With summer quickly approaching and the weather heating up, you are probably feeling the need to get in shape and on a diet to fit into this season’s swimming attire. Whether you are a guy or girl, one of the most desired and sought after feats of physical accomplishment is having washboard abs or a beautifully configured six pack.
When looking through the fitness magazines and seeing models on TV, it might seem like people who have a great set of abs are just born with that blessing, giving little hope for those of us that don’t have them. Though there is a benefit to having great genetics, the good news is that we all have a six pack whether we can see it or not.
In this article, we will go over some re-education on how to reduce your body fat, as well as some exercises and tips to build your abdominal muscles and reduce your waistline.
The Great Sit-Up Conspiracy
One of the biggest misconceptions about developing a six pack is that you must be doing countless sit-ups or crunches to burn stomach fat and build your stomach muscles up. This is simply not true, and is probably why a lot of people aren’t achieving their goals in this area.
The truth is, that you cannot burn fat in specific areas by working those areas out. To reduce stomach fat, you must collectively reduce your body fat as a whole, and as a result your entire physique will be improved, abs included.
To build the abdominal muscles up into six pack condition, using weighted resistance with lower repetitions is far more effective. Here are some good foundational principles to help you get you started in the right direction:
Step One – Lose Weight
The number one reason you can’t see your six pack is because a layer of fat covers it. So how do you get rid of that? The primary method that will help you burn through your unwanted fat and expose your washboard abs to the world is going to be through your diet. By reducing the amount of calories you take in and by eating and abstaining from certain types of foods, you will be creating an optimal environment to shed those unwanted pounds.
One group of diets that have been shown to really help reduce body fat is the low carb-high protein diets. These have become quite popular because they work fairly quickly in switching over your body from burning carbs as a fuel source to burning fats. This is important when you want to reduce your body fat percentage because when your body begins to burn fat as fuel, the rolls around your belly will begin to shrink.
One thing to keep in mind when you embark on a diet such as this, is the concept of being balanced in eating the right foods. Focusing on consuming high proteins, good fats, veggies and fruits while eliminating processed foods and complex carbs is a good rule of thumb for you to follow.
Step Two – Develop a Whole-Body Fitness Routine
It is very difficult to develop a nice set of abs without embarking on a fitness program that will help you develop your whole body. Total body workouts are the best way to boost your metabolism and develop your muscles.
Traditional methods of exercise often focus on developing body parts per section and then doing a cardio program separately. Although these methods do provide good results by designing and practicing a total body workout or circuit, you are tapping into a method of exercise that has a synergistic effect while reducing your gym time by more than half. For more details on these types of routines, look up/ Google ‘crossfit,’ ‘circuit training,’ and ‘boot camp.’
Step Three – Join a Good Gym
Many people trying to build their abs go about it in a fanatical way by doing countless crunches, five to six days a week. The funny thing is that most of these people do not have the stomach they desire. Like many things in life, the right map for the destination in mind is essential for you to reach your goals. Exercising your abs in the right way is no different.
Your abdominals muscles will respond best by doing lower reps of eight to 25, four to eight sets of exercise, three times per week. It is important to incorporate different types of exercises every few weeks so that your body does not adapt and stop responding.
The exercises that build the kind of abs that standout are ones that use additional weight and resistance. Gyms often have seated crunch machines or leg raise machines and these are very effective in building your core. For further information on good ab exercises and routines see: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/ab-workouts.html and http://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/abs.html
Step Four – The Pep Talk
Whether you are close to getting the six pack you have dreamed of or you have never seen your abs before, if you implement these three principles, you will be on the path to seeing results. Most people fail in seeing their goals achieved, especially in areas of fitness, because they are expecting to see results overnight.
If there is one word that will bring you to success, it is “consistency.” If you are consistent in your efforts then you will be in for the long haul, and you will see that six pack become your reality.