By Alan Golnick
One look at Tyler McPeak and you know that if you want a flat, ripped midsection or a killer six-pack, he is the “go-to” man to help you get the job done. You’ll be reading more about this personal trainer, fitness model, online consultant and Champion Performance-sponsored athlete in the September 2013 issue of FitnessRx for Men, in the Hard “Core” Training interview. Building and crafting his magnificent body did not come easy and like many great achievements, it was years in the making. In this online exclusive, Tyler McPeak shares his ab-training routine and tips for a rock-hard midsection.
Tyler’s Workout for Amazing Abs
When it comes to ab training, I like to keep things simple and basic. Even though the abdominal muscle group can be trained every day, I have found that 2-3 times a week is a sufficient amount of work. I train my abs a few different ways. Sometimes I’ll train them at the end of my workout, other times at the beginning of my workout or throughout my workout performed as staggered sets. Just like with all of my other muscle groups, I never do the same routine twice to keep my body guessing— so some days I’ll perform the exercises in superset, tri-set or giant set form. Or, I’ll do them as straight sets. With any of the ways I train them, I keep rest periods short— 30-45 seconds between sets. One other thing I want to point out is rep tempo. I keep my reps controlled and really focus on the contractions. You want to feel the abs doing the work and not just speed through the motions in a ballistic manner. If you are training abs correctly, they should be cramping on you! Here is an example of one of my favorite ab routines:
1) Lying Leg Raises on Flat Bench – 4 total sets, reps 20-30. When doing these, I like to lift my butt off the pad and stick my feet straight in the air and squeeze the abs at the top, followed by a full stretch at the bottom.
Rope Crunches (knees on BOSU ball) – 4 total sets, reps 15-20. The reps are a little lower on this one since it’s a weighted exercise. Make sure to get a full stretch at the top and crunch the abs down on every rep.
2) Decline Bench Sit-Ups – 3 total sets keeping, reps 20-30. For each rep, I make sure to come all the way down and touch my shoulder blades on the pad before coming back up to the top for a maximum contraction. Sometimes I’ll go even lower the reps to 12-15 and go at a super slow tempo to feel the BURN!
Cambered Bar Rollouts – 3 total sets, reps 10-15. These are a killer! I place my knees on a bench and use a cambered curl bar with 45-pound plates on each side. I roll the weight out until my body is fully stretched out parallel to the floor, and then squeeze my abs on the way back to the starting position.
Tyler’s Top 5 Ab-Training Tips
1. Stimulation. There is no need to spend a half hour to an hour doing abs. A quick, solid 10-15 minutes is sufficient, keeping rest periods between sets 30-45 seconds.
2. Keep them guessing. Each time you train abs, use different techniques to keep them guessing. Rep tempo, supersets and staggered sets are a few techniques I like to use.
3. Don’t just go through the motions. Make sure you squeeze and contract your abs as hard as you can for every rep, rather than just going through the motions and not feeling the ab muscle do the work.
4. Train them at the beginning of your workout. I’ve learned that getting them done at the beginning of my workout ensures that I do them. Otherwise, by the end of my workout sometimes I don’t put as much effort into them or skip them altogether.
5. Train them frequently. Even though you can train abs every day, what I’ve learned is 2-3 times a week, trained properly, will produce great results.
Read Tyler’s article in our September issue.
For more information about Champion Performance, visit www.championnutrition.com
Photos courtesy of Champion Performance.