intensity training burns about 50% fat for energy while high intensity training burns about 40% fat for energy. So the low intensity method is best right? Just wait. Lets take the average walker hitting the treadmill for 30 minutes. Once they have finished they have racked up a calorie burn of 160 calories. If 50% of those calories are fueled by fat then they have burned 80 fat calories
Then over on treadmill number two, you have a mixed martial arts fighter doing wind sprints in the high intensity style. He is doing one minute high and 30 seconds at a jog or a walk. He keeps this up for 20 minutes, is drenched in sweat and breathing like a freight train.
In those 20 minutes of HIIT he has burned 350 calories. If you take the lower fat burning percentage of 40%, what do you have? What you have is 140 fat calories burned and in less time then the low intensity person.
As a matter of fact, our HIIT person is in the showers as we speak while the low slow person is getting bored out of their mind looking for something to read on the treadmill.
The bottom line is that you almost doubled your fat burning and less time to boot.
Case closed, enough said right? The rabbit hole goes even deeper my friend.
Check this out. We have shown that in the long run you actually burn more fat calories in total with HIIT then the regular style while you are doing it. What about the rest of the day?
The fact of the matter is that slow-low cardio only burns calories while you do it. Once you get off the treadmill that’s all you get as far as calorie burning after a couple of minutes rest. Here is the clincher on HIIT. It burns calories long after you stop! It sounds too good to be true but even after you stop your interval training your body will continue to rev its metabolism for up to 24 hours depending on how intensely you did your intervals.
The bottom line is that even after you hit the showers and are sitting on the couch, HIIT is still working towards your fat loss goals for you. Now that’s efficient. Less time spent working and longer lasting effects.
I know you are excited but I’m about to tip you right over the edge because there is more.
Low intensity cardio does nothing towards building or retaining muscle mass. In fact, extended cardio sessions in this fashion can actually strip away hard earned, metabolism boosting, shape showing muscles. After all, muscle burns calories on a daily basis simply by being on your body. It needs calories to survive.
You probably already know where I am going with this. High Intensity Interval Training can actually stimulate and definitely help maintain your muscle mass. It does this because of the high force output needed to perform the movement at a rapid rate.
The classic example would be the body shape of a marathon runner versus an Olympic sprinter.
Small and flat versus lean and mean.
At this point please do not think that you can develop bulky muscles from HIIT. Dedicated and intense weight resistance movements are needed for that level of development. You make the choice of including different amounts of resistance training based on your goals.
Well, Show Me How!!
Now that you’ve seen how effective high intensity training can be for fat loss, how is it done? The absolute easiest way to start this type of training is to get on a cardio machine at the gym and select the interval training program. The recumbent bike would be the easiest, then the upright bike, then hills on the treadmill and finally sprints on the treadmill. If you get to sprints and hill sprints outside, then seeing your abs won’t be a problem.
Onto the method behind the madness. You should start off with a fairly light warm-up cycle, then quickly jump up to a high intensity level for a short burst. You will then drop back down to a low level for a period of time, then back up to a high level again, repeated several times and finishing with an appropriate cool- down period.
That’s the readers digest version in a nutshell.
The repetition of these intervals is the nuts and bolts of high intensity interval training. You can also do it manually by adjusting your intensity level up and down over short periods of time. For example, do 30 seconds at high power then 30 seconds at low power. Repeat.
It’s very simple and very effective. You can do 1 minute up, one minute down. 1 up and two minutes down, it doesn’t really matter. It’s all about going as hard as you can, then resting A LITTLE, and getting back to it.
Another excellent method for doing high intensity interval training is called aerobic interval training. It is essentially the same concept as the previously explained interval training but the work intervals are longer with the intensity level somewhat lower.
It’s great for those that are between being able to do full out sprints and walking really fast on an incline.
A good example would be running at a pace that you can only keep up for about 5 minutes then walking for 2 minutes then running 5 more minutes, walking 2 minutes.
You can do this training with anything from walking/sprinting to swimming to bike riding.
It all works. A Fast paced compound weight lifting exercise workout like the “no cardio” routine I gave you above is actually interval training at its best. I know, I’m sneaky like that!
Here is my personal interval training routine for indoors:
Treadmill: Warm-up: 5 minutes, speed 3.5
First Interval: 6.0 for 1 minute Rest: Speed 3.5 for 1 minute
Second Interval: Speed 6.5, incline 3.5 for 1 minute Rest: Speed 3.5, incline 3.5 for 1 minute
Third Interval: Speed 7.5, incline 3.5 for 1 minute Rest: Speed 3.5, incline 3.5 for 1 minute
At this point I stay here at this intensity until about the 16 minute mark (unless I’m feeling really spunky). After 16 minutes, I go for broke. The speeds go 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5 until I’m totally gassed. When I’m trashed, I’m trashed and walk it out to bring my heart rate down until I reach the 30 minute mark.
Now its time to stretch and throw in a little bonus ab work if you feel like it.
My outdoor interval training routine:
Warm-up: Pace out 50 meters. Jog it and walk it a couple of times and stretch out. Trust me, stretch out! You will cramp severely if you do not stretch and warm-up.
First interval: ½ speed run Rest: Walk back and take no more than 1 minute
Second Interval: ¾ speed sprint Rest: Walk back and take no more than 1 minute
Third Interval: Full speed sprint Rest: Walk back and take no more than 1 minute
At this point I keep going to a maximum of 10 all out sprints with the walk back after each. You’re looking at 20 to 30 minutes depending on your ability. Make sure you use a watch to keep you honest.
Stretch again and enjoy the fresh air! If you are blasting them out with no problem, then run faster, you’re slacking. Just kidding. If you get to the point where you want more, then take it to the hills and apply the same methods on there.
I would recommend doing the cardio only (like above) type of HIIT training 2 to 3 times per week for best results. As always, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program. This is hard stuff and not for all levels of fitness. (I have to say that, my lawyers said so.)
If you put your heart and soul into this, your results will come very, very fast.
Lets Put It All Together And DO IT!
You have your full body workout to do 4 days a week. The workout includes abdominal work but you also have awesome ab workouts you can substitute in if you want to work them even harder.
To be honest, the routine alone should do the trick and if in doubt, work harder.
You also know one of the most effective ways to burn off extra fat if you are starting out a little on the heavy side or are in a real hurry to make a “look great” dead line.
If you don’t go do sprints, that’s fine because interval training is built into the routine with the jump rope. You can always sub in the sprints for jump rope if you like it better.
Put the interval training in on an off day if you have extra energy or like I said before, if you are in a real hurry to look great and can handle the workload without overtraining, you can split your interval training into a P.M. session.
Your ready to go. You have everything you need.
Six Pack Exercises At Home With Pictures And Videos
All the six pack exercises for these programs have video demonstrations as well as extra bonuses which I will post here as well as on my youtube fitness channel.
Ab Exercise: Russian Eights Balance on your butt sitting with your feet elevated so that you look like a “V” with your butt being the bottom point of the V. This is called the basic V-sit. Gymnasts make this look like a perfect V, but that will take a while to work up to. You are going to grab a medicine ball or something with some weight to it and pass it around your legs in a figure eight pattern. The more you move your legs up and down, the better it gets!
Step by step, take a medicine ball and pass it through your legs in the center. Down through the center, around the left leg, down through the center and around the right leg. You are drawing a figure eight around your legs. I love this abdominal exercise!
Ab Exercise: Russian Elbows It’s important with this one that you really turn your upper body as you swing your elbows from side to side! If you only bring your elbows up but don’t twist them right across, you will not get the full benefit. Keep the elbow high up near your face when you bring it across. Keeping the elbow low is way too easy!
Ab Exercise: Crunches: These hit mostly the upper Abdominals. Place your hands behind (support, but don’t pull) your head and curl your upper torso forward, bringing your rib cage toward your pelvis until you feel a contraction in your abs. You can also keep your head unsupported if you would like to give some resistance training to your neck. Holding your hands down by your hips is an easier version as it reduces the resistance on the abs. Pause for the contraction and slowly return to the starting position. Exhale on the contraction – this breathing advice applies to all abdominal exercises.
Abdominal Exercise: Reverse Crunch or hip roll: This is the decline version in the video. Lie face up on a flat bench with your hips and knees bent. Grasp the bench behind your head with both hands. Keeping the angles in your hips and knees fixed, contract your abs to pull your hips upward until your lower back is a few inches off the bench. Hold for a moment, then lower and repeat. Below you see the version done lying on the floor which is more difficult because you can not pull with your arms. In these pictures, this is as high as she can get her hips and this may be the same case for you. If you can, you really want to get the whole bum and tail bone off the floor under control.
Abdominal Exercise: Swiss ball hip rolls: Set the bar low in the smith machine or anything else to stabilize, just below the top of the Swiss ball. Sit on the ball and roll out so that you have to reach back and grab the bar as you lie on the ball. You should be about 2-3 feet away, stabilizing your self by holding the bar and flexing everything!
Using only your abdominals, stretch your pelvis down as low as it will go and then do a hip roll. The higher you can get your butt off the ball without falling the more of a contraction in the abs you will get. Legs straight is the hardest version.
Abdominal Exercise: Leg raise off bench: Sit on the end of any bench or elevated surface. These can even be done on the floor which is the hardest version. Raise your feet off the floor a couple of inches so you balance on your glutes. Keep your legs fairly straight and raise your legs up in a arc towards your head. At the top position, you should look like a v. Lower and repeat.
It’s important to suck in your abdominals so you form a c with your stomach and keep the pressure off your lower back. Think abdominal leg raise, not back killer! If you are just starting to work your abdominals they may be a little weak and you can hold onto the bench on either side of your glutes. Advanced ab guys…don’t even think about it!
You can also lay back straight and raise only the legs excluding the upper body. Again this can be done on the floor or on a bench. If you are doing them on the floor your hands will go underneath your lower back curve just by the top of your butt for support. Here is the layback version below.
Abdominal Exercise: Decline Sit-ups: Go over to where everyone else does decline bench press, hook your legs in and just sit there.
From this position, slowly lay back until your upper body is about a foot off the bench and pull with your abdominal muscles until you are sitting back up!
Advanced guys, go ahead and lie all the way down, but watch your back. You can vary your hand position if you like. Below with the hands on the shoulders is nice and strict. When you get tired, you will be tempted to swing your arms for a little help. This is o.k. for a rep or two but no something that you should do for every rep on every set.
Here is a demonstration of the normal sit-up done on the floor without the decline bench. You can do this one at home. Simple but still effective. Is it based mostly around the hip flexors? Yes. Does it still work your abs despite what the infomercials for the “ab crunch 2000” say? Again yes.
Abdominal Exercise: V-Sit: Sit down. Lift your legs and balance on your glutes. You should look like a v. Lie down flat, arms on the floor straight behind your head and legs straight out. From here pull with your abdominals until you are back up in the v position and touch your toes. This is a really hard abdominal exercise. Again, you can watch the video of this for more detail on the download page for this book.
Abdominal Exercise: Russian Punch: Do a v sit and hold it. From this position, take two 3 pound dumbbells and do alternate punches towards your opposite shoulder in uppercut style keeping your elbows close to your sides. Each punch counts as a half rep. This is just like the Russian elbows.
Decline Russian Twists
If you need to, you can do this exercise on the floor for an easier version. To make the decline Russian twist even harder, all you have to do is hold a medicine ball or weight plate between your hands.
Jump onto the decline bench, hook in your feet. Sit back to a comfortable angle without letting your stomach stick out. By this I mean that you want to keep your abdominals tight so that you don’t arch back and pinch your lower back. Suck in that tummy and flex the abs.
Stick your arms out straight at shoulder height and rotate from the waist, not the shoulders.
You have to rotate the whole body from the hips waist up to get the full effect. As you can tell from the smile on my face, we had a lot of fun making this book! I hope that while you go through the routines and everything else that is involved in getting a terrific six pack that you do the same.
Hard work can be fun and rewarding. Sure, you are going to sweat and you are going to have to change certain habits, but exercise is fun and so is having a body that works the way it is supposed to.
The Hanging Leg Raise
In these pictures you see the full version of the hanging leg raise. There are several others that you can do on the way to building up to this. The first modification you want to try is doing the movement only to where the legs are parallel to the floor.
You will look like a hanging “L”. This is still extremely difficult for some people so to decrease the resistance on the abs, you can bend your legs as much as you need to get the required reps.
A lot of people run into problems with grip strength on this exercise. Their hands get tired and they cannot hold onto the bar for the duration of the set.
There are gadgets that will loop over your elbows to help you with this if you choose to use them. I would suggest NOT using them and do as many reps as you can, get down and take a breath or two and get bar on the bar. Your grip will get stronger quite fast.
Remember whenever you get tired that the harder the exercise is for you to do, the more payback you will get for your efforts. Harder is ALWAYS better when it comes to fast results.
The abs are activated by pulling the hips forward and up in a semi circle.
Do not use only the front of your hips to bring your legs straight up.
When done right, you will see your bum round under in the direction of the movement. Your hips will draw the bottom part of a “C” in the air. You will see that in the bottom position of this movement you are ready to do a chin-up if you wanted.
GO AHEAD! Throw a chin-up in-between each rep of the hanging leg raise if you are able. Its great extra work for you.
Incline Reverse Crunch
What part of the abdominals does the decline reverse crunch work? All of it! The great thing about this exercise is that because you are on a decline, there is more resistance on the abdominals. So even if you can see your abs but they are flat and don’t have deep grooves, this exercise will make them pop!
Above I am showing the crunch version but it is only a matter of straightening your legs and you have a very good crossover exercise between the lying leg raise and the hanging leg raise.
Form Tips: What you don’t want to do is pull your legs in without getting your butt off the bench. All that will do is work your hip flexors, which isn’t a bad thing in itself but we
want to work our abs. In order to get past the instinct of making the movement easier and using your hip flexors, make sure you curl your butt up towards your elbows, exhaling as you do it so that you get a strong burning sensation by the end of your set! Careful with this one, it can make you real sore!
Twisting Swiss Ball Crunches
Twisting swiss ball crunches are almost the same as normal swiss ball crunches. (I know, I pretty much said I hate Swiss balls earlier, but the can be fun and useful for some things.)
Here is how to do a twisting Swiss ball crunch correctly:
1. Lay on the ball and start with your feet flat on the ground a good distance away from the ball. If your feet are too close you will lose balance. Lean back and place the middle of your back squarely on the ball and your fingertips cupping your eats. Don’t crank on your neck. At this point you should be able to feel a good stretch in your abs.
2. Take a breath in and tense your abdominal muscles. You must learn to use this tension to crunch yourself up as opposed to any momentum you are able to generate by swinging body parts around.
Breathe out and curl yourself up by contracting your abs. You should start with your head, shoulders and then middle torso. As you get about half way you will direct your elbow towards the opposite sides knee. Only come as far as you can until you feel the tension start to fade. That’s when its time to start heading back down for the next repetition.
Hanging Leg Raise With A Twist
You have seen how to do the hanging leg raise (in our case we threw in a chin- up) in other pictures. The only thing you are going to do a little different now is that you are going to try and stuff the hip into the SAME side armpit. You wont get that high of course, but putting that thought into the movement will get you the feeling you want to achieve.
Do one rep on one side and then do the other. Once you get better at it and know how long you can last hanging from the bar, you will want to shoot for the whole number of reps you are supposed to be doing before you switch over to the other side.
I wish you all the best in health and fitness.
There really is no better feeling than getting out of the shower, having the towel actually fit around your waist and thinking, “Damn I look good today!”
Raymond Burton I.S.S.A
Building Bodies Personal Training
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