Every guy wants 'em and every girl loves to touch 'em: Abs! But as summer starts to wind down and most guys prepare for the "winter bulk", is it even worth it at this point?
Of course it is!
Abs can be a year-round event if you plan your meals right, balance out your workouts, and this is true even if you are "bulking".
Typically, most of us divide up our year like this:
Jan-March: Bulking, lifting weights, eating whatever we can put in our mouth
April-June: Spending a lot of time on cardio, cutting down on carbs, and "cutting"
July-August: We're outside enjoying our hopefully "shredded" bodies, enjoying our foods that we deprived ourselves of from April-June as we were getting beach ready. So this typically includes the ice cream, the "adult" drinks, the bbq ribs, hot dogs, burgers, you name it.
Sounds about right, doesn't it?
But what if you have a quick event coming up that you want to look good for and you only have 21 days to get "beach" ready (or "event" ready)?
This could be your weddings, your high school reunions, etc. that either you want to make someone jealous (maybe the bride at the wedding you are heading to dumped you for the chump of a groom), or you want to show off your new body to the homeroom hottie from your sophomore year of high school.
Whatever the occasion is, here's a plan that you can begin right away.
The Meal plan
For this plan we're going to do a simple carb cycling plan, with low carb during the weeks Sunday-Friday and a carb refeed on Saturday.
I'm going to suggest you use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your food and balance out your macronutrients.
For macros, we're going to set them as the following:
Low Carb Days Sunday-Friday: P 45% C 25% F 35%
Carb Up Day: P 35% C 50% F 15%
For proteins, stay with your lean proteins such as chicken breast, turkey (deli or ground), pork, eggs and egg whites (depending on your macros), and whey isolate or hydrosolate.
For Carbs, stick with light fruit, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, ezekial bread, and lots of veggies.
For Fats, avocados, almonds, coconut oil, seeds, and butter from grassfed cows.
For your calorie level, take your ideal body weight and multiply it by 11, plug in your calorie level and macros to MFP, and start planning out your day.
Now that you have the meal plan well under way, it's time to talk about the sweating!
This varies based on your schedule but ideally, in the morning you can do a light cardio workout 20-30 minutes in a fasted state (before breakfast). Walking, jogging, etc. are perfect for this.
Along with the Fat Burning Workouts I've already posted here I also suggest incorporating lots of full body circuits as well as my new favorite type of workout to add in once or twice per week---Hurricane workouts.
These workouts were first introduced to me through Martin Rooney, author of the book Training for Warriors, which is primarily an MMA training protocol.
So here's how the Hurricane Workouts work:
1. You select some type of cardio workout to raise the heartrate that you will do for 30-60 seconds, depending on the difficulty level. You can do treadmill sprints, elliptical sprints, hill sprints, or something as simply as jumping jacks or floor sprints. This move should get you gassed and breathing.
2. Immediately after your 30-60 seconds you'll move to two back to back strength exercises. These can be bodyweight moves like pushups, dips, pullups, crunches, etc. You can also add in weights, such as kettlebell/dumbbell swings, Squat/Presses, Bench Presses, Lunges, etc. The list and possible combination is endless!
3. Complete the circuit 6 times, rest for 2-3 minutes, and then repeat with two new strength exercises.
For this sample workout, I had access to a treadmill. After a good warm-up (5-6 minutes getting the heart rate up, lots of dynamic stretching, etc), I did a 60 second sprint (hard!) on the treadmill at 10 mph and a slight incline.
I let the treadmill continue going as I hopped off, grabbed a barbell and did 10 front squat to overhead presses, followed by 10 pushups on the barbell. I immediately jumped back up and repeated the sprint, squat/press, pushup circuit 5 more times.
For the next set I did reverse step back lunges with the barbell, followed by barbell curls as my strength moves (2nd circuit).
By that time, I was pretty gassed! If I had shortened up my sprints to 30 seconds I probably couldn't gone another round but the 60 second sprint intervals are difficult.
The whole point with these workouts is to tax your body, build endurance and strength, and prepare you for doing battle in the Octagon! So these hurricane workouts should only be done once or twice per week.
did you enjoy this post?
Feel free to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or even snap a photo and share it on Instagram!
Want an even more detailed, step-by-step plan to getting shredded in 21 Days? Check out the 21 Day Fix Extreme Program below for details on carb cycling as well as follow along workouts that will get your ripped in just 21 days. It'll be tough but worth it!