Six Pack Abs: Feel the pain

Your six pack abs aren’t a body part that need to be held with kid gloves. Body-weight-only and high-rep workouts don’t always have to be your plans of attack when hitting the midsection. And, extremely, it’s OK to skip planks now and then.

We’re going Rocky Balboa–style on your six pack abs with this routine designed by ISSA-certified trainer and two-time Muscle & Fitness Male Model Search competitor Robert Ciresi Jr. You’ll be doing crunches, and you’ll be doing them with added resistance, as well as a tool from yesteryear that’s underutilized: the Roman Chair. But the rep totals don’t drop down too far; you’ll be living in the six-pack-friendly 15- to 25-rep range to maximize time under tension for full muscle development.

WARNING: Your six pack abs might be in some pain while doing this workout, but it’s good pain.


six pack abs

“By using only your body weight we can add value to the weighted crunches done at the beginning of the routine by squealing out a few more reps,” says Ciresi. “Keep your focus on the muscle contraction–don’t let your mind wander.”

Roman chair situp

Individuals with an advanced fitness level can add mass with a medicine ball, weight plate, or dumbbell to increase the difficulty. Remember to keep your core tight through-out, even on the way down.

Weighted situp

six pack abs

“Contract the abs hard as you perform a regular situp,” says Ciresi. “For many people it will be hard to keep the feet on the floor, so feel free to hook your toes under something or have a training partner hold them down.”

Weighted cable crunch

Don’t rush through the reps. Retain the movement under control and make sure the abs—not the arms—are doing all the work.

The abs workout

six pack abs

Do this workout on off days or at the end of your normal routines no more than twice a week.

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