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Six Pack Training for Abs of Steel

There is indeed a secret formula to six pack training, and it has nothing to do with crunches off your back. If you desire for rock hard abs, then add weights to your midsection exercises.

Doing weighted ab workouts is a great alternative to the old standby of performing a thousand sit-ups with nothing more than body weight resistance. While many people may assume that weighted ab training is nothing more than slapping a dumbbell across your chest while grinding out endless sit-ups and crunches, there are many more effective exercises.

Why Add Resistance?

The primary reason for adding resistance to your standard ab routine is the same reason you add resistance to any other muscle group on the body -- to increase the challenge and force adaptations through progressive overload. The abs are a muscle group like any other, and the best way to gain in strength and muscle tone is to add resistance.

Do not go on your merry way and ignore this six pack training secret. Take action. Do it!

Traditional Weighted Exercises

IMG_1557By using a weight plate, dumbbell, or medicine ball, many exercises can be made more challenging and effective. This works best with ab exercises like sit-ups, crunches, decline sit-ups, and straight-leg sit-ups. It can, however, also work for exercises like knee and leg raises by either adding ankle weights or holding a medicine ball between the feet.

When adding weights for your six pack training, aim for fewer target reps. Six to 12 reps per set will keep you in the hypertrophy zone for quality muscle development. Choose a weight that is challenging but still allows you to work through a full range of motion for all of your desired repetitions. Aim to increase repetitions or weight each week to ensure continued progress.

Sample Weighted Ab Workout

Ab crunch machine 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Weighted sit-ups 2 sets, 8-10 reps
Weighted leg raises 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Cable pull-down crunch 2 sets, 8-10 reps

The chart includes a total of 10 sets. This is just a sample, so if this is too much for you, adjust as appropriate for your fitness level. Similarly, you can also perform the sets in between other workouts in lieu of resting. After working your legs for example, you can go straight to performing ab crunches on the machine before proceeding immediately to your chest exercise. After your chest, move onto weighted sit-ups before going immediately right into your back exercises.

Nontraditional Weighted Exercises

Adding resistance also opens the possibility of challenging your abs in new and innovative ways. Use the cable machine to take your abdominal workouts to the next level. By using the cables to create new pushing, pulling, and twisting motor patterns, the abs are forced to contract and stabilize the body in new ways, further accelerating their development.

We house a variety of weighted and non-weighted ab workouts here.

For best results, make sure you follow a good total body routine and diet. Check out my program The Simple Shredded Solution for more information about burning fat and building muscles.