How I Got Abs

What Has Worked For Me To Get Abs

I’m going to give you guys some do’s and don’ts of things that have worked for me for getting abs.  This is a question I get quite a bit, so I figured I’d cover it. 

Let me preface this by saying it’s mid-winter in Wisconsin, and I’m a little washed out at the moment.  But with that being said, I pretty much walk year around with somewhat visible abs.

1.  Diet


The single first most important thing, which I’m sure you’ve all heard, is to start with your diet.  What has worked best for me for cutting body fat is simply cutting down on the amount of carbs and/or fats I consume. 

I’m just going to assume that if you are serious about cutting the fat around your mid section you’ve already started with the obvious like cutting out dessert after meals or the casual soda throughout the day.  My next go to is cutting carbs at breakfast.  If I’m doing eggs and toast most mornings but am getting too fluffy, I’ll keep the eggs and skip the toast.

This is a pretty small change but usually works. 

I’m big into the idea of making small tweaks and adjusting accordingly. 

Doesn’t Work:

I’m not a big fan of drastic changes in diet, because they generally just make me look and feel like shit. 

With that being said, I usually eat pretty good year around and am pretty intuitive about what goes into my body.  If you don’t know what you’re consuming, I think it’s a good idea to track your food for a while on an app like Myfitnesspal. 

2.  Strength Work


A second point to touch on which is a must for getting a 6-pack is to focus on intense weight training workouts.  

This could be body weight and/or weights or what I like to do – a mix of both. 

One thing I have observed over the years, is that what most people consider to be a ‘intense’ I would consider to barely be a warm-up. 

You need to actually try hard, and maybe get a little geeked up. 

However, I in no way advocate pushing past the point of good form.  This takes a while to do this and I would consider it a skill. 

What you can’t make up for intensity, you have to add more volume.  Meaning you have to workout longer.   In general, I think you should work up the intensity to get more out of less for best results. 

Doesn’t Work:

As important as I think cardio is for overall well-being and health, I have found that it doesn’t personally help my body composition in a way that weight training does.

When I looked my best, I was focusing solely on weight-training and actually not doing any cardio. 

3.  Ab Exercises

Doesn’t Work:

I’m going to start this one by saying I don’t do any isolated ab exercises.  For example, I don’t do crunches or sit-ups. 


I do however use my abs during every exercise in order to brace the lower portion of my spine.  Examples of good ‘ab’ exercises would include performing weighted squats and deadlifts with proper form.  Another good example, would be utilizing a hollow body position, where my back is flexed.  This is another position I use to keep movement limited in my lower back.  Think of tucking your body into a ball during a back roll.  Examples of this type of ab exercise would include utilizing a hollow-body position in muscle-ups, dips and of course my favorite sport – jiu-jitsu.

By Nate Ziegler

Owner - CoMotion Fitness