No matter how many times we deny it, there is nothing sexier than a pair of thick & blocky abs, if not then Zac Efron would never have got that attention for his role in Bay watch especially when he had Dwane Johnson as a co-actor.
Many people have been working hard at the gym but couldn’t develop the thick and blocky abs which ultimately lead them to blame genetics. Although genetic plays a crucial role to achieve the body’s true potential but most of the time it’s not the genetics that is stopping people from developing thick and blocky abs.
Hard work and right strategies can help you develop thicker and blockier abs, let’s have a look at tried and tested strategies that most famous athletes use.
How to get Thick and blocky abs
Since you are searching for thick and blocky abs, that means you have already uncovered your abs and have less than 12% of body-fat. There are some key elements that can be added to your strategies to give your abs a boost to develop into a bigger and thicker version.
You might be implementing some of the strategies but missing some of these, so pay emphasis to every tactic and check if you are doing the same.
1- Training frequency:
How many times do you train those abs? Most of the lifters are either dedicating a 1 full session a week and others are doing abs 2-3 times a week with other body parts.
Most of the Men’s Physique competitors train their abs 4-6 times a week, yes you heard me right. Your abs can take high frequency training.
One of the best strategies is to supper set the abs with other strength exercises. Doing a set of leg raises after bench press, or some crunches after every set of lat-pulldown works best for most of the people.
Most of the lifters will start their ab training with few sets of upper abs and then followed by lower abs and obliques. This leads to overtaxing the upper abs while neglecting the side and lower abs. This is why prioritization is important.
You don’t necessarily need to train the whole core section in every single training session. Some days I will prioritize my upper abs and other days I will prioritize my lower abs or obliques. Dividing the abs training into different routines can avoid the negligence of any part of abs.
3- Add up resistance
Do you think bodyweight abs training is enough for you? How do you develop thickness and size to any particular muscle group? By adding resistance and going low reps.
Just like any other muscle group, your abs will grow thick and blocky if trained with low rep and high intensity.
Instead of doing high repetitions for abs workout it’s suggested to add extra resistance by adding weight or by choosing intense exercises.
I have seen many lifters undermining the efficiency of Isometric training. Isometric abs training is especially beneficial for the transverse abdominis which is a set of core muscles that ultimately lays the foundation for a stronger and aesthetic midsection.
Whether you prefer plank or hanging leg raise hold, these isometric core workouts will help you develop stronger and more defined midsections. Additionally, isometric workouts will improve posture and will improve your body’s ability to deadlift or squat.
5- Say no to simple carbs
Consuming simple carbs cause the sudden spikes in insulin levels which not only make you feel lethargic but also promote fat storage, replacing your fast-digesting food with slow-digesting food will slow down the spike in insulin which will result in sustained energy without converting it into fat.
Stored fat is the leading barrier between you and more defined abs. Replacing simple carbs with the complex carbs not only increases the calories burning but also reduces the conversion of energy into stored fat
6- Compound lifts
Why do CrossFit athletes develop strong core sections? It’s because of high volume compound movements that eventually lead to the development of a stronger core.
Your core is a primary stabilizer muscle that works extensively while heavy compound lifts.
Why do you need compound movements when you can isolate the core? Because core isolation exercises have their limits and you can’t lift more than a few pounds, on the other hand, compound movements will force your core to go through a comparatively high amount of force which is beneficial for the development of thick and blocky abs.
7- Train them in the beginning
Skipping the core training is one of the biggest reason why the majority of lifters does not develop thick and blocky abs. Training those abs after an intense weight training can be really boring, and force the lifter to skips the core training because of exhaustion.
Training your abs in the beginning has some advantages:
- You devote proper time to the abs which result in far better development.
- Training those abs prior to other exercises improves the abs activation which helps in keeping the core tight and secure for the rest of the workout.
- Abs activation before any compound lift has been proven very effective in keeping the core tight and engaged through the workout.
8- Loaded carries
Loaded carries are being used by powerlifters to generate insane strength, it not only improves the strength of grip, arms, shoulder, traps, back, glutes and legs but also plays a very important role in core strengthening.
Farmers walk or loaded carries will help in achieving thickness in the abdominal wall to get those abs pop out.
Fat accumulation around your belly is the most common reason for not having a clear definition of abs.
HIIT cardio + functional training is one of the best combination to lower the total fat% which will allow the development of well defined abs.
Lets have a quick takeaway, How to have thick and blocky abs? The most widely used strategy is to increase the Training Frequency, prioritizing your abs training right, increasing the resistance, mastering the isometrics, loaded carries, and heavy compound movements. Apart from training tactics, you also need to take care of lowering fat storage by following the right diet.
What should I not eat if I want abs?
You need to take care of three factors:
- Maintaining caloric deficit
- Eating protein rich food
- Quality of food matters too.
You can’t expect to eat more calories than you burn and expect to get those abs popping. Maintaining a caloric deficit is the first step towards getting visible abs.
Eating protein rich food has been proven to improve metabolic rate and aid in cutting down fat. Simply, swapping your high carb food by protein rich food can make a difference.
Taking care of the quality of food is important too, every food item requires a different amount of energy to be broken down. Wisely choosing food on the table can have a drastic effect on your fitness levels.
Why do people have uneven abs
Uneven abs have nothing to do with the training style or diet, it purely depends on the genetics.
Whether you gain 4 or 6-8 pack depends on the genetics, whether you get symmetric or asymmetric abs also depends on the genetic only.
Awww, don’t get disheartened, people with the greatest physique also had uneven or lower number abs but that didn’t stop them from being sexy.
For example, Arnold didn’t have 6 pack abs, Frank zane (known for his aesthetic physique) didn’t have 6 pack abs but they ruled the world of bodybuilding.
Thanks for reading. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always. This site contains affiliate links as well as general health and fitness information. Please read my Medical Disclaimer and Writing Disclaimer for more information.