First thing you need to realize that when it comes to any fitness based goal there is not something called quick and easy. Yes, of course there might be more efficient or logical ways, methods and approaches to training that will ultimately bring you desired results but quick and easy “fix” mindset won’t bring you success especially in the long run.
When it comes to ab training and getting those ripped visible abs the thing is no different and to make it worse obtaining and keeping the 6 pack abs requires high level of discipline, willpower and maybe most important concrete principle-based goal. I won’t promise you or give you a six pack fast and easy but I will definitely give my best to explain you how to efficiently get 6 pack abs and the best way to keep them.
First you need to understand that abdominal muscles are constructed from couple of different muscles. They all have a certain goal and function and there is a certain way to “hit’em” more effectively but the main function of abdominal muscles is as a main core stabilizer and if you train them as a part of a whole your abdominal/core strength will transfer to every other move/lift and essentially improve your performance. Abdominal muscle consist of rectus abdominis(longest and biggest of the abdominal muscles/when it’s visible it gives you that 6 pack look), internal and external obliques(side abdominal muscles, those v lines are constructed of those) and transverse abdominis(deep core muscle, invisible, very important due to fact it controls your breathing and it keeps your inner core balanced and stabilized).
There is a certain way to hit each of those muscles but I believe that you should train’em as a whole. One thing I have to appoint you that training your obliques can actually ruin your aesthetic look due to tendency that increased muscle mass actually adds to your waist size and make you look “blocky”. Rectus abdominis or 6 pack muscle is whole another story. This muscle is built from a slow twitching fibers which means that it’s ability to increase in mass is poor, virtually nonexistent which means that your 6 pack look is conditioned to a large degree by a genetics(go hate or thank to your mom and dad). That doesn’t mean that you cannot have 6 pack or that training them doesn’t make sense. It means that mostly look of your 6 pack will be due to your diet. Training can actually make your abs more conditioned which means that your abdominal area will have better blood flow and due to a higher oxygen level it will make your abs a pop out more. All this combined will lead to a great, visible set of ripped abs.
Workouts for Six Pack Abs Fast
My personal experience and belief and even something that is scientifically proven is that your abs get the enough stimulation through usual other body part training. This means that your abs are involved in most of the exercises and movements as a stabilizer or synergy muscle. This is especially true when it comes to bodyweight exercises since almost all bodyweight exercises are compound movements that require a certain degree of core/abdominal strength to even perform them. This means that even without direct abdominal training you can have a great set of good looking/strong abs if your usual workout routine and diet are on point.
Still this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train your abs directly and actually training your abs with ab exercises has an important role in performance. Training your abs on regular basis will improve your conditioning which will add to your 6 pack look and will actually make your core stronger and more endurable which will essentially mean improved overall body strength and force production. It certainly won’t be your limiting factor in other exercises anymore.
So how to train abs?? I had an 6 pack abs obsession since early childhood and since then I tried a lot of different ways of training abs and workout routines. What I found is that the most effective for stimulating the abs is to train them first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Why is that so? It is simple fact that training on an empty stomach(fasting) forces your body to use pure fat stores as an energy source which will ultimately lead to more effective and faster fat burning process. Other benefit is that training your abs on an empty stomach allows better “squeeze” of your abdominal muscles and better mind to muscle connection which will make training more effective in the long run.
What are the most effective ab exercises? There is actually no most effective or best ab exercise. All exercises hit the muscle in a certain beneficial way if done properly. I believe that simplicity is the key. The most simple and basic exercises are the best because they actually give you the best possibility of concentrating on doing the exercise with proper form which is crucial especially when it comes to ab training. So the exercises like crunch, lying leg raise and plank if done properly and with 100 percent concentration will benefit you the most.
That is actually the “whole science” behind the ab training. Keep it simple by doing only 2-3 exercises on a regular basis. Train abs on empty stomach and concentrate on form, squeeze your abdominal muscles on peak of every rep and do the reps in slow and controlled manner. Train them at least 3 times a week but if you keep intensity relatively low you can train them everyday which will lead to better conditioning. 3-5 sets of 2-3 exercises is enough as long as you do it with proper form. You will benefit the most from “supersetting” which means after doing set of one exercise go directly to another. 3 circles of supersetting about 3 exercises will do the trick. Remember: build your workout around simple exercises, I believe that crunch, lying leg raise and plank are the best. Bonus exercise is Hanging leg raise. Incorporate it in routine if you intend to improve your core strength.
Easy Six Pack Diet
There is like thousand different diet regimens and approaches that are built on totally different principles and they all work for fat loss and help you reveal those abs. Thing that is in common to all these diets is that they provide you with caloric deficit which is what is ultimately most important to start the fat loss process.
I will reveal you my own diet tricks and tips and not something you could’ve already read somewhere on internet.
First of all; my diet approach isn’t based solely on caloric deficit but also on making your metabolism more efficient in fat burning. This means that with proper food intake you can manipulate your metabolism to burn fat more efficiently and lead to faster fat loss.
It is simple! Concentrate most of your foods on protein which means that best food choices are lean proteins as chicken, turkey, beef and also fish, cottage cheese, eggs, egg whites… By making these the staple of your diet, you indirectly leave a less space for more caloric, “bad” food to take a place in your diet. So make sure that every meal has a certain amount of protein and that most of your meal is quality protein. Only time when carbohydrates are necessary is around your workout since it will provide you with energy and replenish your glycogen stores which will ultimately lead to muscle recovery and metabolism boost. So eating a quality carbohydrates is important before workout(energy source) and after workout(replaces the glycogen stores, enhances protein synthesis, improves metabolism/enables fat burning). Best sources of high quality carbs are: rice, oats, pumpernickel bread, some veggies and fruits. About fats; you should keep them low but also it is important that there is a fat in your diet since it is essential for optimal organism function and also omega fatty acids are very important in muscle building process.
Why is muscle important for fat loss? Well ultimately more muscle means faster metabolism and greater caloric demands which means that more muscle mass you have the more efficient your body is at fat burning. So ultimately to increase the sheer capacity of your metabolism and your body ability to burn fat you should build more muscle.
Another trick for boosting your metabolism is to incorporate some foods that actually help. I’m talking about black coffee, green tea, spicy foods, cold water….
I don’t believe that calorie count is necessary but to know exactly what you eat and for what purpose is very important and will definitely help you lose fat and reveal your abs. So main scheme would be to eat smaller 4-6 meals a day to keep metabolism working, every meal should be based on lean protein sources, before and after workout you should concentrate on carbohydrate intake and track the food you eat so you have the clear picture and control over it. It’s basically it, from nutritional point of view.
Cardio for Six Pack
Can you get a six pack without cardio? Cardiovascular exercises have their role but they are overrated. Doing excessive cardio can actually lead to muscle catabolism, muscle loss and ruin your metabolism so if you doing cardio(jogging, jump rope, swimming, biking…) you should keep it to a minimum and do it only for improving your cardiovascular health and aerobic abilities. 2-3 times a week is more then enough. Strength/resistance training is much more important and effective for a fat loss purposes as for the muscle building, so concentrate on it. If you want to actually do some sort of cardio you will benefit the most from high intensity form of cardio which means sprints, and conditioning exercises(rowing, kettlebell, light bodyweight exercises like mountain climbers and jumping jacks…). Still keep it low like 2-3 times a week for 15-25 minutes.
Tips on Getting a Six Pack
Six Pack Training
- Train abs on an empty stomach first thing in the morning
- Use simple exercises and concentrate on form: crunches, lying leg raises, planks, hanging leg raises
- 2-3 exercises for 2-3 sets, best version is supersetting
Six Pack Diet
- Build your diet around lean protein food sources, concentrate on carbs around the workout
- Incorporate food that will boost your metabolism: black coffee, gree tea, spicy food, cold water…
- Concentrate on building overall muscle to boost your metabolism and increase caloric demands
- 4-6 smaller meals over course of the day and keep track of the food you eat
Cardio for Six Pack
- Avoid typical low intensity cardio(jogging, biking, swimming) or keep it low
- Use high intensity forms of cardio(sprints, jumps, conditiong circuits)
- Keep it low, 2-3 times a week for 15-25 minute session at most