How to Get Abs like Bricks
ABS LIKE BRICKS?
SLABBERS WHO WANNA STUD PACK TO DIE FOR!
I know you don't like reading stuff!
BUT if you wanna really be HOT,
showin' sliced abs that blow onlookers minds,
take this in REAL GOOD, cuz this is
HOW YOU DO IT!
.absolutely THE NO 1 is CRUNCHES: Lie on your back on the floor with arms folded across your chest. And your feet raised in an 'L' onto the end of a bench or against a wall ideally, or if not, just staying in the 'L' position.
CURL YOUR TRUNK SLOWLY AND VERY PURPOSEFULLY RISE UP AND FORWARD
by raising your head and shoulders from the ground, mind-muscle squeeze and burn, and slowly lower to the starting position trying to keep a continual tension on them. Repeat slowly and deliberately for say 20-25 reps as one set. Work up to 5 sets.
FOR CRUNCH-BURN OBLIQUES twist your trunk as you curl up just touching each elbow to its opposite side at the top position on alternate reps.
PARTIAL INCLINE SIT-UPS are NEXT BEST to form the basis of your ab-slab routine. This most basic of the abdominal motions stresses the bulk of the central muscle of the abdomen, called the rectus abdominus, with an emphasis on the lower area. IDEALLY use a partial incline bench as opposed to an incline board coz bench slants tend to be more natural in angle and structurally forgiving. The result is less strain on the lower back with the bench.
DON'T GO AB CRAZY STUD - use moderate repetitions.
DOING dozens, or even hundreds of ab reps, one after the other. Proves the ideal example of DIMINISHING RETURNS (in other words for MOST of you (there are always exceptions and some guys can build awesome abs this way, BUT not the majority of us and if we are one of those, we're usually on our way to a big zilch!) WHY?
- After a certain point, you normally stop stimulating and start annihilating.
- Overtraining of these muscles in such sequence can (in some instances) actually lead to injuries like the common epigastric hernia (a tear in the tissue in the center of the abdomen that connects the two sides of the rectus abdominus called the linea alba).
- Granted, the abdominals require a slightly higher rep scheme than your average body part.
- GO FOR THE MAGIC 25 while increasing the level of difficulty with either added resistance or a steeper angle.
WASHBOARD SLAB-ABS - WHY DON'T MORE HARD-TRAINERS HAVE 'EM?
The answer: They are not necessarily lazy in the gym, but they don't think MUSCLESMART or perhaps, have the information they need to effectively stimulate their abs. . .
- SO FOR YOU studs!
. NOW there WILL SHORTLY BE NO EXCUSES for NOT showing prominent abs that are deep, thick and powerful AND what's more, they've GOTTA show prominently through your Tee, Tank or shirt to PROVE you've got 'em, Okay?
- SO YOU'RE GONNA START laying the foundation for a HOT, INCREDIBLE SHOWMUSCLE, six or eight-pack and some of you -not many! - may even sculpt an incredible 10 pack washboard. When you do, we wanna see it, cuz it will motivate and inspire and shit-envy your Muscle Buddys.
- The ab-slab muscles are VERY special in the way they must be trained. WHY? Cuz: ab training is unique cuz YOUR ab structure is unique, UNLIKE say, the arms and the legs, abs depend largely on muscle rather than bones for support. What do you need to know to get awesome abs? WELL!
- IF YOU DO IT RIGHT, SLAB ABS, more muscular and leaner, can appear surprisingly quickly!
YOU WONT GO FOR THIS KINDLY, BUT IF YOU DON'T, YOU CAN FORGET HOT-PUSHING ANY SHOWMUSCLE ABS!
IF your abs are covered with a layer of fat, the best advice and most torturous ab training in the world won't much matter much without an accompanying RIGHT DIET. Everyone has the same basic abdominal muscle structure. (some with stronger & fitter abs than others.) Effective ab training will help you strengthen these muscles and provide functional stability to your midsection, but don't kid yourself , it shit-won't bring out those slab-abs. If "invisible abs through fat covering" is what you're up against, you can crunch until the cows come home. UNLESS YOU burn via diet and the right exercise - Zilch! The fat will simply go along for the ride and you'll crunch away till even those animals will probably show just as good washboard abs as you!
ENERGY BALANCE IS VITAL: SO YOU MUST EAT PROPERLY!
PRIORITY REPEAT:YOU MUST EAT PROPERLY! (a) begin a good meal plan of 6-8 small nutritional meals a day (see musclewise etc.) and work hard at reducing your overall bodyfat; and (b) train your abs Musclesmart, and with real intensity and efficiency.
AB STRUCTURE & GENETICS.
Those hot Slab Abs we so admire on hot studs as six or eight-pack stunners are the rectus abdominus and the external obliques: -
- The rectus abdominus is the large abdominal muscle in the front of the torso.
- It's really one muscle that's split into four strips of connective tissue called tendinous incriptions.
- These strips are protective devices that keep you from rupturing the entire length of the rectus abdominus.
- Also, running down the middle of the rectus abdominus is: That HOT sexy deep ridge dividing it into right and left halves, called the linea alba.
- All these determine the genetic shape of your rectus abdominus.
- Or, your slab-ab ridges of hot showmuscle.
Some guys have awesome clear-cut ab blocks, others have sections that appear a bit staggered. Some have thick, protruding abs, while others are a little more flat. For the time being, make the best of what you've got! They can be altered over time - and I'll show you - but this is almost a cosmetic change and it takes hard, hard work!
- The external obliques, (and internal obliques when highly trained) give the waist that HOT tapered, sleek look and are made up of fibers running diagonally down toward your groin.
- You work this muscle as you rotate inward on a crunch.
- Again, not much can be done to alter the genetic shape of these muscles.
- AND YOU DO NOT WANT TO USE HEAVY WEIGHTS TO MAKE THEM LOOK BLOCKY. Some guys barely need to work them at all and this is basically due to their natural somatotype make-up (see Activating Metab article - Training and Body Know-how categories)
Few, except for the lucky or perhaps sensible musclesmart ones, make the most of their ab development potential in the first place. There is much to be gained by torture muscle-sculpting.
You can strengthen, "tone," and hypertrophy (add size to) these muscles, and through this, help to burn off overlying fat. This will also aid your bodybuilding as a whole and injury prevention. When that ugly fat layer vanishes, you'll expose a slab pak washboard of six or eight washboard ridges which shine forth in all their muscle glory. And you will be on your way to looking a HOT STUD!
YA GOTTA BE AB-SLAB SMART Here's some Common Training Mistakes. For your own showmuscle good stud, concentrate!
HIP FLEXORS CAN BLOCK AB TRAINING!.
When training the abs, probably the BIGGEST mistake is the unwanted involvement of the hip flexors.
- When activated, these muscles pull the pelvis and spine forward as they attempt to flex the hip; they decrease the angle (perform flexion) at that joint.
- The hip flexors, (anatomically and collectively termed the iliopsoas)
- are made up of the psoas major, psoas minor and the iliacus. (Also, the rectus femoris, one of your quadriceps muscles, somewhat flexes the hip.
- This is the reason you're a little stronger when you lean back on leg extensions!)
- These muscles simply take over during abdominal training to such an extent that your abs are hardly working at all! BUT you may not realize it!
IF you have weak abs relative to your hip-flexors, this will happen far too early during an ab exercise, wasting effort. When your hip flexors take over, you can forget about any worthwhile ab stimulation and fatigue. You're getting a workout--and you feel it--but your hip flexors are doing all the work! In other words, if the hip flexors are too strong for the abs, the ab muscles won't get much of a chance to assist when the hip flexors move the trunk toward the legs (essentially what the abs want to do also)!
Hip flexor and abdominal movements look like the same thing if YOU have weak abdominal muscles, that's partly the problem why, when you think you're doing your hard ab work - Shit! There's STILL NO improvement!. So it's important to be able to determine your relative abdominal strength in this position.
Check 'em out. Here's a quick test you can do to check the strength of your abs compared to your hip flexors:
- Lie on your back with your legs down and your hands at the sides of your lower back.
- You'll notice a slight arch in your lower back: you'll probably be able to slide your hands under your lumbar area.
- Now bring your legs overhead so that your hip angle is about 90 degrees; keep your knees straight.
- Here, your lower back will come in contact with the surface you're on and you won't be able to slide your hands under your lower back anymore.
- In this position, your hip flexors are in a poor position to be forceful and your abs are ready to be contracted.
- Tighten your abs and feel your lower back on the surface.
- Now, very slowly, lower your legs while consciously trying to squeeze your ab muscles and keep your lower back down the whole way.
- With your hands at the sides of your lower back, you'll be able to feel when your lower back begins to arch up.
- AT THAT POINT, STOP THE MOVEMENT. (On average, most people can get to somewhere around 45 degrees or so.)
- This test can provide a good idea as to us how strong your abs are compared to your hip flexors and how much you may be using your hip flexors in ab work.
- The point where you can no longer keep your lower back down on the surface IS WHERE YOUR HIP FLEXORS BEGIN TO KICK IN and pull your pelvis forward. In general, the earlier this happens in this movement (relative to the 45-degree midpoint), the weaker your abs are compared to your hip flexors.
- No matter where you ended up on this test, you should know how to control hip flexor involvement in ab training.
- Contracted OPPOSITION. Now think of your biceps and triceps, or your hamstrings and quadriceps.
- As you know, these are antagonistic muscle groups: the actions of one directly oppose the other.
- By the same token, the abdominals and lower back can be viewed as antagonists as well.
- After all, in order to contract or shorten one, the other usually must be lengthened.
- You can see now, why when the lower back is in an arched position (a shortening of the lower back muscles), whether it's due to hip flexor involvement or any other reason, it's virtually impossible to adequately work the abs.
- They're forced into a lengthened position. (In fact, abdominal hernias are not all that uncommon when the lower back is violently arched.)
DON'T WASTE TIME ON USELESS STUFF!
For example, many exercise classes' still use low leg raises to "work the abs."
- In this position, the hip flexors are working hard, the pelvis is tilted forward, the lower back is off the floor, and the abdominals--by and large--are in a lengthened position.
- Total waste of time!
IF YOU WANT TO TRAIN ABS, THEN JUST TRAIN ABS, NOT HIP FLEXORS!
- In order to minimize hip flexor involvement, be careful to ONLY create movement at the spine.
- When you start moving at the hip--like you do when performing regular sit-ups and leg raises--the abs are no longer primary movers and won't do that much work.
HIP, KNEE AND ANKLE POSITION.
Since the abs are only worked well in spinal flexion, you have to be careful what you do in other areas. In particular, hip, knee, and ankle positions can create problems, when trying to train abs.
- YOU ARE trying to minimize hip involvement.
- SO YOU DO THIS:
- Bend your hips and knees to about a 90-degree angle, you're then better able to train your abs since the hip flexors can't contract with much force here.
- With your back down, your hips and knees bent, and your head slightly tilted forward, your hip flexors relax and you are in a perfect position to flex the spine.
ANOTHER BIG MISTAKE IS TO TUCK YOUR ANKLES IN UNDER A STABILIZING BAR. This creates an anchoring effect, and your hip flexors kick in immediately. DON'T DO IT!
This often happens in guys who want to increase the relative intensity of their ab work. They do what seems right --they raise the angle of a slant board. But to stay on the board they've got to anchor their feet, which brings in the hip flexors early in the movement! Also, on a standard "sit-up board," the hips and knees are often not bent enough in this position to adequately relax the iliopsoas in the first place. Again, what results can certainly be a good workout, but DEF - NOT for the abs!
YOUR AB-SLAB TRAINING TACTICS
The rectus abdominus contracts and shortens during spinal flexion--that is, when the spine rolls forward (chest rolling to hips, or vice versa).
SO YOU MUST FLEX YOUR SPINE AND round out the lower back (lengthen it)., the abs can only work hard when the lower back is rounded or flattened (against the floor).
YOU MUST CONCENTRATE - AGAIN THE MIND-MUSCLE LINK!
- On keeping the lower back down,
- slowly rolling it down, and slowly rolling the spine forward from the chest to hips as if you are stacking one vertebra on top of another.
- THERE IS NO NEED TO GO VERY FAR in fact, you can't!
- the human spine does not flex forward much (unless you're in an extended position to start with).
- But that's all the rectus abdominus really does and that's what you do to make it a showpiece of your bod!
THIS IS THE ONLY STACKING MOVEMENT FOR HOT SLAB-ABBING!
EYEBALL YOURSELF WORKING: look at where movement is occurring:
- Lie on the floor
- contract your abs,
- flatten out your lower back and do a "crunch,"
- concentrate on stacking one vertebra on top of another.
- Stop at the top of the movement where all the ab-slabs are squeezed (not very far at all!).
WHAT YOU'VE JUST DONE IS FORWARD SPINAL FLEXION,
THIS IS THE ONLY MOVEMENT THAT TRULY TRAINS THE ABS!. You roll one vertebra on top of the other to get you to the top of a crunch; and you flex your spine.
THAT OLD SIT-UP, SHUCKS!
Now, from this point finish a regular sit-up and STOP at the top. Where did movement occur to get you there? SHIT-NOWHERE! Cuz.
- That remaining part is down to hip flexion, and what have your abs to do with it?
- NUTHIN', ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
- this spinal flexion "crunch" is the ONLY only real way to MAKE 'EM PURE SHOWMUSCLE! BUT I hear YOU say what about variety? OKAY you're right!
- That crunch can also be in the form of reverse pelvis tilts, hanging crunches, and so on-
JUST AS LONG AS THAT MOVEMENT IS SPINE-BASED- NOWHERE else!
Should you find standard crunches are too hard, okay, don't worry, just start with your hands at your sides. You can even do a full "sit-up" and then lower yourself slowly from a crunch position (sort of like a "NEGATIVE AB-SLABBER").
- IN DUE COURSE TO hammer, chisel, mold and deep-slice those ABS,
- YOU WILL be using ADDITIONAL WEIGHT just like training your other muscles). So increase the relative intensity of your abdominal training by crossing your arms over your chest, holding a small plate in tight to your torso. (over time , gradually increase the poundage).
- REMEMBER JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER MUSCLE: ABS WANT, NEED, DEMAND VARIETY TO STIMULATE ONGOING GROWTH.
- Don't shy away from exercises like kneeling cable crunches,
- just be sure NOT to rotate the spine against heavy resistance UNLESS you wanna get hurt!
How To Tell What You're Working. "When doing ab training, if the first point of fatigue is in the lumbar area--around the kidneys--then the iliopsoas is being worked too much." STOP AND REPOSITION YOURSELF AT THIS POINT!
- DON'T HOLD YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD UNLESS YOU WANT TO PUT A DISC OUT.
- You will have seen many guys including top builders training like this.
- IT'S TOTALLY WRONG! They hold their hands often linking them behind their head when doing crunches.
- THIS IS NOT MUSCLESMART! Unfortunately, when the strain begins to tell, there is a real tendency to yank at the head to get a bit more force.
- This puts extraordinary stress on the cervical vertebrae, and can be dangerous, painful and ALSO
- STOP YOU FROM TRAINING AT ALL, FOR QUITE SOME TIME!
- If you can't get used to putting your hands across your chest or straight out to the sides, at least keep them near your ears (being careful not to put your head forward),
- or cross them in front of your chin by grabbing the back of the opposite shoulder!
- Never hold your breath during ab training. This increases the rigidity of the spine you are trying to flex!
- Instead, slowly breathe out through pursed lips on the way up, and inhale slowly on the way down.
- Stretching the ab muscles puts the lower spine in a dangerous position, and the abs get stretched often enough throughout the day anyway. NOT necessary.
- To activate the external obliques. Remember to slowly and easily rotate during the "crunch" to train these "waist" muscles.
ABS & LOWER BACK PAIN
Well developed slab-abs are not only A HOT SHOWPIECE they are a real asset to you studs torturing yourself in the gym.
- They help support the spine and, when contracted during a light workout, reduce the load on the lower back up to 40 percent!
- Also, the lower back itself is helpful in resistance training,
- and bodybuilders need that slight curvature of the lumbar spine during exercises like squats and overhead lifts.
IF THE ABS ARE NOT WELL-DEVELOPED, the lower spine is subjected to higher-than-normal pressures in an awkward position. Bulging of intervertebral discs can then take place, and the subsequent pressure on nerve roots or a ligament, causing pain. Along the same lines, a strength imbalance between the abdominals and the lower back can lead to a different kind of pain. As in the case a "pot belly," the abs become stretched, and in many cases are just too weak for the back. An exaggerated arching of the lower back can occur, putting the back at risk of injury and pain. Individuals in this position often wind up in the doctor's office because of a dull, aching pain.
IF YOU EXPERIENCE LOWER BACK PAIN, SEE A PHYSICIAN TO IDENTIFY THE CAUSE IMMEDIATELY. And, don't be surprised if your doctor recommends abdominal exercises! But remember: if YOU build both powerful slab-abs and a strong lumbar group you probably won't need to see doc!
LOWER AB TRAINING IS PROBABLY THE MORE DIFFICULT!
Don't forget the rectus abdominus is just one muscle and it contracts as one muscle, so it'll be tricky trying to get just one part of it to do the work. It is possible to put more stress on one section of it (depending on the direction of muscle fibers).
Secondly, the "lower ab section," the part of the rectus abdominus that lies under the naval, poses a few training problems.
THERES NOT MUCH MUSCLE TO CONTACT is the main reason! The rectus abdominus tapers down a great deal under the naval. In this area, it is a small (compared to the "upper" part), smooth sheath that is not made up of thick, muscular tissue.
- Contraction of the abs depends upon forward spinal flexion, and this is another reason why this part of the rectus abdominus is so hard to train.
- YOU will have no problem flexing the spine in your upper regions,
- but it's another matter to do this in the lower abdominal area. COZ:
(a) the pelvic girdle is in the way; and
(b) the flexible lumbar vertebrae end (at about the top of the hip bone).
- YOU will now be trying to move the relatively inflexible sacrum.
- This creates a fight for prime movers status between the hip flexors and the lower abs,
- Mostly, the lower abs tend to lose. "It can be very tough to work the lower abs, since the iliopsoas is so much stronger than the lower abdominals, and they fight for the pelvic tilt,"
- SINCE your spine can flex (though only a small amount): -
- by curling your buttocks up toward your torso when you roll your hips up toward you,
- it's possible to get the lower ab region to do more work than usual when performing an exercise like reverse crunches (a.k.a. reverse curl)-
A GOOD WAY TO DO THIS AND GET STEEL-HARD PLATED LOWER ABS IS HANGING LEG RAISES.
- Lying on your back is less effective (with your legs well above you) but is okay too.
- The more you remove emphasis from your legs, the better!
HOW TO FORCE THOSE ABS INTO TIGHT, STEEL-HARD, DEEP-RIDGED 6-8 PACK SHOWMUSCLE HOT SLABS - ISO-SQUEEZE-BURN TENSING!
- Think the above and act on it, this is not going to happen overnight and UNLESS YOU EAT RIGHT, it just won't happen.
- BUT get into the daily, hourly studmuscle habit of doing this, and over time remarkable showmuscle things will start happenning!
- Your rectus and obliques both external and internal - should and MUST both - be stimulated through this uniquely unusual isometric, anytime, anywhere training!
ALWAYS consciously tense and squeeze and burn the area when and wherever possible (build up the intensity).
- IF this is done right, it will stimulate the entire ab wall and region through.
- stacking one vertebra on top of another.
- This stimulation will in time, burn off covering fat,
- so DO IT RIGHT!
- Create a genuine vacuum and physically and mentally make the area as small as possible; try to get the ab wall to touch your spine! GRADUALLY increase intensity!
- Attempt to make the upper ab pack squeeze HARD against each lower ab pack. Make them burn and ache! AND I MEAN BURN & ACHE STUD!
- Combine all of the above and gradually increase the overall time until it's virtually intuitive throughout the day. Any and every spare moment you'll be stacking one vertebra on top of another & 'HOT AB SLABBIN!'
YOU CAN ALSO DO THIS: WITHOUT SQUEEZING DOWN AS PREVIOUSLY: -
- Simply expel all air to form a vacuum in your ab wall.
- NOW consciously force 'in - and - out' your ab wall as far as you can until you run out of breath and then repeat until tired!
- This will both tighten and burn your obliques - (to prove it, place your hands on your outside waist as you do it!)
" IF YOU combine all this with the right diet, YOU will gradually see your waist getting tighter and smaller and your ab-packs becoming really pronounced with deeply moulded packs of thick. ridged washboard! Providing your diet is RIGHT! THIS IS AB
In one years time, YOU will have slab-abs to die for! And they WILL show thru any covering of tee, tank or shirt OR ELSE YOU'LL ANSWER FOR IT!