To build strong and prominent abdominal muscles, Jamin Thompson of BodyBuilding.com recommends engaging in interval training that combines cardiovascular activity with compound abdominal exercises such as bench presses, push-ups, barbell squats, pull-ups and military presses. People should also eat a diet high in protein and healthy carbohydrates and fats.
The goal of obtaining abs is not to target the abdominal muscles with isolated exercises such as crunches and sit-ups but to engage in moderate-to-intense workouts designed to burn overall body fat. According to Thompson, a person's diet plays a much larger role in fat loss than fitness does. Some fat-loss plans advise that people avoid carbohydrates, but there is no valid reasoning behind this advice, and healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and oatmeal make ideal meal options after an intense workout.
It is best to reserve most of the day's carbohydrate intake for after workouts so that the body utilizes the nutrients immediately and they are not stored as fat. This also promotes expedited weight loss and muscle-building results because the muscles are able to repair themselves more quickly. The quality of dietary fats is equally important to the body's overall health as carbohydrates. People should avoid excessive saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol and opt instead for healthy nut butters, fish oils and raw nuts.