It’s hard to think of an actor working in Hollywood these days with abs more impressive and inspiring than Ryan Reynolds. Not only does he have an incredible set of sharply defined, chunky abdominal muscles, but he also seemed to grow them overnight. None of us thought that the skinny guy from Van Wilder was going to bulk up and sport one of the most impressive overall physiques in Hollywood. But then he showed up in Blade Trinity with an extra 20-30 pounds of muscle packed onto his frame and abdominal development so striking that some people claimed they were prosthetics.
If Van Wilder can grow an awe-inspiring midsection, than so can you. Read on to learn how to build your Ryan Reynolds abs.
Building Ryan Reynolds Abs
Many people will think that Ryan Reynolds abs are built through countless standard crunches and sit ups repeated day in and day out. But the key to large, chunky abs like Ryan Reynolds’ doesn’t lie in high repetition, low intensity exercise. Those abs lie in low repetition, high intensity ab exercises.
Time and time again anecdotal experience and scientific studies have proven that the best way to build muscular size is through a combination of low reps and high weights. High repetitions with low weights do nothing but overstress your muscles without triggering the growth response, and can actually result in loss of muscular size. This fact is true whether you’re talking about increasing the size of your biceps or increasing the size of your abdominals.
Thankfully you don’t need a fully stocked gym or any fancy equipment to produce the level of intensity necessary to build Ryan Reynolds abs- all you need is a chin up bar. Try out the following exercises and you’ll “feel the burn” like never before.
Knee Lifts: Hang straight down from the bar and, focusing on abdominal contraction, raise your knees up to your chest over a count of 5 seconds. Hold them there for a minute, and then lower them for a count of 5 seconds.
Leg Lifts: These work just like Knee Lifts, but are even more brutal. Keep your legs perfectly straight and raise them up until they are parallel to the floor and your body forms an “L” shape. Raise them to a count of 5, hold them for a second, and then lower them to a count of 5.
Inverted Crunch: This exercise is potentially dangerous, so make sure you either use the right safety equipment (like gravity boots) or that you are confident about your strength levels before attempting.
To perform the inverted crunch hang upside down from the bar, either from gravity boots or by curling your legs over your pull up bar, and perform a standard crunch, working to get your upper body parallel to the ground.
All of these movements are very difficult and both incorporate a greater Range of Motion than standard crunches, and also utilize gravity to provide additional resistance to the movement. If you focus on 2-3 of the above exercises you’ll have Ryan Reynolds abs in no time.
Showing Off the Jewels with Low Bodyfat
It doesn’t matter how well developed your abs are, you won’t be able show them off on the beach if they’re covered in a layer of fat. While building up the size and strength of your core muscles is important if you want Ryan Reynolds abs, you also need to make sure you’re lean enough to really make them pop.
While most people assume that lowering their body fat to six-pack sporting levels requires hours and hours of cardio, nothing could be further from the truth. Explaining the debilitating bodily effects of constant marathon-level cardio sessions lies beyond the scope of this article. All you need to know is that cardio doesn’t provide the key to dropping the amount of body fat you need to produce dramatic abdominals. Diet is the key to Ryan Reynolds abs.
Everybody has a different idea of what foods make up the best diet for sustained low body fat levels, but there are a few items that everyone agrees you need to omit. As a base rule accept and embody the phrase “If man made it, don’t eat it!” Avoid anything processed and synthetic, and concentrate on whole nutrient dense foods consumed in as natural a state as possible. The only exception to this rule is high quality supplements (like protein powder) produced by companies you trust.
After that, most people agree that preventing overeating by limiting portion size is a good idea, as is minimizing carbohydrates. Even naturally occurring carbohydrates like those found in fruits, whole grains and milk can contribute to elevated bodyfat levels, so try and focus on a diet based around protein, fat and low-GI carbohydrate foods like vegetables and legumes.
At the end of the day most people find the exercises to be easy- it’s the ability to control your diet that will separate you from all the other Ryan Reynolds abs wannabes.