ABCs of ABS – 9 Easy Rules For A Hardcore Ab-Training Program

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

Here’s some simple advice:

When you train your abs – kill them.

You’ll never get ripped-up and deep-cut abs relying on squats and deadlifts to “strengthen your core.”

And when I say kill your abs I mean kill your abs. For the final four weeks before my show I would train my abs for at least thirty minutes before I even started my weight training routine and I would do that at least six times a week.  I trained them when they were sore, I trained them when they were fried, I trained them when I felt they needed a rest.

I went against all convention and ended up with the best set of abs of my life.  Not only were my upper and lower abs popping but my external obliques and snakes looked shredded.

You don’t get abs like this relying on “heavy lifting to strengthen your core” and it wasn’t until I started doing HUNDREDS of reps with short rest periods and a variety of resistance that my abs started to pop.  

You gotta kill your abs! Every shredded fitness model knows this because it’s the common denominator between the world’s top pro fitness models.  You’ll see some guys with smaller legs or a smaller chest but you’ll never see a pro fitness model without shredded abs. It’s the common denominator you must master.

9 Easy Rules For A Hard-Core Training Program

1.  The Ideal Rest Period Between Exercises: Short and I mean very short.  Never rest longer than 15 seconds between exercises.  Abs are considered postural muscles, used primarily to keep you standing upright.  That’s why they recover so much more quickly than other muscle groups.  That allows you to keep the rest periods between exercises short – no more than 15 seconds.  The bonus of this is that you burn more calories which leads to accelerated fat burning to showcase your hard work sooner.

2. The Ideal Rest Period Between Sets: One minute or less.  Just enough to let your heart rate come back into a “talking zone” and then kill em again.

3. How To Structure Your Hardcore Ab Program: Use giant sets (three or four exercises for the same muscle group performed without resting between sets) are the best way to boost intensity, which means more fat burning and less overall gym time.   Over the course of the week I’ll rotate between two different series of giant sets.  Too much variety is not good and can backfire on you. It’s critical that you get stronger and last longer with each exercise.

4. The Optimal Training Frequency For Abs: At least six times a week. If you’re not there yet, scale up.  You’re never going to have razor sharp abs hitting them three or four times a week.  Come on, use some common sense. If three or four times a week was optimal than you wouldn’t be reading this because I bet that’s what you’ve already doing. Stop being lazy and stop making excuses for why you should not train them more frequently.  Some people say that abs need 48 hours to recover and I believe that’s applies to beginners only.  Train them every day and rotate between different exercises every other day.

5. The Best Rep Range For Abs: It should vary, just like every other muscle group.  For resistance style exercises I start with lower reps and scale up to higher reps.  With bodyweight style exercises I start with higher reps and scale down to lower reps by adding resistance.  Abs is a muscle group I rarely count reps on.  Depending on the exercise it’ll range from 8-10 reps, 10-20 reps, 20-30 reps and some sets I do 50-100 reps.  Stop being afraid of big numbers.

6. The Optimal Speed For Abs: I like to alternate between slow and controlled and fast and explosive.  Often times I start most exercises off with a slow and controlled tempo and then pick it up with momentum to squeeze out extra reps near the end.  To recruit the most muscle fibers in your abs and obliques it’s important to vary the movement speed.

7. A Typical Ab Workout Should Look Like This: Lower abs, obliques, upper abs and core.  Lower abs and obliques are often the weakest and least developed so start every workout while they are fresh and strong.  I don’t do a lot of core exercises but you can include them at the end.

8. Customize Your Ab Routine: It’s okay to break the rules when it comes to ab training. I learned this from my good friend Brock Aksoy who won the WBFF Fitness Atlantic Championships and became a WBFF Pro too.  We’re training partners and getting ready for the World’s together. Brock is big on customizing the routine to your physique. For example, if your obliques are invisible then do two exercises for that area.  For example, to bring up your obliques your ab routine might go like this: obliques, obliques, lower abs, upper abs, core.

9. Each Giant Set Should Be Balanced: If you don’t need custom-carved abs than be sure to include at least one exercise for every part of your abdominal region.  In a typical giant set you should have a lower ab, oblique and upper ab exercise.

Here is a sample workout with all the rules applied:

Hanging leg raises  3 sets of failure
Standing cable crunches 3 sets of 20-30
Cable oblique crunches  3 sets of 10-20
Planks off stability ball  3 sets of 2 minutes or longer

Got questions about designing a hardcore ab-training program?  Ask below!

==> Click Here To Learn the Top 5 Common Cutting Mistakes

Vince Del Monte

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Comments

92 thoughts on “ABCs of ABS – 9 Easy Rules For A Hardcore Ab-Training Program

  1. It is important for a dentist to be abreast with
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  2. I’ve used these techniques, along with others, with much success in my private practice supporting clients lose weight and keep it off.

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  3. Pingback: Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Review | MyFitnessGalaxy.com

  4. I was very pleased to find this page. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!!
    I definitely really liked every bit of it and i also have you saved
    to fav to look at new stuff on your website.

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  5. Hi! Wow, glad I found this page. A lot of positive encouraging words on here.
    I need some help on where to start – I am now 43 yrs old Female. I use to kick box and lift weights but only for my back & shoulders. Then do lots of squats. I weighed 115lbs 5″4 tall then 3 yrs ago I was in a car accident. I NOW weigh 155lbs! Depression set in and I stopped being active & barely eating but when I did it was crap fast food. I want to get back in shape but this time in the best ever. Am I too old and too far gone now?

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  6. 9 easy rules r simple and great for workout.THANKS

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  7. Great articles! I do have a question. What do you know about these stand on “vibration machines”? I understand they were designed by the Russian space program sto help with bone density while in space for extended periods of time. Now many sports teams use them. It seems to have worked well for me.
    I just wondered what you thought of them or if you knew about them. Keep us the great articles.
    All the best!

    Craig

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  8. Hey Vince! You speak the truth! Ever since I came across your article on the best way to get a six pack off of bodybuilding.com my life completely changed. This article made it even better by detailing how to go about it in the right way. People need to learn that your body can take more than you think. You don’t need amazing genetics to prove yourself to people, only hard work and dedication. I train my abs 6 days a week and my friends thought I was crazy doing this. By all means do not listen to the haters, because overtraining your abs is the only way to have an amazing looking six pack. Few will put in the time to achieve this success because they are afraid of the truth. You need to test your body to its full potential before you go out and say stuff. In the end my hard work did pay off and I proved a lot of people wrong. I thank God I found you and glad to see that you’re a Christian too. You rock! I would have never achieved my set of abs if it wasn’t for you and your amazing knowledge on this subject. It’s unfortunate your YouTube page was shut down, I learned a lot about nutrition and many ways how to go about achieving the perfect body through it. I’m only 19 and I’m far ahead of the game thanks to you. My rules have always stayed the same with my ab exercises since i came across this, time under tension is the only way to go. Squeeze and contract those muscles. I used to be one of those people who rushed through my ab routine because I hated training them, now I love it. Since I started applying the slow and controlled rule, my abs have popped. You need to focus on the muscles you’re working and give it all you got. For other people who read this and don’t believe me, go on YouTube and check out Hannibal for king. This guy overtrains every day and is constantly putting his abs under tension. And people still believe in overtraining! lol In my opinion, this man has one of the greatest set of abs on the planet. And he is 100% natural. So in conclusion, just to clear up the misconceptions out there and I’m living proof, Vince knows what he is talking about, and this information will change your life if you choose to apply it. I just want to thank you again for giving out priceless information for free. I wish everybody could see this and understand the truth! God bless!

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  9. Hey Vince,how to incorporate your ab-training program into my (or any)weight training routine
    Thx

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  10. I think for point 2… Yes, the trick to having a great abdominal workout is to reduce the rest time between sets.

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  11. Vince, this is undoubtable bullshit. Please stop this.

    Any muscle needs time to recover. It is idiocy to suggest that the abdominal muscles can recover after only a little bit of time.

    Why don’t you go to scooby’s website and talk to him so you can remove yourself from the hall of shame

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    • @Duelix. Post your abs bro and let’s pose down and let’s see Scooby’s abs… I mean ab… too.

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      • Vince, the above text is almost perfect. I agree with you on all points except when you say that abs should be trained 6 times a week. I am not making excuses in order to avoid training them that much cuz i am a guy who workout 5 days a week for at least 2 hours. 3 to 4 times per week are more enough. Unlike our friend Duelix who has no idea what he is talking about, i’m almost sure of what i am saying. My abs, without any Photoshop tuning, are probably a bit better than the above picture. Beside this point, every single point is 100%. PS: You are the only trainer whom i actually read his articles and i benefited alot from that…

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    • duelix,
      Pretty bold statement for someone who has probably never tried it, nor has any real experience in the fitness industry…. Keep following scooby and see how far you get

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  12. Wow, 9 Super Rules – great stuff Vince, against convention. Point number 5. The Best Rep Range For Abs seems to work better. Thanks

    Rajesh

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  13. more reps and conventional exercise might give u results.

    But in my opinion, too much conventional exercises, like sit-ups or many reps of just abs exercise would hurt ya back and ya spine. like Yuri Elkaim, the author of AAS said.

    I agree that core exercise and Squats etc can help strengthen ya core, but I also agree that sometimes a bodybuilder who really has to get great abs has to do those isolation exercises, unlike Team sports athletes or baller etc.

    Everything is 2-sided, it has its pros and cons, “u achieve this but u lose that”.But finding the most effective, efficient, the best method that suits you is the most important thing.

    To conclude, doing conventional abs workout with super huge amount of reps is better than sitting in front of ya computer just to find out the best method for ya whole life then finally waste most of ya time…

    appreciate.

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  14. Hi!
    I just tried accesing the no-nonsense page, but I kept getting redirected to: http://www.vincedelmontefitness.com/blog/ all the time.
    Really wanted to show that page to my parents. They said your program seemed to good to be true… 😉

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  15. 9 Easy Rules For A Hardcore Ab-Training Program is really helpful for me. Body fitness is of a prime importance to me. A perfect guidance for making cool ABs. Article is a must for all who love fit Abs.

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  16. You are right Marwan! Writing responses to purely make fun is sad. But there is a difference between making fun and talking fact. I think you will find that Clyde read the whole comments section and his post was perhaps in response to some negativity displayed on this post towards some people wanting to clarify the information they were being presented with, in the original post. If you read the page from the beginning I think you will see what I refer to. Here is also another example from another section of this blog;

    http://www.vincedelmontefitness.com/blog/4170/my-complete-opinion-on-fast-days-fat-loss/

    Jodie
    May 20, 2011
    Vince. Regarding eating fat and carbs…….You state that insulin is a storage hormone. True. You state that you don’t want fat floating around your bloodstream when your insulin is high. Insulin is a storage hormone for ONLY carbs. The fat doesnt affect anything. Insulin latches onto the bloodsugar (carb) and takes it to be stored in the muscle in the form of glycogen OR as bodyfat. Eating fat with a carb does not affect how the insulin balances the blood sugar, it DOES however affect how much insulin is released after consuming a meal. A good carb plus a lean protein plus GOOD fat = less insulin release. I think it is misleading to tell people to not eat a fat and a carb and NOT back it up with REAL science.

    Vince
    May 22, 2011
    @Jodie. This is a “No Nonsense” website. Not a website for academic debate.

    I very much liked this particular post by Vince as it was “No Nonsense.” But the response to Jodie’s comment came across as “I don’t really know the science behind this so I’m not going to discuss it.”

    Anyone who is in the business of educating people on matters to do with their health and well-being you should expect to be questioned from time to time.

    To stay with a previous theme of this page, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen as they say.

    If you are giving advice on fitness, like any qualified professional, the information needs to be accurate and up to date. This is a requirement of any medical professional or fitness leader in the real world. If you are not open to new information that may contradict what you previously believed, giving fitness advice or training clients in not a field you should be in.

    I have a lot of respect for anyone helping people by giving them factual information. What I do take exception to is those like the guy in the gym who is advising from bodybuilding mythology.

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  17. @clyde12
    It is really sad that you come here and start making fun. Why don’t you send us pictures of yourself (not of some model)? I believe in one thing – walk the talk and this is what Vince is all about.

    I am currently following his MYM series programmes and my results along with lots of others speak for themselves. Instead of making fun apply some of his principles yourself and if it doesn’t work then speak.

    Oh and by the way get a dictionary and look up the meaning of the word hype.

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  18. Hi Vince.
    I’m a little surprised by your advice to Robert about 200 pushups/day; six days/week. Is this something you advice him to do in order to make his pecs grow or to increase their definition?
    I hope it is to make them grow ’cause my pecs are also lagging and then I coud try this.

    Kind regards,
    Alfred

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  19. Hey Madhu. I’m no fitness expert but I’ve doing this for a long time. Oblique exercises are ones that work the muscles on either sides of your abs (these are your obliques). Good exercises for these are oblique crunches, ab bicycles, hanging knee lifts with a twist (bring your knees up to either side), declined crunches with a twist. You can find all of these on you tube, or just do a search for oblique exersices. I think doing these on your rest days would be fine but that is just my opinion

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  20. Hi,
    I am the NNMB customer, pls let me know wat is oblique excercise and can i include ur above said routine in my beginers intermediate module in the rest days? Thanks in advance.

    Madhu

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  21. I hear abs are made in the kitchen. I know the food you eat has a huge deal about getting abs besides the training part but how much percent is what you eat and how you train? I am not the best eater. Can you give me some quick fixes for a beginner at a healthy diet to get shredded abs!?

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  22. Hey Vince. Awesome post. Totally loved it. This is what I used to do and I got great results. Then, like Dave, I heard that you should treat abs like every other muscle and only work them 3-4 times a week. So I started doing that but didn’t get near the results I did when I used to torture my abs 5-6 times s week. So after reading your post I’m going back to the 5-6 times a week torture sessions. I guess people just need to find out what works for them and stick to it. It is good to experiment with different techniques but if it does work switch back to what does. I LOVE the idea of doing 4 different exercises to work lower abs, obliques, upper abs, and core. Any other good exercises you would recommend for each area? Again thanx a ton

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  23. Hey Vince, what if got a small pot belly?
    How do u get rid of it?
    should I run or do crunches because i’ve been doing crunches for the past 3 weeks and all i am getting is fat abs and my waist is getting bigger…

    That’s really annoying !what do u recommend mate.
    Cheers and congrats to u for reaching your goal.

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  24. Hmm I got abs but I rarely did them more than 3 times a week, don’t see why you should KILL them every day??? They’re not a super muscle, they’re a muscle just like any other muscle….if I killed legs every day there’s no way I would be able to walk and abs hold your upper body straight, you could injure your back during DL’s if your abs are already trashed since the core is what stabilizes you.

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  25. Vince, good advice. I’ll start to train more frequently.

    But can you tell me some good obliques exercise that works more the “lower obliques”? The ones near the hips. I see more definition on my “upper obliques”, near my ribs.

    Can you give me some help bro?

    CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR PRO CARD! Goal achieved.

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  26. Hey Guys,
    Brock here! Thanks for the shout out in this Article Vince.

    I’d be more than happy to help try and answer your questions. Let me know if you all have specific questions about targeting a specific part of the abdominal muscles. You guys can also click “like” on my fan page and post questions there as well.
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Brock-Aksoy-Fan-Page/180365338682156

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  27. @Vince@Vince – Right now I’m planning to come alone, but I’ll def see if I can get a friend of mine to tag along. I’ll be coming from Philadelphia. Looking forward to finally meeting you and the rest of the gang…you’ve been a part of my world since ’06 and have quite literally changed my life.

    Mitchell

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  28. I sometimes have problems with what you say. You talk in technical terms that
    I don’t understand. For instance when you say “lower abs then obliques, then
    upper abs, the core.” What is “core”? I thought we just discussed that. Then
    the final exercise: planks off a stability ball. What the heck is that? I don’t have
    any exercise ball, since I heard of one breaking.

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  29. Hey Vince,

    I was wondering what your thoughts were on home fitness programs such as Insanity and P90X. Do you think they are legit?

    Also, what ab exercises would you recommend for someone with not alot of fitness equipment?

    Thanks very much for your input!

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    • @Ryan. Insanity and P90X are great… if they promise of their program is in alignment with your goals.

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  30. Vince,
    Thanks, I’ll give the broccoli a try. I could probably use the extra greens. I currently eat spinach and or broccoli 2x a day. I am already doing 4 liters of water or more a day.
    I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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  31. Yo vince you say at least 6 times a week.. so is there a max? Or is it just balls to the walls with everything with the abs.?

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    • @Rocky. Just do it the way I showed you in the post.

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  32. Robert
    June 13, 2011

    Hey Vince
    I have taken what you have said on bored and have change a thing or two to my own style, but at the moment I feel my pecks are letting me down and I don’t see then improving as much as the rest of my body is so could you please give me some pointers to help me out?

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  33. Hi Vince,

    I was wondering if ya had any ab routines up your sleeve for someone post pregnancy and c-section? I want my six pack back!

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  34. Great article, i’m going to give it a bash – need to shake things up for summer.

    Out of interest, what is the science behind doing your core last instead of first?

    I was under the impression if your core was tired, it is easier to focus on your abs? Similar logic to working your abs after heavy squats?

    I guess you can go hell for leather if your abs are fresh.

    I tend to do a 2 minute plank on a weight plate (dr k exercise), 3 sets to failure of lying pikes, 1 minute swiss ball roll out and then 3 x 20-40 crunches.

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  35. Hey Vince,
    Please reread my question! I’am not lifting real heavy. I’am doing giant sets for my abs and for the rest of my body, I’am doing super-sets and drop sets, to keep up my heart rate.
    My problem is losing the bottom of my six-pack. I’ve redused carbs, increased my protein to 1gm. for every lb. of body weight. Am I missing something! I’ve cut 10% body fat in 2 weeks from 22% to 12%. Trying to kick the rest of this junk off my body.
    Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

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    • @Joseph. You’re obviously missing something if you’re not changeing. I’m going to give you ONE thought: Stop worrying. Your stress is killing you. The only “magic bullet” you need is MORE TIME. You think that fat wants to go easily? Step up your game bro and start working harder than ever. Fat is stored energy and you need to BURN it off. To assess your diet over a blog is pointless.

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  36. Seriously guys how dare you question the almighty Vince on his stuff. Look at him he is a walking figure of knowledge. He is allowed to contradict himself if he so chooses and he can hype up his stuff as he is the Vince. Think of him as the Fonz of fitness.

    If they ever create a Hype award he will surely win it hands down. So me anyone who can get away with claiming to have put on 6 lbs of steel like muscles in 2 days? You can’t cause only Vince can do it. Oh wait Mo Mendez said you can gain 7 lbs in 7 days so Vince may have some competition. 🙂

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  37. Vince

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. Like other posters, I too have been afraid of overtraining my abs. I train my abs only 2-3 x a week and although they are pretty flat, I would like to see more definition. Should I start out by adding a day each week or just go right into 6 days?

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    • Hey Kathy. You know what FEAR stands for? False Evidence Appearing Real.

      2-3x is for average Joe Schmoes. Yes, scale up to 6x a week ASAP. Add one workout a week. You’ll be at 6x a week within 3 weeks.

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  38. Retirementcoach June 13, 2011 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Vince

    Since doing Phase 16 I’ve taken all your points to heart, except I’ve only been working the abs 5x/week. I’m using the protocol listed in Phase 16 with some modifcations since we don’t have some machines you use.

    I’ve increased hanging knees to 35 lbs 4x 11+reps, weighted standing crunches and twists, hanging knee twists with weights, weight stabilty ball crunches, ab bikes and hanging leg raises. Rotating obliques and uppers every other day using one day with just body wt routines and high reps.

    I didn’t question if this level of working abs was good or bad – I just did it and pushed hard. Results – 6 pack is starting to show!

    When I finish 6 weeks of Phase 16 I’ll send some pics. Some times you just need to believe in one person’s advice and go with it. I’ve never questioned you and have total belief that you’ll point us in the right direction. Proof is the body I’m proud I’ve gotten – and it’s still a work in progress!!! LOL

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    • Nice job Bruce. Your abs are SO SO strong and doing anything that you’ve done in the past is not going to work the same for the future. Can’t wait to see the results. Just make sure to stretch them up out and you’ll be fine.

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  39. Vince great post and I will respectfully disagree lol. I noticed the biggest change of my life in my abs when I stopped doing high rep body weight and switched to lower rep heavy weight. I’ve had popping abs ever since and I only train them two or three times a week with two or three exercises – all with low reps. So naturally, its the method I recommend to MY readers.

    However, I’ll give your “kill it” method a try for 4 weeks and monitor the results. Ill let you know how it goes when I see you in August man.

    Mitchell

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    • Awesome Mitchell. Can’t wait to meet you. Where you coming in from? You coming alone or with friends?

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  40. Hay Vince looking shredded! Amazing.

    Been following your tips for a long time now and LOVE reading what you have to say, I used to be an ectomorph like you used to but managed to bulk up adding 30kg of muscle and i’m only 5’8! Currently around 10% bf and hoping this method will get me shredded like you 🙂 keep the emails coming man. Tried following your rule of low rest and giant sets earlier today and the pain is incredible doing them but feels good once it’s done!!

    Do you have an example workout for abs using zero equipment? I currently don’t have access to a gym so got to do workouts at home, I only have a barbell and some dumbbells. Lower abs are in need of some work as are my obliques, top of my abs are fine.

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    • @Mitch. Pick your three favorite ab moves, bodyweight is fine and even adding a med ball or weight between your legs will be good.

      At 10% fat, this will work great for you because you’ll start seeing them pop fast.

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  41. Vince, I’ve been following you for about 14 mos. You’ve come a long way! Looking great. I am interested in your diet for the last stage of your training. I am 58 and trying to get the bottom two of my six pack to show. I’ve cut out all gluten from my diet and have really scaled back on the rest of my carbs. I am down to 13% body fat, now it gets really serious. Any tips you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    P.S. I am old school, and have been killing my abs. No pain, No gain!

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    • @Joseph. Make sure you’re drinking at least 4 liters of water a day and I want you to start eating 2 cups of broccoli with EVERY single meal. Don’t change anything else and you’ll drop some more fat.

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  42. Hii Vince
    i had been training hard for a long time.but i started training abs seriously now only.

    “Some people say that abs need 48 hours to recover and I believe that’s applies to beginners only”

    is this applicable for me?or should i train more frequently?

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  43. Hello Vince, Hello all the other Guys,

    First off I want so say Vince you look AWESOME. I am following you now snice september 2009 and I never get bored, you are doing a great job! So I’ve been reading most of the comments and all I can say is, People please stop saying “Oh but I heard you should train abs X times a week, I should have X rest days….” bla bla…Well you know what I’ve heard? They say sweet potatoes taste nasty, but I don’t give a damn about other peoples opinion, I have to try it myself. So what I am trying to say is, stop wondering about what works and what doesn’t until you haven’t tryed it. I still don’t get it why people try to find a reason why it won’t work!?! Vince is the best example, he did it that way and yall can see the resutls. You won’t become rich if you don’t work hard or only work 2 days a week, right?…. Just pick something you think that would fit YOU, try it, believe in it and make your own experience. Yall have a good day 🙂

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  44. By the way the inconsistency I refer to is this statement Vince;

    “You don’t get abs like this relying on “heavy lifting to strengthen your core” and it wasn’t until I started doing HUNDREDS of reps with short rest periods and a variety of resistance that my abs started to pop.”

    Your abs are used in every day life to help maintain posture. So how would it make sense that Squats and Dead-lifts don’t help strengthen them as you also state? One way to get abs is to lower body-fat and strengthen the muscles though lifting, and yes squats and dead-lifts help do this. There is no necessity to do 100s of crunches to obtain this. In what real life activity, other than getting out of bed each morning do you really do a crunch motion? What I am saying is that you are not incorrect to say crunches help with building abs, but you said effectively that John Barban is wrong to say that this can be achieved as a result of general training history having done these compound lifts and reducing body-fat levels so that the abs can be seen. Just take a look at some pics of John Barban and Brad Pilon online to see that this works.

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    • @David. It’s one thing for your abs “to be seen” and for your abs to be “deep-cut” “popping” and “ripped up.” You’ll never get cover model abs relying just on heavy lifting without a lot of direct ab work.

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  45. Ok Vince, I was happy to take on-board your initial response to my question…. until I read further down the page where you said this;

    “I find a lot of people purely read fitness info as a hobby. They just enjoy reading about it and talking about it. I have no personal issue with this unless people try to engage me into debates when they have no personal experience to talk from.”

    If you refer to my first post, what would you consider personal experience? Like yourself I started out as a typical ectomorph weighing just 65kg at 6’1 in my early 20’s. In 2006 I at the age of 26 I went from 72kg to 84kg in two months through full body training and good diet. No Creatine or drugs like steroids. Never gone anywhere near the roids as I’m totally opposed. And I haven’t taken Creatine since 2001, although I am a fan of Creatine. I currently weigh 90kg and would be carrying 2-3kg of bodyfat.

    So I can totally relate to being an ectomorph and having great gains like you have had as our historical stats are not far apart from what I can tell.

    As for reading fitness material and talking about it. I wonder does a personal training qualification and real life experience cut it as a prerequisite in your book?

    As you are a businessman, I would expect although you wouldn’t do everything the same as your associates, I would think that you would want some consistency within the alliance you create. One of your best posts by the way is your review on Intermittent Fasting, which was a breathe of fresh air. I have been using Eat Stop Eat since March with fantastic results, loosing 9kg in 3 weeks, and more. I could very much relate to that post, which I commented on very positively.

    All I am trying to suggest is that as somewhat of a fan of your material, instead of getting defensive when you get a response to your posts, perhaps try to take the excess hype off your advice and be a little more down to Earth in your posts and on your videos. Like I said the Fasting Review you posted was GOLD! And I have seen a couple of your videos which were not over the top and very, very informative.

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  46. Vince, I’m 29 years old, I’ve been training full on for about 3 years now. I’ve spent the last few months bulking up to 191lb and in the last couple of weeks started the cut big time. This will be my second real bulk then cut cycle. I’m sitting at about 10% body fat right now and my goal is to be at under 6% and weigh in around 175lb. With your ab workout, you’re talking about going against a lot a previous statements you’ve made regarding rest, which I totally understand for the abs. But is this true for other body parts? Basically I’m in the gym 6 days a week, HIIT warmup murdering a different muscle group on every different day. I’m concerned about with the massive drop in calories that I’m gonna lose too much muscle. Am I over doing it or is this just what it takes?

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  47. I prolly shouldn’t be worried about ab training if I’m still at like 15% body fat huh? 🙁

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  48. Congratulations on your win, oh and on your beautiful wife.

    Even though your target on training is toward skinny vinnies, I have used some of your advice. I am or was a fatty Johnny. Started on a weight lost “adventure” in Mar 2011. Was 207 lbs, BF% 29.9, and as of last Wednesday I was 179 lbs and BF of 23.3.

    But like I said I have taken lost of your training tips to consideration. As far as these 9 rules for abs go, I have seen a video of your buddy Lee, where he suggested something similar to the giant sets you talked about, and I have been using for weeks now.

    Even though I still am about 4 lbs off my target weight, I have long ways to go as far as BF%. But have seen great results on my abs, and even after reaching my weight goal, I will continue with these giant set, because I know for a fact that fat will continue to burn.

    I also agree with the “too many chefs in the kitchen”. I follow Dorian Yates training, but I like to seek advice, try on my own, and if it works, I add them to my routine. But I remain faithful to one trainer.

    I love your show Live Large. Keep up the good work.

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    • Good stuff Johnny. I find a lot of people purely read fitness info as a hobby. They just enjoy reading about it and talking about it. I have no personal issue with this unless people try to engage me into debates when they have no personal experience to talk from.

      I’m going to meet Dorian Yates in Toronto next Sunday…. I’m really pumped!

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  49. Hey Vince,

    If I’m on a cutting phase (lower calories) and am doing my ab exercises and circuits as you mentioned, will my abs grow? Muscles don’t grow when we are in a calorie deficit right?

    -Thaddeus

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    • Thaddeus. If I said, “No” would that result in you to discontinue your ab training?

      Muscles respond to stimulus they have not experienced before. In extreme conditions you can build muscle with ZERO calories. Very rare but it’s possible.

      Kill your abs and you’ll be very pleased with the results even if you’re in a caloric deficit.

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  50. @David
    Sometimes you’ll be able to do the same thing by different methods
    I think that’s the main reason why Vince’s methods are not the same as his colleague’s ones
    Vince is just sharing the techinches that he uses, but you need to find the ones that work with you, everybody is different and our bodies react different
    Jus sharing my opinion

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  51. Great post, you are very inspiring and I love all your articles and videos, you may have beat out cristiano ronaldo as my new favorite Professional. peace! and thanks

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    • Wow! That’s a compliment. I would love to meet Rinaldo one day.

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  52. Hi Vince,

    I’ve heard that working the Obliques will make your waist look bigger, do you agree with this? How often do you train your obliques?

    thanks,

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    • Omar… I SMASH my obliques. Six times a week bro. Re read my post.

      If your waist starts looking bigger, then stop training them. Worry about that when that happens.

      That’s like me saying, “I’m afraid to start saving money because I heard when you save a lot of money you start becoming different.”

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  53. What about for the females……I still like the shredded look but still maintaining a feminine look………….I love those muscles to pop to some degree! I am a 50 (almost 51 , aggghh, female)….workout diligently, have good obliques….think they are a bit overtrained and trying to pop the lower abs a bit. My diet is 90-95% ……had 2 babies but still very lean and muscular.

    Put your 2 cents in on how the women should train their abs…..I personally don’t think using a lot of weight reistance is key…..body weight stuff….hanging raises, SB plank, jacknife, touchdowns, pikes….TRX atomic pushup, running man, pike and BW plank jumps, mountain climbers, variety of burpee styles….hmmmmmm…..med ball throws any others??????

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    • Those are all good moves Dianne. As a female, just don’t go crazy with the oblique moves but like I said, KILL THEM.

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  54. Should women be doing obliques? I’ve heard some suggest it gives the illusion of thickness on a woman’s physique…..

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    • Heather… Have you ever seen or met these women yourself? Just don’t go crazy on your obliques if you don’t believe me.

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  55. Do you know of any hip flection/lower ab exercises that do not interfere with the healing of herniated disks? I can do some weighted trunk flection and some weighted rotational and obleque work but I can barley do any lower abs without back pain.

    Any sugestions?

    Chris

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    • Hey Chris. I’m not comfortable giving any advice if you’re dealing with a heriniated disk. You should not be seeking that kind of advice online. You should be getting that from someone who can keep an eye on you.

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  56. hey Vince,

    First of all, thank you for putting the time and energy to help people.

    I’ve heard so many times that your ABS are like every other muscle group in your body and you should only train them once or twice a week, why is that?

    In your opinion, for beginners, How much of a difference does it make to train ABS once or twice a week then training them more frequently (5-6 times a week)? Do you think is it going to help beginners to get results faster?

    Some trainer once told me to stop working My ABS regularly and work them hard when I am below 15% body fat, Is this true?

    Your help is greatly appreciated,

    Best,

    KAS

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    • KAS, your abs are NOT like every other muscle group. Re read my post. All your questions are already answered.

      I don’t agree with your trainer but I don’t know his logic behind his suggestion so it does not mean he’s wrong.

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  57. @John D – Also…what is your philosophy with training abs during “bulking” periods?

    -John

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    • @John D. Training abs frequently is tough when they are covered up by fat but I would do them every day but maybe for 10-15 minutes. As you can see them, it becomes addicting to train them. My buddies and I eye will lift our shirt after almost every set to make sure they are still there and see how they are looking! When you can see them, you want to train them all the time. Guys who hate training abs don’t because they can’t see them. Once you see them fully, you’ll want to train them all day long. People with shredded abs know what I’m talking about.

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  58. Hey Vince,

    I’ve been applying the EXACT same principles for the past couple of months and my abs got friggin shredded! I “overtrained” them like no tomorrow and my girlfriend is loving it.

    What is different about doing heavy work for abs (like I would do on decline crunches) and higher reps (like I would do with leg raises) for ab development? I incorporate both approaches in my routine…beginning with heavy moves and scaling down to higher reps.

    Keep up the good work…Orgoglio italiano!!

    -John

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    • @john D. nice job bro. ladies LOVE the six pack abs. I don’t think it’s even possible to over train your abs. Just make sure you stretch them too.

      I m not too technical about rep schemes when it comes to abs… I just look for moves that allow them to go into a “zone” of pain and punishment they have not felt before. Whether it’s high reps or low reps… it all works. Variety is key and log your progress to identify where you’re making your best gains.

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  59. Hey Vince!

    Congradulations on your wins. You’re ab’s look insane! I’ve been goin out it hard for a few years now; have some definition, but no where close to where you’re at. I’ve been told it’s due to my cortisol level, and my sleep. Diet is pretty clean. I read all of the stuff you put out, and I follow alot of Will Brink’s info as well. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks brotha!

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    • Make sure you’re making assumptions on your cortisol based on blood work… Not what you might think is happening…

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  60. Hey Vince, how come you are doing crunches. You are doing damage to your back by putting in flexion mode. Not good for the disks in your lower back.

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    • @Dave. I don’t know where you heard that…

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  61. Hey David. A few points and I say these ALL with a smile on my face:

    1. You’re guilty of my #1 sin: “Too many chefs in the kitchen.” You’re taking in information at a greater rate than you can export and overwhelming yourself. Have you even tried it John and Brad’s way? I guess not or else you would not care that I’m sharing my way. You have two options: Ask for opinions or find out for yourself.

    2. I have no interest in debating which method is better. I already know what method works better for me and that’s why I’m sharing it. I could care less if people follow my rules or someone else’s rules. Just follow SOMEONES’s rules or God forbid you come up with your OWN rules!

    3. I beg you to not judge whether I know what I m talking about based on “how it sounds” Assess whether it’s good based on TESTING IT for 12 weeks and than coming to your own conclusions.

    Keep reading my stuff bro and you’ll see I don’t promote any “magic bullets”.

    3.

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  62. Hello Vince,

    I don’t wish to come across as a “hater,” but I would like to know why your methods and that of the Adonis Effect/Lifestyle team seem to be so far from each other? For example you say and I quote;

    “You don’t get abs like this relying on “heavy lifting to strengthen your core” and it wasn’t until I started doing HUNDREDS of reps with short rest periods and a variety of resistance that my abs started to pop.”

    Why is it that John Barban says the opposite in his podcasts to which Brad Howard agrees? I saw somewhere that you have some association with these guys? How can your methods be polar opposites?

    I must admit the jury is still out for me on your advice. Some of your material is very down to Earth and I think, hey Vince knows what he’s talking about. Unfortunately other videos and blog posts are over hyped and it confuses the issue. In an attempt to be constructive I wish to suggest that you stop trying to give us the “magic bullet” every time and tell people the realities of their training results. I for one rather know that I need to be persistent and patient to get results as opposed to thinking I’m going to turn green and tear my clothes tomorrow.

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