Ultimate Abdominals

Building a Legendary 6-Pack!

Ultimate Abdominals
Author Writter Image By: MuscleSports.net

A complete guide to reduce your waist line and build strength in your abdominals!

This abdominal program consists of Just two exercises ...

Mr. Olympia Frank Zane '77, '78, '79

How would you like to reduce your waistline and develop a set of abdominal muscles that turn heads whenever you are shirt less? Well, you can if you sincerely desire to do so and are willing to devote sufficient effort and discipline.

This abdominal program is designed to burn off excess fatty tissue and make your trunk muscles stand out In bold relief even when relaxed. We first heard of this type program from some of the older guys who used to compete back in the 60's and 70's. So we did some poking around to find out who this guy Zabo (We knew who he was, just didn't know the whole story) was they said had such great abs. When the promoters of the annual AAU Mr. America (remember way back before the NPC) gave awards for best bodyparts. One contestant from New Jersey was making a career of winning best abdominal awards. Before moving to California and managing a gyms on the west coast, Alvin (Zabo) Kazewski, had suffered from an inguinal hernia which made life for the young athlete miserable. Zabo decided to do something about it. He reasoned that if the muscles could be strengthened sufficiently, they would enlarge and close off the hernia. He went right to work with an abdominal program, easy at first, but made more difficult as time proceeded. He then began to train with weights and not only did he heal his hernia but he began winning bodybuilding contests up and down the East Coast as well as winning Best Abdominal trophies in each contest that he entered.

Since Zabo popularized this particular type of ab training in his day, many people have followed this sensational program with terrific results. There people who at the time reported to have reduced their waistline and improved their abdominal musculature by losing as much as three inches in two weeks! At this point you are probably thinking that we're are exaggerating somewhat, but let me assure you of the fact that amazing waistline reductions like this are not at all uncommon. If you will try this program diligently for seven days, we guarantee that you will be well pleased with your improvement. In Just two months, you can make a dramatic change in your whole appearance by "Zaboing" your abdominals. We have tried it, and the program works very very good!

Before I outline the program, let's first discuss your own particular situation and see If we can give you a basic understanding of how to reduce fatty tissue from your waistline. First you must decide Just how much you wish to reduce your waist. If your waistline measures 36 inches and you desire to get it down to a well-defined 30 Inches, this can be accomplished in about sixty days. The more you want to reduce, the longer it will take. Zabo didn't have a reducing problem but his abdominal muscles became firm and unusually well defined. A good indication for you to go by in deciding how much to reduce your waist measurement is to try to have your waist measure at least ten inches smaller than your chest. If your chest is 42 inches (relaxed and unflexed) then your goal should be a 32 inch waist which will give you a fair taper. On the other hand, It you desire a super taper, you will want your chest measurement at least 15 inches larger than your waist. If you do not meet these goals, take heart as bodybuilding is a visual form of art and a well-defined set of abdominals, no matter what the other measurements are, will always look good and tend to enhance the rest of the body. It your waistline is about 30 inches at present, don't expect a dramatic loss in inches as you probably don't have much fat to lose but your midsection will become much more muscular and impressive in as little as thirty days.

The Program

Ultimate AbdominalsThis abdominal program consists of Just two exercises and a few of their variations. Sounds incredibly simple, doesn't It? Well before you ask for your money back, read on. The exercises are leg raises and ¾ sit-ups or crunches. The exercises should be done in a number of ways, on the floor, on a bench, on an abdominal board or on a Roman chair. Also throw in a few twisting reps for the lower side abdominals. What makes this relatively simple program so result producing is the number of repetitions that you perform. When Zabo made his most sensational improvement, he performed 1000 repetitions of both sit-ups and leg raises daily though, after his abs were super fine, he reduced the reps to 500 of each exercise.

In order to get maximum results, it is necessary to do a large number of repetitions, which means, at least 500 reps of each of the two exercises, each day, six days a week. This will require forty to fifty minutes each day in order to complete the program. If you are an advanced bodybuilder in good shape, you can start right out the first day with 100 leg raises and 100 sit-ups and increase them at the rate of SOs day until you reach 500 of each. Advanced bodybuilders who have done much abdominal work can go as high as 1000 reps for faster results. As for beginners, those of you who are not in good condition, begin with 25 reps of each exercise the first day. It Is not necessary to do them continuously, just complete a total of 25 reps in as short a period as possible. Beginners should add 25 reps for each exercise, each workout day (six days a week, remember) until you have reached 500. Stay with 500 a day of each for the remainder of the two month program.

The Exercises

Doing such high reps becomes just as much a mental as physical chore so you have to add a little variety to your workouts to help avoid boredom and keep your interest and enthusiasm high. Here are some variations that you can include:

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Lying leg raise. Lying on your back on the floor, a mat or an exercise bench, with your legs slightly bent, raise both legs until your hips begin to raise off of the bench. It is at this point that you will get maximum contraction of the abdominal muscles. Pause just long enough to tense your abs and then lower your legs to a point where your heels are just a couple of inches off of the floor or parallel to the floor It you are doing leg raises oft the end of a bench.

In order to get some of that variety in that we mentioned above, every ten or twenty reps, or whenever you feel a need to change, do some of your leg raises in the following manner for another ten or twenty reps.

Full leg raises. Bring your feet all of the way over your head and try to touch the floor, or bench, behind you.

Knee ups. Bend your knees fully and pull your upper legs right into your gut until your hips are raised off of the bench. Straighten your legs out toward the floor and then begin your next rep.

Side emphasis. You can do either leg raises or knee ups In this fashion. As you raise your legs, turn your body slightly to one side, not too tar, just a couple of inches, and raise your legs over the side of your body that is upper most.

Incline bench or abdominal board leg raises and knee ups. With your head at the high end of the bench do the same type of leg raising exercises as above. Keep your abdominal board low as a high board will interfere with your ability to do many reps. You may prefer to start with the board high and after every ten or twenty (or thirty) reps, lower it by a couple of inches. You can change off from day to day, doing flat bench work on one day and abdominal board work the next. Whatever you are going to do, plan ahead so that you have a definite pattern of exercises to follow every day. Don't leave anything to chance.

When you get near the end of your workout you may find that your legs are tired and you are having difficulty lifting them. When you reach this point, you can finish off your leg raises, by sitting on the end of your bench In a slightly beat forward position, with your legs extended parallel to the floor. Hold this position and do knee ups as you did when you were in the supine position.

With so many variations of sit-ups to do, you should have no difficulty In selecting a new movement every once in a while to help keep you going. In recent years bodybuilders have become aware of the fact that sit-ups should not be done with the legs straight as this places much of the emphasis of the exercise on the lower back and muscles that raise the legs, the hip flexors. The same can be maid of leg raises and out of this knowledge of anatomy a new way of doing sit-ups was born, the crunch sit-up, in which the head ii bent forward with the chin on the chest to relieve back pressure, and the knees bent in order to reduce the work of the hip flexors. Though the term "sit-up" is was often used, what is usually being referred to is "CRUNCHES." When performing this type of sit-up, keep in mind that you do not have to complete the movement. Sit-up only until your upper body forms an angle of approximately 90 degrees to the floor. Bending beyond this point stretches your lower back muscles and does nothing for your abdominal,. Here are the types of sit-ups, or "crunches" that you can use In this program:

Flat or Incline crunches. Lying on the floor or an abdominal board, bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor near your butt. Hold your hands behind your neck, across your chest, or on your upper thighs, whichever you find the most comfortable. Roll your upper body forward by first raising your head and placing your chin on your chest, then lifting your shoulders and finally your upper back. Tense your abdominal muscles as hard as you can and then unroll your body by lowering your upper back, your shoulders and then your head. After every twenty reps, do ten reps of twisting to the 1.11 and the right so as to work the lower and side (oblique) abdominal muscles.

You can also do crunches by lying on the floor and draping your calves over your exercise bench or placing your heels up against a wail. Many men find these positions very comfortable as they do not have to concentrate on maintaining their heels flat on the floor.

Last, but not least, are Roman chair sit-ups. If you do not own a Roman chair you can duplicate the exercise by hooking your feet under a barbell and doing your crunches while sitting across your exercise bench. Sit back until your upper body is parallel to the floor, no lower, otherwise you will be doing a stretching exercise for your abdominal. and a very ineffective lower back movement. Place your hands on your abdominal. and sit up only until you feel them contracting maximally and then lower to the parallel position again. Remember to keep your chin on your chest and your shoulders rounded so as to get maximum abdominal activity. Do some twisting after you have completed about twenty reps. Here is a suggested routine to help you get the most from these abdominal exercises:

Note that all of the above exercises are performed in the supine or flat position. On the following day, do many of your exercises on an abdominal board or Roman chair:

By alternating different exercises from day-to-day you will be adjusting the stress so that the same sections of the abdominal muscles do not receive so much work daily that they cannot recover in time for the next day's training. You do not have to stay with the above outline but after a week or two you might desire to make subtle changes such as doing all of your twisting motions on one day or inserting some of your own favorite exercises. Remember to proceed cautiously, don't rush head long into the program but increase the severity daily by only the suggested number of reps and you will feel better and have more enthusiasm for training.

How about your regular bodybuilding workout? Often times it becomes necessary to alter a workout in order to achieve specific goals. It Is recommended that you continue your regular training, working each body part twice a week at the beginning of your workout and finishing off with the special abdominal exercises. If you find that this Is too much work, that you can't recover in time for your next workout, you will have to make some adjustments. The most practical thing to do Is to approach your special waist work with a conservative view, do only as many exercises and reps as you can recover from and instead of adding rep. every training day, increase your reps every third day only. This will give you two rather than six In-creases each week and your body will have additional time to make adjustments to the ever increasing work load. If time or circumstances permit, If you have a particularly heavy weight training workout and you do not feel like doing your waist work, do the work on your "rest" day each week. If you miss an occasional day of doing your abdominal training, don't let It go to your head, it's only one workout and it's the cumulative effect of all of the workouts that count so an occasional miss won't add up too much or stifle your progress.

Dietary(Nutritional) Considerations

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Yes, you are what you eat! In spite of what you may have heard or read, you must eat correctly in order to achieve maximum results. Zabo, in spite of all of the abdominal work that he did, once said that he could notice a negative effect on his abdominal area if he included as little as an ounce of cream in his coffee! Your body is probably not this sensitive to the build up of fat but in order to make rapid progress in reducing your waist and cutting up your abdominals, consideration of proper dietary strategies is absolutely necessary. You will probably lose five to ten pounds of weight on this rigorous program, but if you train your whole body regularly, you will be losing only useless fat and not hard earned muscle. The improvement in your appearance will be so dramatic that it will be well worth any sacrifice of bodyweight necessary to reduce your waist and bring out your abdominal,.

Start out by limiting your fat intake. In essence you will be following a "fat free" diet though many of the foods that you eat will have enough fat to maintain your health. Eliminate beef, hamburger, pork and lamb, and replace them with skinless chicken and turkey and cold water ocean (not river or lake) fish. There are many varieties of fish that you can choose from, like cod, turbot, Alaskan white fish and red snapper.

Dairy products are one of our major sources of calcium as well as protein and fat. To eliminate the fat, use only skim milk dairy products such as milk, cottage cheese and skim milk cheese. Most yogurt is "low tat" not "no fat" so you will have to read the labels and select the proper brands.

Eggs, a bodybuilding favorite, are also a rich source of fat, but most of the fat is found in the yolk and relatively little in the whites. Egg whites can easily be separated from the yolks by boiling the eggs for about three or three and one half minutes.

Just about every processed food contains fat of one type or another.., coconut oil, corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated, these must be avoided. Most of these processed foods are also high in sugar of one type or another honey, lactose, barley syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, eliminate them from your diet. Don't use any of the following: bread, cake, donuts, cookies, crackers, chocolate, ice cream, jams, rolls, biscuits, soft drinks and many of the so-called "natural foods and cereals." It you will read the labels you will find that many of these "natural foods", even those available in health food stores, are loaded with fat and sugar. Learn to be a label detective and you will be a wiser, more defined bodybuilder.

What Is there left to eat? You moan that we have taken away your complete daily menu, if that is so, you have been eating incorrectly and that is the reason that you require this special waist trimming program. With each meal have one of the protein foods suggested above (skim milk dairy products, low fat poultry and fish, egg whites). Add to these real 100 percent whole grain breads and cereals (remember to read the labels). There are many of them at the local super market. Eat as much as you want of fresh (not canned or frozen) fruit and vegetables. Baked or boiled potatoes are okay to eat but avoid them fried as you should all other foods. The amount of fat contained in fried foods will sabotage your waist reduction efforts so don't eat them, ever.

How about snacks and other "little" things. You can allow yourself a very small portion of raw, or dry roasted nuts, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Dry roasted popcorn, as made in a micro wave oven or corn popper, is great to fill that void in your stomach. Go easy on the nuts though, they have a lot of fat in them but you can eat as much of the dry roasted popcorn as you desire. Dry fruits such as raisins and dates can be used to sweeten your cereal but use only the minimum necessary as they have more sugar in them than you require. If you drink fruit juice, never drink more than Y~ cup, four ounces, a day as it is also high in sugar. Vegetable juices can be used in limited quantities, up to eight ounces daily.

If you use protein products and food supplements, very few of these contain fat or sugar, so you can continue to eat them. Read the label of your protein powder or tablets and if they contain either of these undesirable substances, use them only infrequently, perhaps once or twice a week, and when you have finished the container, search for products without sugar or fat added.

The rule of the diet is simple, eat as few unprocessed foods as possible and no foods that contain large amounts of fat or sugars. Avoid eating before you go to sleep, do not eat so much food that you feel stuffed but walk away from the dinner table feeling that you could still eat a lot more and remember to drink six to eight glasses of water daily which will help flush the end products of fat break-down from your system.

If you truly desire a smaller, more muscular waistline, just as much as you desire a bigger chest and arms, you can achieve your goal by planning, dedication and discipline, the same basic principles that have governed bodybuilding since the first man began lifting weights to improve his body.

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