Start thinking about your abs diet and workout plan right now and you’ll be ready with a sexy six-pack by the beginning of summer. Eight weeks is all it takes. Sound too good to be true? We promise: You’ve got this. Celebrity trainer and two-time Golden Gloves–winning boxer Ngo Okafor has a core-carving game plan that will incinerate abdominal fat. His top four secrets to helping his clients etch a flat stomach out of a winter muffin top:
No. 1: Train abdominals three days per week, giving them a full HIIT workout, not just two exercises at the end.
No. 2: Add cardio between the abdominal moves to keep your heart rate up—as a boxer, he knows cardio is king as a functional element of endurance.
No. 3: Make sure to change the workout order every time you train. Because not only do you get bored, but so do your abs.
No. 4: Don’t train only with weights or only with body weight. The variance will help develop a balanced core and give you a narrower waistline.
You’ll do this workout three days a week. Each abs HIIT circuit takes only six minutes, and you’ll repeat each twice—for a 12-minute core blast. The circuit includes four abdominal exercises done for 60 seconds each, with 30-second cardio bursts in between. The rep ranges for abs are high.
Keep it fresh
While keeping the order of the cardio bursts the same throughout the week, you’ll want to change the exercise order each day according to the following A, B, C, D designation. The more your body has to guess, the leaner you will get.
DAY NO. 1: A B C D
DAY NO. 2: D C B A
DAY NO. 3: A D C B
TRAINER: Ngo Okafor Celebrity trainer, New York, NY
MODEL: Katie Bopp Hunt, Health coach/Trainer, New York, NY
Hold a jump rope with elbows bent close to body. Keeping core tight, lift right knee, keeping foot close to body; let the rope hit the floor once, then immediately lift left knee, lowering rope. Make sure your weight stays behind your midline not in front of it; lift knees high as fast as you can.
B Hanging Knee to Elbow: 15 reps
CARDIO BURST: Tuck Jump 30 seconds
C Side Plank Dip on TRX:15 reps
CARDIO BURST:Burpee 30 seconds
D X-out: 15 reps
Lie faceup with arms and legs wide. Bring arms and legs up to meet over center.
Lie faceup with your lower back on the round side of a Bosu ball, arms and legs forming the shape of an X. Inhale, engage your abs, and, keeping legs and arms straight, crunch your left foot to meet your right hand straight above your belly, exhaling at top. Return to start and do all reps on one side before using opposite leg and hand.
CARDIO BURSTBall Slam: 30 seconds
D V-up: 15 reps
CARDIO BURST: Skater 30 seconds
Repeat entire circuit.
4 of 9
3. Week 3
A Rope Crunch: 20 reps
CARDIO BURST: Box Jump 30 seconds
B Decline Bench Knee to Elbow: 15 reps
CARDIO BURST: Ball Slam 30 seonds
C Russian Twist Ball Slam: 20 reps (shown)
Holding a medicine ball with both hands, sit on a mat with your knees bent 90° and feet flat on floor. Lean back until torso is 45° to the floor, making sure abs are engaged. Lift feet 12″ off floor and twist to right, slamming the ball down and catching it before immediately rotating torso to the left, slamming the ball down on the left side. Continue for reps.
CARDIO BURST: Rowing Machine 30 seconds
D V-up: 20 reps
CARDIO BURST:Intense Jump rope 30 seconds
Repeat entire circuit.
5 of 9
4. Week 4
A Ab Wheel: 15 reps
CARDIO BURST: Burpee Using Bosu Ball 30 seconds
B TRX Plank Knee to Elbow on Bosu Ball: 15 reps per leg (shown on week 6 slide)
Set up both TRX foot cradles to just below knee height. Place a Bosu, round-side up, about 5 feet in front of them. Facing away from TRX, place tops of feet in each cradle. Keeping your weight on the tops of your feet, walk hands forward until you are in a full plank position with hands on the Bosu, body aligned from heels to top of head, feet flexed. Using your obliques and core, crunch your right knee as close as you can to your right elbow, keeping hips square to floor. Return leg to start and continue with the opposite leg.
CARDIO BURST: Tuck Jump 30 seconds (shown)
Stand with feet hip-width, knees slightly bent and core engaged. Using your core and glutes to initiate the movement, pulse once through your knees and jump up as high as you can, bringing your knees up toward your chest.
C Russian Twist with Kettlebell: 20 reps
CARDIO BURST:Wall Ball 30 seconds
D Bicycle Crunch on Bosu Ball: 30 reps per leg
CARDIO BURST:Intense Jump Rope 30 seconds
Repeat entire circuit.
SEE ALSO: 10 Total-Body
6 of 9
5. Week 5
A Ab Wheel on Bosu Ball: 15 reps
CARDIO BURST: Battling Ropes 30 seconds (shown)
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width holding end of a low-anchored battle rope in each hand. Keeping chest up, squat until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor. Lift the right end of the rope up to about chest height and then quickly lower it while lifting the left end up to chest height. Continue with small waves for time, keeping core and lower body engaged.
B Decline Bench Leg Raise: 15 reps
CARDIO BURST:Ball Slam 30 seconds
C Side Plank Dip and Leg Raise: 15 reps per leg
CARDIO BURST:Mountain Climber on Gliding Disc 30 seconds
B Plank Position Knee to Elbow on Gliding Disc: 20 reps
CARDIO BURST: Mountain Climber on Gliding Disc 30 seconds
C V-up: 20 reps
CARDIO BURST:Rowing Machine 30 seconds
D Side Plank Reverse Crunch on TRX: 20 reps (shown)
Begin in side plank with feet in TRX cradles; pull knees to chest
CARDIO BURST:Box Jump 30 seocnds
Repeat entire circuit
8 of 9
7. Week 7
A Weighted Physio Ball Pullover: 20 reps (shown)
Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell and sit on a stability ball, walking feet forward until thighs are parallel to floor and your weight is on lower and midback. With your arms slightly bent, lie back and lift weight overhead until core is stretched. Bring weight in an arc over torso until you are sitting up and the weight is close to your chest, elbows bent, and you’re at the top of the range of motion.
CARDIO BURST:Box Jump 30 seconds
B Flutter Kick: 40 kicks per leg
CARDIO BURST:Jumping Alternating Lunge 30 seconds
C Side Plank Position Crossover Knee to Elbow: 15 reps
Get in the top of a side plank on left hand, but instead of feet stacked, place right foot in front of left. Keep hips up so your body forms a straight line. Holding your weight with your left arm and the bottom right foot, lift right hand above your shoulder, elbow bent. Lift left foot slightly off floor behind your right. Slowly crunch your left knee into your right elbow. Return to start and continue on same side for reps, then switch sides.
CARDIO BURST: Intense Jump Rope 30 seconds
D Jackknife: 20 reps
CARDIO BURST:Battling Ropes 30 seconds
Repeat entire circuit.
9 of 9
8. Week 8
A Medicine Ball Situp with Ball Toss: 20 reps
You’ll need a partner for this move to catch the ball or a close-by wall. Holding an 8- to 12-lb medicine ball, sit about 5 feet from the wall or partner. Press the bottoms of your feet together and let your knees fall to either side so your lower body forms a diamond shape. In a controlled, fluid motion, lower your torso back into the bottom of a situp. Then, without pausing at bottom, explosively curl your torso up and forcefully slam the ball against the wall, or toss forcefully to your partner. Catch the ball with both hands before lowering into your next situp.