When you think of the Army you think of extreme workouts, amazing fitness and grueling exercise sessions. You think of the fittest of the fittest. And their abs are no different. They are strong, powerful and usually very ripped.

An Army style abs workout

Although I have never been in the army myself, I have often drawn inspiration from the way they train. I love the way they workout. Every session is extreme and they give 100% at all times. Even on the days that they don’t feel like working out they get out of bed and do the work anyway. It is very tough work.

I am particularly interested in how they develop their abdominal muscles. I have talked to several current and ex army members who say that they abs workouts that they used to have to do were tougher than almost anything else. Core strength was considered very important.

Here I will take a look at some of the exercises and techniques used in the army to blast the abdominal muscles and develop soldier quality six packs.

1. Massive numbers of repetitions
One of the traditional ways that soldiers in the army are taught to train their abs is with massive number of repetitions. For example, a solider might train his abs by doing 100 crunches in a row without stopping. They might not all be done with perfect technique but they are done with intensity and energy.

The idea behind this type of training is to build up muscle strength as well as endurance. If you are carrying a massive backpack, gun and what not through a battle field you need to be strong as well as fit and these huge numbers of reps are one way that the army prepares the troops for this.

This type of training is suited to many abdominal exercises such as the crunch, sit up, leg raise, knee raise, etc. It is a great supplement to a normal abs workout and can really shock your abs into some new growth.

2. Mixing it up with stations
Another popular method of abs training in the army is to set up stations. This is a very grueling method of working your abs and often results in a soldier passing up what he ate for breakfast.

Stations are pretty simple. The idea is to set up “stations” where the soldier goes to in order to perform an abs exercise. He moves from one station to the next without stopping until he has completed each station. Only then can he have a short rest.

For example, you could have five stations:

STATION 1: Crunches
STATION 2: Reverse Crunches
STATION 3: Leg Raises
STATION 4: Bicycle Crunches
STATION 5: Short Rest

The idea is to make your way through the stations without stopping. Each time you do it you should increase the number of reps or the number of times you do the station. This way you can make sure you are progressing.

3. Complete exhaustion training
Another way the army likes to train its soldiers is by making them participate in exercise sessions that bring them to the point of complete exhaustion. Once they get to that point they are then kindly asked to keep going. This is how a solider is built.

This applies to the abs as well. For example, you can pick one exercise like the crunch and do it flat out as many times as you can for half and hour. Or, you can take another approach and hold a crunch for as long as you can. See if you can stay in the crunch position for five minutes at a time and then try to beat that time.


I hope this article has given you some ideas for your abs training. The marines and army troops train hard for their superior strength and toned bodies. However, this is not out of our reach. All we have to do is start training like them. These are just some of the ways that the army develops some boot camp style abs.