People love to say, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.” I prefer to say, “Abs get undressed in the kitchen, but they’re MADE in the gym.” I think it’s a lot more accurate.
I trained for a year and adhered to a strict, no-cheat diet for 14 weeks to do a bikini competition in 2016. I didn’t target my core consistently; my trainer and I worked the core while performing other functional movements, but it wasn’t nearly enough for ab development. At the end of my cut diet (the part that happens “in the kitchen”), it’s true enough that the fat came off, but there weren’t any rippling ab muscles underneath.
The takeaway? You still have to train your abs to build them, then diet can help to “undress” what you’ve worked hard to build.
Of course, there are more important concerns than the aesthetics of well-developed ab muscles. The core musculature is made up of much more than the six-pack that comes so easily to mind. This article has some good photos highlighting all of the muscles that make up the core, which basically includes any muscle that attaches to your pelvis or spine. That’s a lot! And they’re responsible for so many basic functional movements like standing upright, stabilization, and twisting. Being able to perform these movements without imbalances that can lead to injury is more important than winning a bikini contest.
So we’re not just working our “abs” in this workout. This one was brutal, guys. My core was SORE the next day! Challenge yourself, watch your form, and do the best that you can! Let me know in the comments how you did!
Total workout duration: 18m 23s
Equipment: Stability ball, dumbbell
Planks, 1 min
Stability Ball plank roll x15
Ball pass x 10
Stability ball bridge roll x15
Weighted twists x20
Mat jumps x20
Repeat sequence x3