CANTON, Ohio- Are you the type that is trying to walk that fine line of wanting to build mass muscle but, at the same time, get those wash board abs? Maybe you don’t care about the muscle, but just want the nice abs. Or you don’t care too much about the abs, but want to add more muscle. Well, I have some ideas for you.
Me, personally? I’m looking to add mass but get a nice 6 pack. And that’s not easy to do. You have to diet the right way and really push hard during a workout.
When it comes to your core exercises, you don’t have to work out your core for 30 minutes. I’ve found multiple core work outs that take 10 minutes or less. So, what’s the catch? Little to no break in between exercises. It’s tough, but as you keep at it, you’ll keep improving and getting stronger. But remember, if it starts to get too easy, you must change it up to keep it challenging and keep your muscles guessing and growing. Don’t be afraid to add some weight and shorten your reps. Here’s another example. Say you’re doing leg raises. You can either put a light weight in between your feet or you can slowly lower your legs, rather than going at a normal speed.
Now, I mentioned about building mass but, getting lean in the stomach area.
My perfect example, at least to me, is pushups vs the bench press. So, let’s break this down.
If you’re looking to add muscle and get stronger, the bench press will help build you up fast and also make you stronger. Plus, your involving the triceps and shoulders.
If you’re doing pushups the right way, that means keep the back straight and your core tight, your putting more focus on strengthening your core.
So, if you want to focus more on building up your chest, triceps and shoulders, you’ll want to do more of the bench press. If you’re looking to get stronger and leaner and make your core stronger, then the pushup is for you.
What do I do? I get the best of both worlds. I do both the bench and pushups. Doing both has the most benefits. Get stronger, build mass and work on that core. All at the same time.
One problem with a bench press? You need a bench along with a barbell or dumbbells. On the other hand, you can do pushups just about anywhere. Pushups can also be done with different forms. To check out different forms, simple go to youtube.com and look up forms of pushups.
What are some of the benefits of the bench press? Faster muscle gains by adding weights, easier to make your chest muscles burn, build maximum pushing strength and you develop shoulder stabilization.
Now, another way to get muscle gains while getting that nice tight core, is eating lean meats. I buy Angus beef that is 90% lean 10% fat. Chicken is high in protein, but low in fat. If you don’t mind eating cottage cheese, buy a cheese that is fat-free (hardly any milk in it). When you go to drink a protein shake, fill 6 ounces of the bottle with water and the other 6 ounces with milk.
When you’re doing stomach work outs, don’t do consecutive exercises that target the same area of your abs. If you start out with an exercise that targets more of the upper abs, then go directly to an exercise that targets more of your lower abs. After that, do an exercise that targets mainly the middle abs area, but also will hit a little bit of the upper and lower ab areas. Again, try to pace yourself, but build up to not needing a break and getting your core work out in in less than 10 minutes. Don’t forget to do different exercises and sometimes add some weight.
If you’re the person that has the problem of having a “beer gut”, you’ll need to do more cardio to rid your body of that. You’ll never see those ab muscles if they’re always being hidden behind that gut. I’m not saying don’t do ab exercises if you have a gut, but know that those core muscles won’t show until the gut starts to shrink down.
Last, but not least, if you have wrist problems, don’t do flat handed pushups. If you can, use your fists or better yet, try to find a set of dumbbells and use them. Worst case scenario, nothing against a women’s form of a pushup, but you could always use your knees to stabilize yourself instead of your feet. That will make it easier on your hands if you have to use flat hand technique.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis