How many crunches does it take? How long do you spend laying on your back or flailing your legs in the air to achieve a flat stomach, or even a six pack set of rockstar abs? How many reps does it take, 10, 100, 1000? How many do you do, 1000, 100, 10, or possibly zero? What’s the “master” Secret that you’re missing, that you may have never heard of or nobody’s ever told you?
Well before we begin it should be pointed out that no matter how many crunches and sit-ups someone does, if those rippling abs are covered in fat it can all be for not.
- It’s a myth to think you can target weight loss of the stomach, or any part of the body for that case.
- we have to drop our over all body fat percentage, becoming lean and tone with strength training. Hours of daily cardio is not the solution, building muscle and fixing a bad diet is the solution.
- Men should be at or below 10% body fat, women need to reach that 20% or below target before you can start to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
now, back to it…
It’s a simple Secret that contains two pieces of knowledge. First, understanding that the abdominal muscles build the same way as any other muscle group. If you wouldn’t do a hundred bicep curls (and you shouldn’t) in one session, you shouldn’t be doing a hundred crunches. Doing a hundred of anything (in reference to muscle growth) and you are not creating enough stress or strain to achieve any type of benefit from the action. I would argue that if you’re doing even 20 of anything (there are some exceptions) you are not achieving the stress level necessary for benefit.
The second simple bit of knowledge is abdominal breathing. Yes it’s as simple as breathing in and breathing out. Don’t forget to breathe out, we wouldn’t want anybody passing out and taking a header into the laptop while reading this. Once you learn this technique you can do it anywhere, anytime, standing up, sitting down, walking, and even playing video games.
So how do we learn this revolutionary technique? We breathe, and can practice right here and now. That’s right, stand up, get some of that good posture stuff going, and take a deep breath. Inhaling slow and long while paying attention to what your abdomen is doing. What’s it doing? Probably sucking in, right? We can’t have that. Take another slow deep breath and force the uncooperative stomach outward. The goal here is to expand the stomach out while inhaling. Give it another try. It can actually be awkward at first, going against years of think less muscle memory. It conveniently keeps us alive, but doesn’t build the core as efficiently as we would like.
Once we have that down, don’t stop! Continue to actively force the stomach out while exhaling. Contract and crunch those abs, make it hurt, think of all the time they caused you suffering doing awful ab workouts. How do we punish those abs even more? With two tiny tricks.
First, curl into it just enough to compress the abs as much as possible. The key here is to try and bend at center abdomen. You’re not pulling your shoulders down or bending at the waist, you’re using only the core. Like trying to smash the lower and upper abs together from the center point.
Second, rotate the pelvis upwards. Again like trying to push your lower abs directly upwards into your chest. That’s it, Seriously! Oh we might need a count also. The whole action from start to finish should last 8-12 second. Divide that time evenly, 4 second inhale, 4 second exhale.
left: inhaling and forcing out. right: exhaling, still forcing out, and curling pelvis up.
Personally: not focusing to much on abs, I may do 30-60 Reps a week. two different sessions, with 1-2 exercises a session. I usually max out at 6-8 reps per set, 3-4 sets.
This breathing system can be used in almost any ab exercise situation, and will drastically reduce time, and increase production. Remember the core builds just like any other muscle group, if you can do over 12 crunches using this method you’re probably not doing it right. Let’s do it right, better, faster, and smarter.
Bam! That’s the “master” secret to cutting out a huge amount of time and effort, while gaining a mountain of strength.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy. Find the complete list of isometric exercises here.