Hundreds of crunches spanning dozens of sets.
Minutes-long planks that leave your core aching worse than a post-Thanksgiving binge.
And even a few sets of Russian twists for good measure — who could forget about those oh-so-important obliques, right?
Well, if you’re here, it means these methods likely didn’t trigger the ab gains you were eyeing.
So, let’s cut to the chase.
Military vet and personal trainer Brad Borlan recently released an aesthetic abs workout designed to develop a rare eight-pack and shred fat … all in a three-times-weekly routine.
Is it worth trying? And does it even work?
We’ll let you decide … Here’s a play-by-play of Brad Borland’s 8 Pack Abs Workout.
About the Creator – Brad Borland
Brad Borland is a badass in every sense of the word … and that’s not a term we toss around lightly in this neck of the woods.
So, here’s a rundown of who he is and what made his ab routine worth giving a second look:
- A Bachelor’s & Master’s Degree in Kinesiology
- Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA
- 100% drug-free bodybuilder
- Training coach to the young, old, fit, and frail
- Air National Guard veteran (& deployed once in 2003)
- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor
One or two of these traits would’ve made Borland an everyday trainer with basic fitness knowledge. But combined, it’s pretty clear he’s no casual lifter — he’s the real deal.
What is Brad Borland’s 8 Pack Abs Workout?
Brad Borland’s 8 Pack Abs Workout is an eight-week beginners’ abs routine that has two goals in mind: Catapult core gains, and shed abdominal fat to uncover the coveted eight-pack.
And it’s safe to say that it’s not your standard, everyday ab routine.
Rather than a handful of crunch variations and one workout a week, you’ll:
- Alternate between three different ab workouts.
- Target each section of the core directly through different exercises (i.e., Obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis).
- Dedicate 15-30 minutes a workout to developing your core.
- Make use of more than just your bodyweight — a bench, medicine ball, weight plate, flex ball, and Roman chair are all recommended for intermediate and advanced lifters.
Beware: As simple as this routine sounds right now, the brief 20-second rests and high-rep sets can be brutal for newbies. Day one, take it easy, use your body weight, and see how you feel.
Brad Borland’s 8 Pack Abs Workout Details
Borland created this ab routine with customization in mind.
You can do workout #1 on Monday, #2 on Wednesday, and #3 on Friday. Or you can choose a favorite of the three that you’ll do three times a week instead.
Here’s a look at what each workout looks like:
Ab Workout #1
- Flex Ball Crunches – 3 sets x 15 reps (20 sec.)
- Hanging Leg Raises – 3 sets x 15 reps (20 sec.)
- Bicycles – 3 sets x 20 reps (20 sec.)
Ab Workout #2
- Roman Chair Side Crunches – 3 sets x 15 reps (20 sec.)
- Low Pulley Crunches – 3 sets x 15 reps (20 sec.)
- Windshield Wipers – 3 sets x 20 reps (20 sec.)
- Three-Way Plank – 3 sets x 20-30 seconds (20 sec.)
Ab Workout #3
- Dragon Flag – 3 sets x AMRAP (20 sec.)
- 1a: Straight Leg Raises – 3 sets x 10 reps (20 sec.)
- 1b: Bent Leg Raises – 3 sets x 10 reps (20 sec.)
- 2a: Russian Twists – 3 sets x 10 reps each side (20 sec.)
- 2b: Floor Crunches – 3 sets x 15 reps (20 sec.)
8 Pack Abs Workout Pros
1. A Touch of Everything
The only way to uncover your true, washboard ab potential is by intentionally targeting each area of your core at least once a week — obliques, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis.
Among others, of course.
Each of the three workouts will activate these muscles directly and separately.
For example, bicycles will hit those hard-to-reach obliques, and leg raises give your transverse abdominis muscles some much-needed attention.
2. All Skill Levels Welcome
You might look at the routine above and think, “That’s it? That looks easy as hell.”
Well, most exercises in this routine come with modifications to either make them easier or harder, depending on your strength and skill levels.
For example, you can add a weight plate to your back if you’re ready to take your planks to the next level. Or you can hold onto a flat bench for balance as you do beginner leg raises.
As you get stronger, add weight!
3. Quick and Easy!
Love it or hate it; this is one of the most condensed core workouts out there.
With 9-15 sets per workout and only 20 seconds of rest between sets, you can potentially speed-run your daily ab work in 5-15 minutes.
So, there’s no need to dedicate an entire workout to abs.
Simply tack one of these workouts to the tail end of each session in your three-day split. Or even set aside 15 minutes on your rest days to tackle your hidden abs at full force!
8 Pack Abs Workout Cons
1. Little Variation In Reps
If you ask 100 personal trainers how to best target the abs for gains, you’ll probably get 100 different answers. And that’s why most trainers recommend a little bit of everything:
- High and low rep ranges
- Quick and slow reps
- Weighted and bodyweight exercises
But the fact of the matter is that reps do matter, even though the ab muscles respond somewhat differently than, say, your quads or biceps.
15-20 reps per set is typically for endurance training. So, you might want to drop a few sets to the 8-12 rep range while adding resistance to better target mass gains.
2. Just 20 Seconds of Rest?
The latest research shows that between 20-60 seconds of rest between sets is ideal for hypertrophy training and triggering growth hormone release.
But it’s not a good call if you’re untrained.
You might still be out of breath by the time your next set begins. And if you can’t crank out a set of dragon flags at maximum effort, then what’s the point of doing them at all?
So, take it easy until you work up your endurance. For example, start with 60-90 seconds of rest between sets and then subtract 10 seconds every week as it gets easier.
8 Pack Abs Workout Conclusion
Brad Borland’s 8 Pack Abs Workout can be a game-changer if you take your ab training seriously and want to end each workout feeling productive.
This routine is fantastic:
- It has variety and targets each portion of the abs separately.
- You can modify nearly all exercises to match your current skill level better.
- There’s nothing like cruising through a complete ab workout in 5-15 minutes.
But of course, this routine isn’t “perfect” by any means. The rep ranges seem somewhat rigid, and the 20 seconds of rest between sets can be challenging for true beginners.
Our recommendation: Try this routine, but take it easy at first. Start with strictly bodyweight exercises, use 60 seconds of rest between sets, and slowly build intensity each week!
And when you’re ready to take things to the next level, check out this full workout routine for aesthetics so you can build an impressive physique from your shoulders to your calves.