Archive for the tag - abdominals

Can You Train Abs Everyday?

Hey Davey,

I’ve gotten plenty of tips for workouts from friends in the past but there’s one recurring rumor I keep hearing. To your knowledge, can ab exercises be done everyday? Or do you have to give them rest like you do the other parts of your body such as arms or legs?

From,
Max

Max,

Whether or not abs should be trained everyday is one of the million dollar fitness questions with elaborate theories for and against it.

Opponents of everyday ab training point out that our abs are just like any other muscle in the body – and that they can be overtrained. When we exercise with resistance, our muscles break down. Sufficient time is required for any muscle to rebuild, and so opponents believe that a day (or more) of rest is needed between ab workouts.

Proponents of everyday ab training believe that our abdominal muscles are unique. Because we use these muscles for almost any movement we make, it takes a lot of training to really fatigue these muscles. As such, it takes frequent training sessions for optimal results. And indeed, many bodybuilders do train their abs everyday.

I take a middle-of-the-line approach that combines both philosophies. I train my lower abs on one day, my upper abs on the second and my obliques (side abs) on the third. This gives sufficient rest to each area of my abdomen while still allowing more frequent ab training.

Of course, you’ll have to find what works best for you – and remember that you should never train a muscle that is still sore from a previous workout. Most people will be perfectly fine with 3 – 5 ab workouts per week.

Also keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, the best way to improve abdominal definition is not with crunches or sit-ups. Any layer of fat (even a very thin one) will hide your six pack, and so it’s crucially important to engage in frequent and effective cardiovascular training (I recommend metabolism-boosting intervals).

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

Pilates-Style Ab Workout! [Video]

While I was on my recent week-long Pilates adventure, I learned a new ab exercise called “100s” that I’d like to share with you. It’s powerful, effective and you can do it pretty much anywhere.

It’s important to incorporate new exercises into our routines. It keeps our bodies evolving and helps prevent plateaus – so I’d recommend that you give this one a try.

Watch the video below.

How Often Should You Exercise Your Abs?

Frequency of ab workouts is one of the great fitness debates. There are basically two schools of thought.

One school of thought argues that abs should be exercised everyday. Because our abs are stabilizer muscles, we’re always using them – whether it’s walking down the street, getting out of a car or sitting in a chair. And since our abs are accustomed to this heavy workload, we can train our abs more frequently than we would other muscles.

The other school of thought argues that it’s important to give our abs a day or two to recover. Because ours abs are not fundamentally different than other muscles, we need to let them rebuild and repair – or else we’re limiting our progress and set ourselves up for injury.

I take the middle-ground. I don’t think ab workouts are so much about frequency as intensity. If your ab workout is intense, and if it leaves your muscles feeling sore – then give your abs rest. Never exercise a muscle that is still sore from a previous workout.

Furthermore, for my own workouts, I’ve broken my abs into three parts: obliques (side abs), lower abs, and middle abs/upper abs. One each day, I focus on a different part. If I do my obliques today, I’ll do my lower abs tomorrow – and so on. And if I am sore from a previous ab workout, then I give myself a day of recovery.

How often do you exercise your abs? Let us know in the comments below.

P.S. If you dare, you should try out my 5-minute ab workout!

Six Pack Secret: Drinking Water?

The world's most famous six pack!

Since elementary school, our phys ed teachers have reminded us to drink our 8 cups of water a day. But why? It turns out they were on to something. Staying hydrated is associated with a number of benefits – including better definition in your abs.

Decreased risk of cancer, clearer skin and increased productivity are a few of the reasons to stay hydrated. But water also has another important benefit: Fat loss. Water curbs hunger (the body often sends a hunger signal when it’s actually thirsty), replaces sugary drinks and actually boosts your metabolism.

The findings of a water/metabolism study were reported in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The researchers tracked energy expenditures among seven men and seven women who were healthy and not overweight. The subjects, after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water, increased the rate of burning calories by 30% within the time frame of 30-40 minutes. Drinking water helps create the create the calorie deficit required for weight and fat loss. And less fat = more defined six pack.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. In the December/January issue of Men’s Fitness, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (famous for his abs) touts water as one of his top 8 six-pack rules.

Remember: Even a small layer of belly fat will obscure abs. So… exercise, maintain a clean diet – and drink tons of water. Cheers!

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about crazy abs, check out my “how to get a six pack” guide.

5-Minute Oblique Workout! [Video]

Back in July, I shared a 5-minute killer ab workout that you can do at home. Today, I’m excited to share a 5-minute ab workout that focuses on your obliques. Your obliques are the muscles that run alongside your abs – and many people forget to exercise them.

You can try my full 30-minute ab workout as part of my Total Body Assault fitness program. Use promo code “abs” to save $10 at checkout!

Watch the video below: