Abs and Core Exercises

Shamsul Ali's Ultimate Abs Workout

Build abs like a Bollywood star.

Shamsul Ali Cable Crunch
Simon Howard / M+F Magazine
Simon Howard / M+F Magazine
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

Shamsul Ali is aiming to become the world’s first IFBB men’s physique pro with ancestral ties to Bengal (a historical region in Asia that spans two countries, Bangladesh and India). He wants to inspire hundreds of millions of South Asians to hit the gym—and he’s off to a promising start by winning a national title. 

In 2016 Ali defended his title to become a two-time Welsh champion and also won the USN BodyPower Classic, and recorded top-six finishes at the British Championships in 2015 and 2016. By next year he hopes he can win a British or international event to become an IFBB pro, by which time he plans to have bulked up to a solid 176lbs (80kg).

“I only train my abs when I start competition prep, which is usually 12 to 14 weeks out. I do fewer reps in the first couple of weeks and build up as I increase my cardio and lean out,” Ali says. “Everyone has abs, even if they have never seen them. They’re thin muscles and will only start to appear when your body fat comes down to around 10 to 12%. Focus on cardio and your diet. Once I am at that level, I train abs religiously three times a week after my morning fasted cardio [see Training Split, below]. To get abs, you have to be consistent. And don’t stop.”

Directions: Perform exercises as a circuit. Do two rounds, resting one minute between rounds. 

Ali's Training Split

Day 1: 

Quads, hamstrings, calves

Day 2:

Back, biceps

Day 3:

Chest, triceps

Day 4:


Day 5:

Shoulders, calves

Day 6:

Back, arms

Day 7:


Ali's Abs Workout

Exercise 1

Crunch You'll need: No Equipment How to
Crunch thumbnail
-- sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Twisting Crunch How to
Twisting Crunch thumbnail
-- sets
20* reps
-- rest
*Each side.

Exercise 3

Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise You'll need: Bench How to
Lying Leg Raise thumbnail
-- sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Cable Crunch You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment How to
Cable Crunch thumbnail
-- sets
20 reps
-- rest