Here's something for all the people who think smashing out crunches for Africa will get you abs. Think again! If you want a tight, strong core you need to fix your nutrition and spend more time doing ‘big movements’ in the gym!
1. Train the fundamentals
When I talk about the ‘big movements’, I’m talking about deadlifts, squats, pull ups, dips, the bench press, Bulgarian split squats, kettlebell swings, olympic lifts, presses, sprints, carries and throws. In other words, the fundamental human movements: push, pull, hinge, squat, carry and sometimes twist.
Most of your training (70-80%) should be comprised of these movements. This type of training is what will spark the reduction of body fat and the visible emergence of abs.
2. Add some high-intensity bursts
The bulk of the rest of your time in the gym should be filled with ‘metabolic conditioning’, or short, intense bursts, including circuits, sprints, etc. Personally, I love running hills and stairs with my dog Jack.
3. Pick the best ab exercises
And no, I haven’t forgotten the ab work. This should make up the smallest portion of your training - just 2- 5%. Say goodbye to crunches - the best exercises I would recommend are hanging leg raises, windscreen wipers, ab wheel roll outs, Russian twists, v-sits and planks.
4. Nail your nutrition
Now comes the crucial bit. You need to work hard on your nutrition. This is how you’ll get closer to the almost mythical six pack. You need to be 90% on point with a 10% variance... because you are a human after all.
A clean diet is as minimally processed and as close to nature as possible. It includes lean meats, plenty of fresh vegetables and some fruit, plenty of water, and fat. Avoid sugar, packaged food and preservatives, and alcohol. Tea and coffee are okay in moderation.
You should eat only until you are about 80% full. You should also fill up as much as you can on vegetables first, then meat, fat and finally fruit.
You should be a little hungry, but never ‘hangry’. I like, and would suggest, eating lightly throughout the morning and afternoon and then filling up, but not ‘stuffing’ yourself at night. Again, stick to 80% full.
As always, consistency is key. If you find yourself hitting a wall with your training, or need a hand getting on track (and staying there) give us a yell!
See you in the gym.
- Reece #noexcuses