So December 9, 2014, while in Vegas, I decided to give myself a –challenge-.
What was that challenge? A four week ab transformation.
Why? Because that was the one area where I lacked discipline.
THERE IS NOT A
SECRET TO GETTING THE BODY YOU WANT. YOU -MUST- PUT IN WORK.
That being said, here’s how I did it.
– Weighted Cable Rope Crunch: This is by far my favorite abdominal exercise. This is great for hitting the top part of the abdominals as well as the side obliques. I go as heavy as I can while keep the form good.
*Tip: When you’re in the “number 2” part of the exercise, instead of coming back up fast, do it slowly. Make it a 5 count if you can.
3-4 sets 15-20 reps for each varied exercise.
– Leg Raises on the Dip Bar: This workout really hits the lower abdominals for me. I do my best to do “straight leg”, but I also do “bent leg” holds when necessary. If you want to work the obliques as well, a simple twist of the bent legs when you come up will do the trick.
*Tip: Regardless if you do straight or bent leg, hold for 1-2 seconds.
3-4 sets 10 reps
– Seated Leg Raises on Bench: A simple yet effective exercise (for me). I really concentrate on the movement instead of finishing the sets. This typically hits all of the abdominal core I find.
*Tip: Hold your legs out for 2-3 seconds and slowly retract to the starting position. This is going to burn!
4 sets 25 reps
– Weighted Sit-ups on Decline Bench: This is the most difficult and challenging abdominal workouts for me. I typically use a 25 lb olympic style weight. For those starting out, use your own body weight and slowly add weight when you need more of a challenge.
*Tip: To hit the obliques, twist at the “top”. Also, for a more of a challenge, hold the weight behind your head but be careful with the weight used. (I can barely do 5 lbs)
4 sets 15-20 reps
– The “Torture Twist”: Taken from “The Four hour Body”. I’m not sure if it lives up to its name or not yet, but I shall when I increase the “hold”. This is a side abdominal crunch where you hold yourself in the twist position WITHOUT back support. For me, I use the “crunch bench” in the previous exercise above to hold myself up (if you have bad knees, -DO NOT DO-).
Gather a bench and another object to secure your legs. You’ll need about two feet of space for the “securing” object and you can adjust the distance needed for the exercise.
Starting: 3 sets 3 reps (each side) hold for 3 seconds
Challenge: 5 sets 5 reps (each side) hold for 5 seconds
*NOTE: I do not count calories, track macros, or measure anything. I eat whenever I’m hungry so sometimes it could be three times a day or five times a day.
Steel Cut Oats
– I typically use vanilla almond milk or hemp milk when I can find it.
-Chocolate syrup (yes, lots of it)
-1 banana cut up
Tofu/Veggies/Rice or Quinoa
-One package or drained pan fried tofu (think really brown)
-Lots of frozen veggies
-Lots of brown rice or lentils
(If I don’t have any sauce available… I.will.use.ketchup.)
Black bean Spaghetti/Lentils/Baked Beans
-A handful of spaghetti
-Tons of brown lentils
-Lots of baked beans
*NOTE: I will combine any ingredients of the last two lists.
Other Random Ingredients
-Coconut Milk/Soy Milk Yogurt
“Cheat Meals” (I’ll indulge once a week or so)
(I don’t like the term cheat meal, also I don’t indulge much, but when I do… I do)
-Clif builder bars (sometimes I’ll eat three at one time. No shame)
-Dark chocolate bar (so I won’t eat it in one sitting)
-Newmans “Oreos” (I have been known to eat a whole package in 24 hours)
-Del Taco (bean burritos with gauc) (for those on the West Coast)