Men and women alike often strive to replace their flat or flabby stomachs with toned, hard surfaces. Unfortunately, many people are hindered by busy schedules, and feel that they do not have the necessary time for an extensive abdominal muscle workout. The Health for Life company came out with its Legendary Abs line of workout manuals with these people in mind. The programme claims to deliver results through exercising less than 10-minutes each day.
According to the Legendary Abs manual, the Legendary Abs workout routine is the result of four years of research conducted at Stanford University. Researchers focused on wrestlers, bodybuilders, gymnasts and martial artists, and more specifically how these athletes conditioned their abdominal muscles. The data collected formed the basis of the Legendary Abs programme.
Proponents of the Legendary Abs programme claim that by working out for just six minutes per day, four days per week, you can achieve ripped, well-defined abdominal muscles. The Legendary Abs manual notes that 95 per cent of people who start using the programme show an increase in abdominal muscle tone within the first two weeks. However, these claims have no scientific or peer reviewed data to support them.
The most integral and defining component of the Legendary Abs workout is synergism. This refers to the emphasis that the programme puts on working out particular muscles in a particular sequence, so that the overall routine has a cumulative muscle-building effect. According to the weight lifting and bodybuilding resource website Strength Training, this synergistic approach is a logical way to train the abdominal muscles. It requires that you work the lower abdominal muscles first and then progressively work the muscles that are higher up and closer to your rib cage.
The Legendary Abs programme dictates that you should avoid many standard abdominal exercises, like straight legged sit-ups, incline sit-ups and standard bent leg sit-ups, as these exercises can cause your back to arch and can activate the psoas muscles between the lumbar spine and groin. Both of these movements - according to the programme - are bad for building abdominal muscles. Some of the exercises that the Legendary Abs workout does include are hanging leg raises, whereby you hang from a bar with your legs straight and raise them up towards your chest, and hanging knee-ups, whereby you perform the same movement but with your knees bent.
As the University of New Mexico mentions, building muscle requires that you cause trauma to your muscle fibres, so that the body can activate cells to repair and strengthen these fibres. By performing the Legendary Abs workout with enough intensity and regularity, and maintaining a healthy diet, you can successfully build your abdominal muscles. However, according to Strength Training, the Legendary Abs program is by no means a novel approach to abdominal exercise: the notion of performing several sets one after another in a short span of time is known as performing super sets.