Per­fePitchPitch­per­fect

Men's Fitness - - Abs Experts -

Eng­land rugby star James Haskell needs a core of steel with no ex­cess pad­ding on the field.

Here’s how he gets it

’m not that in­ter­ested in aes­thetics – I don’t have a sep­a­rate abs day or any­thing like that,’ says James Haskell. For­tu­nately for him, a by-prod­uct of his rugby train­ing is a six-pack that most men who train solely to pose would envy. ‘That said, most things I do in the gym will work my abs, whether it’s squats, Ro­ma­nian dead­lifts, Turk­ish get-ups, or more spe­cific stuff such as hang­ing knee raises.’

As ex­plo­sive as he is on the pitch, the se­cret to his sculpted mid­sec­tion is go­ing slow. ‘You’ve got to keep things con­trolled,’ says Haskell. ‘ Time un­der ten­sion is key. Maybe you can do 1,000 crunches and get a six-pack [You can’t – Ed], but I’ve found it’s much bet­ter to do ten slow ones that re­ally make me work.’

The fi­nal piece of the six-pack puz­zle? Diet. Haskell has his own sup­ple­ment com­pany but real, high­qual­ity food is the first item on his list. ‘I eat five to six times a day,’ he says. ‘I’ll have some­thing like steak and nuts for break­fast, then have a cooked pro­tein source of around 200g with 300g of carbs in ev­ery meal af­ter that. Then I’ll take a pro­bi­otic, some fish oil and ex­tra pro­tein when I need to top things up.’ Nonon­sense and highly ef­fec­tive: just like his on-pitch per­for­mance.

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