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Phenomenal Abdominals

Markus Kaulius

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.

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The Weight Debate

As a gym rat who loves to work his abs, I get asked ab-related questions all the time. Possibly the most common question is regarding weighted exercises: Do they make you look blocky and thick-waisted? I’m here to weigh in on this timeless debate.

To all the natural athletes: Grab some weights, my friends. As a lifelong natural unprofessional bodybuilder, I can confidently say that if you’re not artificially supplementing, you don’t need to worry about becoming a block. Adding weights to your core routine will make deeper cuts and pop the abs out thicker. I’ve used heavy weights for abs my whole life, and I don’t think anyone would say I look thick-waisted.

A couple of my favourite heavy ab exercises:

  • Lying overhead weighted crunches
  • Kneeling cable ropes crunches
  • Oblique cable swings

For the “artificially enhanced” athletes, I can’t offer any expertise, although I hear you need to avoid weights when training abs as you may build up thickness in the obliques quite quickly. And since you have 30 to 50 pounds on me, even your “non-weighted” crunches are practically weighted crunches!

Some key principles of basic ab training will be the same for everyone:

Squeeze those pee-muscles (think Kegel exercises here).

When lying down doing abs, keep that lower back pressed against the floor.

Breathe out hard with a big “HA!” with every rep to clench the lower abs even tighter.

While I’m a firm believer that abs are made in the kitchen, I know this motto has its limitations. I believe you can look tight, lean, and healthy just by eating clean. But if you’re looking for the crazy lines, the shredded obliques—a big slab of beautifully muscled abs stacked one on top of the other—you need to consistently hit the abs and weight them up. Again, we’re talking about becoming an eye-popping, lift-up-the-shirt, selfie-snapping freak whose abs always look artist-drawn. If you’re content with a lean tummy, stick to your three minutes of abs at the end of your workout. But if you’re determined to stand out, it’s time to get physical. It’s time to pick up the weights and squeeze like you’ve never squeezed before. When was the last time you did a full workout of just abs? When was the last time you worked your abs so hard you lost control of your bladder? Yeah, that hard. Let’s step it up and chisel out some phenomenal abdominals.

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.