You can choose to follow a workout from any bodybuilder, but if you don't consistently get a cardio workout, too, you'll never have the definition to see the washboard on your abdominals. nike running That's because cardio burns off the layer of fat that can obscure your abs. You need to incorporate 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into your routine 4 to 5 times each week. Your cardio workout can take whatever form you prefer. Run, bike, swim or spend the time on the elliptical trainer -- or mix it up and do a different cardio exercise each time to keep things interesting.

Importance of Diet

Diet is just as important as your workout when it comes to getting a bodybuilder's six pack. A proper diet won't allow your body to hold onto unwanted fat stores, and it will energize your body with efficient fuel for getting through your workouts and building muscle. womens nike shoes Cut processed sugar, fried and high-fat foods from your diet. Include fruits and vegetables every day, along with whole grains and lean meat for protein. And since your body -- including your muscles -- is about 2/3 water, remember to hydrate, taking in at least 100 ounces each day, especially when you're training aggressively.

Training Frequency

The general advice of allowing 48 to 72 hours after training a muscle group before you work it again applies to abs, too. However, the way you want your ab muscles to look will dictate how often you should train them. Personal trainer and former bodybuilder Matt Siaperas recommends training abs 3 days a week with a full rest day in between for bodybuilding clients who want huge ab muscles with obvious, distinct definition. Siaperas says those who want smaller abs with clear but not quite as extreme definition can work abs every day, if they have the time and want to. If you run short on time now and then, you can always drop the ab workout for the day. Thomas Incledon and Matthew Hoffman pointed out in "Men's Health Maximum Muscle Plan," published in 2005, that your abs will get worked when you do non-ab focused exercises, like heavy squats and deadlifts.

Ab-Sculpting Exercises

Crunches and sit-ups are the typical exercises that come to mind when you think about training your abs. But you have to do more than just these two exercises to effectively work and define your abs. nike cortez classic In addition to sit-ups and crunches, do leg raises, V-ups and knee-ins. Be sure to do twisting versions of crunches and sit-ups, too, to target the oblique muscles.

Work the Whole Core

When it comes to maxing out the definition of your abdominal muscles, working your entire core -- not just your abs -- is essential. All the muscles in your core work together to provide tone, symmetry and strength. It's especially important to work your lower back to ensure that your abs have sufficient support. The Mayo Clinic recommends bridges as a classic core exercise that will strengthen your core -- abs and lower back included.