What many don’t know about great abs is that each and every one of us already has a six-pack. The secret is uncovering your abdominal muscle from a blanket of fat. One thousand crunches a day will not get you the results that you want if you have high body fat. Toned abdominal muscles are a product of balanced nutrition and a strict workout regiment. This analysis will provide both nutrition and exercise tips so that you can kick start a healthier, happier, more confident lifestyle.
The first key to a tight abdominal region is a healthy diet. For men, it’s especially hard to achieve abs definition because the belly area is the first place that fat gets stored and the last place that fat gets burned. However, if you change your diet, wonderful things can happen. The key here is a combination of healthy foods and caloric deficit. A caloric deficit, in basic terms, is when you are burning more calories than you are taking in. When that happens, your body starts utilizing energy storage that is already available in your body, that energy storage is fat. Of course, you need to consult your physician before taking any drastic measures, but carefully reducing your calorie intake for a limited amount of time can work wonders.
How to Change Your Diet
Remember to spread your caloric intake to 4 to 6 meals a day rather than 2 to 3. Spacing out meals in smaller portions regulates blood sugar. Large meals cause blood sugar to spike which leads to more fat storage. With an elongated meal schedule you should be eating small portions. For example healthy daily diet could include oatmeal in the morning, 2 pieces of fruit at mid morning, a salad with tuna at lunch, a salad with chicken and a piece of fruit at mid afternoon, and chicken breast and potatoes for dinner. A diet like this ensures the necessities - a lean protein source like egg whites and chicken breast and natural carbohydrates such as vegetables, potatoes and brown rice. It’s important to remember to avoid refined carbohydrates like white flour and white sugar. And lastly, about a gallon of water daily is necessary for any active person.
The second key to toned abs is exercise. Maximum fat burning is achieved when you combine cardio training with weight training. It is recommended that you engage in 20 to 45 minutes of cardio 4 to 7 days a week. Effective cardio workouts include, running, biking, rowing, stair climbing or aerobics. In fact almost any exercise that raises your heartbeat and makes you sweat will burn carbohydrates and diminish fat. Also, like all muscles in the body, there are methods of targeting your abdominals to strengthen and tone the area. A few recommended exercises include hanging leg raises, hanging knee ups, weighted Swiss ball crunches and incline bench reverse crunches. All of these exercises should be done in 3 sets, 15-20 repetitions, 2 days a week.
Increasing the number of daily meals, eating healthy foods in small portions, and engaging in exercise through cardio and abdominal work outs will lead to reductuilow body fat. So all you non-believers out there, I’m here to tell you the research doesn’t lie. Everyone has a set of chiseled abs in them somewhere. Just remember to stick to the regiment and you too will achieve your goal.
Workouts for Great Abs
A1 Hanging leg raises - 3 sets, 15-20 reps
A2 Hanging knee ups (bent-knee leg raises) - 3 sets, 15-20 reps
(no rest between exercises within supersets A1 & A2, 60 sec between supersets)
B1 Weighted swiss ball crunches (or weighted cable crunches) - 3 sets, 15-20 reps
B2 Incline Bench Reverse crunches - 3 sets, 15-20 reps
(no rest between exercises within supersets B1 & B2, 60 sec between supersets)
Monday: back & chest - wide grip pull downs 4 sets of 6 - flat bench press 4 sets of 6 - low cable rows 4 sets of 6 - inclined bench press 4 sets of 6
Tuesday: shoulders and arms - military press 4 sets of 6 - dips 4 sets of failure - barbells 4 sets of 6
Wednesday: legs - squats 4 sets of 6 - leg curls 4 sets of 6 - leg extensions 4 sets of 6 - Repeat cycle with Sunday rest day
Cardio 4 to 7 days per week for about 30 to 45 minutes a day.