QHey Ripped Dude, Morris Chestnut's abs looked great in his film "The Best Man Holiday," and I heard you trained him. What was his abs plan?
Let me guess: You're doing crunch after crunch or relying on some late-night infomercial abs apparatus? Take a step back and rethink your abs routine.
The exercises I chose for Morris did a great job targeting his abdominals and obliques while adding that deep, cut, cobblestone look. We incorporated a mix of crunches, planks, lifts, and raises. Isolation movements like kneeling cable crunches hit the rectus abdominus while isometric exercises like planks targeted both his abs and back.
Both leg lifts and leg raises will help tighten your doughy center. For deeper cuts, kick up the resistance by adding weight. The regimen below helped Morris get in the best shape of his life and drop 33 pounds at 44 years old. He did this workout three times each week.
1 Kneeling Cable Crunches
Kneel below a high pulley with the rope attached. Grab the rope overhead and then bring your hands toward your face by flexing your hips slightly, which will arch your back a bit. This is the starting position. Keep your hips stationary as you exhale and contract your abs, pulling your shoulders toward your knees. Once your elbows reach the middle of your thighs, hold that position for a moment. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat the same motion for each rep. Always keep your core tight.
Do 4 sets of 30 reps.
Assume a push-up position but with your forearms, rather than your palms, on the ground. Your whole body should be parallel to the floor and create a straight line from head to toe. Keep your back flat and your elbows directly under your shoulders. Keep your core tight. Hold this position for one minute.
Do 4 sets.
3 Leg Lifts
Lie flat on your back with your hands palms down on the floor. Lift both legs 6 inches off the ground and hold for 45 seconds. That's one rep.
Do 4 sets.
4 Knee Raises
Position your back against the pad of a dip machine, with your forearms on the armrest. Lift your legs by bending your knees and bringing them up to your chest. Inhale and exhale while executing each repetition.
Do 4 sets of 30 reps.
Revealing Your Ripped Status
You know it's there, but are you still having trouble seeing that six pack? Your diet might be preventing you from becoming as defined as Morris was in "The Best Man Holiday."
An important part of carving a killer core is maintaining a low-body-fat percentage, and nutrition is the key. Don't get me wrong, abs exercises have their place, but if your body-fat levels aren't low enough, you'll never be able to see the muscle underneath all that fat.
For fellas to see their abs, their body-fat percentage usually has to be roughly 12 percent. If they have thicker abs, it can be a bit higher. Women have to have roughly 14 percent or less. You can have abs year-round but it requires discipline and balance. Your diet should be based on foods such as chicken, turkey, fish, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and green vegetables. You need a plan for consistent cardio. You also need to sleep 7-8 hours per night.
Remember, when it comes to successful abs training, there's one key equation: Great Abs Training + Great Diet + Great Sleep = Great Ripped Abs