Archive for the tag - abs

Myth: Healthy Outside = Healthy Inside?

Hey Davey,

I’m an 18 year old guy and I eat pretty much whatever I want. My diet consists mostly of chips, pizza, soda and other crappy food. Even though I have such a bad diet, my body looks great. I have a six pack and look really athletic. Do I really need to change my diet if I already look good?


sixpackHey Ben,

Congratulations! You are one of those people who is blessed with a high metabolism and good genetics.

But keep in mind, what’s happening on the outside is really only part of the equation. While many people eat smart and work out to look a certain way, the best benefits of a healthy lifestyle happen on the inside. And just because someone looks healthy on the outside doesn’t mean they are healthy on the inside.

Decades ago, autopsies for U.S. military personal killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars revealed that many of these bootcamp graduates had plaque and fatty deposits in their arteries. Despite looking healthy and fit on the outside, many of these young people were severely unhealthy on the inside. On the outside, you might see an athletic 20 year-old man. But on the inside, his arteries looked like those of an overweight, 50 year-old heart attack victim.

Yes, a healthy lifestyle of eating smarter and moving more will transform your body. But transforming your body is about more than just your outward appearance. It’s like the difference between getting a car wash or a tune-up. If you want your car to be in good working condition, you need to maintain what’s under the hood! The same goes for your body.

But fear not: Having a healthy lifestyle and improving your diet isn’t difficult. And though it might not include a whole lot of chips or soda, it will include plenty of delicious foods that will energize and invigorate your body! If you need help or guidance, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. It will give you all the tools you need for a complete transformation.

I hope that helps!


Ready To Take Your Ab Workout To The Next Level?

wr01qe6b80o1_500Are you happy with your abs? Great, keep doing what you’re doing.

Not happy with your abs? Let’s talk.

And let’s assume you already know the basics. You understand that everyone has abs, and that showcasing your abdominal muscles is really all about reducing body fat through an effective workout program and proper nutrition. And let’s assume that you’ve put these foundational principles into practice - and have seen some results.

But what if you want more? What if you want carved, cobblestone abs that really pop?

In this instance, it’s about more than just reducing body fat to make your abdominal muscles visible. It’s about actually building up those muscles and increasing their size. The secret to building those ab muscles isn’t really a secret at all. It’s the same strategy that we use to build our biceps, pecs or glutes.

In short, you need to incorporate resistance. And, over time you need to progressively increase the amount of resistance so that your muscles build back stronger and bigger than before. After all, your body won’t build muscle unless more muscle is needed to get the job done.

Incorporating resistance with abdominal workouts takes some creativity. In this instance, using cables can be extremely effective. You can also simply hold a weight plate over your head while performing crunches or situps. Over time, increase the weight of the plate or the resistance on the cables. Keep doing this until you achieve your desired results.

Remember, you have have the biggest, baddest abs in the world - but if you have even a small layer of fat over your belly, they won’t be visible. You’ll need to keep your body fat down to really achieve the desired effect.

Sound like a lot of work? It is. While having a strong, powerful core provides many important benefits, carving out a magazine-quality six pack isn’t necessary - or realistic - for most of us.

P.S. If you want some guidance for improving your core, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program and get started today!

Is A Six Pack Worth It?

Hi Davey,

I’ve tried to get a six pack but it hasn’t worked and I can’t imagine putting more time into it than I already have. I honestly have to ask, is having a six pack really worth it? Why torture yourself over something superficial when there’s so many other more meaningful things worth doing in life?


caio-cesar-0402Hey Audrey,

Well, I think your email and question will strike a chord with many, many people. Indeed, for a lot of people, the energy and effort required to carve out a chiseled six pack might not be worth it. It’s a question all of us must ask ourselves and answer honestly.

But consider this.

I grew up overweight. Being a fat kid isn’t easy. The name calling and teasing was relentless - and it took a toll. By middle school, I starved myself and became dangerously thin. The ups and downs slowly leveled out in my teenage years; I slowly began the process of healing my relationship with my body. It’s still an ongoing journey, but I’ve learned so much from the experience and have come to realize my own strength.

It reminds me of a quote that I once came across: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” And it’s a quote that’s very much applicable to the pursuit of a six pack.

Getting a six pack is a huge challenge. It requires changing the way you eat. It requires spending time engaged in exercise. In many ways, it can be a change in lifestyle for most people. And while the achievement of that goal is innately superficial, the process by which it is accomplished is full of very real and important lessons.

Moreover, I’ve never found it to be torture. Fueling your body with delicious and nourishing foods isn’t torture. Honoring your body with movement through exercise isn’t torture. Going to bed at night and sleeping well isn’t a torture. All of these things, in my opinion, are gifts. Sure, they all require energy and effort. But they also dramatically improve the way you look and feel.

There’s something to be said for dreaming it, wishing it and then doing it. Yes, getting a six pack is difficult. But life’s not about limiting your challenges. It’s about challenging your limits.


P.S. If six pack abs are one of your fitness goals, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program - with a different 12-minute ab workout for each day of the week!


How Long Does It Take To Get In Shape?

Dear Davey,

I’m 20 years old and my body fat percentage is about 25. By eating healthy and getting enough sleep, how long will it take for me to get a six pack?


Chris-R.-Shirtless-by-Rick-Day-2Hey Ahmed,

By combining a healthy, balanced diet that supports your exercise routine with plenty of sleep, rest and recovery, you’ll certainly improve the way you look and feel.

Most trainers will recommend losing no more than 1 - 2 pounds per week. Although this recommendation may seem slow, remember that fast weight loss is often associated with drastic, unhealthy diet and exercise measures that are both dangerous and unsustainable. Unless you’re being medically supervised, the American Council on Exercise recommends 1 percent body fat loss per month.

Six packs become visible at very low body fat percentages - likely under the 10% range. To move from 25% to 10%, a very rough recommendation would be 15 months. However, everybody and every body is different and there are many factors involved. All of us experience setbacks and challenges - and sometimes we reach plateaus in our results.

While initial losses and body fat may be relatively easy, it’s very difficult to achieve body fat percentages in the lower ranges. You’ll need to exercise often, intensely and follow a strict diet. For a lot of people, this type of exercise and diet plan is unrealistic.

Rather than being motivated by the aesthetics of a six pack, let the other benefits of exercise drive your progress. While there’s no denying that a six pack looks great, we’re not all going to look like Ken dolls. And that’s okay. At the end of the day, a healthier lifestyle means that you’ll feel better, have increased energy, perform better on daily activities and so much more. Six pack or not, those are all great things worth reaching for.


How to Get Abs Like the Movie 300.

Dear Davey,

I’m a big fan of the movie 300 and I’m excited to see the new sequel. I’ve always been really envious of the actors’ bodies and especially their six pack abs, and I was wondering what their secret is?


2r5ylrkHey Ben,

The chiseled, strong, oiled bodies of the men in 300 are a sight to behold - and can certainly serve as workout motivation and inspiration to the rest of us.

The secret to getting a highly defined body (like those showcased in 300) really isn’t a secret at all. It can be summed up in two steps:

  1. Train hard.
  2. Eat fewer calories than you burn.

The truth is, all of us have abdominal muscles. Training hard means strengthening and developing those muscles. But even highly developed abdominal muscles will remain hidden if they’re covered by a layer of body fat. Eating fewer calories than you burn (while continuing to train hard) is all about leaning down to a lower body fat percentage. As you become leaner, the coveted six pack becomes visible.

Exercise guru Mark Twight worked with the 300 actors to whip them into shape through months of intense training. At the end of the training, the actors were administered the following test. Based on their time, the actors were each given a score.

  • 25 pull-ups
  • 50 deadlifts at 135 pounds
  • 50 push-ups
  • 50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
  • 50 “floor wipers” at 135 pounds
  • 50 “clean and press” at 36 pounds
  • 25 more pull-ups

It’s a grand total of 300 reps (just like the name of the movie) and it’s meant to be performed without any rest. Keep in mind, the ability to punch through this workout test was the result of months of training. If it seems daunting, work up to it over time. Completing the test can be a great fitness goal.

If it all sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. Between training and massages and fight classes, many of the actors worked four hours per day to achieve their 300 look. For a lot of people, that might not be realistic - and that’s okay.

At the end of the day, 300 can - at the very least - inspire each of us to build stronger, healthier bodies that are fueled by delicious and nourishing foods. We might not end up looking like Greek gods, but we can certainly make progress toward our health and fitness goals.



7 Tips for Better Crunches!

perfect six pack2Crunches are the staple of most ab workouts, but they’re rarely executed to their full potential. To really make make your crunches count, here are 7 tips:

  1. Keep your head and neck in alignment with your spin to avoid strain and discomfort. This means that there should always be space between your chin and your upper chest. A simple trick is to pretend you’re holding an apple under your chin… don’t crush it!
  2. Resist gravity. Crunching up is important, but most people forget about the lowering portion of the exercise. By resisting gravity as your shoulders lower back to the floor, you’ll get more punch out of each crunch.
  3. Use mind-muscle control. Mind-muscle control refers to the feeling of connection between your mind and the muscles that are being worked. By mentally focusing on your abdominal muscles while performing a crunch, you can can greatly increase the level of intensity.
  4. Avoid interlocking fingers behind your head. Interlocking fingers is more likely to result in your head being pulled forward (remember to keep that apple under your chin!). Instead, place your fingers by your ears or cross arms over your chest.
  5. Magnify your crunch with modifications. If you want to take your crunches to the next level, try elevating your heels so that they’re a foot off of the floor - essentially bringing your legs into tabletop position. Alternatively, try reaching your arms straight up, as though your palms were reaching through the ceiling.
  6. Don’t anchor your feet. Forget what you learned in elementary school. Anchoring your feet under something heavy shifts the focus from your abs to your hips. It’s also more likely to cause strain by overextending and/or arching your back.
  7. Breathe. Don’t hold your breath! Instead, incorporate rhythmic breathing into your ab work. Exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down.

If you’re looking to spice up your ab workout, then check out my Davey Wavey Six Pack Program. You’ll get five, 12-minute ab workouts to perform each day of the workweek and a slew of great materials. And use discount code “blog” to save 25% during checkout.


Best Time to Do Abs in a Workout?

The best time to train your abs is at the end of a workout.

Here’s a question that I get a lot: Is there a best time to train your abs in a workout?

The answer is yes.

First, consider that your abs work constantly - even when you’re engaging other muscles. Your abs fire while doing everything from squats to sprints to shoulder presses and so on. The core works to keep you stabilized and properly supported. Even when walking down the street, you’re using your abs.

Because your abdominal muscles are so important and because they assist in so many movements, it’s best to train your abs the end of your workout session.

If you train your abs at the start of your workout, on the other hand, they could become fatigued - and subsequent exercises may suffer. If your abs can’t assist in a dead lift, for example, you may be unable to lift as much weight. Or, even worse, your form may become compromised and injury could result. In situations like these, fatigued ab muscles can become a limiting factor for non-ab exercises - thereby hampering progress and results.

The bottom line: Save crunches, sit-ups and the like for the end of your workout session. Doing this ensures best results on non-abdominal exercises that require core support.

8 Popular Six Pack Ab Myths.

True story: No two six packs are alike.

If you ask anyone about their fitness goals, six pack abs or a flat stomach are likely to be somewhere on the list. But despite the popularity of this goal, there’s a huge amount of misinformation and a number of popular fallacies.

Today, I’m going to shoot down a number of popular six pack myths to help keep your training program effective and on track.

  1. Myth: You can crunch away the fat on your abs. For most people, the biggest obstacle standing between themselves and a six pack is a layer of fat. Even a thin layer of fat will hide the most developed of abdominal muscles - and doing crunches will do nothing to spot-reduce stomach fat. In fact, the whole notion of spot-reducing fat is a complete fallacy; fat comes off according to its own agenda. Crunches can build your abdominal muscles, but they won’t reduce stomach fat.
  2. Myth: Feeling the burn is all that matters. For individuals looking to build up their ab muscles, it’s important to remember that soreness isn’t required for muscle growth. In fact, soreness is usually simply the result of a new workout routine. Subsequent workouts won’t result in as much (or any) soreness, but that doesn’t mean your muscles aren’t growing. An effective ab workout isn’t measured by how sore you are the next day.
  3. Myth: You need strong abs to have a six pack. Ever see a guy or gal who doesn’t workout, but who sports a fantastic set of six pack abs? For many of these individuals, their chiseled midsection is the result of low body fat percentages. More than developed abdominal muscles, visible six packs have a lot more to do with low body fat - and these individuals were blessed with good genes.
  4. Myth: Fat or diet pills will help you get a sick pack. It’s not worth spending any time on this myth. If you could buy a six pack in a bottle, there would be a lot more people walking around without their shirts on.
  5. Myth: There are shortcuts. Sorry, there aren’t. Depending on your current state of athleticism, your journey to a flat stomach may be longer or shorter - but there really are no shortcuts. Chiseled abs are the result of a workout program designed to target a low body fat percentage (usually the 6% - 13% range) and larger abdominal muscles. There’s no potion, pill or magic spell.
  6. Myth: You can get your six pack to look like that of Christopher Fawcett. Or Ryan Reynolds. Or Colton Haynes. While the models and actors we see in magazines can be great motivators, just like snowflakes, no two six packs are alike. The structure of your abdomen is determined by your genes. And while you can change the size of your muscles through exercise, you can’t change the fundamental layout or structure of your midsection. Your six pack will be uniquely yours.
  7. Myth: You can’t eat carbs if you want a six pack. Carbs are one of the most under-appreciated aspects of a balanced and healthy diet. Indeed, we need carbohydrates for our bodies to function properly, but many people mistakenly believe that carbs load our bodies up with excess body fat. The real emphasis should be placed on eating good, whole, natural and unprocessed carbs - like those found in whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, etc - rather than the bad carbs found in sugary drinks, white bread, cookies and cakes.
  8. Myth: You need to do hours of cardio to get a six pack. You don’t need to take up marathon running to lean down and showcase your six pack. In fact, as I’ve said before, high intensity interval training - which can last for as little as 10 or 15 minutes - is the best way to boost your metabolism and drop body fat. It takes minutes - not hours.

In life, knowledge is power - and the same can be said for fitness. Just because you’ve heard something, it doesn’t mean that it’s true. It’s important to question everything and to do your research based on real science - rather than what you overheard at the gym.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear some of the true or untrue things that you’ve heard about six packs. Perhaps I’ll do a part II.

How to Get V-Line Abs.

Hey Davey,

I was wondering: How do you get those sexy v-line abs?


Hey Andrew,

That’s a popular question - and I’m glad you asked. Getting a v-cut does require some serious commitment, but there’s no magic to it.

Obtaining v-line abs isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight, and it requires two basic steps. Much like getting lower back dimples, the cuts that make v-lines pop are only visible with a low body fat percentage. Even a thin layer of fat will prevent your v-lines from showing through. The second step involves specifically targeting your lower abdomen muscles during your workouts.

Let’s walk through the two steps in greater detail.

  1. Decrease body fat percentages to the 6% - 13% range for men (and 14% - 20% for women). My body fat percentage, for example, is 8%. And while that doesn’t sound too astounding, body fat percentages in these lower ranges often require hard work and dedication. These are the levels of fat you’d find in elite athletes. There are some formulas that you can use to calculate your body fat - but I’d recommend working with a trainer or professional to determine your starting point.

    One of the most effective ways to decrease fat is by engaging in a high intensity interval training program. As you alternate between intervals of high and medium intensity, you’ll push your metabolism into high gear - and incinerate calories long after your workout ends.

  2. Build lower ab muscles. While obtaining a low body fat percentage is crucial, you’ll obviously need to develop your abdominal muscles - and lower abs, in particular - to achieve the full effect. I created this lower ab workout on YouTube for people who exercise at home:

    If you you have access to a fitness center or gym equipment, try sets of hanging leg raises. Hang from a bar, and lift your straightened legs so that the body folds in half. For a variation, bend your knees and include a twist. Twist on one side, then repeat the exercise by twisting on the other. Be powerful and explosive in your movements.

By both lowering your body fat percentage and developing your lower abdomen muscles, you’ll get the all-elusive v-cut that drives so many of us wild.


5-Minute Killer Lower Ab Workout [Video]

When I exercise my abs, I usually break the workouts into three different days. On one day, I do an oblique workout. On the second day, I do a more standard ab workout with crunches, etc. On the third day, I do a workout that targets my lower abs.

With just five minutes, I managed to cram a number of great lower abdominal exercise into today’s YouTube video via my Davey Wavey Fitness YouTube channel. Check out the video and make sure you subscribe to my fitness channel!

To download a professionally workout program with three, 15-minute workouts, check out Davey Wavey’s Get Ripped Workout. Use discount code “core” to save 20% during checkout. And for exercise mats or other equipment, check out