Understanding Abs: How do you get them?


Abs, everyone wants them but very few civilians know how to get them. So how is it done?

Having Abs involves 2 things:

  1. Having enough volume and depth to the abs
  2. Being lean enough so that the Abs can be seen

To push across the point, lets look at some eggs:

Eggs as Abs

This collage of pictures uses eggs to model abdominals (abs) and a piece of material to model the skin & fat layer. The picture in the top left clearly looks like a set of abs. The top right would be equivalent to a lean person where the fat layer is thin enough so you can still see the definition of the abs. The bottom two pictures show what happens when a person has a thick layer of fat on their abdomen, the abs are still there but they are just totally hidden by the covering layer.

All the Ab exercises like crunches, leg raises, machine crunches, fitball crunches etc. will help you with part 1. Yet most people’s issue comes not from the size and volume of their abdominal muscles but from not being lean enough.

Before you ask, no! Pay attention people: Abs exercises aren’t going to make you lean. They provide a poor return on investment if your strategy aims to get leaner, as in the greater scheme of things they burn very few calories.

If you want to get those ab muscles out, then you need to do intense sessions that involve compound exercises, that move multiple muscle groups at a time. No the cable-crossover isn’t one of these exercises, go Bench Press instead. No leg extension isn’t one of these exercises go Squat or Deadlift instead. Why hit one muscle when you can hit multiple muscles in one exercise?! It is all about good ‘bang for your buck’ exercises. If you want to get lean then you have to make sure your sessions utilise the correct exercises and pack the required intensity.

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