Everyone’s got a six-pack. The problem for most people is that it’s hidden under a layer of fat.
A six-pack is arguably one of the most desirable body parts for men and there is an abundance of confusing & deceiving information out there about the best way to get them. Here, we outline 4 simple steps behind attaining the coveted six-pack.
Burn body fat
Your abs of steel are not always visible because they are completely covered by a protective layer of body fat. The abdominal muscles will only show up at a certain body fat percentage so in order for you to reveal a chiseled midsection, you must first burn the fat! This can be achieved by doing the following:
- Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your exercise program – HIIT cardio is more effective than low intensity steady state (LISS) cardio because it burns more calories even at rest by raising your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
- Consume fewer calories than you are burning – the energy balance in your body determines your fat loss; think calories in versus calories out. If you take in more calories than you expend, you will be in a caloric surplus. When that happens, you are likely to store body fat. Conversely, if you expend more calories than your consume, you will be in a caloric deficit, which is required for fat loss.
Keep your diet in check
Are you doing thousands of crunches every day and still not seeing any progress? Do you do hours of cardio in fasted state in order to burn more fat?
That’s all well and good, and your efforts should be applauded. However, as is the case with exercises, more is not necessarily better. Thousands of crunches at any one time may not be the most efficient training program from your abs, but there is nothing inherently bad about it. Also, doing hours of cardio isn’t necessarily a problem either if that’s what you enjoy. If your goal is to have a shredded six-pack, there are better ways of going about that goal.
The most important aspect of cutting body fat is the diet. Counting your calories and eating a well balanced diet will help you control your energy intake and give your body the fuel it needs to transform. A small treat every day will not keep you from your goals, however it is important that you consume adequate amounts of your macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) and micronutrients (potassium, iron, vitamins, etc.) if you want to see results.
Do your ab exercises
You are born with a set of abs. Some art gifted with a better set than others thanks to the genetic lottery, which is why you need to maximize your potential by training your abs in the gym. Just like with any other muscle, you can thicken and enlarge your abdominals with exercise. The thicker they are, the more they appear to ‘pop out’. Try training your core for about 20 minutes twice a week. Here are some abdominal exercises you can incorporate:
- Reverse Crunches
- Russian Twists
- Windshield Wipers
- Leg Raises
- Bicycle Crunches
Focus on your Transverse Abdominis muscle
The Transverse Abdominis is rarely the focal point of ab training because it is one of the inner, invisible abdominal muscles. However, it plays an important role in supporting your vital organs, helps you lift more weight and enhances the definition in your abs. Here are some ab exercises that target your Transverse Abdominis muscle:
- Reverse Crunches
- Hands to Ankles Crunch
- Side Raises
If you’re struggling to cut body fat, remember that there is always a solution to your problems. Look to your diet, training and cardio before you start pointing fingers. Supplement accordingly, but do not be dependent on them because they are not meant to replace whole foods or hard work. With these tips, some time and consistency, you’ll be on your way to shredded abs.