A shredded set of abs are among one of the most difficult things to achieve in the gym. A product of cardio, diet, big lifts and isolation work, there are many misconceptions with regards to abdominal training.

nick hind

Nick Hind, PT

Although the abs do require a certain amount of volume, smashing out thousands of stomach crunches ‘Patrick Bateman’ style is definitely not the way to go. In order to hit the muscles from all angles, training must also be varied.

Lifts such as Squats, Deadlifts, Pullups and Bench Press are great for building a chiselled stomach – they require a massive response from your core in order to stabilize the body throughout the exercise, putting a lot of force through the  muscles.

Cardio is also a must. After all, there’s no use building strong abdominals if they’re going to be covered by a constant layer of ‘winter insulation’. High Intensity Interval Training is great for shifting fat and burning calories. Sprints staggered with periods of rest on the spin bikes are perfect for beginners to HIIT.

Lastly, short, 3-exercise circuits that isolate the muscles are a great way to ‘blast’ the abs at the end of a workout. Perform each exercise back to back until you really feel a burn, then repeat the circuit a total of 2-3 times.

Tweet your questions and challenges to @NickHindPT #DapperFit. Each of you should consult your physician before beginning any exercise or lifestyle change.