Everybody has “abs” - yes, everybody. But what form they take and how much they “show” is unique to everybody, and depends on a lot of different factors.
Your body fat percentage will play a role in the visibility of your abs. They’re there, it might just be that they’re covered under a few layers of fat. To lose body fat, you need to be in a Calorie Deficit, so if fat loss is your goal, I’d aim for this. Make it sustainable, achievable and remember that food is FUEL.
Body Fat
The appearance (mostly) of your abs, and the ease in revealing them is largely effected by genetics. Some people naturally hold more fat around their middle, others might find they always stay naturally quite lean on their abs (thus meaning they’re more naturally defined). Genetics also play a part in their shape, structure and overall appearance.
Your abs are a collection of muscles, this means they can be grown, strengthened and worked like other muscles in your body. That’s exactly what this guide is looking to help you do, grow, work and strengthen those abdominal muscles to build your strongest core. Having a strong core is about more than just aesthetics, it’s a strong centre point for your whole body.
There are four main muscles that make up your core.
Whilst most people just refer to these as the “top, bottom & side” of your abs - I felt it important to let you know the real juicy details, if you wanted them. Getting your mindset into the idea that you are training a muscle group (not purely chasing an aesthetic) is really important both mentally and physically. So, here’s the low down on what those lines on your tum really are made up of:

These are positioned along the front of the abdomen - these muscles form the appearance of a ‘six pack’ and allow flexion of your torso.

These are positioned under the obliques and is one of the deepest abdominal muscles. Their main purpose is to stabilise the lower back and pelvis before movement of the arms or legs.

These are positioned on each side of the abdomen and extend from the lower half of the ribs around and down to the pelvis. These muscles enable you to twist your torso.

These are positioned under the external obliques. These muscles allow us to twist our torso and they provide stability to the spine.
Progressive overload should be the principle that underpins any good training plan. It’s how you develop increased muscle strength and hypertrophy (muscle size), by continuing to gradually place the muscles under more stress, forcing them to adapt and become bigger and stronger. There are a number of ways that you can implement progressive overload.
These can include: increasing the load, increasing the time under tension and increasing the volume.
This guide has been designed to be as accessible as possible, which means I’ve kept kit to an ab-solute minimum. All you’ll need is an exercise mat and some kind of light dumbbell, weight plate or a book with some weight to it.
In its simplest form, the mind-muscle connection is the capability to focus the tension you are trying to create through the muscle you are intending to work. For example, when performing an ab crunch, it should be your abs that contract to bring you up off the mat, not momentum, or your lower back. Slowing the exercises down and really trying to focus your mind onto the muscles you’re working, ensures that you are getting the most out of the exercises and activating the correct muscles. So, trying to work on mastering this is key.
Each movement should be intentional, purposeful and executed with good form. It’s pointless performing 8 half-repetitions, I’d rather you slow it down, scale it down and perform full repetitions.
As with most things, consistency is key.
So, it’s on you to keep showing up, twice a week, every week.
Why only twice a week? You don’t need to be training your abs everyday to maximise results.
A more sustainable approach is to train a muscle group twice per week, in a structured and progressive manner - which is exactly what this plan does for you.
Creating a versatile guide that can be used by anybody from beginners to intermediates comes with a few challenges.
Remember, perfect form is always key - this should always be mastered before you look to progress the load, intensity or volume of the exercise.
As a general guideline, if you need to make things easier you can do so a number of ways.
The guide is laid out over an 8 week period. You’ll be doing 2 ab workouts a week, for the duration of the 8 weeks. When you do these within the week is up to you, but I’d recommend making sure you leave at least 48 hours between them to allow for enough recovery time. You can do them as stand alone sessions or blast them on the back of one of your workouts.
Firstly, by decreasing the volume - that means doing slightly less reps or sets if you needed to (e.g. instead of 3 sets, do 2)
You could also increase your rest time to allow yourself longer to recover.
Finally you could decrease the difficulty of the exercise by scaling it back - if it’s a weighted exercise, remove the weight, if it’s a ‘feet up’ exercise, pop your feet down.
To make things harder or more challenging, to put it simply you pretty much do the opposite. So you could increase the volume by adding more reps or sets, decrease the rest time and increase any resistance used (e.g. adding weight).
The workouts are structured with a progressive approach to training - this means that as the weeks progress, the difficulty will progress too.
This progression is achieved through both increasing volume, intensity and complexity of the exercises within the sessions.
The workouts should take you no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete, but don’t worry if it takes you a little longer to get to grips with some of the exercises in the first week or two.
Each day is laid out one by one, so all you need to do is open it up, and off you go.
Below is an exercise key of the terms used within the workouts, make sure you flick back to this page to remind yourself if you need to.
A rep is the number of times you perform a certain exercise.
A set is the number of times you perform the designated number of reps.
A superset is two sets of different exercises performed back to back with little or no rest in-between.
A tri-set is three sets of different exercises performed back to back with little or no rest in-between.
A circuit is a group of exercises performed back to back, only resting once the circuit is complete.
Ok, now let’s START!