Quantcast
Latest Stories

The man with the killer eight-pack abs

Spanish-Moroccan model and personal trainer Abdel Abdelkader has the best bod in town right now, thanks to a serious workout schedule

By

Along Edsa, you’ve probably noticed the billboard of a handsome hunk with killer abs, tantalizing you in Hang Ten jeans or SM casuals.

In another billboard, the same guy looks suave in a Memo blazer and slacks. Born in Spain to Moroccan parents, Abdel Abdelkader represents the current ideal in male models—the dark-haired, manly sophisticate with well-defined musculature.

Abdel started modeling in Spain when he vied for the Men’s Health cover competition. Out of 300 contestants, he ended up as one of the five finalists. He then tried his luck in China, where he stayed for three years. As his visa was about to expire, he wanted to go to Thailand, but his contacts took too long to respond.

Last February, he took a risk by flying to Manila and knocking on agency’s doors. He works as a freelance model and as a personal trainer to exclusive clients.  Filipinos gave him the monicker “Abs” for his chiseled, eight-pack abdominals and 32-inch waistline.

A knockout midsection like Abdel’s is all about being born with less body fat, and maintained by bodybuilding workouts.

Overloading the abs alone or any specific muscle group for that matter won’t dramatically reduce body fat or shred the muscles. Abdel believes in training the abdominals, the way one would work out any other body part. Exercise physiologists maintain that core strength is developed as a result of a total body workout or sports training.

Etched abs

At eight years old, Abdel was developing the etched abs, but he was too skinny. His personal trainer taught him the right skills, and imparted discipline and the four basics of fitness: balanced diet, adequate rest (naps are a must), correct workout, and hydration. From 63 kilos (138 lbs), he gained 20 kilos (44 lbs). When he joined the army for two years, he went on boot camp training, which included a daily 12-km run. At 6’2”, he has now bulked up to 87 kilos (192 lbs).

Today he’s down to 83 kg or 183 lbs with a body fat of 6.7 percent. To get that ripped body, Abdel works out for almost five hours a day. He does 90 minutes of cardiovascular exercises in the morning; 20 minutes each of spinning, running and elliptical; and 40 minutes of abdominal exercises—leg lifts and variations of crunches.

Instead of counting repetitions, he performs them until muscle failure. For core strengthening, he holds the plank for four and a half minutes or until he feels the burn, and the side plank for five minutes to keep love handles at bay.

“I don’t use weights on my abs. I’ll get bulky.  I want to get flat and well-defined,” he says.

In the evening, he hits Gold’s Gym for circuit training and ring boxing with his trainer. He warms up with shadow boxing, then does circuit training. In 15 minutes, he does five cycles of his routine, which utilizes body weight and moderate weights: push-ups for the chest and arms; pull-ups for mass and strength building; side-to-side pull-ups; squat-to-shoulder press for overall conditioning;  front raises with kettlebells for the chest and mid-shoulder muscles; tricep dips, bicep curls, and abdominal crunches.

“I try to beat my time of two minutes and 20 seconds,” he says. After a minute-long rest, he repeats the circuit.

His abdominal workout is only for the tenacious, since they’re done on the bar.  Abdel does variations of the pull-ups—with knee raises, the more challenging straight leg lifts, and the knee twists for the obliques. To further challenge himself, he does the pull-ups with a 40-lb. dumb bell squeezed between his legs. For his back, he does the back extensions with a heavy plate.  When he wants to develop his pectorals, he can bench press up to 250 pounds.

“I vary my programs. I don’t want to get big, just sculpted. That’s why I do a lot of cardio,” says Abdel.

Cooling down

The 26-year-old model also values stretching and cooling down. Stretching maintains his flexibility, enhances his performance, and increases the joint’s range of motion. It also lengthens his muscles and improves his posture, thereby emphasizing his trim musculature. This is why he doesn’t have the hunched look of many bodybuilders.

“I don’t work out the shoulders too much. Others look like bulldogs,” he says.

Abdel keeps a healthy diet. While most people would get their caffeine kick in the morning, he starts the day by brewing a concoction of green tea, ginseng and peppermint which burns fat and cleanses the system. He learned to drink tea for health in China. He takes the hard-core Muscle Tech Nitrotech whey protein for breakfast and dinner, and his tea between meals.

Abdel is singleminded in his fitness routine. “I focus. I don’t think of anything else. I just have fun. In the past six years, I never got bored.   I’m not the kind who goes to the gym to talk. I motivate myself each time I go to the gym.”

Next month, he plans to go back to the five-day split workout which consists of lifting heavy weights with less repetitions.

Abdel has been sharing his experience with others. In the Philippines, he’s been training co-model Alex Vega Hidalgo and Tatler’s editor in chief Anton San Diego.  When Hidalgo started, he couldn’t last five pull-ups on the bar. After three months, he easily performs 16 pull-ups which, by the way, is a test of manly strength.

After 11 sessions, San Diego’s clothes started to loosen. At the start, he could only hold the plank for 10 seconds. At this writing, he can hold the plank for three minutes and hopes to reach his trainer’s average.

As a trainer, Abdel drills his clients with military discipline. “I’m not here for the money. I’m just wasting my time and the client’s time. I’m tough with them. With me, you get results.”

On San Diego, he applies the carrot-and-stick approach. “He competes against me and sees how much I do,” says Abdel. “Other clients are just yakking on the phone or sitting around. He really trains.”

Can ordinary mortals get an etched abdomen or, at least, a taut one? Only if the excess fat layer has been considerably reduced through these essentials:  “Diet, sleep, hydration and working right,” says Abdel. “It’s not the number of crunches. You have to feel the muscle contraction. I can teach the client how to do it correctly, but they have to find the point where they can find it. That’s when they get results.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Abs , Eight-pack abs , Exercise , fitness training , Health and Fitness , killer abs , Spanish-Moroccan model and personal trainer Abdel Abdelkader

  • http://profiles.google.com/gtgabriella1 Gabriella T.

    What a great  looking  young  man…….eye candy :o)



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  3. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  4. Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  5. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  6. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  7. A tale of two Priscillas: my mother Prissy and Chona Recto Kasten
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Celebrating Easter and creativity in New York
  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat
  • Canadians rally to legalize marijuana
  • S. Korea ferry transcript reveals evacuation panic
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
    Marketplace