Saturday, January 21, 2012

My 6-Pack Ab Circuit

About a month or so ago, I became obsessed with developing my abs.

The reason was pretty simple. I was horrified by the fact that a deadlift of 135 pounds had become challenging for me.  The proximate cause of the difficulty was the weakness of my abdominals.  Good ab strength is necessary for a big deadlift.

Once upon a time, I would deadlift 315 pound bars off the floors of sports stores with no belt, no warm up, and ordinary running shoes on my feet.  I would do this suddenly, without warning, and with one quick thrust so no one would have time to object.  It wasn't particularly hard either.  Given a warm up, and the right gear, I could rip 515 off the floor.

How pitiful I have become, I thought.  Corrective action had to be taken.

The Ab Glider and the Solution

Step 1a was purchasing The Ab Glider.  Yep, this is the device hocked by Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  It's pretty good too. Step 1b was purchasing The Solution, offered by Body by Jake.  This is a good machine, and I enjoy using it more than the Ab Glider.

My Apartment is such a clutter of exercise equipment it is preposterous.  I don't know how I live here anymore.

The morning after my first combined use of two devices, my guts were pretty dang sore.  That quickly changed.  Both devices got pretty easy pretty quickly.  At first, I could barely do the basics.  Now I can pretty much do any of the movements pretty well.  I know it has only been about a month, and I know I have gotten pretty good results from these two little devices, but at the same time, I have been disappointed.

I have been disappointed that my obliques have not developed at the same rate as my abs.  I have also been disappointed that I still don't have a 6-pack... after just one month.  I've also been developing a great deal of skepticism that a 6-pack can be developed by using these two devices.

The Rack

About a week or so ago, I decided to enter Stage-2 of the development process.  I decided to buy the Rack, the device designed by Owen McKibbin.  Before buying this inexpensive device, I had been convinced that there were (at least) 4 core exercises that would be difficult or more expensive to duplicate with other devices.  What are those exercises?

  1. The ab crawler
  2. The reverse ab crawler
  3. Inclined Yoga Plank Twists
  4. Bicycle Kicks
  5. Knee raises
I also thought it would make a nice anchor for sit-ups and (possibly) a decent platform for frog-kicks.  In short, that was more than enough justification for it's minor cost.  It turns out that there is much more you can do with it.

TRX Pro Kit

The TRX straps are something quite unlike anything I've seen or used before. I encounter them for the first time about a week ago, when I saw them just hanging around in my little CrossFit Gym in Woodland Hills. I wondered what they were and just how they might be used. As it turns out, it is an instrument of advanced core development. I was delighted when I discovered the following video that gave good instruction regarding how to use the device.

Tying it all together into a circuit

Tonight, I decided I was going to execute my first-ever ab-only workout circuit. I planned to hit my abs from every direction possible. I was going to combine all of these good exercises to make my abs respond. I wanted to do my first workout on the way to a great 6-pack. This is what I came up with:


  1. The Solution Crunch
  2. The Solution Obliques
  3. Ab Glider Crunch
  4. Ab Glider Pendulum


  1. Suspended Crunches
  2. Suspended Pike
  3. Pendulum (Obliques)
  4. Pendulum Crunch (knees to elbows)
  5. Body Crunch (like an Ab wheel)
  6. Standing Oblique Twist
  7. Suspended Yoga Plank/Pike
  8. Suspended Isometric Plank

The Rack

  1. Anchored Feet Situp
  2. Ab Crawler
  3. Reverse Ab Crawler
  4. Frog Kicks
  5. Frog Kick twists
  6. Yoga Plank Twists
  7. Standing Knee Raises
  8. Bicycle Kicks

I did all of this tonight. I can assure you, I can feel every inch of my mid-body right now. I have little doubt that if I do this routine a couple of times per week, I will develop a wicked 6-pack. Owen McKibbin and Ryan Gossling are in trouble now.