Secret #6: You CAN NOT alter your genetic makeup. When it comes to visual abs, there are a number of things that you DO have control over, such as your nutrition and exercise choices. The one thing that you do NOT have control over is how they are shaped. The genetic structure of your abs is what it is, there are no exercises that you can do to change that shape. My abs for example have a unique shape, the top four look like little bricks to me, and there is a deep cut in the center of my top two. I didn’t do anything to create this shape, there’s no exercise I can tell you to do that will cause your abs to have the same shape as mine. Rather than trying to focus on changing the shape of your abdominals, you have to put your focus on making your specific shape and form the best that it can be. Secret #7: You CAN increase the density of your abs. You may not be able to change the structure of your abs, but you can increase the density and size of the muscles. As with any other muscle group, if you train progressively with resistance and are eating sufficient calories and allowing sufficient recovery and repair time, you can add mass to your abdominals. When your abs are thicker, you actually gain the advantage of being able to visually see their structure even when your body fat percentage is a bit higher. Now ladies, don’t worry that you’re going to get “bulky” abs by training them with resistance, the abdominals are a thinner muscle tissue and the likelihood of them becoming too thick is slim. Secret #8: You do NOT need to train abs every day. I hear this one a lot, “I train my abs every day, do thousands of crunches, and still don’t see my abs.” I was actually guilty of doing this myself back in my college days when I still had no clue about nutrition and “8 Minute Abs” had just come out on the market, I think my girlfriends and I did it every day, and couldn’t figure out for the life of us why it seemed to make no difference visually. Your abs are like the other muscles in your body, when you work them, they need rest and recovery time in order to repair and become stronger, working them one to three times a week for core strength purposes is sufficient. You can work them more often than that if you would like to, since the majority of time we are training abdominals with only the weight of our torso you aren’t likely to be overloading them on a regular basis, but it’s not necessary. Just remember that working them more isn’t going to allow you to visually see them sooner.