When you're working out you want to make sure you are doing heavy compound movements. When I say heavy it does not mean you want to max out or go to one rep max or something like that. You want to keep your rep range from about 6 to 10 reps. Now here is the key, if you are a beginner and just starting off you want to keep your rep range a little higher because you want to make sure you are safe and that your form is really good before you go ahead and get your reps down To about six. But if you have been working out for a little while and know most of the exercises, try to keep anywhere between 6 to 8 reps, at the most 10 reps. Keep it heavy, and here is the reason why. When you're working out you want to go ahead and start your muscles, if you go too light you're only going to build endurance and that is what most guys do most of the time. Light weight does not get you ripped. Doing 50 curls with light weight does not do anything, but maybe build endurance. If you are trying to get lean and ripped do not worry about the light weight, go heavy, go compound, and you want to work and stimulate 6 to 8 muscle groups at one time.
Let's say you are working on chest and shoulders today. You will normally work on 6-8 muscle groups very easily when you are doing compound movements, by using your core, by using your triceps, by using your legs when you are possibly standing and doing military press. There are so many other muscle groups working even thought you might only be working on chest and shoulders. This is the difference between doing compound movements vs. Doing isolation where you stick your body into a machine where pretty much everything is relaxed except for that one muscle being worked.
You burn a lot more calories with heavy composite movements, and it drives your metabolism super high. So if your work outs involve 80% isolation workouts, you will have to work out 3 to 4 times harder with little to no results in weight loss, lean muscle building, calorie burning and metabolism increase.
So if you want to get abs, yes excise is very important, but you also need to have your eating and nutrition handled too. Now this does not mean you have to deprive yourself or go on a diet. The key here is just making it simple, there is so much misinformation out there about dieting and what you should eat, put forth by gurus and experts that make things very completed and designed to open the door to you spending more money. Very simple, you need lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and some natural carbohydrates depending on your goals. The things to avoid would be refined carbohydrates, refined sugars and refined fats.
My system is good because it makes healthy eating very simple. What I do is cook a lot of food in advance of the week and make a lot of prepared meals that we can just stick in the microwave and within three minutes we have a healthy meal. I would say for healthy eating that is going to be the key. Find a system that makes it simple where you do not have to keep thinking about it. You can eat healthy without it having to be like a chore.
Here is an example of what I eat much of the time. For meats, I like to eat lean chicken breast, tilapia, and egg whites, this being a very lean protein source. Vegetables, anything is ok, but for me, I like to eat broccoli and green beans, because they are easy to prepare. For carbohydrates, sometimes I eat beans and sometimes I go with brown rice and on occasion the sweet potato. This is a good example of what I eat and what is really simple and easy to prepare. In the end you spend very little time in the kitchen, you do not have to wash tons of dishes and eating time is simple and quick. You need to start eating clean.
The last thing you want to do is go ahead and get the right advice. When you talk or listen to somebody make sure they know what they are talking about. Here is a pretty easy way to tell if you should listen to someone:
A. Take a look at them, see what they look like. If you have someone who is out of shape and overweight and they are helping others who are in the same condition, all you have is the blind leading the blind. You will waste a lot of time and money. Both are involved in misinformation.
B. Make sure the person has done it himself as well as helped someone else do it. They understand their bodies and they are able to pass on their knowledge to different body types.