You have all seen it in the fitness magazines. A Fitness model takes his shirt of and it looks like his abs is going to poke your eye out. It just has this amazing definition and POP effect that makes it stand out like nothing else. But how do you achieve that POP effect?
Is it just genetics? Could it just be the effects that the lights in the photo studio have on a well-oiled , tanned body? Or is it something all of us can achieve if we really want to?
Well, before we answer any of those questions we need to look at the science behind it all. See to get abs that pops you need to do two things.
First you need to drop fat and decrease your body fat %. You need to get rid of that layer of lard that is hiding your abs right now. But this is only the first and easiest step.
The second part of this formula is that you need to increase the size of your abdominal muscles and this is where most people out there are lacking today. They never actual train or work their abs in such a way that they will grow and POP. They spend hours a day doing sit-ups after sit-ups, cardio session after cardio session, but this will help you build an eye popping 6 pack about as much as rubbing self raising flour onto your abs. So how do you train your abs to grow then?
Well there are a lot of different opinions out there about how you should train your abs to really grow. You have the frequency debate on whether you should train your abs each day or train them once or twice per week.
Then you have the reps and sets debate. Do you go heavy with low reps or do you go light with high reps. MAN, it is no wonder people are flat out confused about to do this.
So rather than confusing you any more let’s look at the facts about how muscle actually grows bigger.
Muscle grows bigger when it gets stimulated, rested and then fed with the right building blocks in the form of good diet. SIMPLE AS THAT! So as long as you do those 3 things any muscle in your body will grow. Whether that is your abdominal muscles or any other muscle for that matter.
Now I don’t know about you but when I really hammer my abs in the gym one day, they are way too sore to even touch the next, not to mention train them again, WHY? Because your muscles have been broken down and are busy recovering, like any other muscle in your body does when you train them hard. And now is the time to rest them and feed them with what they need to build bigger, because that is what is happening right now, THEY ARE GROWING. If you just hammer your abs every day it will be like building a skyscraper up to the first floor and keep breaking down to ground each day, it is never going to get any higher if you keep doing that! So you need to allow your abs to grow by giving time to recover ( In other words, resting them ), that is just how muscle works!
And how did I train them in the first place to get tham that sore? I went heavy! Yip I train them in the same way I train any other muscle in my body that I want to grow. I will focus on that 6 to 12 rep range and I will really hammer them. Some weeks I will focus on just one abdominal area per workout and train each abdominal area once or twice per week and other weeks I will train my whole abdominal area twice per week.
I will take 2 exercises per abdominal area ( upper, lower and side ) and I will do 3 to 4 sets of each exercise of 6 to 12 reps. THAT IS HOW YOU TRAIN your abs to grow bigger and POP.
Now the best part of increasing the size of your abdominal muscles is that you will start to see your abs and even have a 6 pack at a higher body fat %. But if you are looking for the ultimate eye popping abs you must take it to the next level and combine these two principles and get your body fat % as low as possible and increase the size of your abdominal muscle as much as possible.
Now on a final note, doing this at the same time can be very difficult, I already spoke about the “losing fat and building muscle at the same time” debate previously so I won’t go into that again right now but what works best is to focus on one or the other depending on where you need the most work.
So if you are 60lbs over weight then focus on dropping the fat first. If you are skinny on the other hand and you are already at around 8 or 9 % body fat and there is no sign of any 6 pack breaking through, get onto a muscle building program and start building some abs!