Tim Ro­bards il­lu­mi­nates your path to ripped abs by spilling his own tale of trans­for­ma­tion.

Men's Health (Australia) - - Contents -

In this fi­nal in­stal­ment of a six-part se­ries, the man be­hind the TRM 12-Minute Abs Chal­lenge takes you on his jour­ney from reg­u­lar bloke to ripped beast. Feel free to slip­stream.


Ro­bards’ ear­li­est glimpses of con­spic­u­ous fit­ness were the cover guys on mag­a­zines like the one you’re read­ing now.

“I was about 14 or 15 and I as­pired to be like them,” he re­calls. “They looked strong and I wanted to gain strength so I could make the high school footy team.”

Ro­bards swot­ted up on train­ing and diet, and then got to work. “I wasn’t the big­gest on the field but I was def­i­nitely the strong­est be­cause no one was lift­ing weights back then at that age.”


Later, Ro­bards was in the au­di­ence at Cirque du Soleil, en­tranced by the ac­ro­bats hang­ing from the rings.

“They had the most in­cred­i­ble physiques but they weren’t just for show,” says Ro­bards. “They were in­sanely strong and could do in­cred­i­ble things with their body.”

In that in­stant Ro­bards saw his – and your – way for­ward. “Train­ing be­came all about func­tion while aes­thet­ics took a back­seat.” Your six-pack will be a byprod­uct of get­ting fit.


Ro­bards spent nine years at uni­ver­sity study­ing phys­i­ol­ogy, nu­tri­tion and biome­chan­ics, which amounted to ex­cel­lent prepa­ra­tion for the chis­el­ing of his abs.

He learnt a lot from books but ac­cepted noth­ing un­til he saw the­ory work­ing in practice. “I like to be the test dummy and after 20 years of try­ing things out on my­self I’ve come up with the most ef­fi­cient core pro­gram for those want­ing to save 20 years of trial and er­ror,” says Ro­bards.

The gist of his find­ings? Core moves alone are not enough. Not even close. Two or three HIIT ses­sions per week need to be part of your rou­tine.


A rip­pling mid­dle is a lean mid­dle, Ro­bards stresses. “A sumo wrestler may have a strong core, but if your goal is a strong core and a lean mid­sec­tion then you need to get your nu­tri­tion right.”

Ro­bards will in­dulge him­self oc­ca­sion­ally with cho­co­late or beer, but knows when to rein things in. “If you’ve been a lit­tle off-bal­ance in the sugar de­part­ment, curb it with soda wa­ter and herbal teas,” he says.

You’ll have your crav­ings but don’t play the vic­tim, he urges. “Make your­self eat some­thing you know is good for you first, then see if you still have the crav­ing. Toughen up and down a bit­ter green-veg­gie juice, for ex­am­ple. If you still have the crav­ing after that then go for it, but I reckon you’ll find it will have gone.”

And in time it will be good rid­dance to stom­ach blub­ber, and hello to your centre of ex­cel­lence.

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