The flat stomach workout

The flat stomach workout is designed to have two objectives: to build muscle and to burn fat. This workout is designed to be as efficient as possible to fit into your busy life. When working out it is not the length of your session that gives results, what gives results is the intensity of your session. You will have to work hard, to the limit of what your body can take. You will not give up. You will take yourself to places you have never been before and on the way you will forge a hard body and an unshakable determination and self belief. You will learn how to get a flat stomach.

For beginners

This workout is designed for beginners, for people who are currently doing little to no regular exercise. I am developing an intermediate program which I hope to release in the future.

There are two components to this workout:

  • The flat stomach strength workout
  • The flat stomach cardio workout

The flat stomach strength workout

The flat stomach strength workout is designed to build muscle. You can gauge the amount of muscle you have built by the amount of weight you are able to lift. You must keep a record of how much you are lifting every week. When the exercises became easy, add a little weight to keep pushing your body. The strength workout is not designed to burn calories during the workout, the cardio will take care of that. The purpose of the strength workout out is to build lean [not bulky] muscle. The lean muscle you build will increase your metabolic rate which will mean you will burn more calories, even when you are resting on the couch or sleeping.

All you need is a pair of dumbbells

The flat stomach strength workout requires two dumbbells. Although you can get dumbbells with fixed weights we recommend that you buy a pair dumbbell bars with weight plates. The advantage of buying dumbbell bars is that you can easily adjust the weight depending on the exercise you are doing, and that you can gradually increase the weight as you get stronger. Threaded dumbbell bars are the safest as you can screw the collars on ensuring that the plates are secure and will not fall off and dent your lovely wooden floor.

Lean and toned not big and bulky

The flat stomach strength workout is designed to build lean and toned muscle. It is not a bodybuilding routine and you will not become big and bulky. It is based on the workouts used by professional athletes who need to build strength without mass.

Research has shown that to build strength without mass you should lift between 1-5 reps per set. Bodybuilders who want to build mass tend to lift between 6-12 reps per set to maximize muscle growth, known as ‘hypertrophy’.

The workout covers all the major muscle groups in the body. To lose fat, you need to build up muscle all over your body. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. There is only one abs specific exercise in the workout. However the all exercises selected work the abs to some degree as stabilizers. You should be able to feel your abs tightening during every exercise.

How to do the exercises

Each exercise is performed for 5 reps. Don’t worry too much about the speed at which you perform each rep, just make sure that you have full control of the weight.

Start each exercise on a weight that you can comfortably lift for 5 sets of 5 reps. Gradually increase the weight in the following weeks as you progress. Remember the more weight you are lifting the more muscle you are building.

Click on the video links for each exercise for a brief video demonstration to learn the correct form. The most important aspect of form is that you keep your back straight at all times. If you do not you may injure your lower back. You can watch yourself in the mirror to check your form. If you are in any doubt, get a qualified personal trainer to check your form.

The workout

Warm up beforehand with a set each of bodyweight pushups and squats.

  • One arm shoulder press VIDEO  3 sets of 5 reps on each arm
  • Bent over row VIDEO  3 sets of 5 reps on each arm
  • Rear lunge VIDEO   3 sets of 5 reps on each leg
  • Weighted lying leg raise VIDEO   3 sets of 5 reps

Make a note of how much you lifted for each exercise. Try to increase the weights you lift each week as you progress with the flat stomach strength workout.

The flat stomach cardio workout

Researchers have found that treadmill workouts burn more calories than any workouts on any other form of equipment. With a treadmill you have no excuse not to run, whatever the weather is like outside. You can purchase a treadmill online for as little as $150.

However you do not need a treadmill to do the flat stomach cardio workout. You can get excellent results by running on the spot with your knees high. If the weather is good, you can also go for a run outside.

Blowtorch the fat

The flat stomach cardio workout is a high intensity interval [HIIT] workout. HIIT is an essential component of the flat stomach workout which will blowtorch the fat off your body. You will be alternating between sprinting as fast as you can and active recovery jogging. The active recovery periods are necessary because your body cannot work at maximum intensity for very long. For maximum benefits you need to push yourself as hard as you can during the sprint intervals.

HIIT is the best exercise protocol for burning fat. Because it is so brutally hard, your body will be burning calories both during the exercise and for up to 48 hours later. With HIIT your body will burn your fat reserves and and will not burn your muscle tissue. This is important as you do not want to lose the muscle you are building up in your strength workouts. In contrast long distance running will burn both fat and muscle.

Best of all HIIT workouts are quick and they are so intense you have no chance of getting bored.

Please be aware that HIIT is not recommended for those with cardiovascular problems or any other heath issues. You are strongly advised to seek advice from a medical professional before embarking on HIIT or any other physical training problem.

20 minutes of hell

The workout is 20 minutes in duration. It will be 20 mins of hell. When you start you may not be able to manage 20 mins. Do what you can and increase the duration every week until you are doing 20 mins. It is critical that you push yourself hard during the sprint intervals. It is going to hurt, make no mistake about it. Keep motivated with the knowledge that your body will be burning fat for the next 48 hours after you have finished.

Flat stomach cardio workout

Warm up for a few minutes with a slow jog or some running on the spot.

  • Sprint 30 seconds
  • Jog 90 seconds

Repeat until you can’t do any more up to a maximum of 20 minutes.

The flat stomach weekly workout schedule

You must commit to 4 workouts a week. Do a strength workout, followed by a cardio work out, followed by a second strength workout, followed by a second cardio workout. The workouts should be on separate days. It does not matter how you schedule your workouts. You can workout on consecutive days, or have one or two days off. As long as you get your 4 workouts a week you are good.

Stick with the program

You should see and feel results within a week. You must stick with the program and you must push yourself to progress each week. As you get stronger, increase the weights you are lifting. As you get fitter, increase the length of your cardio until you can do the full 20 mins. You will see the fat melting off your body and your muscles becoming firm and defined.

Don’t weigh yourself to measure your progress because the fat you lose will be replaced by muscle. You can judge your progress by measuring your waist, which will get smaller and more toned. You will see the beginnings of a six-pack. It is possible to completely transform your body in 3 months with the flat stomach workout.

40 Responses to 'The flat stomach workout'

  1. hayley says:

    hi, for the strength training should we have rest periods between reps? if so, how long? also, say for exercises like the one arm shoulder press, should we switch sides between sets, or do all 3 sets on one arm, then 3 on the other. thankyou :)

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Hayley

      Good question!

      Do you mean should we have rest periods between sets? You should rest between sets as long as you need for your muscles to recover. A good guide would be to rest between sets for 2-4 minutes to build lean muscle without bulk. Bodybuilders rest for 1 minute between sets to build bulky muscles, but this is not the look we are going for.

      For the one arm or one leg exercises, do one set of 5 [without stopping] on one side, followed by one set of 5 on the other side. Rest 2-4 minutes. Then repeat.

      I hope this is clear.

      Good luck!


      • hayley says:

        Thankyou! Yeah I did mean sets not reps, silly me! glad to hear all that cos its the way i’ve been doing it but wanted to double check, working well btw-not quite there yet but well on my way :D can i just say thankyou for constructing such a simple unthreatening guide to this sort of thing, other workout regimes seem so daunting and unrealistic to fit in due to the amount of time they demand, or are really complicated which i find very offputing but your guide is so simple – and it works! you are a saint! :)

        • Kelly says:


          Thank you for your comment! I am so glad that my workout has helped you. I used a very similar workout for years and I was able to maintain a slender and toned figure without any effort. Of course you have to follow a healthy diet for best results.

          You are right about the other workout routines out there. The fitness industry likes to over complicate things. You can work all the major muscle groups in 4 exercises. It really is very simple when you know how!

          Please come back in a few weeks time to let me know how you are doing with the workout!


          • Hayley says:

            heya quick question, when I try and lift heavier weights my right arm can complete the 3 sets, however my left arm can’t :/ should I just do as many as I can with my left arm?

          • Kelly says:

            Hi Hayley

            I have the same problem as you! It is quite normal for one side of your body to be stronger that the other. In your case it is your right side.

            Do as many reps [repetitions] as you can with your left arm, and make sure you complete all 3 sets. For example if you can only do 3 reps with your left arm, do 3 sets of 3 reps. In time you will be able to do 3 sets of 4 reps.

            Stick to the same weight until you can do 3 sets of 5 reps for both arms. When you can do this, increase the weight.

            Good luck!


  2. Tyler says:

    Hi I have football every Tuesday and Thursday for two hours, should I still do the whole workout

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Tyler

      Does your football involve high intensity activity? For example does it involve multiple short sprints at full speed leaving you out of breath? If it does, it could be an excellent substitute for the flat stomach cardio workout.

      You should do the flat stomach strength workout on the days where you have no football.

      If your football practice is low intensity, I would still do the cardio workout. You could do it before or after your football practice.

      Good luck!


  3. Tori says:

    Hey Kelly!
    I’m new to this and I want a flat stomach because I am going to California in the first week of August. I would like to get off as much fat as I can by the time I leave… So I was wondering what meal plans to eat with this workout plan without putting back the fat… Thanks!

  4. Stuart says:

    Hi Kelly

    Sprinting on a treadmill can be quite dangerous for me – can I run at say 12kph but at the same time have the incline at say 2 or a combination of this ?



    • Kelly says:

      Hey Stuart

      Increasing the incline on your treadmill is an excellent way of increasing the intensity of your workout. So instead of increasing the treadmill speed to a level that might be dangerous, you can increase the incline and use a more moderate speed. As long as you can feel your body working flat out, you’re doing good.

      Actually, increasing the incline on the treadmill mimics doing hill sprints. Hill sprints are are staple of many athletic training programs, because they work your body hard.

      Good luck!


      • Koen says:

        Hey Kelly,

        i got a few questions based on the fact that i want a flat stomach. i do around 5-6 workouts a week. just small ones, i switch everyday between weights for arms, and burning belly fat.. those workouts are taking only 15 minutes.. is this enough and could i do more, without overtraining my muscles? and i am only 15 years, and actually looking for a flat stomach cause the problem is i am totaly not fat! but that stupid stomach keeps anonying me. should i still follow this routine? or do an other routine? by the way, i do soccer for 4 hours a week also.

        • Kelly says:

          Hey Koen

          I don’t know what you are doing for your workouts, but it seems that you still have some excess body fat around your stomach. The best way to shift it is to combine strength training with heavy weights with high intensity cardio. I think you should follow my routine. Keep up the soccer too.

          Good luck!


  5. Victor says:

    I want to lose weight in one week. Can this do that for me/

    • Kelly says:

      Hey Victor

      This workout is an extremely effective long term plan to lose fat and achieve and maintain a lean athletic physique.

      If you want a simple workout that can give you results in one week, try my burpee workout.

      Good luck!


  6. Jennifer says:

    Im 15 yrs old, 101 pounds and 5’3 in height. Im thin excrpt for my stomach area, where its flabby and poochy. I would like to tone and sculpt my arms, legs, and tummy. Will the flat stomach workout suit for me? Please help, thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      Hey Jennifer

      The flat stomach workout was made for you!

      Get stuck in.


  7. Gloria says:

    I had a baby a year and a half ago. I have not been able to get into exercising since. I’ve been able to lose weight somehow but not my stomach, of course. I’m skinny everywhere except my stomach and I’m getting that gap between my legs which I don’t like. I haven’t tried out your exercise routine yet, because I want to get your opinion on whether this will be a good fit for my goals. I DO want to tone my body and lose the belly, but I rather NOT lose any weight. I imagine that I weigh around 110-115 lbs. and I’m 5’3 tall. I’ve always been EXTREMELY thin, and I’ve always had a hard time gaining weight. I don’t want to go back to 95 lbs. Do you think this work out will suit me? Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      Hey Gloria

      My exercise routine is designed to build lean muscle and burn fat. It sounds to me like you have low muscle tone and some fat around your stomach. The strength workout will build muscle all over your body. The cardio workout will burn off the fat you have around your stomach. The more muscle you build the faster you will burn off the fat.

      In terms of your weight, the lean muscle you gain will more than make up for the fat you lose. If you are currently very skinny, it is likely you will actually gain weight on this workout. Your figure will become lean and athletic.

      It is important that you eat enough protein when you follow this workout. Your body will need protein to build muscle. Read up on my flat stomach diet if you haven’t already.

      Good luck!


  8. Laila says:

    What if you dont have space do to the sprints ? I live in an apartment so i cant really run. What should i do ?

  9. Nicole says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I was just wondering about the cardio workout and how many sets of each (sprint and jog) will it take to complete the full 20 minutes? Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Nicole

      The cardio workout involves sets of 30 seconds jogging and 90 seconds sprinting. One set will take 120 seconds, or 2 minutes. Therefore you will need to do 10 sets to complete the full 20 minutes. Hope this helps!

      Good luck!


  10. Rosie says:

    What warm up exercises and cool down exercises do you recommend for the strength and cardio work outs? And for how long?

    • Kelly says:

      Hey Rosie

      For the strength workout do one set each of bodyweight pushups and squats.

      For the cardio workout do about 5 minutes of slow jogging or running on the spot.

      Cool down exercise are optional. If you want to do them I would recommend some light stretching or yoga for 5 minutes.

      Good luck!


  11. Ivy says:

    Hi Kelly,I’m 14 and i have a stomach shaped as if I’m 5 months pregnant and its really affecting me. As I said, I’m 14 and I can’t buy the food that I need to eat to obtain a flat stomach. My stomach is really huge and the moment that I make a breath in, my stomach looks flat but not really. I’ve never been pregnant so I don’t understand why my stomach is like this. I don’t play any sport nor do any exercises. I don’t exactly have healthy school lunch but I’m prepared to not eat at school. I can understand if the workout will take more than a week. I need and want a flat toned stomach but not a six pack.

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Ivy

      It’s really important to start doing exercise as this will help you burn the fat on your body. If you can get hold of a pair of dumbbells you can do my flat stomach workout by yourself at home. Otherwise you can try my burpee workout.

      In terms of your diet, the main advice I would give you is to avoid sugar entirely. Try and cut down on refined carbs like white bread and white pasta. When you’re having your school lunch just eat the meat and the vegetables.

      Good luck!


  12. Aisha says:

    How many grams of sugar should one consume a day to lose weight. I really love to eat dates, and they are loaded with sugar.

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Aisha

      If you want to lose weight you should eat as little sugar as possible. Avoid added sugar entirely. Dried fruits like dates are high in sugar so try and them. If you can’t resist them maybe have just one or two a day.

      Good luck!


  13. Katherine says:

    Hey Kelly,

    For a shorter timeframe (3-4 weeks), should I do the burpee workout or this one?

    • Kelly says:

      Hey Katherine

      You can start with the burpee workout for the first week. It will kick start the fat burning process in your body. After the first week move to the dumbbell workout which will give you better results over the long term.

      Good luck!


  14. Faith says:

    For cardio, I know I have a horrible stamina. I’m not sure if I’d be able to do the sprinting/ jogging workout as of now without increasing my stamina first. What else would you recommend?

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Faith,

      If your cardio is really horrible, just jog for 20 minutes to build up your stamina.

      When you feel ready, start the sprinting / jogging workout. You can break yourself in gently by doing only 4 minutes of the workout. When you can manage that, increase the duration another 4 minutes to 8 minutes. Within a few weeks you will be up to the full 20 minutes and you body will be burning fat like a furnace!

      Good luck!


  15. Tracy says:

    I wish to tone my stomach with your exercises. But I don’t have any weights at home. What else can I use ?

    • Kelly says:

      Hey Tracy

      You really should get yourself a pair of dumbbells, they’re not that expensive and don’t take up much space. In the meantime you can do burpees.

      Good Luck!


  16. Angel says:

    Hi Kelly!

    I always think I am overweight but I am tall for my age. I don’t have a FAT stomach but I just have the muffin top in front and back. I’m always very self conscious about it. Any tips for a flat stomach and my back muffin top?

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Angel

      I’m sorry to break it to you but your ‘muffin top’ is excess fat. You need train your body to burn it off and at the same time reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbs. Follow the dumbbell routine above and my suggested meal plan.

      Good luck!


  17. Karen M says:

    Hi, firstly…thank you for this article…I’m going to try seriously motivated me!

    I have a question – I currently weigh about 52kgs at 5.5feet, had a baby 8 months ago. I’m not overweight and I’d say I’m kind of toned in my upper body but not my tummy and thighs where I gained all the weight during pregnancy.

    Personally I’ve got low endurance when it comes to cardio (can’t even maintain a jog for 5 mins) but I have very good capacity for lifting weights.I cannot go to a gym but I do have dumbbells at home (2.5,5,7.5, 10kgs).
    Now finally my question….what weight would you suggest I do this workout with?

    I always feel that weights are restrictive because what do you do once you cannot go higher – like in my case 10kgs is the max I can do at home. How do you overcome that?

    Thanks again and looking forward to read more from you.

    • Kelly says:

      Hey Karen

      I’m glad you’re motivated. That’s always the hardest step.

      Try different dumbbells and find a weight for which you can comfortably complete 5 reps. As the weeks go by you will find that you are getting stronger and the exercises are becoming more easy. That’s when you increase the weights!

      Regarding weights being restrictive you need to get a dumbbell bar with adjustable weights you can add to the bar.

      Don’t skimp on the cardio. Don’t worry I used to absolutely hate cardio. Trust me, it gets easier.

      Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *