How “The Situation” Crafted His Killer Abs With This Workout

Mike, ‘The Situation’, Sorrentino has managed to forge a career from his ripped upper body and his swaggering attitude.  Love him or hate him, people just can’t seem to get enough of his chiseled abs.

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The Situation first appeared in the 2009 debut of Jersey Shore. He has gone on to parlay his popularity into a successful fitness career. He now has a fitness book to his credit, a workout DVD and a vitamin line with GNC.

While he’s not the biggest and buffest guy to appear on the small screen in recent years, there’s something about Mike’s physique that has audiences entranced. A big part of that fascination has to do with his ripped core. Let’s find out how he maintains it.

Ripped Rules

Avoid Machines

situation white hatThe Situation builds his workouts around free weights rather than machines. This allows him to work his body more naturally rather than being bound by the machine’s movement track. It also works on the all important stabilizer muscles that balance and support you when you’re working out with free weights.

Here’s the Situation’s advice when it comes to choosing your workout equipment . . .

My workout doesn’t entail any machines. I’m trying to let people know that you really don’t need machines to get in shape. All you really need are two dumbbells, twenty to thirty minutes of time and the correct knowledge.


The core is at the center of the body. That means that it is the body’s pivot point. It is constantly bending and stretching. But many people don’t have the flexibility to allow their body to move fluidly. The Situation places a premium on daily stretching of his entire body, but especially his core to maintain suppleness and freedom of movement . . .

Stretching is a huge part of working out the abs. I love stretching. I stretch every day, all the time. I stretch in the morning, during the day, in the shower. I’m twisting and turning all day long.

Crunch Correctly

The old stand-by, the crunch, is on of the Situation’s go-to moves. But he makes sure that his form is on point. The exercise is all about isolation of the upper abdominal wall. That means that it only involves a short range of motion. Many people come up too high on the movement. Here’s another piece of crunching advice, direct from Sorrentino . . .

One of the biggest mistakes people make when doing crunches is that they put their hands behind their heads. You can hurt your neck like that.

Avoid Beer

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Eve though he portrays a party boy image, the Situation is well aware of the danger that beer poses to his lean physique. A night on the booze can add over a thousand empty calories. He works too hard on maintaining his ripped body to allow that to happen. That’s why he has cut beer from his life entirely . . .

I don’t drink beer. I’m not positive, but I think it is bad for your stomach. Liquor has less calories. I’ll just go for a dirty martini or something.

Reduce Body Fat

The situation sees so many people working like crazy on targeted abdominal moves, while they’ve still got a layer of fat covering their mid section. He knows that you can’t spot reduce body fat. That’s why he’s big on proper nutrition as well as exercise . . .

Ab definition comes down to having a certain amount of body fat. I think its round 8% body fat that you have to be round for somebody to see your abs. To get to 8% you have to do the right things – work out and eat well.

For the Situation, eating well mean having six smaller meals throughout the day. Each meal is spaced about three hours apart. After 6pm he doesn’t eat any carbs, though he does take in carbs for energy before his workout. After training he’ll have a meal replacement shake that is high on protein. Dinners are typically steak and vegetables.

Build in Rest Days

The Situation sees many people overtraining, especially when it comes to their abs. Even though the abs are more resilient than most other body parts, they still need time to rest and recuperate from training. Mike works his other body parts  maximum of twice per week. He hits abs three times per week, with a day’s rest between each session. He trains abs along with their opposing muscle group, the lower back.

                                                Active Rest

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In order to keep his abs chiseled, the Situation needs to not only work them with targeted exercises, but he works to burn off calories. One way he does this is by active rest in-between sets. When he’s completed a set of leg raises, for example, he’ll do a minute’s skipping or jogging on the spot to keep his heart rate elevated and the calories burning . . .

Active rest is rest for that particular body part, but you’re active at the same time, so you’re burning calories.  It’s a really good technique that I like to use.

Plank It

The Situation relies on the plank as one of his go to core strengthening and ab revealing exercises. But he makes sure that he does it correctly, unlike a lot of people. The key is to hold yourself neutral and to hold your abs in. He actually simulates the plank action throughout his day . . .

I hold my abs in a lot, even when I’m driving or on a plane – stuff like that. That’s the secret right there for me. Holding in your abs – your body gets used to it. It’s almost like a posture. It’s called isometrics. That the secret right there – that’s the recipe to the Situation.

Cardio to Drop Body Fat

In combination with his targeted body part workouts and clean eating regime, the Situation does a lot of cardio to burn off the body fat and maintain that 8% body fat level. He mixes up his cardio between plyometric training, running, wind sprints, cycling, rowing and swimming. His goal is to get in 5-6 quality cardio sessions every week.

Hit the Obliques

The obliques, on the side of the waist are the hardest part of the core for the Situation to develop. That’s why he works extra hard on them. He does lots of twisting type movements, using high reps and weighted resistance. Another favorite move to target the obliques and get rid of love handles is skipping. That’s why it’s one of the Situation’s favorite active rest exercises.

                  Create Your Own Situation

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The Situation’s ripped physique didn’t just happen by chance. It took, and still takes, a lot of hard work and dedication. Yet, his sort of mid section is attainable by anybody. As the man himself says . . .

Everybody has their own Situation. They just don’t have the recipe.

Now you do.

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