A six-pack remains elusive to most men. Not only is it monumentally difficult to attain but is also ten times more difficult to maintain. You need herculean levels of willpower and discipline to attain six pack abs.
Tips for Attaining Six Pack Abs
Lose the Body Fat
For your abs muscles to really pop out, you need to have very low percentages of body fat. It has been researched that men need to have body fat as low as 8-10% for six-pack abs whereas women need to aim between 12-13% of body fat for their abs muscles to show. Unless you are a professional body builder, women need not go so low as extremely low levels of body fat is also likely to affect their reproductive system.
You will need to combine high intensity cardio training with strength training to get rid of the body fat. You cannot spot reduce so you will have to get your overall fat levels down for the abs muscles to be visible. Indulge in cardio workouts like jogging, cycling, running and swimming to shed the body fat.
Someone has made a very apt remark that abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym. You need to follow a sensible and nutritious eating plan with the right balance or carbs, fats, proteins and vitamins to attain that fabulous six-pack. First, get rid of all junk food from your house and banish the same from your diet.
Say ‘no’ to processed foods, sugar, refined flour and saturated fats. Eating a small portion of these, once in a fortnight is all right. However, you will have to exercise a lot of discipline when it comes to choosing the right food. Start eating six small meals. This will raise your resting metabolism, help you burn calories and will also prevent hunger pangs that make you reach for the sugary snacks. Stubborn body fat is easily shed when you eat smaller meals spaced throughout the day rather than 3-4 large meals.
Kick start your metabolism and fire it up the natural way by always eating breakfast. Even if you have binged the previous night, never ever skip breakfast.
It is the most important and valuable meal of the day. Not only will it help you attain a six pack but it will also give you sustained energy to be able to do your workouts with the right kind of intensity.
Lifting heavy weights is the fastest way of attaining a six pack. Actually; there is no other way to do it. Endless hours of yoga or cardio are simply not going to etch those abs for you. When you lift weights, you lose body fat by burning calories and gain lean muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat and uses up more energy.
Your body will be burning a lot more calories even when it is in its resting state. This is one reason why any smart person who wants to look toned and lean, takes the full benefit of weight training. When you are lifting weights, you are using multiple muscles at the same time and also exercising your core, which means stronger and more defined abs.
Drink More Water
If you are weight training with intensity and are hoping like hell to get those elusive six-pack abs, make sure that you supplement your workouts with a lot of water. Drinking water is essential for muscle growth, recovery and repair. If you are not big on water, have it in other nutritious forms like herbal teas, juices, soups and broths.
Eat Low Glycemic Index Foods
Switch from refined flour to multi grain bread. Eating a variety of different grains along with fruits and vegetables changes the insulin response in your body.
You are able to tolerate food better and do not get hungry any time soon. Not only that, but your body starts burning fat more efficiently which means you will be able to get rid of that subcutaneous layer of fat that is existing under the layer of top skin. You will find your abs are sleeker and more defined.
Sit-Ups and Crunches
While there is a lot of controversy surrounding sit-ups and crunches, they are still one of the best exercises to target and work out the abs and core muscles. To do a traditional crunch, lie down on your back with your hands behind your head. Support your neck and raise your upper torso off the floor.
Make sure that your back is not completely raised. Now go back to the original position. For sit ups, you will be again putting your hands behind your neck but make sure that your entire body is lifted up right till your knees. In this, you have to be careful about maintaining an erect and a straight back.
You should also do the traditional leg raises to target the lower abdominal muscles. The lower abdominal muscles are very difficult to train especially for women who have just had a baby. It requires phenomenal amounts of discipline to train the lower ab muscles.
Train the Obliques
The obliques can be effectively trained by using the bicycle crunches and side planks, which are very effective for targeting the obliques and giving you a firm and toned midriff.
Celebrate who you are
If you have been performing all the above steps diligently and are still not happy with the results, blame it on genetics. There is only a certain limit up to which we can train our bodies. You cannot change your basic body structure especially if you are predisposed to being slightly chubby. However, under the guidance of a fitness trainer and the correct nutritional plan, you can get a super flat and toned stomach that will have the whole world looking at you with envy.
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