Look, getting abs ain’t rocket science, and it’s easier for most guys than getting big or putting pounds on their bench press. You have to eat right, and you have to lift weights. That’s it. Commit to being consistent with the following program—which outlines exactly how to go from “fat gut” to “lookin’ cut”—and you’ll have abs to celebrate before summer comes to a close.
Step 1: Fix Your Diet
No amount of ab training or cardio or fat-burning supplements will reveal your abs if you’re eating too much food or eating the wrong proportions of macronutrients. Start by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 12 to find the number of calories you should consume daily. You should take in 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight, 1 gram of carbohydrates per pound, and 0.4 grams of fat per pound. Follow the guidelines in the Muscle & Fitness Food Pyramid for the particulars on setting up a fat-loss diet, including which foods to eat.
It may be tempting to remove carbohydrates altogether, as much has been written about the effectiveness of low-carb diets. But cutting carbs too much and too soon can send your energy levels into the tank and can cost you the muscle you need to keep your metabolism burning bright.
Step 2: Train Like a Bodybuilder
You’ve probably tried a CrossFit class and have been led to believe that your workouts must be “functional.” And you may have no interest in ever competing in a bodybuilding contest. (It’s the skimpy underwear, isn’t it?) But put these hang-ups aside for the next month, and understand that snatches and box jumps won’t give you the beach-ready physique you crave. Moves like the bench press and crunch aren’t flashy, but they will build muscle and give you the shape and definition that make the body impressive—in and out of a shirt. Focus on the basic lifts, body part by body part, and avoid the temptation to break WOD PRs for a bit.
Concentrate on how you perform each rep, too. For maximum muscle gain, slow and steady wins the race. Using a full range of motion for 12 situp reps will produce deeper ab cuts than repping out 50 fast, sloppy ones. Take at least four seconds to perform each rep on your ab exercises. You’ll train abs directly three days per week, followed by interval cardio activity to burn excess fat.
The Fast-Abs Training Plan
Perform each workout (Day 1 through Day 6) once per week. Rest on Day 7. Repeat for 4 weeks.