We see them everyday blessing our TV screens, in glossy magazines or in the local gym. Six Packs! The envy of both sexes. You must admit, a ripped midsection does look damn sexy right? But how do you get this much sought after six pack stomach?
Follow these seven key 6 pack strategies, for a firmer, ripped set of abs.
1. Eat Clean!
If you can’t change your diet you will never get abs…period! Abs don’t come from endless abdominal crunches or exercises, they come from obtaining a body fat percentage of 10% or less. 15% if you’re a woman. the ONLY way to achieve these low body fat levels is by eating much cleaner ‘calorie reduced’ foods along with ‘fat burning’ cardiovascular exercise.
2. Speed up Your Metabolism with Smaller, more Frequent Meals!
Did you know you can actually burn body fat when you eat? Eating smaller, more balanced meals every 2-3 hours causes a thermic effect in your body which actually burns fat. The reason many of use hold on to abdominal fat is because we eat thee large meals a day or even just one or two! This causes fat gain because it actually slows down your metabolism. You want to get six pack abs? You have to do this.
3. Eat Less Carbs
You can’t have great abs if you indulge too often in carb rich foods! It’s just going to be one uphill struggle. Don’t get me wrong, carbs are not all bad, you actually need them to keep energy levels up, however, too many and it causes fat gain, to few and you’ll be quite literally running on empty.
You need Balance! My advice for creating great six pack abs is to eat the majority of your carbs in the first four meals of the day and then taper off carbohydrates after 5pm. After that time it’s green veggies, salads or rice cakes only. The difference this makes is huge, trust me.
4. Plenty of Protein
Protein not only helps build lean muscles, but it will keep you lean too. Chicken, Turkey, All Fish, Lean Meats, Eggs, Skimmed Milk and Whey Protein should be staple in your diet and a portion of protein needs to be included in every single meal. If cooking five times a day is not possible, supplement with two healthiest protein powder smoothie or shakes daily with a scoop or two of oats, these make ideal meal replacements.
A Can of tuna and rice cakes, chicken with potatoes and veggies and an Egg White Omelette (6 whites, 1 yolk) with peppers and tomatoes completes your meals for the day, easy! Add into that a little healthy fat (omega 3 oils) with a handful or two of almonds each day.
5. Burn the FAT baby! Cardio!
Walk, run, swim, jog, row, whatever! Just keep active. To burn fat you must exercise. Four-five sessions of fat burning cardio will do wonders for burning stomach abdominal fat. Be times are first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or immediately following a weights workout.
Thirty minutes of moderate intensity cardio on any apparatus is perfect. Alternatives such as Interval Training or Spinning are also good, so too is lower impact cardio like swimming or walking. Just keep as active as possible, especially if you have a desk job, if that’s the case you MUST add in more cardio.
6. Weight Training Builds Abs too!
Have you ever seen a guy with great abs, but the rest of his body is not worked out? Nope. Not only will weight training compliment your abs with a great physique, but it will also be great cardio too! Any exercise that increases the heart rate can be classed as ‘fat burning’ exercise. My recommendation is to follow a weight training routine four times per week for 45-60 minutes per workout using a split routine as follows:
- Monday: Chest and Triceps
- Tuesday: Shoulders and Traps
- Wednesday: Off
- Thursday: Legs and Calves
- Friday: Back and Biceps
Forget full body workouts or training muscle groups twice a week, it’s counterproductive. Training every body part once per week and you’ll be not only having eye catching abs, but chiseled muscles too. You can also take advantage of personal training to help you reach your fitness goals.
7. The Best Abdominal Exercises to get your Abs Popping!
Believe me, you don’t have to train your abs that much in order to get a six pack. The points above are the most critical factors in achieving six pack abs. But, you still need to give them some attention to get those grooves sticking out.
Beginners should start with the most simple, yet equally effective exercise ‘Crunches’. Once you’ve got the form right you can begin implementing other more difficult ab exercises.
My personal favorites are Decline Sit Ups, Roman Chair Lifts, Weight Crunches, Leg Pull-Ins and Weighted Ab Machines you find in all good gyms. You really don’t need much more than this. But one exercise that many people will never even consider when it comes to training abs is actually ‘deadlifts’. Deadlifts for abs is by far the best exercise that really targets your core. I would suggest including these in your Friday back workout.
I hope these seven pointers will help with your Quest for the Perfect Six Pack. Ultimately with everything being said above the real key is CONSISTENCY. You have to stick with this day in day out. A 50% effort will give 50% results, so it’s all or nothing is Abs are your goal. Good Luck.