With great symmetry and a cut-to-the-bone six-pack, you’d be wise to not bet against him.
- This is Richard’s pre-contest ab workout he pairs it with cardio in the morning.
- Off-season, he drops the rope crunch and bumps up his repetitions.
Start: “This is a hard exercise, so I get it out of the way first,” Richard says. “I don’t count reps on this.” Centre the ab wheel about 4–6 inches in front of your knees, which are slightly apart. Your arms should be straight down from your shoulders, elbows slightly bent.
Move: Slowly roll the wheel out in front of you. “Don’t go too far out the first time until you build some strength in your abs and auxiliary muscles: your back and triceps,” Richard cautions. “I get a nice stretch all the way out; my torso ends up probably 2–3 inches off the floor.”
Start: Facing the cable station on your knees, grasp the ends of the rope and bring your hands down to the top of your head, where they remain fixed throughout the movement.
Move: Bring your elbows toward your knees, squeezing your abs as you exhale, and return under control to the start. “I try to keep my hips stable because I want to focus on contracting and stretching my abs. I don’t want to incorporate my lower back, lats or triceps,” Richard says.
HANGING LEG RAISE
Start: “These are tough, but they hit the whole abdominal wall, with emphasis on the lower-ab region,” Richard points out. Place your hands roughly shoulder-width apart on the bar and hang in a vertical position, torso erect.
Move: Contract your abs while lifting your straightened legs up to horizontal, then slowly lower your legs until your body returns to vertical before beginning the next rep. “I perform every rep this way — slowly and with control. The faster you perform it, the more momentum builds, which lessens the tension on the abs,” he adds.
Start: “At this point my abs are pretty fried, so I don’t need a whole lot of reps,” Richard explains. Sit crosswise, glutes slightly off the bench, hands gripping it just outside your hips. Lean back and raise your legs off the floor, knees slightly bent, to start.
Move: After leaning your torso forward while bringing your knees toward your chest, crunch your abs at the top, then slowly return to the start position.