Friday, 22 May 2009

The Elusive 6 Pack - Core Training

Everyone aspires to getting that elusive 6 pack of rock hard abs that the ladies seem to love so much yet the many "Get amazing abs in 6 weeks" routines you pay for never seem to live up to the hype.

The truth is that to get an amazing 6 pack of rock hard abs it takes a lot of time and effort that is not just concentrated on ab workouts but also strength training, cardiovascular exercise and eating correctly.

My point about building rock hard abs to have a 6 pack is that you should not just work the abs, you should also work the whole trunk of the body, this is called a core workout rather than an ab workout. You also need to complete core exercises at least twice a week to achieve a physical change to your mid section.

Today Im going to give you a 6 week plan that will help towards building rock hard abs and a strong core, but wont necessarily give you the 6 pack you wont straight away (you may need to keep repeating for a while!).

Firstly strength training is very important, for this I mean the 5 x 5 workout that I have mentioned previously. This is because the workload in the 5 x 5 workout builds strength through lifting heavy weights in compound movements. While lifting these heavy weights in the compound movements you will always be engaging your core muscles to give you stability and added strength thus giving them a workout also.

Secondly you need to carry out cardiovascular training two or three times a week. One of these times should be a full blown run for around 20 - 30 minutes minimum (no longer than 45 minutes though) while the other sessions can be a fast walk or light jog for at least 30 minutes each. This will help burn the fat to build that lean physique.

Thirdly finish at least two of your workouts with a core session, these sessions should have about three to four different core exercises such as crunches, plank, Oblique v-up or leg raises.

Finally ensure you maintain a healthy diet and each little and regularly. I suggest eating a small meal 5 to 6 times a day at 3 to 4 hour intervals, this will give you the nutrients you need and will maintain your metabolism at its highest rate.

Below is an example of building your workout

Comlpete 2 compound movements with 5 sets of 5 reps on each, rest about two minutes between sets.

Add additional weight lifting exercises here to make up your full workout making sure these are carried out in quick succession to get that burn and feel the sweat. These exercises should be carried out in sets of 3 with 10 to 12 reps.

Finish off with 3 or 4 different core workout exercises, keep mixing them up every week to blast your core muscles into growth. When completing the core exerises try 3 sets of each exercises with at least 15 reps for each exercise.