Either you’ve stumbled upon this article because you’re interested in getting a shredded 6 pack or you’ve been trying to get a 6 pack set of abs for some time… but the best you’ve got so far is a 6 pack of bud! Ultimately to get a 6 pack you need to have a complete resistance and weight based training regime – if you think you’ve got this already check out these top 5 tips for getting that washboard stomach.
1. Eat the Right Foods at the Right Time
You might be doing all the right things when it comes to training… but what about your diet? Ever heard the term Abs are made in the kitchen? Well it’s no lie! Getting a shredded 6 pack is about 20% dependent on exercise and 80% on diet… so if your training for hours in the gym and then kicking back with a bag of chips and beer… a 6 pack of bud really is the best you’re going to get!
To get a 6 pack you need to be consuming enough calories to boost your metabolism into action- this means eating enough to fuel your body at the right times! Your diet should be high in protein with an adequate amount of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats- ensure you eat small nutritious meals around 6 times a day. So to make a start… begin to eat healthily and make sure your body is receiving enough fuel and protein every two hours to three hours. Focus on eating lean sources of protein such as eggs, turkey and chicken breast, and a whey protein supplement is always a must have for after training.
2. Don’t Over Train
More is better right?
Not necessarily! Some people think to get abs you have to trade in your free time and spend hours in the gym performing sit up… after sit up… after sit up!
Performing sit ups and abdominal exercises should be like working any other muscle group- you should be aiming for sets that contain around 10-12 reps before your muscle fatigue, increasing the resistance and weight as the exercises get easier.
Abs should not be exercised every single day, doing abs every other day or 3 non consecutive days of the week is more than enough. Think of it like this… as you exercise your abs your actually making teeny tiny tears in your muscle fibers – in order to become more defined these tears need to recover! By exercising your abdominal muscles every day you’re not giving them a chance to repair and grow! So stop doing hundreds of sit ups a day and start working hard on a lower number!
Focusing on your abs 3 days a week doesn’t mean you’ll be totally ignoring them for the rest of the training week- by performing compound exercises such as squats on other days you’ll still be working and engaging your abdominal muscles- just not through isolated exercises.
3. Work the Whole Core
If you just think crunching is going to reveal the body of a goddess… think again! Your abdominal muscles are a set of muscles including the rectus abdominis, external oblique, inter oblique and transverses abdominals. All together these muscles belong to a muscle region that connects your upper and lower body – the core. To get a 6 pack means more than to get defined abs – it means to get a strong and stable core and working a range of muscle groups and not just one!
To help work your core here’s just a few exercises to get you started:
– The Crunch
– The Plank
– The Side Plank
– The Reverse Crunch
– Oblique Crunches
-Bench Leg raises
-Seated Russian Twists
4. Don’t Pin Point
To get a 6 pack you not only have to build your ab muscles but you also have to decrease your body fat. Losing body fat depends on a number of different aspects within your diet and training regime but no matter how many times I tell people, this message never seems to get through… You can’t pin point fat loss!
This means having a good diet with a good amount of weight training and cardio won’t guarantee you to suddenly have a 6 pack next week. All physiques are different and where some people may lose fat from their stomach first- others may from their arms or legs- it’s about losing overall body fat, not just stomach fat! To decrease body fat make sure your watching your diet, performing compound movements and looking into different forms of cardio including both low state steady cardio and high intensity interval training.
5. Do Staggered Sets
During your regular training regime when working small body parts try working your abs in between sets. So instead of sitting back and counting the seconds get down and starting planking and crunching! Be sure to only do this for smaller muscle groups because performing staggered sets in the middle of a long leg workout or intense back building session will act to weaken your core muscle which could result in an injury.
Take Home Message
No one said getting a 6-pack would be easy and you NEED to first get a good diet and a structured training regime. Make sure you don’t just focus on working your abs-we can’t pinpoint fat loss and working on all muscle groups equally is what’s going to get you the best results.
The final take home message is… don’t give up!! Keep at it this won’t happen in a week or even two! Keep going and don’t cave!