FOLLOW YOUR LEADER
Tim Robards illuminates your path to ripped abs by spilling his own tale of transformation.
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.
SET YOUR GOAL
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.”
CAUSE AND EFFECT
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.
TRIED AND TESTED
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.
AVOID KITCHEN SABOTAGE
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.