Thousands of studies have proved that the opposite sex has various traits to offer a potential partner that is out on the prowl for their future other half. Humor, occupation, hair color and money are just a few of the ingredients that attract a vast wish list of requirements.
Some people aren't so shallow to place their priorities based on a persons bank balance whilst on the other end of the spectrum, a person's car is sometimes all that is needed to enhance the senses.
Admittedly, everyone is different but there is a trait that attracts a majority of inquisitive personnel which binds this spectrum together - the yearning for a great set of abdominals!
There are more people walking around the planet with excess body fat than there are with a great set of visible abdominals, which is obvious to onlookers should someone possessing them walks by - everyone shares a glance. It is a muscle that looks appealing on the opposite sex and it is something that people are extremely proud of should they possess their own.
It's almost impossible to over develop and distort this muscle as it can be as equally hard to obtain them. If it were that easy, believe me, many more people would be the rightful owner of a set.
On top of a lot of trial and error, one of the most common commodity of excuses I hear is "I'm too old to get abs". Well, I'm hear to inform you that as a frequent visitor of Gold's gym in Venice, I am in the company of some of the best abs in the world on a daily basis, but the best by far I have witnessed are those occupied by ex champion bodybuilder, 49 year old Martin Alamango.
Born in London, England in 1958, Martin has had quite an illustrious bodybuilding career which has clocked up more diets than a group of Jenny Craig yoyo recipients. At 20 years old, Martin made a huge impact when stood on stage for the very first time.
The location was in Wales and the show was the highly regarded and competitive Junior British Championships. Martin finished an impressive second place which indicated to the British bodybuilding public that a new star was on the horizon.
The following year the new bodybuilding recruit came back and avenged his previous second placing by taking out the Junior British title, the men's British Middleweight title and the Junior European title. Throughout his career, Martin eventually represented his country on twelve separate occasions and also was the worthy recipient of an IFBB Pro Card. His abs was regarded as a standout body part which as the accompanying images show, we have no reason to doubt.
"I didn't always have impressive abs but I did everything to make them standout and take notice. I looked at pictures of Robby Robinson and did everything I could, to imitate the abs he possessed. I used to cut out his training features and follow them to the last letter," reminisced Martin.
Bodybuilding.com caught up with Martin who now works alongside the industry's best as a personal trainer at bodybuilding's Mecca - Gold's gym in Venice, California. He outlined his recommendations for you, in your quest to get an incredible six pack similar to those residing on a champion bodybuilder.
[ KG ] - What exercises does your typical abdominal workout consist of?
[ MA ] - I only train them once per week now to maintain. I like to do hanging leg raises first because it is the hardest exercise and works great at building the lower portion of the abdominals.
I only complete one set but I like to accumulate sixty strict repetitions. As soon as I feel myself starting to swing or cheat, I stop the exercise. I am always careful not to perform the movement too fast and I like to keep my knees only slightly bent.
I always combine my ab training with another body part, so once I have competed my 60 repetitions of hanging leg raises, I will go and do a set of shoulders or calves, or whatever it may be, and then return to another abdominal exercise.
[ KG ] - Which would be?
[ MA ] - I would return to the bar again to perform some more hanging leg raises, only this time I would perform them with a slight twist so I can target the outer and inner oblique. On this movement I keep my legs slightly more bent at a right angle and twist in attempt to pull my right thigh towards my sternum and then I alternate with my left.
Don't worry if you cannot come up far on this movement, that's perfectly normal. I try to aim for 30 reps on each side, or until failure prevents me from completing any more. To make this already hard exercise even more taxing than it already is, I recommend pausing at the top of the movement for a count of two seconds to really squeeze out the oblique and etch in deeper detail.
[ KG ] - I presume you then go to train another body part before retuning to obliterating your abs?
[ MA ] - Yes I do, but I only go away to hit one exercise, just enough time to for my abs to recover for the next movements, in this case, a crunch movement holding onto a rope attached to an overhead pulley so I can target the upper abdominal region. I like to do this whilst kneeling down to I can accentuate the stretch whilst keeping my torso stable, this way I can isolate the muscle much more.
I breathe out on the way down so I can obtain a better contraction. Once at the bottom of the movement, I like to pause for a second and then slowly return to the start position. On the positive part of the exercise I focus on closing the gap between my sternum and pelvis, on the negative I am focusing on widening the gap but with a constant tension placed on my upper abdominals.
[ KG ] - Being a highly regarded personal trainer here in Gold's and seeing all types of athletes at work on a daily basis, what do you believe are the biggest mistakes people make when working their abs?
[ MA ] - I try not to judge others or single out people's mistakes because what works for one person can be different to what works for another, but I believe the fastest and safest track to a killer set of abdominals is by maintaining correct form.
[ KG ] - Is there one magic exercise that you think holds the secrets to great abdominals?
[ MA ] - Yes, all you have to do readers, is send me $100 and I will send you the answer (laughs). Seriously, there is no magic pill or exercise - its just hard work! From all my years as a competitor I have paid close attention to my nutrition and I eat clean 98% of the time and I still like to eat most of my carbohydrates during the morning and afternoon.
This is what you have to do if you want to see your abdominals you are working so hard to achieve. With the exercises I have recommended and a clean eating plan to remove the fat that maybe covering this area, I can't see why you wouldn't see a nice six pack in the close future.
[ KG ] - OK, so you train your abdominals once per week. For the person that is reading this, looking at the pictures of your abs, would you still recommend they only train them once per weeks also?
[ MA ] - No, I would definitely suggest twice per week. Once you have got the abdominals to look the way you want and you have worked out how to really isolate them, then once is enough, but until then twice per week is essential. They respond slightly better to higher repetitions so it will take a while to build up to a high rep scheme. If you really want them then you have to really work them.
[ KG ] - Thank you for your time Martin, is there anything you would like to ad?
[ MA ] - I would just like to thank Bodybuilding.com for conducting this interview and to everyone here at Gold's I have worked with, you make it a place where I never stop learning.
Contact Martin About Nutrition/Exercise Consultations: