6 Rules For Getting Six-Pack Abs!
There's no secret to getting a six-pack. It's all about putting in the right kind of work. Check out these tips to guide your quest for six-pack abs!
It seems like everywhere you look, you find website after website promising to reveal the next big secret or long-lost truth to getting six-pack abs. The numerous videos, professionally written sales copy, and celebrity testimonials practically make it impossible to figure out what works and what's a scam.
Some experts will tell you it's all about the plank, while others will swear that to get stand-out abs you'll need to do 10,000 crunches a week and buy their DVD!
With thousands of so-called gurus promising you the world, the task of translating everything into a functional program for six-pack abs is daunting.
What Are You Supposed To Do?
Here's the thing that many people, including a lot of trainers, overlook: your diet!
The single most important tool you need in order to develop your abs is an understanding of how proper nutrition contributes to whether or not your ab muscles look like "bam" or "scam."
Abs, more or less, are made in the kitchen and not in the gym. You could have the best training program of all time and do a thousand planks a day, but if your diet sucks, so will your abdominals.
The secret to a great abs workout is not locked in a supplement pill or found in any number of core exercises—we all know how to do crunches, after all. The secret is what you do before and after your workout!
Instead of falling for empty promises, spend your time focusing on solid nutritional principles!
Here are some rules I like to go by, without which you simply won't get a flat stomach.
Rule 1 Eat Enough Protein
Protein will help you build lean muscle as well as burn body fat. Out of all the macronutrients, lean protein has the highest thermogenic effect on the body, meaning you burn the most calories digesting it.
That makes it the most valuable macronutrient of all because while your body is burning that body fat to reveal your abs, you're also replenishing muscle.
This is one of the main reasons why professional athletes and competitive bodybuilders, with some of the best physiques on the planet, eat a diet that is high in lean protein!
Rule 2 Eat Post-Workout Carbs
Most people have been falsely led to believe that carbohydrates are bad and that they will lead to excess calories and make you fat. This is definitely a myth that needs to be busted!
While eating too much of anything will make you gain weight, natural grains or starchy carbs such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oatmeal are actually quite beneficial in your six-pack quest, especially when consumed post-workout.
Try to eat moderate amounts of carbs and 1-2 cups of vegetables with each meal. This will ensure that your body gets the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber it needs to function at its peak and remain healthy.
Rule 3 Eat Healthy Fats
With the huge amount of negative press about fats, it is easy to mistakenly believe that eliminating fats from your diet is good. But, it is actually a dietary disaster, especially if you want a head-turning physique.
Make sure you include healthy fats—primarily from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as raw nuts, nut butters, fish oils, and olive oils—into your diet. Dietary fat from these sources will keep your insulin levels stable, which is very important if your goal is to lose belly fat and reveal those six-pack abs.
While I'm not advocating that you eat a huge bag of cashews every day, you shouldn't be afraid of including healthy fats in your diet.
Rule 4 Balance Your Diet
In order to burn fat and reveal your washboard abs, it is important to eat a balanced diet made up of protein, healthy fats, and some carbohydrates.
By combining lean protein with the correct types and amounts of green leafy vegetables, good carbs, and helpful fats, you will begin to supercharge your metabolism and turn yourself into a full-body, fat-burning machine.
Protein helps form the building blocks of muscle and is the most essential macronutrient of all, since your body burns the calories needed to digest it while allowing the good stuff to remain.
Calculating the right amount of carbohydrates to eat can be tricky, but a good strategy to use is to eat most of your carbs post-workout.
When you take in carbs post-workout your body quickly absorbs them directly into the muscle tissue, promoting growth and faster recovery.
Many people believe that eating fat will raise your body fat percentage, but in reality, healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will actually help you burn more fat than a low-fat diet will.
Good fats also help keep insulin levels stable, which will help prevent you from gaining additional body fat in the midsection, covering up your hard-won muscles.
The last diet tip is to include plenty of fiber and raw vegetables with each meal. Vegetables are jam-packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which are all essential for building a lean body and ripped six-pack abs.
Rule 5 Stop Doing Thousands Of Crunches
Compound, multijoint, total-body movements will promote more total fat loss and promote a much bigger muscle-building response than an ab workout of crunches, planks, and strict sit-ups ever will.
Personally, I think it is completely pointless to waste an hour of your time doing crunches and sit-ups when that hour could be spent doing exercises that are more productive for fat loss, overall core strength, and full-body health. Think deadlifts, squats, and push-ups.
Working as a fitness model, I generally work abs for about 20 minutes, two or three times per week. There is just no reason to work abs any more than this!
Here is a list of great compound exercises that you should have in your workout program. They will definitively work your abs, and they'll also burn fat to reveal them to the world!
Rule 6 Use Smarter Cardio Methods
I'm sure you've probably heard that the best way to burn fat is to do long-duration cardio at a slow to medium pace. This fat-loss method is decent, but I suggest doing interval workouts combined or "supersetted" with abdominal exercises.
During the active recovery period of your interval workout, perform an ab exercise. For example, if you are doing interval sprints on a stationary bike or treadmill, run for 30 seconds at your maximum speed, then hop off of the machine and immediately perform a set of 20 exercise ball crunches. Get back on the machine and crank it back up again. Repeat 5-8 times.
You can throw in a variety of different ab exercises during this interval session, such as reverse crunches or planks, and superset them.
The key to getting rock-hard six-pack abs is to focus on your diet, while incorporating multijoint, compound exercises and smart cardio into your workout routine.
That is the long-lost secret, which was really never lost at all, just buried under all the hoopla!