The abdominal muscles are the most difficult and challenging muscles to train. They require intense training. Without a sound nutritional programme and the correct training, getting six pack abs is almost impossible. One of the foremost steps for getting six pack abs is to remove the layer of fat on them.
Thus, incorporating a cardiovascular programme is essential. It will help you shed oodles of calories and give you a slim waist. Here are some of the steps to attain that elusive six-pack abs.
Ways To Get Six Pack Abs
1. Lose the Fat
If you are marginally overweight or have a cute roll of fat on your belly, no amount of sit-ups is going to get you six pack abs. It is essential to include some form of cardio in your weight loss routine. Cardio helps to trim the fat while strength training tones the muscles. If you are a beginner, start with moderate cardio like jogging and cycling.
Aim to get in 4-5 sessions every week to see the difference on the scales. A more novel approach to sustained fat loss and a drop in body fat percentages is to go in for high intensity interval training also known as HIIT. In this, you alternate moderate cardio activity with periods of very high intensity training that makes your heart pound and leaves you breathless.
For example, you run at 4 miles per hour for 2 minutes and then run at 6 miles per hour for the next two. You keep alternating between these two speeds for about 20 minutes. This is a much more effective way of shedding weight and busting those calories.
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If you are advanced, go in for circuit training or intense skipping sessions, which help to burn calories.
2. The Correct Nutritional Programme
One of the best terms coined in recent times is that abs are made in the kitchen. This is very true. Around 80% of your efforts should be directed to what you make and eat in the kitchen. Here are some golden rules to keep in mind while eating.
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Follow these dietary approaches and a six pack will be yours in no time.
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Eat Smaller Meals
If you want to get rid of fat fast, aim for smaller meals spaced between 2-3 hours. Try eating 5-6 small meals in a day. This keeps you satiated and prevents hunger pangs especially if you are exercising.
Eating small meals regularly keeps your energy levels high, blood sugar levels at an even keel and your body will be constantly using up calories to burn and digest the food. This is tantamount to an elevated metabolism. People who ate smaller meals throughout the day saw better abs definition in a smaller period of time.
3. Eat A Hearty Breakfast
The key to six-pack is to start your day on a good note by feasting like a king. Again, the trick is to eat the right foods. Aim for a complex carb and lean protein combination as a breakfast option.
Good examples are oats and eggs, whole wheat cereal and nuts, toast and eggs or a rich fruit shake. The options are limitless. You can add variety so that the body gets ample nutrition and you do not feel bored eating the same thing every day.
4. Lift, Lift, Lift
I am not talking about lifting a bag of groceries. I am talking about lifting weights and incorporating a dedicated and intense strength-training schedule in your weight loss regime. Believe me, if you follow a disciplined approach to lifting weights, you will not only lose pounds of fat but will also see abs definition like none before.
Lifting weights tones the muscles and increases muscle mass. Muscle is hungrier than fat and uses up a lot of calories to feed itself. This means that you will continue to burn fat even while you are sitting and doing nothing. Aim for intense lower body workouts like squats, lunges as these target the abdominal muscles, and give you a svelte, well defined six pack.
5. Drink Water
This is an important factor to keep in mind especially if you are lifting weights. You will lose a lot of water from the body through sweating so it makes a lot of sense to compensate for the water loss by drinking adequate fluids.
If you do not drink water, your muscles will feel dehydrated and you will not see adequate recovery.
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Also, make it a point to ensure that you take in adequate fruits and vegetables like bananas, which are rich in salts and will compensate for the loss of salt in the body.
6. Cut Out The Junk
There is no point in working out for an hour at the gym and then coming home and feasting on a scoop of ice cream. You will have to literally eliminate junk food from your diet. Stay away from refined foods like refined flour, sugar, fats and butter.
Trans fats are by far the most offending culprits and responsible for belly fat. If you do not control your intake of junk food, you will not see results.
7. Muscle Building Exercises
It is very important to do specific exercises that target and tone the belly area to give it more definition and added muscle tone. For instance, do the traditional crunches, sit-ups and leg raises that are very effective when done correctly and consistently over a period of time. Do them for about 3-4 times in a week with the correct form and technique.
Take help from a fitness trainer who will help you do so. If you are a beginner aim for three sets of 12 reps each. An intermediate or advanced trainee can do more intense reps. You can also try variations like hanging leg raises and mountain climbers which help to target and tone the tummy area.
By following the above steps with consistency and discipline, you will see results. Individual differences in body metabolism, body structure will ultimately determine the speed and the time you will take to tone, & tighten the muscles, and see that awesome six pack. Till then keep doing all of the above with regularity and consistency.