So the sun’s out and your shirt’s off and your six-pack abs are either making you the center of attention or part of a group jealous of that one guy or gal who’s getting more than just the sun’s rays, happens all the time on the beach.
Certain tips and tricks work better than others when it comes to chiseling the perfect six-pack, the most important ab sculpting tips are here and begins with some common misconceptions when it comes to six-pack abs building.
When training other muscle groups like legs or back you are indirectly training your abs too, so your core gets a great degree of stimulation too. This ab activation only really happens on exercises like squats, deadlifts and standing military presses but never on machine work.
You don’t need to train your abs everyday, your abs are a muscle group like any other and require post-workout recovery time, your abs also have a high number of slow-twitch muscle fibers so have a higher endurance threshold, you get the best results by allowing recovery between workouts.
You can do crunches until you collapse from exhaustion but this will not really spot reduce body fat around your midsection. There is no way to selectively spot reduce bodyfat, you have to bring your overall bodyfat percentage down which means watching your caloric intake and burning more calories through exercise.
Unlike many other muscle groups, you need low bodyfat to reveal your abs no matter on the number of exercises you do on them. Reducing bodyfat requires you to lower your calories or burn more of them. Genetics also have a hand in bodyfat percentage levels meaning it is easier for some people and not others.
Six pack abs can be a sign that a person is maintaining a healthy diet, especially considering the percentage of obesity these days but it doesn’t automatically mean good health.
I have seen/known quite a few people who have a visible six-pack but are unhealthy due to excessive cardio or undereating, balance is key here, not just getting a six-pack but maintaining it as well.
Metabolism aside, this is true as long as there is a good determination, dedication and consistency in and out of the gym, the shape of your six-pack is determined by genetics though.
You can even have an 8 or 10 pack (these do exist) or just a 4 pack dependent on the genetic hand you have been dealt.
Eating For A Six Pack
It is very difficult to follow a mass-gain eating plan and also have your abs visible too, you can of course make your abs stronger through training but six packs are definitely made in the kitchen.
Many physique athletes follow a calorie-restricted diet or one whereby they eat enough calories to maintain their physique. It is a very rare, unique person who can add lean mass and chisel their physique at the same time.
For a summer six-pack it is a good idea to keep an eye on your diet, instead of decreasing everything you eat it is better to increase protein on a calorie restricted intake plan, keeping you satiated and maintaining lean muscle mass.
You also have to watch your carb intake, especially sugars keeping in mind hidden calories in beverages and consuming plenty of filling vegetables that are not calorie dense, the goal is to consume fewer calories each day than you burn.
Keeping protein intake high means you are more likely to lose less muscle tissue and burn more body fat, getting your abs on show doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Training For A Six Pack
Eating for a six-pack is a 24-hour a day activity, however the training aspect only entails a 15-20 minute workout every 2-3 days. Train abs intensely and then help them recover with proper rest and nutrition, the only other things to consider are proper form and consistency.
You can use any number of exercises to emphasize specific areas of your midsection and many will always head towards a few favourites, here are a few I enjoy:
Lower Abs: You can target this region by raising your legs whilst keeping your upper body rigid, this shortens the rectus abdominis from the lower end.
Best exercises for this are hanging leg raises or captain’s chair leg-raises, decline bench reverse crunches and mountain climbers.
Upper Abs: This specific area gets targeted when you keep your lower torso stable and draw your upper body toward it, shortening the distance between the ribcage and pelvis.
Top exercises here are the rope cable crunches, decline-bench crunches and machine crunches.
Obliques: Obliques run alongside your six-pack, I prefer to train then with higher volume and lighter weights so the muscles do not build considerably over time which can affect the thickness of the midsection.
The best exercises here are Captain’s chair oblique raises, cable wood choppers with light to moderate weight and decline bench Russian twists.
From this we have found that doing endless hours of reps doesn’t guarantee a tight midsection. Train your abdominal core from different angles using several exercises to ensure you get better results. Eat below maintenance or burn more calories through exercise to drop bodyfat. Always train and eat smart and you will soon see your six-pack coming through.
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