Ok folks. It’s that time again. It’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite body part.
The six pack
Or just ‘abs’
Now, the reason for that style of intro, is because I’ve talked about building abs before.
But today I’m going to share with you what I believe. No, in fact what I KNOW will work best in order to build a rock sold set of 6 or 8 pac abs in record time (3-4 weeks).
But before I do that, you may wonder what was the inspiration behind bringing this topic up again. Well, in recent months, there has been a strong focus on how to build rock solid ‘bulky’ muscle. Without packing on too much fat. One of those methods is to quit focusing on bulk phases.
- More fat build up = harder to lose over time
- It’s not healthy
That’s the short version, and there are indeed other methods which I’ve also touched upon briefly in recent posts.
But another factor that inspired this post, is how to ‘get bigger’ without losing your six pack in your earlier leaner days. It’s even become an issue for a natural ecto-mesomorph like myself in the past several ‘guinea pig’ months.
- Gaining size.. yes
- Maintain my lean muscle mass… yes
- Maintain my abs (You know, abs where you don’t have to tense them to prove that you have them)… not quite so easy.
And once again, before I reveal these gut ripping strategies, let’s revise what we already know.
Effectively building muscle = 70% diet 30% gym
You don’t need to perform ONE SINGLE SIT UP in order to build a rock solid set of abs
Yes… it’s still a statement that most people can’t get their heads around. But it’s true. All you need to do is focus on compound exercises that hit all the muscle groups of your body, and a decent amount of 30 minute high intensity cardio sessions. And your abs will come. And while we’re on the topic, let’s start with that.
The ONLY 2 exercises that will build rock solid abs in 3-4 weeks
Now, if you have downloaded the FREE Build a 6 pac from flab to flat ebook, you would already know that there are a vast amount of exercises that you can perform in order to build a rock solid set of abs. But this is Stay-Fit Bug – Innovative ways to build muscle. And we do things the sexy way. A way where you won’t get bored, can have fun with some ‘variety’ and without causing an injury in the process.
#1 Knee lifts
Why knee lifts?
Because this is arguably the best exercise that will help shred away that extra percentage of fat that sits around and under the lower area of your abdomen. In fact, perform 3 x 30 reps every single workout, and I can guarantee that you will see noticeable results a day or 2 after EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT!
It will help you build an 8 pac!
Now, 8 pac building is almost entirely genetic. We all have abs. You just can’t see it because it’s covered in a layer of fat. But having an 8 or 6 pac is all genetics. You either have an 8 pac or just a really toned lower abdomen. Both are a win win in my book. But the knee lift exercise will help you rip up your lower abdomen like no other exercises can. The results come quick, and I can tell you now… after performing 3 x 30 reps of knee lifts, you’ll be hurting like a mother…
TRUST ME ON THAT ONE!!!
It will help you build a killer set of obliques
Don’t know what those are? I’m going to let a picture speak 1000 words here:
Now, having a killer set of abs WITHOUT a killer set of obliques just plain sucks. What you want is the whole package. Why settle for less when you can have the BEST! Performing knee lifts will help you do just that. Having a killer set of obliques gives you the ‘illusion’ of having a high waist and an even higher/rounder more noticeable BUM. Something that interviewee Natalia Muntean has become a master of :). It kind of makes you look like a super human… or even alien ‘like’. And it is that body feature that will make you stand out in a crowd when you strip down this summer. Killer obliques FTW.
How to perform them?
Now… I usually cheat a little with this exercise when I don’t have the desired fitness equipment to perform the knee lift correctly AND effectively. I find a dip bar, hang, rest my forearms on the bars and start knee lifting. However, that’s just me. I’m an animal. It’s in my nature to keep breaking the rules. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing THAT!
The ‘proper’ way to perform knee lifts is to find or buy yourself a pair of these…
And perform them like this….
And of course, the best part is when you alternate and lift your knees to the left or to the right. Those little alternations will indeed play a part into building oblique and lower ab super shreddedness.
Hanging leg raises
This is actually the undisputed king of lower ab exercises. And it knocks me out every time I go to perform them. Yes… I have a little fear for this beastly exercise right here.
How to perform them
- Hang from a bar
- And with straight legs, bring your feet to the bar.
- Return to the starting position
- Come to a complete stop, and begin the movement again.
How many reps and sets to perform?
I don’t have to tell you that. Your body will do it for you!
3 Killer gut ripping foods (@70% Diet)
Now, we all know that gym work will be a damn waste of time if you…
1) Eat garbage
2) Don’t follow your strict diet regime at least 80% of the time
But by adding the 3 foods below to your diet, you will indeed aid the 6 pac/oblique building process while at the same time, taking your physique to bulky yet shredded glory.
#1 Almond Milk
Now, before I tell you why almond milk makes the list of foods for a gut ripping diet, while building muscle while at the same time to maintain your lean shredded abs, let’s look at the foods that are essential in the process of building muscle.
Water – You’ll need plenty of this during/post workout and on your off days. Lovely H2O… because that’s what most of your muscles are made up of.
Milk – Milk is the food that ectomorphs can guzzle down by the gallon as a part of the 70% diet strategy to build muscle. (E.g GOMAD diet – Gallon Of Milk A Day). However, milk is high in fat (unless you go half fat post workout) and most people become lactose intolerant on their way to adulthood. Which means they can’t guzzle on the super food known as milk. Bummer!
With that being said, Almond milk makes for a great alternative to whole or even half fat milk on your quest to shredding your outer gut.
- Almond milk is just made of water (Which you now know is essential) and plain old almonds (Which is of course a golden oldie food source for helping to keep fat at bay)
- It has less fat than milk, which of course helps with it’s low insulin spiking ability
- Following a GOMAD diet or guzzling stacks of milk will make most people bloat (uuuurgghh). Almond milk won’t do that
- No indigestion after effects
- Jamie Oliver said ‘You should not only eat your food… you should taste it too’. Almond milk scores pretty high on that statement
– Almond milk has stacks of sugar… like 8 grams. What’s the difference? The effects will be the same… no?
– Milk is like… super carbs, super protein. Almond milk has just 1 gram per serving of protein. How am I going to build muscle with that? huh?
Both statements are true. And my reply to those queries would be…
– Almond milk has stacks of sugar… like 8 grams. What’s the difference? The effects will be the same… no? (Just buy the unsweetened kind. It will taste more or less the same when eaten with foods such as cereal)
– Milk is like… super carbs, super protein. Almond milk has just 1 gram per serving. How am I going to build muscle with that? huh? (Well, if you have read the guide to necessary supplementation ebook, you would have come across the hose vs faucet concept. Which basically shows the real world representation of the digestion process of slow vs fast absorbing carbs/ protein. In regards to building muscle, the shred with bulk way, you will need to eat the right carbs/ protein food sources at the correct time for maximum results. Almond milk may be a little low on the protein side yes. All you have to do to counter that is add other fast digesting ‘free form’ protein sources while drinking it. With the obvious solution being Whey Protein – Problem solved)
Now let’s role on to super food #2
#2 Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Grain bread
If we go back to the best foods for abs post, all those eon’s ago, you would have seen that eating whole foods made the list. That still remains. But building muscle is all about protein consumption. And Ezekial bread steps up as the winner as food #2 to help rip the outer gut.
Check the stats…
- Organic, Sprouted, 100% Whole Grain flour-less bread.
- 2-slices of this bread contains 8 grams of complete protein (and 6 grams of fiber).
#3 Enhanced Almond Butter
Nuts made that famous list of 12 too. But like milk, not everyone can eat peanuts. Some bad case scenario allergies can actually cause death too. :O
But why enhanced almond butter as a top 3 for gut ripping abs?
- Naturally more of the stuff
- It contains flaxseeds (Which I talk about in the guide to necessary supplementation)
So… to sum it up in short
- Perform knee lifts and hanging leg raises for super abs (very workout)
- Add 3 killer foods to your diet
- Take a week off training every now and again (You’ll probably shock yourself with the results… GROWTH!)
Simple yet very effect way to build super abs as your muscles begin to grow.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Here’s a comprehensive 6 pac building video guide that I often refer to from time to time.
6 Pac Building Video <=== CLICK HERE TO WATCH
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Ok, so you’ve found a gym… great!
You’ve started to lift some weight… great!
You’ve built some muscle mass… great!
But don’t make the mistake of becoming a meat-head lifter.
What is a meat-head lifter?
A meat-head lifter is an individual who goes to the gym and becomes addicted to ‘getting big’. Their ego goes through the roof, and their whole life becomes a muscle building affair. Sacrificing all other aspects of life. No balance! (Which is of course the goal for all of us).
However, what you should be doing, is treating the gym as a sort of add-on feature to your lifestyle, in order to turn you into the complete package. And today, I’m going to list 5 things that go hand in hand along side building a great body. 5 things that you should focus on in order to create some balance, so that you don’t become a weightlifting meat-head.
Now, I’m only going to talk about male grooming here, because that’s what I know best… well kinda ;). But seriously, being a well groomed male with a great physique to match really does wonders for you as a whole package. You’ll have a fuller facial structure from your good diet and exercise. Your skin will be more radiant and fresh, from all of that sweating from your workout (Also less spots… usually). And of course, it will add to your million dollar awesomeness presentation.
Here’s a video for you for those who are not in the know:
#2 Great looking skin
It was only natural that I followed up point no.1 with how to develop great looking skin. This too is a strong bonus on the quest to building that whole package. Because if your skin looks dead, then your muscles will too. Seriously. Having good skin will make you ‘glow’. Literally. And those deep cut muscles will look even sexier than ever.
Remember when I spoke about the importance of building lean and strong muscle over super bulky muscle? If not, read this post. Besides, your focus should be on getting strong and fit. That’s what’s really important. I’ll speak more on that matter later. Moving on…
Great body builder skin…
Now I’m not going to repeat myself entirely here. Because I’ve spoken on this before, and in some detail. So if you want to know what I use to maintain great skin (Face and body) then read this post. I’m 100% certain it won’t fail you, unless you are already using some great skin product.
Now, this is a pretty big one. Just because you are lifting weights, developing some ‘minor’ calluses and plastering your hands with chalk as your strength gains increase, doesn’t mean you can neglect your hands. In fact, it should be the complete opposite now that you have started to lift some weight. Look after your hands and nails.
#1 Bad or dirty nails are unattractive
#2 Long nails are actually quite dangerous to have as a serious lifter
# 3 Crappy nails paint a bad picture for those you meet on first appearance
#4 Badly maintained nails are actually unhealthy (Did you know that the germs under your nails are worse than those on a toilet seat? Yuck, your hands are like a pair of mobile sh*t stains, ready to cause havoc on anything you touch).
With that being said, can you see how important it is to maintain this area of your body. No point looking good if your greeting mechanisms aren’t up to scratch. That’s like dating a beautiful lady with busted feet. How’s that for shooting herself in the foot (Pun intended :))
Clean those nails. Chop them up once a week and maintain.
Before I speak on this, I want you to read 2 previous posts…
First things first.
Make sure you wash ‘before’ you go to the gym!
I know the gym is going to be full of stinky people. But that doesn’t mean you can arrive at the gym already stinking. Heck, most people in the gym won’t be stinky if they wash. Because the stink of sweat only happens once it has dried. So please, do us all a favor and be considerate of the noses of others.
Now, if you are going to make the effort to look good, you might as well go the extra mile to smell good. Your smell will be the no.1 thing that people will remember you by. Just because you are a sweaty lifter doesn’t mean you have to live by that cliche.
Pull out the fragrances for each occasion and you will indeed be closer to the full package.
For the bar: Tom Ford – Black Orchid
For the office: Calvin Klein ckone Eau de Toilette
#5 How you dress
It’s been about a year since I spoke on this.
And this is the last point, but definitely not the least. You see, once you build a ripped physique, you actually won’t look much different when fully clothed (Unless you was a true mega ectomorph). And the simple reason is this.
- 10% body fat or more… you’ll look chunky and meaty
- 10% body fat or less… you’ll look lean, but healthy
That’s just how it is. However, if that lean healthy person strips down, or even classier, ‘dresses’ for their physique. They will look the part every time they walk out of their front door. Lean is the new bulk. Your ripped cuts will give the illusion of someone that is large in size. Defined muscles will do that, and that is what you should aim for (with some size of course.. more on that here). All you have to do is dress for your physique to look like a million dollars every time.
#6 Your Bodybuilding mentality
Most guys that hit the gym to get big or hit the stage tend to become bodybuilding air heads. Literally. Like muscles full of hot air. Strutting their stuff around the place like their sh*t doesn’t stink.
Well, here’s a few words from me air heads.
Your sh*t stinks more than ever
You’re just full of ego. You need to quit it already. Follow some of the stuff I talk about in the 5 steps above and act like normal people dammit. It’s only muscle. Anyone can build muscle. Don’t you realize that people out there are looking up to you? The mega-ectomorphs… the mega-endomorphs aka the super fats and the super skinnys.
Just know that whatever message you strongly and willing-fully put out in the world will influence people that connect with you. Close friends or strangers!
There’s nothing you can do about that. But what you can do is take some damn responsibility for the way you act. So do yourself a favor and drop the ego already. And for the rest of you good fitbuggers… keep on doing what you are doing. Amazing things will start happening to you soon. You will insanely ROCK!
Gym + 5 steps = Supreme shredded with bulk individual
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Training insane, I hope you are…
As you may know, I’ve been a guinea pig for the body changing workouts that we all love to do in this lifestyle. Meaning I’ve being trying and testing all kinds of things regarding the workout and diet, in order to see what kind of results I can get. All for a good cause of course. And part of that process has been to play around with nutrition. Hmmm yum yum.
And yes, you too can say hmmm, yum yum. Because we all know that most crappy nutrition plans are unrealistic, and that you won’t stick to most of them for more than 3 months (Building the body of your dreams, a body that you can maintain… will take at least 2 years). So what is the point of following through with that to only go back to bad habits after?
Well… I’ll be talking more on that soon. But for now, here’s a meal plan for you muscle heads to snack on. And yes, as the title of this post says. My new phrase for hard gainers is now hard-strugglers. Again, I’ll explain more about why this is soon. Any how… here’s the ‘tasty’ meal plan.
Meal #1 – Vanilla cream oatmeal (531kl)
- Protein 45g
- Fat 6g
- Carbs 73g
Have one serving.
1 serving =
• 1 cup oatmeal
• 1cup Skim Milk
• 1 scoop (30g) of Vanilla Protein Powder
• 1/2 teaspoon of Stevia
• Pinch of Cinnamon
1. In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients (except for the Protein Powder)
2. Cook in a Microwave for about 1 minute – stir the mix , then microwave for
another 1 minute.
3. Let the oatmeal cool down for about 3 minutes
4. Add the vanilla Protein Powder
In The Zone Nutrition tip
You can add 1/ 2 cup of berries (your choice of berries)
to add extra flavour.
Meal #2 – 1 Apple Cinnamon Protein Bar (486 kl)
- Protein 49g
- Fat 22g
- Carbs 23g
(This will make 6 bars)
• 8 scoops vanilla Protein Powder
• 1/2 cups rolled Oats
• 2 Egg Whites
• 1/2 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
• 1/2 cup Apple, cubed
• 1 cup Almonds, ground in blender
• 1 cup Cashew, ground in blender
• 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix the egg whites with the apple sauce and beat for a minute.
3. Mix the protein, cinnamon, salt, oats and ground nuts. Slowly stir the egg
white/apple sauce mixture into the dry ingredients and
then stir the apple pieces in.
4. Lightly coat a baking pan with cooking spray and trans-
fer the mixture into the pan
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes
6. Cool, cut in 6 bars and store in the fridge
1tbs of Peanut Butter (92kl)
- Protein 3
- Fat 8
- Carbs 2
Meal #3 – 2 Servings of Southern Fried Chicken (508 Kl)
- Protein 88g
- Fats 4g
- Carbs 30g
(This will make 4 servings)
• 4 Cooked Chicken Breasts (6oz each)
• 2 Egg Whites
• 1/2 cup All Bran Cereals (crushed)
• 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
• 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
• 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
• Salt and Pepper
1. Mix together All Bran, bread crumbs, onion and garlic powder. Put mix in a
2. Put Egg Whites in a bowl
3. Dip the chicken in the egg whites then dredge in the All Bran mixture, coating
4. Place chicken on a backing sheet lightly coated with
5. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 Degrees F. or until cooked
1 serving of Crispy baked sweet potatoe fries (144 kl)
- Protein 2g
- Fat 0g
- Carbs 34g
(This will make 6 servings)
• 3 large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 3 Egg Whites
• 2 Tbsp all-purpose Flour
• 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon Paprika
• Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
3. Peel the sweet potatoes (or leave peel on, if you prefer). Cut in very small
“fries” and place in a large bowl
4. Pour egg whites in the bowl and stir gently to coat the
fries. Add the flour, cinnamon, paprika, salt and pepper
and stir again to coat the fries
5. Place potatoes carefully on the baking sheet, shaking
off any excess coating. Leave as much space between
potatoes as possible. Try not to overlap any or crowd the
6. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until cooked. Nutritional Facts
Meal #4 – 1 Serving High Protein Rice Pudding (254 Kl)
- Protein 28g
- Fat 2g
- Carbs 31g
(Makes for 2 servings)
• 1 cup Basmati Rice, cooked
• 2 cups Skim Milk
• 2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
• 2 tablespoons sugar-free instant Jell-O Vanilla Pudding
1. On medium-low heat, simmer the cooked rice in milk for 20 minutes, until rice
2. Cover and cool for a few minutes, then add the protein powder, cover again
and put in fridge until it cools
3. Add Jell-O mix to cooled mixture, whip, and serve.
Meal#5 – 1 Serving – Roasted Curry Squash Salad
- Protein 42g
- Fat 11g
- Carbs 68g
(Makes for 2 servings)
• 12oz Chicken Breast, cooked and diced
• 1 Acorn Squash, about 2 lbs
• 1 Red Pepper, chopped
• 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
• 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
• Salt and Pepper
• 1 Onion, chopped
• 1 cup Skim Milk
• 1/4 cup Raisins
• 2 Handfuls baby Spinach
• 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
1. Cook chicken separately.
2.Preheat the oven to 450 F.
3. Cut the squash in half. Rub it with half the oil and the
salt and pepper, and place on a baking sheet. Roast it in
the oven until the flesh is soft and brown, about 25 minutes.
4. While the squash roasts, heat the remaining oil in a
large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
Sauté chicken, bell pepper, and onion for 3 minutes, then
add the curry powder, milk, and raisins. Simmer over low
heat for 10 minutes.
6. Carve the inside of the squash and put a bed of baby
spinach in it
7. Serve a scoop of the chicken curry mix inside the roasted squash. Garnish
with the cilantro.
Meal #6 – Shrimp and avacado salad (398kl)
- Protein 42g
- Fat 22g
- Carbs 8g
(Makes for one serving)
• 6oz Shrimps, cooked and peeled
• 1 medium Tomato, seeded and chopped
• 1 Scallion, chopped
• 1 Garlic Clove, minced
• 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
• 1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
• 1/2 Avocado, cubed
• 1 teaspoon Cilantro
• 1 teaspoon fresh Mint
• Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
• 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
• 2 handfuls Lettuce
• Salt and Pepper
1. Make sure shrimp is completely unfrozen if you buy it
already cooked. Pat it dry with paper towels.
2. In a bowl mix together all the ingredients except lettuce
and lemon juice
3. Serve the mixture on the lettuce and pour lime juice on
Ok Shaun… nice. But…
Where’s the images?
Where’s the structure?
Which meals are mandatory to consume?
I thought you said we don’t need to eat so much?
And… and… and?
Well, all I can tell you now is that nutritionally, the meal plan is good. Taste? Is the sh*t (Don’t worry.. doesn’t taste like sh*t) and the rest? Well… you’re just going to have to wait a little longer for that :P. Sowwwy.