It has become almost an obsession for some people, the quest for amazing abs! Just what is it about a ripped, flat washboard stomach that gets everyone so excited though? Well, quite frankly not everyone thinks six pack abs are the greatest thing since sliced bread, but we are bombarded with advertising and images that suggest you need defined abs to be considered strong, sexy, cool, or whatever.
Now, I am not against having a great looking body, and some men look great with or without extremely defined abs so the choice is up to you. The main thing I wanted to get across is that skinny guys having eye-catching abs is not about strength of muscle building – it is about aesthetic preference. If you want it – go get it, but you can look amazingly eye catching without the most defined abs in the world too!
So, if you are still with me, you are a skinny guy wanting a bigger, stronger, muscular body for health, pride in your body, and aesthetic value. However you have one of two problems:
- You are really skinny but your abs are small, weak, and uninspiring.
- Your stomach is not defined at all but covered with a layer of fat that makes it look round, or just undefined and bland.
Which one are you? You see, there are two issues when it comes to getting amazing abdominal muscles for show this means. One is about muscle building, the other about fat loss. Let’s cover them both:
Abdominal Muscle Building For Skinny Guys
We all have abdominal muscles. Just as we all have chest muscles, arm muscles, leg muscles and so on. If you have not been working your abs then your abs will not grow stronger, however there is a small catch here. People who do endless crunches and work their abs as often as they can are not receiving any massive benefit to their abdominal muscles in SIZE. Just as if you do lots of reps with lighter weights you train your muscles for endurance, not strength, size and mass. Abs, like all other muscles, need to be stressed with heavier weights and tasks for them to grow and repair, but having abs that are massive and bulging is often off-putting right? What is the trick?
Abdominal muscles are your CORE. They are the centre of all human movement. As you exercise your entire body you should by drawing strength form the core nearly all the time. When you work on any other part of your body you should still be tightening your stomach muscles as that will help you with your lifts anyway, and will exercise the abs at the same time. You do not NEED to do specific abdominal exercises if you are working your whole body.
Here is a little idea to help you move towards a core-centric view of exercise. Each time you do anything at all, not just exercising, make sure to tighten your abs as you do it. Standing up, getting out of bed, reaching down to pick something up, reaching up to get something off a high shelf. Anything at all, just tighten those abdominal muscles so you get used to drawing strength and stability from them in your every day life. Then you can apply it in the gym as well.
If you do this, you will build your abdominal and core strength. As a skinny guy with a high metabolism you might find that you start seeing results very quickly if you are eating enough to build muscles. Your metabolism might help keep fat off your midsection and the abdominals will begin to grow and show. However, what if it doesn’t, what if you are skinny-fat and have an annoying midriff that puts on fat while the rest of your body stays stick thin?
Stomach Fat Loss For Skinny Guys
This is the most frustrating thing for a skinny hardgainer. You eat and eat and eat and your body stays stick thin, except for those love handles. Your stomach stores fat while nothing else seems to! Perhaps you are just starting out trying to get your best body ever, or maybe you have started training hard and eating big and are seeing results except for losing that belly fat. Whatever the case is, there is usually a few culprits that are bringing your dreams of ripped abs coming true.
Firstly, it is not about exercise. As the above section indicates you all have some abs, and exercising them will make them more defined. What is stopping them showing is fat and no amount of core exercising will burn that fat. Exercise itself helps your body grow muscles and overall reduce fat due to burning calories via the bodies need to grow those muscles, and to give you the energy to live, breathe, work, and play. So what is the culprit then … FOOD.
Wait! I hear you say. You told me to eat big! I am eating so much I am putting on extra fat! Yes that is true. In the quest for larger muscles you might gain extra fat in the process. As long as it is not a lot this is perfectly fine. You are in a BULKING stage where you are encouraging your body to grow which is the hard part when you are a skinny guy. If you want amazing abs and huge muscles do NOT expect them at the same time. IT happens for some, but not for all. Do not aim to always have a fat free midriff while growing the muscles all over your body.
What you want to do is set a time for a CUTTING phase. This is when you have achieved the muscle growth you like, but now want everything to be more defined, cut, ripped! This is all about maintaining your muscle mass while reducing your fat and it is everything to do with diet and a little to do with exercise. Here are the rules:
- Reduce Sugars & Carbs – Sugars and carbohydrates are one of your biggest problems. They are consumed for energy but the way they work in your body is different to more protein laden foods. The body goes to carbs first for energy, and they are also converted to fat in the midriff more readily. What this means is when your body goes hunting for energy, if you do not eat many carbs it will be forced to burn fat for energy instead! Now – you do need SOME carbs, but minimise them to only a few servings a day.
- Increase Protein – If you are already bodybuilding you probably know you need heaps of protein and are already doing this. If you are just starting out, then the consumption of read meat and other protein heavy foods is essential for muscle growth and will help you lose weight if you don’t pile on the carbs also. This will help your abdominal muscle grow and become more defined as you lose the fat that hides them.
- Reduce Calories – This is only if you are stopping your BULKING phase. If you were eating big to get big muscles and you are happy with your progress and want to cut the fat and define the muscle more you generally need less energy. Not too much, the reduction in carbs is more important. However, too little calories might lead to your body eating into your muscle fibres for energy not fat.
- Maintenance Workouts – Continue to do workouts but not the same level as before. Reduce it to a less intense level aimed at maintaining your muscle mass as it is, not for building more. So gentler, slightly lighter weights will work. Make sure to continue to use your core in the exercises though. All body exercises will target many more muscle fibres across your midriff than just crunches!
So remember, having a great set of 6 pack abs is great – but do not obsess over them because they are a side effect of great body building and fat loss. Not a completely different aim!
Hi, James McLain here,
I was once a skinny hardgainer like you and I hated it. I too had the dreaded little bulge at the bottom of my stomach that never seemed to go away either. I was skinny, but I had a small gut too. Frustrating am I right? Well I hope the tips above help you understand how to go about reducing that fat and making those abs ripped and hard!
I am a huge fan of Vince Demonte’s No-Nonsense Muscle Building guide as well – but Vince understand that many of you would love to have washboard abs that everyone notices and show your core is strong, and that you are fit and well built. So if you want the definitive guide to getting AMAZING abdominal muscles that really turn heads I would suggest that you check out his other guide that does just that. It is called No Nonsense 6 Pack – keeping with his usual theme.
So what is this guide? At it’s core it is the same no bullshit, straight to the point guide that will give you EVERYTHING you need to know to reduce stomach fat and gain ripped looking abs. It doesnt matter what age you are either, or if you are a man or a woman. the success stories speak for them self in this regard.
Oh, you want more proof of how awesome this is? How about this:
What are you waiting for! 🙂