Ways of Wellness - Your online support for all things health and wellness!

Welcome to the Ways of Wellness blog! My name is Jon Steuart and I am a physical fitness and nutrition enthusiast. While all of the contents/opinions herein are based on my personal experiences and research over many years, and not any formal education, I am absolutely confident that there will be something for everybody who is interested in improving their physical and mental well-being. Please feel free to leave your comments and questions.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tips for Building Abs

Got Abs?

Six-pack, washboard abs...A dream shared by all, right? OK - So that is likely a stretch, but it seems that abs are definitely high on many peoples' wish lists as it pertains to physique goals. So what does it take? 1,000 crunches per day? Amazing genetics? Sure, either of these things would probably help, but let's face it: 1,000 crunches per day would be amazingly boring, pain-staking and time consuming and amazing genetics are a little bit out of your control. So what can one do to build a set of strong, visible abs? Here are three simple tips:
  1. No gimmicks - Whatever you do: Don't fall for all of the ab-building gimmicks that exist! A magic pill is NOT going to give you abs. A contraption that you wrap around your waist that "stimulates and activates the abdominal muscles for huge growth" is NOT going to give you abs. Doing crunches all day long without taking other factors into consideration (one in particular is discussed in Tip #2) will likely not give you abs either. Please, please, please, if nothing else - DO NOT FALL FOR GIMMICKS! I know the promise of abs can be very enticing, but chances are if it sounds too good to be true...you guessed it - It probably is!
  2. "Abs are built in the kitchen!" - This is a phrase often thrown around by those seemingly in the know about these sorts of things and you know what? They are right! Of course, there needs to be a consistent regimen of training focused on the abs in order to develop them. However, much of what determines the extent to which your abs will be visible (and that's what it's all about right?) is the amount of fat that you carry around your midsection! To reduce the amount of fat in that area and/or to keep the fat off, one really should calculate daily caloric needs given their gender, height, age and weight - This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and represents the number of calories you would expend if you literally did nothing but breathe all day. Once you have calculated your BMR, then factor in your activity levels using the Harris-Benedict Formula. This calculation will tell you what your daily caloric needs are also factoring in your activity level. Once this has been determined, simply aim to eat 10-15% less than what is required if you are looking to drop fat. Keep in mind that you will need to recalculate as you begin shedding the fat. Finally, when your goal weight has been achieved, recalculate one final time and aim to meet the amount of calories suggested in order to maintain your physique!
  3. Abs are ALSO built in the gym - While nutrition really is king when it comes to abs, you undoubtedly will want to focus some of your time and effort working and building them as well. The standard crunch is an effective exercise to incorporate into your regimen, but there are many others as well. Two of my personal favorites are Roman Chair Leg Raises and Rope Crunch Pulldowns. Both of these exercises will hit your abs differently then the standard crunch and the incorporation of weight with the rope crunches will help to make the abs larger (which really helps them to "pop"). While these are my two personal favorites, there are all kinds of abdominal exercises that can be performed. Find a few options that you enjoy and stick with it! I often hear about people working their abs several times per week following the "more is better" approach. I personally don't feel that this is the case. Like other muscles, the abdominal muscles need time to heal and repair. Thus, I would suggest working them 2-3 days per week. The following are a couple clips showing how my favorite exercises are properly executed:
Roman Chair Leg Raises

Rope Crunch Pulldowns

I strongly encourage you to give these three, relatively simple, tips a try. While I have not provided you a huge laundry list of things you that you need to follow, I do feel that I have provided you with a few ideas that can be truly effective at achieving the set of strong, visible abdominal muscles that you desire. Here's to wishing you success in this endeavor - Keep at it and it will only be a matter of time before you get where you want to be!


  1. Great and effective tips. Abs building and shwing body is now become trend. Many people follows this trend. In fact most of people follow this. Both video tutorial is teach us really nice.

  2. I am glad you like the videos. Are there any other abs-related exercises that you like to perform? If so, what are they?

  3. your research so you will be certain to remember the abdominal exercise machines that will give you the best performance for your kind of training when you are ready to buy. As you shop for elliptical machines, remember that these beauties can give the best of several forms of workouts combined into one machine.

  4. These days everyone wants to build strong abs for looking muscular and macho-man. These are some good tips builds strong abs.

  5. These days youngsters being really crazy about building abs. I think without going gym its really hard to build them. But I don't saying it is impossible.