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How to Get a Hollywood Body

The modern day Hollywood action hero has washboard abs with a carved six-pack, a chiseled chest, and a defined inguinal crease. How can you transform your body into action hero form? Click to find out. 

 

By
Ben Greenfield,
June 9, 2014
Episode #189

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A recent article in Men's Journal entitled “Building a Bigger Action Hero” got my attention.

In the article, the author describes how modern day Hollywood action heroes – males, in this case – have evolved over the past decades to get better and better bodies. Specifically, three primary characteristics define most of the modern male action stars: washboard abs with carved six-packs, chiseled chests, and a defined inguinal crease (the “bumps” on either side of the waist going down towards the abs and pelvis). 

In this episode, you’re going to learn exactly how to get that same look!

Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by NatureBox. Discover smarter snacking with a new NatureBox each month. Get 50% off your first box when you go to NatureBox.com/qdt.

And ladies, if you have a husband, boyfriend, father, son, nephew, or other man in your life who you think would benefit from this information, be sure to forward it to him.

How to Get a Carved Six-Pack

We've all seen footage of some ripped celebrity beginning or ending their day by doing dozens of sit-ups or crunches on their bedroom floor. But as I explained in the article How to Get a Flat Stomach, crunches only work one part of your abs (the rectus abdominis), and don’t even work that part of your abs very efficiently.

See also: 10 Flat Stomach Alternatives to Crunches

 

The reality is that there is no single special exercise you can do that will tone a specific muscle or body part or make fat there disappear. In the episode How to Tone and Lose Fat in One Body Part, you learned that when your body needs energy, it doesn’t get it from a single specific area of the body. Instead, it takes fat from everywhere and converts that fat into free fatty acids.

So when you’re doing all those crunches, you might use a little bit of fat from your waistline for energy, but you’ll also use fat from your thighs, your calves, your forearms, your chest, and if you’re unfortunate enough to have a fat forehead, maybe from there, too. In fact, your body is so efficient at taking fat evenly from all different regions of your body, the dent you make in your waistline from all those crunches will be pretty small.

Instead, the best way to get a flat, sculpted stomach is to do a workout made up of exercises that target all the different components of your abs - the rectus abdominis, the external and internal obliques, the transversus abdominis, and also the postural muscles of the low back. All of these muscles must be included because from a functional standpoint, the stomach is a crucial connecting point between your upper body (the chest, shoulders, and arms) and your lower body (the butt, hips, and thighs).

So an ideal ab workout should include moves such as bending (hanging leg raises), extending (deadlifts), twisting (cable rotations), planking (front planks), and heavier lifting (barbell squats).

When combined with calorie-burning through consistent physical activity and brief bouts of high intensity cardiovascular exercise this strategy will get you a nice, flat stomach that includes sculpted abs you’re now seeing on guys like Hugh Jackman and Matthew McConaughey.

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