Sunday, March 20, 2011

How to Get Six Pack Abs

The weather is so nice out for the first time in a long time that it has me day dreaming about going to the beach.  Of course with that I'm also dreaming about showing of a ripped six pack abs.  With swim suit season just around the corner people everywhere are trying to flatten their stomachs and tighten their abdominal.  But after doing hundreds of crunches and sit-ups they are frustrated with the lack of results.  Think to themselves how come that clown on the Jersey Shore has a six pack and I don't.  Continue to read on to find out the secret to getting the beach body you always dreamed about without having to break your back doing all those reps of ab exercises.

The Secret to Getting that Six Pack
 Lose Fat + Build Muscle = 6 pack.
Sounds too simple?  It's not, those are really the only two things you need to focus on in order to get that flat stomach or defined abs.  The problem is people usually go about it wrong and then they give up too early.  I'll break down each part with tips on how to get the best results.

Losing the Fat
What a lot of people don't understand is that no matter how strong you make your ab muscles if you got layers of fat covering them it won't matter.   Here is what you need to know.  Gender and genetics matter.

Women will naturally have a higher percentage of fat than men.  Men will have to work harder because usually the body fat gets stored around their stomachs.  Genetically everyone will have different fat distribution
around their body so that will also come into play when you are dieting/training.

Generally for men:  You will need to get your body fat down to 10%.  If you can get it down below 8% it will almost guarantee that you will have a visible 6 pack.

Women:  You will need to get down to below 16%.  Even though your target number is higher remember that naturally your overall body fat percentage is higher so you will need to work just as hard.

The average American male has a body fat % of 17 to 26%.  Females between 22 and 36%.  So you can see that is why most people you see don't walk around with six packs.  It is achievable however with some dedication and commitment.

Do Cardio:  You need to do cardio workouts to burn off the fat.  A cardio workout is when your heart rate is over a certain number for a given amount of time.  The chart gives an estimate to the target HR you should aim to hit.
 Eat more but smaller meals:  Try to get 5 to 6 small meals a day rather than eating 3 very large meals.  This will help with the fat loss because people are generally not very active after dinner.  Frequent eating will help you burn more calories and keep you metabolism steady.

Drink more water:  It is essential to the fat burning process.  Most people do not drink enough water.  A good way to calculate how much you need to drink is your body weight divided by 2 will give you how many ounces you need a day.  So for me I weigh 145 lb that is 72 fluid ounces or about 2.1 liters a day.  Make sure you don't over drink though.

Eat Smart:  Try to get more complex carbs (veggies, brown rice, whole grains) rather than simple carbs (refined sugar and refined grains)

The Workout- More does not equal better
This might be the most common mistake made by everyone.  Your abdominal muscles are just muscles like any other muscle group.  Do you go around doing 50 reps with the bench press?  Probably not, so why are you doing 50 sit ups?  It would be better to focus on isolating the muscles and making sure you have good form.

So what is important is to increase the intensity of your workout and target the group of muscle you are working on.

Best of luck getting your sculpted stomach and remember to not give up.

1 comment: