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The Fit 5: Ab Training Answers

Want that six-pack? The exercises to do and ditch to make your abs pop.

For all of our fans who shoot us questions on the Men's Fitness Facebook and Twitter Pages, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen. This week, Rob Sulaver C.S.C.S., founder and owner of Bandana Training, answers questions about the do's and don'ts of ab training. You can also catch Sulaver on Twitter @BandanaTraining.

1) The Final Two - asked by Eli McKenna
How do you get the last two on the bottom to pop out? Best exercises? Or routine?
“Hate to say it, but your lower abs are unearthed in the kitchen more than the gym. A solid nutrition plan along with heavy, aggressive, metabolically-demanding resistance training is your best plan for über shreddedness.”
2) Ab Training Frequency - asked by Sam Noreman
How many days a week would you recommend training abs and with how much volume?
"Train them similar to your other body parts. Abs are awesome, no doubt, and we all want them. But hyper-focusing on ab training isn't the recipe. Twice a week, later in your routine with a variety of volume and intensity is reasonable. "
3) Pointless Moves - asked by Louis Wilton
What are the most useless exercises for abs? 
"The abs are impressively versatile, so there are very few exercises that suck. But try not to fall into the habit of doing the same routine over and over. Some phases I emphasize stabilization such as planks, anti-rotation, or anti-lateral flexion. Other phases I emphasize upper flexion (traditional sit-ups), lower flexion (knee-raises), double flexion (row-boats), or rotation (russian twists). The possibilities are endless."
4) Seeing Results - asked by JD Peters
What percentage body fat can you start to see abs, and realistically how long would it take me to get there if I'm 29 years old, 5'10" at 18%?

 

"Depending on your ab development and genetics, you'll start to see your abs around 14% body fat. By 10% they're pronounced. By 8% they're downright pretty. How long?  Honestly...depends on how much you do right.  Have you seen the Transformassacre 2?  Took us 8 weeks to go from 19.4% body fat to 9.7%. But we did everything right. Everything."

5) Other Factors - asked by Austin Strack
What could be the cause that my shoulders, chest and arms are getting more defined, but my belly hasn't changed?

“Genetics and hormones. Your body has a predetermined plan for utilizing body fat storage; most men lose from their belly and love-handles last. Whether or not we can spot reduce is a topic of debate, but it does seem as though higher stress levels correlate with higher belly fat. Better sleep along with stress management techniques such as massage, yoga, meditation, thankfulness journals, and sex might help to reduce belly fat. That's right. Sex can help give you a six-pack."

 

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