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Markus started in the supplement industry in 1999, selling sports nutrition to his friends. His focus on the health and fitness lifestyle lead to immediate success and in 2005, he started Magnum Nutraceuticals. He still trains 7 times per week and has appeared on countless magazine covers around the world.
How hard and how often
I know you’ve heard this before: If you want success, you first need to visualize your goal.
Before I send you off to daydream about your own future hot body, I need to ask you to keep your goal realistic. You can’t get a Hugh Jackman/Wolverine body by working out one hour per week and snacking on Cheetos.
Are you willing to put in the time and effort it takes to have a chiseled midsection, or would you be content with a toned tummy? Take a moment to picture your goal. I’ll wait.
Now, let’s get you there.
If you’re like me—that is, you want abs so crazy that they seem unreal—start hitting them three to four times per week. We aren’t talking about one set of crunches at the end of your two-hour chest day; we’re talking about training these bad boys like every other muscle group. Would you do two sets of leg extensions and then brag that you had a big leg day?
I like to break my abs into sections: lower, upper, and obliques. Some days I train all three; other days I focus on just one section. Three exercises, three sets each, 15 to 20 reps per set. As I have mentioned in previous articles, the squeeze is everything. Flexing, tightening, pinching, Kegeling (yes, Kegeling) with every rep. If others can’t see the agony on your face with every rep, you could be working harder.
If you’re starting my program right now, your abs will be sore for five or more days (assuming you’re flexing as hard as you should be). The thought of training them again with only 48 hours of rest seems insane and the pain will be excruciating, but I find that if I picture the finished product—the striations, the lines, the muscles that have muscles all over my core—I can go to my happy place and get the job done. As with other muscle groups, the rest between workouts will shorten, and you will need to keep your abs guessing. That’s when you start doing crazy crap like I do, inventing new and twisted ways to feel the burn.
Finally, if you want abs on a whole new level, you will start your workouts with abs, not finish with them. I love destroying my core before I hit legs, chest, or anything else! Hitting them while you’re fresh means you’ll be able to engage them far better than if you’re giving them your last bit of energy. Plus, if you start with abs, you’re going to realize how much more you feel and work your abs during the rest of your training session; once they’re firing and engaged, they won’t be calming down anytime soon.
For those of you who are more than happy to simply get a tighter, flatter tummy, I have a much easier plan for you: I want you to follow all of the above tips about squeezing, flexing, and doing your best to cause pain to your midsection, but you only have to do it once per week. Enjoy the long rest in between ab days. However, I demand you take that one ab day seriously. You need to mentally focus before you enter the gym, get yourself warmed up, and then start your training day with a solid 15 minutes of straight core burn.
I will leave you with this thought: “Life is better with a six-pack.” You can quote me on that.
To see more of Markus' tips on how to get a SHREDDED 6-pack, check out his column. For more information on Magnum Supplements, click here.