Are you interested in how to get six pack abs but already tired of failing in your efforts? Don’t worry, the reason why you haven’t seen the expected results so far, is you probably made one of the many common mistakes all of us make if we start an abs building program without first getting information on how our bodies work. What you need to do is eliminate the trial and error process and get all the facts that will put you on the right track.
To get a six pack you need two major things: a healthy diet to lose the fat around your abdomen and a well structured exercise program to build strong, well-defined muscles. Good motivation is also important because results may take some time, and you need to stick to your program in order to enjoy the benefits of your efforts.
There are some basic principles that apply to all of us. The reason why so many fail is simple: lack of information.
People set their goals, they start a random diet without taking into account the needs of their bodies to build strong muscles and then start an exercise program based on countless abdominals, ignoring other abdominal muscle groups. The end result: they can’t stick to the diet because of its negative effect on their bodies and the abdominal muscles remain well hidden behind a thick layer of fat.
So if you decide to get a six pack, you have two major goals:
- Lose weight (overall weight, not just belly fat – you can’t lose weight from just one part of your body, no matter what people say)
- Build strong, well – defined abdominal muscles
Why lose the weight?
In order for your muscles to show, and this goes for any muscle group, your body fat percentage must be below 10% for men and 15% for women. You should calculate your body fat percentage before starting your abs program to know how much you have to burn before seeing results.
How does the proper diet help?
The proper diet offers you enough energy to function throughout the day, to feel full of energy and be positive. It works on a physical and mental level as well; a proper balance of nutrients and minerals will make you be more energetic, more optimistic and will help you enjoy life more.
What is a healthy diet?
Eating on the run, eating for the fun of it, eating to compensate for daily stress, these are the main reasons why food has turned against us and caused so much obesity and weight-related health problems. A healthy diet is eating for fuel. It means giving your body the right kind of fuel that turns into energy and not into fat.
Balance is the key! You don’t have to starve yourself, you don’t have to give up your favorite sweet or never drink another glass of wine. Just do it responsibly!
Why do I gain weight?
The answer is simple: you eat too much of the wrong stuff. What exceeds the needs of your body gets stored “for future use”. How much we eat should depend on how much physical or mental activity we have throughout the day.
Lying in bed or sitting on the sofa is not challenging work, so pretty much all you put in during a lazy day gets “nicely” deposited on your hips or abdomen. But if you go to the gym, or do some cardio, or just have an active life, you need more fuel, more calories.
What diet helps me get a six pack?
It’s not all about what you eat. How much and when you eat are just as important. Here are some basic principles:
- Eat more fresh food – it has less calories than processed food, more nutrients, more vitamins and minerals
- Eat fat-burning foods – there are some foods for which your body burns more calories to process than the calories they contain. Berries, green tea, grapefruit, whole grain are just some of these miraculous foods you definitely must include in your diet.
- Chose low-fat over regular
- Include two healthy snacks between the main meals of the day – fruit or fruit salads, healthy snacks, pistachios, boiled eggs – they will make you feel full and give you plenty of energy
- Eat smaller meals – try eating less than you put on your plate; did you know that it takes about 5 to 10 minutes for your brain to get the signal from your stomach that you are full?
- Don’t eat an hour before you go to bed – sleeping requires very little energy consumption so your body stores the excess calories
- Drink more water – sometimes the sensation of thirst is mistaken with that of hunger, and you eat instead of drinking
- Avoid those foods that are rich in calories and poor in nutrients – fast food, wine, sodas and mineral drinks that will make you feel bloated and give you a bulging belly
What is a good abs workout?
A good abs workout usually starts with a light warm-up of about 5 minutes. Some cardio or stretching will do. It is important to warm up before a training in order to avoid accidents and to get the blood running.
Right after the warm-up start with the abdominal muscle group you want to focus on and perform several different exercises targeting that particular area. Perform the exercises correctly, without cheating. Supersets and circuits work wonders for the abdominals.
During one training session you should focus on two abdominal muscle groups, for example the lower abs and the obliques. Working out with weights is always a good idea, as they help the muscle grow faster. Isometric exercises give you more definition.
How often should I train?
Enthusiasm will tell you to train on a daily basis, but this is a mistake. Resting your muscles is just as important as training them. Muscles don’t grow as you perform the exercises, they grow while you rest. This is why you should only train three or four times a week, and never train the same muscle groups during two consecutive sessions. A training session should take no more than half an hour. On the off days, it’s always a good idea to do some cardio to lose the fat more quickly.
What are the best abs exercises?
It’s not all about the crunch. You can’t do a hundred crunches a day and expect to have the perfect six-pack in a week. In fact, if you can perform a hundred crunches in a row, it means you’re not doing them right and you’re just wasting your time.
When you think about the best abs exercises you need to think of exercises for all abdominal groups: obliques, transverse, lower and upper abs. You need to train all of them to get a ripped ab.
How long does it take to get a six pack?
This is one question that comes up a lot. Of course you want results to show as soon as possible and are impatient to see results, but it takes some time. Just think, you don’t gain weight overnight, so it’s only logical that you don’t gain muscles overnight.
If you stick to your program, train correctly and regularly and adopt a good diet, results should start showing in a couple of months. Our bodies are different, so there is no definite answer to this question, but basically it depends of the fat percentage of your body and how fast you can burn it.
Last but not least, your motivation will play an important role in building your abs. It’s quite easy to get distracted, disappointed or just tired of trying without any results. If you are well motivated you will stick to your program and focus on your goal.
The best way to stay motivated is to set smaller goals for yourself, goals that you can easily reach to see that you are making progress. Once you see the first results it’s much easier to keep your motivation.
Getting a six pack is a quest you’re starting on. If you go on this quest with a little bit of knowledge about how to get there and you benefit from the experience of others that have succeeded before you, you’re sure to get there before you know it.
Remember, you have the body you deserve, you deserve to have the best.