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I don't have very much about fitness and what is efficient or not. Is this program constructed well enough to produce good results in your opinion? The 30 Day AB Challenge

Thank you for your insight.

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Good results for what? –  Dave Liepmann Jul 17 '13 at 21:22
    
Burning fat off the lower part of the abs and toning the abdominal area to be more defined/better looking –  Zagstrug Jul 17 '13 at 21:26
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Make sure you don't fall victim to the myth of spot reduction. Ab exercises don't burn fat off the belly. A better way to lose fat is to fix your diet and do whole-body exercises like running, swimming, and weightlifting. –  Dave Liepmann Jul 17 '13 at 21:36
    
Thanks Dave, that answers the burning fat part :) –  Zagstrug Jul 17 '13 at 21:40
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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If your goal is to have strong, defined abs that plan will do nothing for you. Worst of all the volume of situps it involves could be dangerous.

Getting abs is a tough process that requires two things:

  1. Fat loss - as mentioned in the comments, fat loss cannot be targetted. To hav visible abs, you need to get your body fat below 15%, possibly further depending on your circumstances. Fat loss comes from a well constructed diet that has a healthy calorie deficit.
  2. Muscle growth - once you've got your diet under control, you need to also be building your abs so that once you hit the target body fat percentage, you have something to show off. This means working like any other muscle. Target your abs 3-4 times a week, completing a maximum of 5 sets, using exercises where its challenging to complete about 12-15 reps. This is essentially a hypertrophy routine using progressive overload, much like you'd use for any other muscle.

As for the exercises you should do, people will suggest that deadlifts and squats are already working your core quite a lot, and to a certain extent they will be correct. However, like anything else in life, if you want great results you need more effort.

To get some great abs, once your body fat is low enough, throw some of these into your routine:

  • 5x15 Roll-out - These look simple but are surprisingly difficult, especially with a proper ab roller
  • 5x15 Weighted Leg-raises - These work both your abs and hip flexors to help (hopefully) enhance your adonis belt. Not everyone is genetically disposed to having the adonis belt, but these are great anyway.
  • 5x15 Side bend - Work the obliques, make sure you only use one dumbell. If you use two, they counter balance each other effectively ruining the exercise. Go slow, focus on crunching you side using just your obliques.

As a bonus extra, on chest day at the end throw in some push-ups. At the top of the movement, focusi on retracting your scapula by pulling your shoulders together at the front. This will help work your Serratus Anterior (the small muscles that look like fingers hugging your ribs). These aren't worked out as effectively as they could be during bench presses as the bench helps brace the scapula, reducing their requirement to work.

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