So, You Want To Get Six Pack Abs?
Alot of men want six pack abs, it often comes at the top of the list for most desirable body part. However much effort we put into abdominal exercises, sometimes there just seems to be no payback. You may be doing something wrong but, like many, cannot put your finger on the why your body isn’t changing to your preference. You may be fooled by common ab training myths that are perpetrated in the gym – we thought we would put that one to rest in this article.
Achieving six pax abs is possible for most men, however, just like anything that’s desired it will take effort on your part to aquire it. Apart from the most common training myth, we have layed out the step required to achiving your goal and getting those strong and defined abs you lust for.
The Six Pack Myth
Lets start with this…the myth: you need to do lots of reps and lots of sit-ups to build up the abs.
By doing lots of reps, this implies that there is little resistance applied within the exercise, as heavy weights would simply prevent you from perfoming a high-rep count. So how should you train your abs then? You should treat your abs just like any other muscle group that you train.
When we say ‘treat your abs like any other muscle group’, we mean that you should be employing the progressive overload principle – whereby your goal should be to challenge and ever increase the resistance applied towards the abdominal region.
If you adopt the recommened progressive overload principle – which is vital for muscle mass development – then you will have to reduce the rep count to utilise a weight load (resistance) that is sufficient enough to challenge the muscle. So, look for ways to incorporate resistance within your abs exercies regime, avoid sticking to high-rep sit-ups exclusively.
How To Achieve Those Six Pack Abs?
The most important aspect that you need to understand to get ripped, six pack abs, is that you need to have a low body fat percentage. We all have abdominal muscles, whether you see them or not is dependant on your body fat percentage. The abdominals function, amoungst many, is to support the movement of the core region – so without them, you may find it just a little bit difficult to stand up straight. It’s that stubbon layer of fat that reduces the extent that they protrude and have that aesthetic effect we all want. So, your biggest goal here, and perhaps like many, is to reduce your body fat percentage.
You should aim to get below 10 percent body fat, as at this level your abdominal muscle will begin to show through and attain some level of definition.
That takes us to the fat busting myth…when losing fat we cannot choose where exactly on your body you lose fat first. There’s that common myth that doing sit-ups will shred the fat around the mid-section… unfortunitely your body doesn’t work that way. In most cases, men will lose fat off their mid section; around their core, and abdominals, last. This means that it may take some time to lose enough fat for you to acquire a defined six pack. So, you’ll need some perseverance to achieve this goal im afraid.
If you want to lose fat to get ripped and get the six pack abs you want, then you must consider the following:
1. Perform fat burning exercise, regularly
2. Build the muscle size of your abdominal, oblique’s, and core region
3. Your diet and nutrition
The Fat Burning Zone
Performing fat burning exercises will be important to getting results, the best exercises to burn fat involve low-intensity workouts, known in the fitness industry as “fat burning zone”. The fat burning zone could be performed doing a light run, brisk walk, or a light cycle. You should be able to hold a conversation while performing the exercises, that way you’ll know you are not working too intensely.
Building Your Muscle Mass
To build muscle mass around your abdominals and oblique’s you must train them just like every other muscle; intense workouts using moderate-to-high weights. That common myth that you need to slog away doing hundreds of reps, as we have mentioned, is untrue. However, do include some high-rep low weight exercises into your ab workouts for variation as this will aid growth and development but, it shouldn’t be in isolation.
Now, the extra benefit that increased muscle mass has when weight training is that it increases your metabolic rate, as more energy is needed to feed the larger muscle mass acquired. What this means is when you are just sitting around you will be burning more calories, thanks to your weight training. A resistance training regime focused not just on your abs but, on your entire body will have one of the best effects upon increasing your metabolic rate. Increasing your overall muscle mass in your body will speed up your metabolic rate, so when you are at rest – sat around in the office – you will be burning more calories throughout the day, by doing absolutely no nothing more.
Diet & Nutrition
Now, let’s have a look at diet and nutrition. This can be tricky, especially if you want to loose fat to get serious definition in your abs and also gain muscle mass at the same time.
To lose weight you need to in a caloric deficit, but this may mean you will start losing muscle mass too, as you still need the calories available to increase your muscle mass and prevent muscle degeneration.
There are many diets that are promoted today, however, you should take a long-term approach to your diet. Many diets that emphasis on removing completely a food group, may actually hinder your long-term weigh control. ‘Yo-Yo dieting’ is the term whereby you come off a diet and the weight soon creeps back on – once the weight has gain has increased to an unsatifactory level you turn back to the diet once more, and so on. Cravings often occurs when you remove completely a whole food group from your diet, this leads to excessive eating of of this food group once it has been introduced back into your diet.
Where do you start? We recommend finding your daily calorie requirements before starting a diet plan. If your goal is to loose fat, you need to restrict your calories somewhat – you need to be expellinng more calories than what you place into your body.
Protein is key to prevent muscle degenration and to aid muscle growth. You must take in the minimum amount of protein required for your body to continue with protein synthesis and allow your muscles to grow. A simple calculation of minimum protein requirements is one gram of protein for every one pound of body weight.
Proteins (amino acids) should come from lean meats if you are seeking a helthy diet low in cholesterol. Supplements could be used, such as whey protein, to ensure that your body is getting suficiant amounts of protein intake.
You must go easy on foods rich in saturated fats, however, certain fats such as polyunsatuated should include into your diets -these can be found in foods such as olive oil, salmon, nuts and beans.
What about carbohydrates? You may have to reduce your carbohydrate intake to get the defined abs you are looking for. But, there is one subgroup of carbohydrates that should removed almost completely from your diet, and that’s simple sugars. Simple sugars, when consumed in excess, will convert to fat within the body. As simple sugars have minimal nutritional value, if consumed often, will hinder your fat loss goals.
If your have quite a few extra pounds sitting around your body then you may need to look away from the starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes and white rice, and instead, opt for whole grains or low GI foods – such as sweet potatoes and brown rice.
Vegetables area good source of low GI carbohydrates, fibre and rich in vitamins & minerals. Vegtables could be used to bulk-up meals as as most lack density in terms of calorie content, and will allow you to feel full, while getting the require nutional value that they bring.
How Long Will It Take To Get Six Pack Abs?
This depend upon your body type and your commitents to your training and diet. Your body type will affect how easy it is for you to shift the fat and put on lean muscle mass. Another thing is aesthetics. Everyone has diffenet body proportion where some muscle may be more visable and larger than on other people. You may even have a difference in the number of muscles distinguishable on the abdominal wall, depending on the individual. For example, some individuals may have a four pack or an eight pack.
And remember what we said about fat loss around the mid section – the last bit of fat that men lose tends to be lower abdominals area, the side of the abdomen, and around the obliques. Many term this the “love handles”. Be persistent, however, focus on lowering your body fat percentage and you will get six pack abs you’ve been dreaming of.
Best Six Pack Ab Workouts
You should be using multiple exercises to attack specific areas of your core and to build the abdominal with a variation in resistance based exercises.
The abs could be broken down to: lower abs, middle abs, upper abs, and oblique. Target each region acordingly to build a balance physique.
Here are some simple abdominal workouts that target each of these regions:
Lower Abdominal Exercise
Middle Abdominal Exercise
Upper Abdominal Exercise
Dumbbell Side Bends