8-Week Ab Program From Hugh Jackman's 'Wolverine' Trainer

STACK Expert and A-List celebrity trainer David Kingsbury reveals his recipe for building an ab six-pack in eight short weeks.

You work hard all year for your body. A good set of abs is the bonus you get at the end. That's the dream scenario, right? Effort begets results. Simple.

Of course, it isn't that simple. Sometimes muscles won't grow. And for most guys, getting those abs to show—and I mean really show—seems impossible. It's a Sisyphean task for some. But only if you allow it to become one.

What I'm here to tell you—after years spent turning Hugh Jackman into Wolverine, Michael Fassbender into an Assassin and thousands of online clients into beasts—is that the key to sculpting ripped abs is doing the basics right; training for strength, (your abdominals are the engine room of your body, after all); and using targeted moves to ensure the fat recedes and muscle comes to the surface.

Hugh Jackman

My career is defined by doing all that, but doubly quick. When movie studios need actors to have physiques of comic book proportions—bulky upper bodies, powerful arms, and of course rippling six-packs—they don't take timeframe into account. They want me to deliver it in months, not years. They want to see results in weeks.

A welcome side effect is that my online training systems now chime with guys who want to change their bodies at the same speed. Everyone forgets to build that beach body before summer. So men invariably want something that can turn things around during summer. It's fitness on a fast track.

So let's turn up the speed on your six-pack training. You can check out my website for the full-body programs I use on Jackman et. al. if you want. But this article should give you enough to reveal those abs before summer is out.

See you on the beach.

Blockbuster Training

David Kingsburry

Photo courtesy of David Kingsbury

First and foremost with ab training, make sure you are doing the big lifts—Deadlifts, Squats, Chin-Ups, Dips, etc. These always deliver the best results. They challenge your core to get stronger. Two main reasons to train your abs are to help develop strength in the big lifts and to boost your ability to soak up and survive high intensity training sessions. So here's how to do that and and much more:

Add these to the end of two gym sessions per week.

Weeks 1-4

Session 1

  • Swiss Ball Rollouts - 4x8
  • Cable Russian Twists - 4x12
  • V-Ups - 4x12

Session 2

  • Hanging Knee Raises - 4x12
  • Landmine Russian Twists - 4x12
  • Walking Plank - 4x10 each side

Weeks 5-8

Session 1

  • Ab Wheel Rollouts - 4x8
  • Cable Russian Twists - 4x12
  • Hanging Leg Raises - 4x12

Session 2

  • Dragon Flag - 4x6 each side
  • Landmine Russian Twists - 4x12
  • Hanging Side-to-Side Leg Raises - 4x8 each side

Feed the Beast

As the tired saying goes, "a ripped stomach is built in the kitchen." But it is often destroyed in the same place. So you need to eat smart.

Use a Calorie Deficit

The number one principle for getting abs is dropping fat. In order to do this, you need to be burning more calories than you consume. It's a nice simple equation. Whether you eat less, exercise more (or a bit of both), keep in the deficit for fat loss and ab definition. Keeping protein levels high during the deficit phase is important for muscle maintenance. Also, protein makes the lower calories a little more manageable, since it staves off hunger.

Lower Sugar Intake

Along with calorie intake being too high, sugar is one of the most pervasive issues blocking progress. Sugar spikes insulin, and high insulin levels promote fat storage. Keep your blood sugar levels constant for better fat loss. Chromium and cinnamon supplementation are great options to help this transition to a lower sugar life. But speak to your physician before taking any supplements, especially chromium.

Carb Cycle

This is for improved insulin sensitivity, better fat loss and better muscle maintenance. I promote the carb cycle life all the time, and for all my clients—A-List or otherwise. I really believe it's a secret weapon to achieve superior results.

It's simple. Over the course of a week, you have days with high, medium and low carbohydrate intake. That sounds easy, and it is, but you have to sync up your higher carb days with heavier gym sessions and your low carb days with either rest days or low intensity training. Whatever the day, you also require high protein intake to keep muscle growth ticking.

Cycling of carbs is what leads to fat loss and muscle growth. As much as you're cycling your carbs, you are also cycling your fat intake. It should be low when your carb intake is at its highest, and high on days when your carb intake is low.

Carb cycling gives your body a number of physical and biological benefits. To recap:

  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved muscle gain
  • Improved fat burning

And therein lies the formula for a solid six-pack. Get in touch if you're giving it a go.

For more information on my training methods, the movies I work on and for advanced training programs customized to your body and lifestyle, head to www.davidkingsbury.co.uk

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock