Attaining a flat belly in itself is quite an achievement considering that obesity has reached epidemic proportions. If you’ve lost your excess pounds by tailoring your diet and exercising, you should give yourself a pat on the back. Most people never ever reach their weight loss goal.
However, to go from a flat belly to a set of defined six pack abs that makes everyone sit up and take notice requires a lot more work. In fact, only about 2 percent of the entire global population can say that they have washboard abs. This is considered the epitome of fitness and a goal that millions of men and women aim for.
If you watch the Hollywood movies, you may get the impression that just about everyone is walking around with abs except you. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, most of the movie stars go through intense training for months just to flash their abs on the big screen for a few seconds to wow the audience.
Most of them lose their abs once they’re done filming. Maintaining a set of six pack abs is tough work and it’s the first muscle to get covered by a layer of fat once you let your diet and training slide. Abs are the most high-maintenance muscle in the body.
Tips for Six Pack
In this article, you’ll learn how to go from a flat belly to the coveted six pack. Apply the tips assiduously and you’ll reach your goal.
Tip# 1 Dial in Your Diet
This is the most crucial tip and it’s the deciding factor if you’ll see your abs or not. For a man to see his abs, he needs to be in the 7% to 9% bodyfat percentage region. Even 10 percent is pushing it a little and you might not really see your abs well-defined. A single digit percentage almost guarantees that you’ll see your abs. Women will need to be around the 16% to 19% bodyfat to see their abs.
To get to such a low bodyfat percentage, you’ll really need to watch your calories and understand that not all calories are made equal. Your calories will need to come from lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats. Abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym.
You will have to sacrifice the oily, sugary and fatty foods you love. You may have a cheat meal once a week or once every ten days. But for the most part, you’ll need to really clean up your diet. That’s the only way the body will burn off the last layer of fat efficiently.
Tip#2 Ab Vacuums
Ab vacuums are a simple exercise that you can do anywhere and they’re very effective for reducing the circumference of your belly and toning it. The exercise itself is simple.
You take a few deep breaths and exhale. Then you’ll suck in your stomach as far as you can go. It’s like trying to make your belly button touch your spine. Hold the tension until it’s too difficult to any longer and release. Repeat this several times throughout the day. Over time, your abs will be toned.
Tip#3 Weight Training
Weight training is also important to see your abs. Sometimes you just may not see defined abs because you do not have enough lean muscle in your body to get vascular to the point where your abs are highly visible.
The more lean muscle you have on your body, the more calories you’ll burn while at rest. That’s why you may see very muscular people eating often but still staying lean while the average person eats a slice of cake and suddenly gains 20 pounds. While that’s an exaggeration, you get the point.
The lean stay lean while the fat people get fatter. The reason is lean muscle. Build more muscle on your frame with resistance training. Focus on compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench presses, etc. It may seem counterproductive to be working the other muscles when what you really want to see your abs.
Yet, it’s when you when you work these major muscles that your body is forced to develop more muscle tissue which in turn will burn more calories and ultimately reveal your wonderful abs for everyone to see.
Tip#4 Fantastic exercises
Forget the countless sit-ups and crunches. There are many other far more effective exercises that you should be focusing on. 4 of the best ab exercises are:
* Hanging leg raises
* Side planks with extension
* Mountain climbers (Knee to opposite elbow)
These 4 exercises will truly carve out your abs. If you want your abs to ‘pop’… or bulge like you see in the fitness magazines, you’ll need to add more resistance. Get a pair of ankle weights and strap them to your ankles. When you do your leg raises and jackknifes, the reps will be much more challenging. The more resistance you add, the harder your abs will work and develop the pump and bulge that you’re looking for.
Tip# 5 Hard Training
You absolutely MUST train hard. It’s not even an option. To look like an athlete, you’ll need to train like one. Your workouts will need to be high intensity interval training and full-body workouts. Train hard, train fast and train often. Of course, you’ll need adequate rest too.
If you notice that your last bit of fat is not coming off, you may wish to use slow cardio like walking for a week or two. Sometimes the body is so stressed out that it goes into shock and doesn’t shed the fat. A short period of easier and lighter workouts will reduce the stress and it will go back to functioning optimally.
Follow the 5 tips above and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll see abs of steel that’ll set off metal detectors at the airport. Well, not really… but all levity aside, you can rest assured that you’ll be the proud owner of a set of abs that so many people desire having.
Well done! You are part of the 2 percent.
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