Tom Venuto’s Championship-Winning Ab Workout Routine

After the last article from this series, you now know the science behind revealing your abs and how it depends more on body fat levels than it does on abdominal training, per se.  Now, let’s get into the real “meat” of getting great abs, training! 

Personally, I only do about 15 minutes of ab work two times per week, with anywhere from two to four exercises for about 10-25 reps per exercise. Forget about thousands of reps of sit ups — it’s a waste of time. The reason my abs look the way they do is not from endless repetitions, but because I get my body fat down into the single digits with a highly specialized fat-burning diet program.

Here’s a recent ab routine that I’ve used (for bodybuilding/ ab-development purposes). I do this routine only twice a week and I change the exercises approximately every month so my body doesn’t adapt. I prefer slightly higher rep range than other muscle groups, but as you can see, it is far from doing a thousand reps a day.

A1. Hanging leg raises
3 sets, 15-20 reps

Superset to:

A2. Hanging knee ups (bent-knee leg raises)
3 sets, 15-20 reps
(no rest between supersetted exercises A1 & A2, 60 sec. between supersets)

B1. Weighted swiss ball crunches (or weighted cable crunches)
3 sets, 15-20 reps

Superset to:

B2. Incline bench reverse crunches
3 sets, 15-20 reps
(no rest between supersetted exercises B1 & B2, 60 sec. between supersets)

How To Use Cardio For MAXIMUM Fat-Burning

Times have changed since the Aerobics revolution of the 1970’s and 1980’s. For years, aerobics was the darling of the fitness world. Then scientists began to acknowledge the benefits of weight training – for everyone, not just for bodybuilders.

Recently, the pendulum has swung the other direction and we’ve actually started hearing fitness “experts” suggesting that cardio should be kept to a minimum or even avoided completely. That’s the way things tend to go in the fitness world – they swing back and forth in trends, from one extreme to another. Lots of cardio or no cardio.

I suggest you avoid trend-hopping and pay close attention to what actually works, by people who know what they are talking about (such as bodybuilders, who are the leanest muscular athletes in the world). Doing nothing but cardio is a mistake. But cutting our cardio completely is also a mistake. The truth lies in the middle. Maximum fat burning occurs when you combine cardio training and weight training together.

Those who are genetically gifted with above average metabolisms will find that a slight drop in food intake and just a few days a week of cardio will usually do the trick. However, most people who are struggling with fat loss (sometimes referred to as “endomorph” body type) are simply NOT burning enough calories to get the results they want. The answer for them is more activity to burn more calories.

For health and weight maintenance, I would suggest 3 short cardio workouts per week, about 20-30 minutes per session. But for maximum fat loss, I recommend 4-7 days per week of cardio or other physical activity for 30-45 minutes (based on results), at a moderate pace. You can mix up the type of cardio you do, or choose the type you enjoy the most – stationary cycling, stairclimbing, elliptical machines, aerobic classes and other continuous activities are all excellent fat burners (it doesn’t have to be indoors or on a cardio machine).

If time efficiency is a concern for you, you could do 2-3 of those cardio workouts as high intensity interval training and you’ll achieve very good results even with briefer workouts. Even as little as 20-25 minutes per session can get great results IF your intensity level is high enough. Remember, seeing your abs is about low body fat. Low body fat is about burning calories and creating a calorie deficit. The calorie deficit is created by increasing the number of calories you burn and or decreasing the amount of calories you take in from food. Increasing intensity is one way to burn more calories in less time.

Let me reiterate what I said in the introduction. The reason my abs look the way they do is not solely from my training program, but because I get my body fat down into the single digits with a highly specialized fat-burning diet program.  

Proper nutrition strategies are essential for revealing your abs, which is why the final installment of this series will be solely about nutrition. Stay tuned for the next e-mail where I reveal my 6 Nutrition Secrets For Great Abs.

Train hard and expect success,

Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
Fat Loss Coach
www.BurnTheFat.com

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about fat loss training and getting your body fat level low enough so that you can finally show off your 6-pack abs, then be sure to take a look at the Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle program.

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About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and a certified personal trainer (CPT). Tom is the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using methods of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn abdominal fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: www.burnthefat.com

Tom Venuto's Burn The Fat