How To Get Ripped Abs Fast – Arnold’s Top Tips

Arnold's Tips On How To Get Ripped Abs

Discover how to get ripped abs fast as Arnold reveals his favorite exercises, tips, and tricks on how he developed his shredded mid-section.

The core is made up of three muscles:

  1. The rectus abdominis is the muscle referred to as the abs or abdominals. It runs from the pubis all the way up to the ribs.
  2. The external obliques are the muscles at the sides of the torso. They start at the ribs and insert into the pelvis.
  3. The intercostals are thin muscle fibers that fill the space in between the ribs. They are involved in the lifting and drawing together of the ribs.

Anatomy of Abs

Training The Abs

When it comes to functionality, a strong core is essential for peak performance in most sports.

When it comes to aesthetics, abs are the visual centrepiece of your physique.

A well-defined set of abs are a good indicator of a body being in tip top condition – lean, hard, and strong.

An upper body that most men strive for is one with broad shoulders and wide lats that lead down to a narrow waist.

A narrow waist adds emphasis to both your chest and quads, i.e. a more aesthetic physique.

In The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding Arnold recalls a few bodybuilders who were smaller in size but would win back points with superior ab development – Pierre Vandesnsteen and Vince Gironda are two such bodybuilders.

Boyer Coe was a bodybuilder who was unable to display his abs due to a lack of genetic capacity. Boyer had still managed to place well in competitions during the 60’s and early 70’s. Since then, bodybuilding has become very competitive.

Anyone who wants to place in competition, regardless of particular body type, has to have a set of well developed abs.

In The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding Arnold also discusses the issue of abs that are too thick. He says that this happens as a result of training abs with added resistance.

Arnold recommends that you don’t train abs with extra resistance. Most compound movements already put a lot of stress on core.

Arnold At Competition

Spot Reduction

Arnold Showing AbsAccording to Arnold, the number one goal of ab training is definition.

In order to bring out maximum definition in the mid section there are two things you will have to control for:

  1. Working out the abs
  2. Cutting body fat to reveal defined abs

Arnold recalls that when he first got into bodybuilding it was a commonly held belief that spot reduction, i.e. cutting body fat in a particular area of your body, was possible by training that area with high reps and intensity.

Today spot reduction has been exposed as false.

When you are consuming less calories than you burning, your body does not start using fat from areas that you have been training. There is preprogrammed genetic mechanism that determines which areas of your body will be preferred for fat mobilization.

Working  burns calories.

But keep in mind that the abs are a relatively small muscle group. You will not mobilize much fat by working them out.

That being said, training your abs will increase definition.

You get a heavy core workout from doing compound exercises like the squat and the deadlift as well.

Arnold recommends incorporating isolation exercises in order for the abs to be revealed with full definition.

Training your abs create a well developed midsection which can be revealed with low enough body fat levels.

Of course:

The best ways to bring down body fat levels is with proper diet and cardio.

Ab-Isolation Exercises

Traditional exercises such as Sit-Ups and Leg Raises do not primarily work the abs.

To illustrate this point stand up, hold on to something for support, and lift one leg up.

Put your hand on your abs to see that they are not being worked. It is the hip flexors that are being worked.

The fundamental motion that works the abs is the pulling of the rib cage and pelvis toward each other in a “crunching” motion.

Movements that do not involve a crunching motion only use the abs as stabilizer muscles rather than directly working them.

To get the full benefit from specialized ab training concentrate on the curling of your back, i.e. drawing the rib cage and pelvis closer together.

Training The ObliquesArnold Training Obliques

The obliques exist at both sides of your torso and function primarily as stabilizers.

We do not use our obliques much in everyday movements.


When training the obliques they fatigue quickly and recover slowly.

Arnold recalls a time when bodybuilders would do specialized oblique work. Today, trends have changed.

Obliques that are overly developed take away from the aesthetic appeal of a physique by making the waist appear thicker.

For oblique training Arnold recommends sticking with bodyweight movements such as Twists or Side Bends. These exercises bring a contraction to the muscle without causing them to grow too dramatically.

Serratus and Intercostals

The Serratus and Intercostal muscles exist at the sides of your body and connect into the external obliques.

These muscles add to the aesthetic appeal of your physique.

They are worked with a crunching movement with the addition of the shoulder and elbow being squeezed in while the torso is bent to the side.

The Serratus and Intercostal muscles are worked with most ab exercises.

You can bring further focus onto them with the addition of a twist to the crunching movements.

Beginner Training

For beginners Arnold recommends alternating between 5 sets of either crunches or reverse crunches in every workout.

Crunches focus on the upper abs while Reverse Crunches bring further focus onto the lower abs.

Arnold also recommends doing the stomach vacuum for beginners. The stomach vacuum involves blowing all of your breath out and sucking in your stomach as much as possible for 15 to 20 seconds.

Arnold says that the stomach vacuum is a good way for you to start learning how to control your core, all while firming and strengthening it.

Advanced Training

As you begin to see some ab development Arnold recommends incorporating a wider variety of exercises such as:

  • Twisting Crunches
  • Leg Tucks
  • Roman Chairs
  • Side Bends
  • Twists

Arnold’s Favorite Ab Exercises

In The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding Arnold reveals the exercises he used to build his midsection.

Roman Chairs

Roman Chairs are an exercise that old-school bodybuilders used to bring emphasis onto the upper portion of the abs.

This exercise is not as popular as it once was.

But if it made the cut into Arnold’s ab training, then it will do well in your routine as well.

Arnold Working on Getting Ripped Abs



Crunches can be performed in a variety of ways.

The basic movement has been described below.

You can add a variation to the crunching movement by curling up to your knees and meeting your right elbow with your left knee.

The twisting motion puts added stress on the obliques.

crunches for a ripped six pack

Reverse Crunches

Reverse Crunches bring focus on the lower abs.

Another version of Reverse Crunches you can perform is by hanging on a bar.

This gets your forearms involves and will typically be a more difficult movement.

reverse crunches for ripped lower abs

Cable Crunches

Arnold lists cable crunches as one of his top exercises for overall ab development.

Cable Crunches

Seated Twists

Seated Twists work to tighten the obliques.

Seated Twists


Arnold was an avid advocate of performing stomach vacuums daily.

He says that they help in developing the mind muscle connection with the abdominals allowing for better control over them.

Once you are able to hold the vacuum for 20 to 30 seconds by blowing out all of your breath and holding the abdominals in as much as you can, move on to practice them in a kneeling position.

Kneel  in an upright position with your hands on your knees and attempt to hold the vacuum for as long as you can.

Performing the vacuum in the kneeling position will be harder.

Arnold claims that vacuums also helped him bring out further definition.

Arnold’s Ab Workout


Arnold was able to achieve sustained results over the long term because he constantly varied his training methods and exercises.

That being said, here is a sample of Arnold’s Ab Workout Routine according to

Arnold's Ab Workout

How To Get Ripped Abs In A Month

People want the maximum amount of results in the shortest amount of time.

If you want to get abs in a month it will be a matter of training them hard while drastically cutting down body fat.

The fastest way I’ve found to cut down body fat is through the ketogenic diet.

The basic gist of it is to eat a diet very high in fat, moderate protein, and zero carbohydrates.

Quality fat sources include grass-fed butter, avocados, egg yolks, olive oil, animal fat, etc.

By completely cutting out carbohydrates from your diet and consuming such high fat, your body begins to start using fat for fuel (a state known as ketosis).

Combined with an effective abs workout every other day, you will start losing fat and showing ab definition pretty quickly.

You can also try out this abs program.

Where Does This Leave You?

The truth of the matter is that if you routinely work out your abs, they will develop.

The trouble most guys have is dropping to low enough body fat levels to actually reveal their abs.

The belly is usually the last place your body wants to lose fat because it requires the least amount of energy to carry around.

Give yourself 3 months to stick with a sufficient diet plan and workout routine.

Results along the way will inspire you to keep going and to achieve the body of your dreams!

How to get ripped abs fast has been revealed to you by none other than the Governator himself!

It is now up to you to take action!

Also check out Arnold’s Top Tips on:

Complete Bicep Development 

Complete Shoulder Development

Complete Chest Development

Complete Leg Development

Complete Calf Development

Arnold Posing



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