We all already have a six pack. Of course we do. They’re there to support our torso and enable us to stay upright. However we can’t see them with all that belly fat on top and doing crunches does absolutely nothing to your belly fat. So if aesthetics is all you want and you are far from being lean, then doing crunches is a wasted effort. The only benefit can be had in this scenario is to strengthen and condition your abs. They will not magically pop through all that belly fat even if you do a thousand crunches everyday!
The only way that you’ll see your six pack is to drop your body’s overall body composition. Usually you they will start to show in the low teens in percentage body fat. This will differ depending on the individual’s body distribution of adipose tissue (fat storage sites) largely pre-determined by genetics. Only then, by doing crunches will accentuate your abs and make them look fuller.
You can start to achieve your 6 pack through high intensity full body strength training and smart dieting.
Here’s how to uncover and realise the Adonis inside of you:
1) Stop doing any crunches or sit ups.
2) Stop doing bodybuilding style isolation exercises, especially if you are far from being lean.
3) Do full bodied compound exercises that involves multiple large muscle groups 3-4 times per week (ie., chin ups, dips, squat presses, etc). Wonder why boxers, MMA fighters are so lean? They don’t do much, if any, isolation exercises.
4) Add a mixture of high intensity and steady state cardio 3-5 times per week.
5) Stay in calorie deficit. Watch those calories and eat less than what you burn.
6) Increase daily intake of protein and good fats.
7) Reduce daily intake of carbohydrates and bad fats.
Nutrition is key to getting lean and getting a 6 pack. Training is vital to boost metabolism and preserve muscle mass whilst on a calorie deficit diet, but no matter how hard you train, you cannot out train a bad diet. You can easily nullify your training session with just one bad meal as there are so many foods that are very calorie dense in their small deceiving quatities. The equation is simple. Eat over the amount of calories that you need to maintain your body weight each day and you will sabotage your fat loss attempts and not lose any fat at all. This is true no matter how healthy you eat.
How to train your abs
Theres nothing different about your abdominal muscles to your other muscles. As such you should train them in the same fashion. Theres no need to do 50 sets to try and make them grow! They are just as prone to overtraining as any of your other muscles and need time to recover. Less is more.
Perform the following twice a week would suffice:
1) Hanging leg raises 3 x 12
2) Lying bench reverse crunches 3 x 12
3) Floor crunches 3 x 12
4) Side oblique crunches 3 x 12
No, you will not get a 6 pack in 10 days or whatever tempting claims the magazines lead you to believe. Unfortunately there is no magical diet, no super workout that will get you there in a blink of an eye. If there is, we’ll all be on the bandwagon and have super ripped bodies. They’re here to sell you their magazine and not to dish out the facts. Plain old fashion sweat, patience, persistence and discipline still rule…
Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1
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