On July 30, 2019, I started training my abs consistently for the first time in my life. By April 29, 2020, I had trained my abs every day for nine months. Over that nine-month period, I trained for an average of about 10 minutes a day. I made some great progress, but do I have abs yet?
You can train your abs for 10 minutes a day for as long as you like, but it’s not a guarantee that you will develop visible abs. Good training will develop and strengthen the core muscles, but you also need to focus on your nutrition and lower your body fat percentage for the abs to become visible. (299)
In my case, the daily abs training, plus better nutrition, plus other training that I did, has led to more defined and visible abs. Dare I say that I even have the outline of a visible six-pack?!?
I’m getting close, but there is still consistent work to be done to maintain, and improve upon, my results. There is much to consider beyond just training your abs every day for 10 minutes.
But before all of that, let’s check out my results for an example of what is possible! : )
RESULTS after 9 Months of Abs Training for 10 Minutes a Day
I took before-and-after photos and video during this 9-month journey. I began with updates after each 22-day period. Now, I make updates on a monthly basis. I also tracked my weight for each period.
Here Are the Before and After Photos from Different Time Periods:
Here Are the Before and After Photos from Day 1 and Month 9:
So, can I get abs in 9 months by training them for about 10 minutes every day?
Despite being my own worst critic (and at times, enemy), even I have to admit that I am beginning to develop some visible 6-pack abs!
At the very least, they look objectively better than they did on Day 1. I personally notice:
- It looks like there is less fat around my abs and upper body in general. This is probably due to muscle gain + fat loss, not just weight loss.
- My abs and core look more muscular and developed. This is probably due to the daily 10-minute training routine. ALSO, it is probably due to the fact that you can actually see my muscles more after some fat loss and general weight loss.
- My obliques (the muscles on the sides of my body) just look stronger and bigger.
- There are lines in my core muscles! In the past, any lines I had were from my fatties. Now, they actually look like lines from visible and developed muscles.
- My smile is bigger and more genuine in Month 9, too.
- I clearly stopped even trying to comb my hair.
How Did I Train My Abs Every Day?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of 10-minute ab workout routines available on YouTube and on fitness blogs. You even have to pay for some of them. With so many options, you might worry about choosing the “right” one.
While there may be objectively better and worse options available, my best advice is to not worry about it too much, just pick one, and start training. You can always change routines later should you feel like it.
In my case, I chose to go with a man that I trust. That’s Jeff Cavaliere, who you can find on the ATHLEAN-X YouTube Channel. The guy is a legend. Seriously! He knows what he is talking about and has a catalog of helpful videos that will keep you informed, inspired, and binge-watching YouTube for a lifetime.
In the end, I chose his 22 Day Ab Workout (NO REST!!!) as my daily ab workout of choice. If you do not know where to begin, I recommend this one highly. Among other reasons, I chose it because:
- it was specifically designed and conceived to turn daily ab training into a habit.
- it targets all areas of the core muscles using a variety of movement patterns and angles.
- as you get stronger, the routine becomes longer, making it progressively more difficult and a challenge for any fitness level.
- it does not require any equipment, other than perhaps a clock or phone to track your time.
- it’s easy to remember once you do it a few times.
- it was totally free!!!
This was the only direct ab training I did for this 9-month period, and I did it every day for an average of about 10 minutes.
Some days were more than 10 minutes. Some days were less than 10 minutes.
The amount of time varied depending on many factors. For example:
- training abs before-or-after other daily workouts
- training abs in the morning vs. the afternoon vs. the evening
- training in the 1st few months vs. the last few months
- training with lots of intensity vs. giving less than 100% effort
For the first month or so, I would sometimes finish the routine in 6-7 minutes. My worst day only lasted maybe 5 minutes in total!
Nine months later, I have lasted as long as 15 minutes before going totally extinct. Every day is a bit different. But training every day, whether I wanted to or not, remained a constant.
WATCH THE ROUTINE: Mr. Cavaliere does an infinitely better job of explaining and demonstrating his routine than I can. Click the link above and check it out for yourself. Or, watch it right here, right now:
How Else Did I Train?
Nine Months is a long time. While the “22” Day Ab Workout (NO REST!) was the only direct ab training I did, the results that you see in my before-and-after pictures admittedly come from a variety of factors over a long period of time.
First, I also did 100 push ups a day during this 9-month period. Done well, push ups will also engage your core and train your abs indirectly. You can click this link to learn even more about my 100 Push Ups a Day for a Year personal challenge.
Second, I did go to the gym and train other parts of my body for much of these 9 months. I focused primarily on big, compound movements. These movements indirectly train the abs, and improve my overall muscularity and physique. In particular, I trained:
- Assisted Chin-ups
NOTE: The gym was not consistent throughout the 9 months. At the beginning, I was recovering from a minor back surgery, so I had to take it easy in the gym. Then, quarantine happened, and the gym was totally closed for the last month-and-a-half of this challenge.
Third, I did some, albeit limited, cardio. I mainly rowed on the rowing machine because I enjoyed it and it was lower impact on my joints than jogging. I even started swimming again for almost a month until the quarantine happened and the swimming pool was closed.
And of course, we cannot talk about abs without discussing my diet and nutrition…
Here Are My Heaviest and Most Recent Abs Photos:
Did I mention that I used to be obese?
When I was 17 years old, I weighed 296 lbs. (134.5 kgs.). At about 6 feet and 2 inches tall, I had a BMI of 38 and was considered Class 2 obese (Take that, Class 1!). For more even details about BMI and obesity scales, check of the post I wrote after 8 months of training my abs every day.
By the time I started training my abs every day at the age of 33, I had already lost 108.6 lbs. (49.4 kgs.). That’s a lot of weight. Fortunately, I had kept it off for about 16 years, which is an accomplishment in-and-of itself.
So, my goal for this challenge was not necessarily to lose more weight; rather, to see if I could turn my soft body into something more aesthetic by training every day.
With that in mind, I ate healthy food, and enough of it to maintain my weight at a pretty stable number. My weight did fluctuate up-and-down a little bit over time, as you can see in my update pictures, but overall, it stayed relatively stable for the first 7 months.
By month 8, however, things changed a little bit. Quarantine was on the way, and my daily physical activity was about to take a hit. To compensate for this, I focused even more on my nutrition to ensure I would not put on any unwanted weight.
It worked, and on April 29, 2020, I weighed in at 178.6 lbs. (81.2 kgs.)! This was the first time that I weighed less than 180 lbs. since I was about 13 years old and a freshman in high school. Seriously! It was pretty cool to finally hit this number, which for a time seemed unachievable.
NOTE: It is possible that I lost some muscle mass as a result of the gym being closed. Can’t have the good without the bad, right?!?
Still, it is hard to argue with the fact that my results look even better after losing some more weight. Even if there were a bit of muscle loss with it, I am sure that I lowered my body fat percentage. As a result, my core muscles are more visible, and all of my hard work is starting to show.
How Was My Diet?
Again, the goal of this daily training was not to lose weight, per se. It was to see what would happen if I trained my abs every day.
Still, one of the things that happened with an increased focus on daily exercise was an increased focus on my daily nutrition.
In particular, during this nine-month period I observed the following changes in my nutrition:
- I ate way more whole food, plant-based products.
- I ate much, much less meat and dairy.
- I ate home cooked meals probably 98% of the time. This also saved money! : )
- I almost entirely eliminated alcohol from my life. Even when I do have the odd drink, it is a 0.0% alcohol-free option.
- I would occasionally experiment with intermittent fasting, but it was inconsistent. Still, I did enjoy it and I would like to try taking it more seriously moving forward.
- I weighed myself every day.
That’s pretty much it. No special diets. No crash dieting.
It was just small nutritional changes made over time that are slowly becoming part of my daily life.
I’ve dieted in the past. It never worked. I repeat… it NEVER worked. I always put the weight back on.
I believe that we should stop talking about which diets work best and, instead, look for ways to make permanent and positive changes in our lifestyles that foster healthier living. It can take a while, but I find the results to be longer-lasting and worth the effort.
NOTE: The weighing part helped give me immediate feedback on how what I ate affected my weight. While weighing yourself daily could lead to eating disorders, I have found it to be an excellent tool for maintaining my weight.
Fat, Broke and Stupid YouTube Video
You saw the pictures. Now, check out the video! Go to my Fat, Broke and Stupid YouTube Channel and see every video I have published. You can watch my Abs for 9 Months update video right here, right now, to see how my entire body changed during these 9 months:
There will be much more content coming over the months and years, so be sure to hit the subscribe button and the notification bell to stay on the vanguard of what personal change can look like in my fat, broke and stupid world.
Learn More About This Challenge
I’m still training my abs every day! See how my abs currently look at my Fat, Broke and Stupid Abs Training Page. Follow my progress, and maybe try some daily abs for yourself!!!