If you are workout at the gym regularly you will know that one of the hardest muscles to build is your abs as fat around the abdominal area is particularly stubborn and hard to get rid of. This is even harder if you are overweight or have excess fat around your abdominal area. Obtaining solid ripped abs is always the main goal for every person who frequents the gym regularly. As with any tasks or goal, you need to have determination for you to succeed in getting those six pack abs. Without determination and a solid plan, you have already failed before you have even started.
How to get abs? That is the most popular question every person wants to know. Well, the answer is actually very simple. There are 3 key areas that you need to focus on and they are: -
1) Cardiovascular workouts
3) Abdominal weight training
If you are determined and follow these 3 golden rules, you will definitely see your abs. Along the way you are bound to feel that your hard work is not paying off. Keep at it and be persistent as your body needs time to adjust to your new routine and diet. A good indication that your hard work is paying off is when you feel a bit of strain around your abdominal area. You abdominal muscles feel tighter and firmer. Once you shed the fat around that area, you will be able to see your abdominal muscles.
Key Area #1 – Cardiovascular Workouts
Generally, everyone has muscles around their abdominal area because if we did not, we would not be able to stand or walk as the abdominal muscles are closely related to our back muscles. The only reason why we cannot see them is because they are covered in a layer of fat. The best and most effective way to get rid of fat around your midsection is through cardiovascular workout sessions.
Do not think that you can just do a particular exercise routine that focuses on your abdominal area to reduce fat around that area. Exercises like crunches and sit-ups are good only after you have shed the fat through a proper cardio workout. Make sure your cardio sessions include a mixture of high intensity and low intensity phases as you will burn more calories this way. A good example would be to run as fast as you can for 1 minute followed by a slow jog for 2 minutes then repeat the cycle for 20 to 30 minutes.
You should incorporate 3 – 4 cardio workout sessions per week in your routine. Among the recommended cardio workouts are running, jogging, biking, the elliptical, aerobics and swimming. However, research has shown that running and jogging burns the most number of calories as it is intense and efficient. If you find running or the road or tarmac hurts your joints, try running on a dirt path or a treadmill. It is much easier on the knees and has less impact.
Again, you MUST do a minimum of 3 to 4 cardiovascular workouts per week for a duration of at least 20 minutes if you want to shed fat around your abdominal area in the shortest amount of time. Do not forget to incorporate high and low intensity paces as well in your cardio sessions.
Key Area #2 – Nutrition
Although it is common to feel hungry after an intensive workout at the gym, that does not give you the privilege to eat anything and everything that you desire. To shed fat effectively, you need to watch your diet and incorporate a proper cardio workout in your routine. The goal is to burn more calories that you consume each day so as to create a calorie deficit in your body. If you consume more calories than you burn, you are adding fat to your body and you will NEVER see those abs no matter how hard you train.
Nutrition plays a very important factor as with proper nutrition you are able to reduce your calorie intake and hence your cardio workouts will be more effective. Instead of eating 3 square meals a day, eat five to six small but nutritious meals spaced apart about every three to four hours. That way, you will not have hunger pangs and desire to snack. If you really have to snack, go for something light like fruits or salad. These snacks are nutritious and have high fiber content.
Do not think that by skipping meals, you will lose weight faster. In fact, it is the opposite. When you skip a meal your body slows down its metabolism rate and instead burns fat less effectively as it is trying to conserve energy. Also, when you are too hungry you tend to snack and eat whatever you can get your hands on. You do not think of nutrition but rather how to recover from your hunger pangs.
A good general breakdown when it comes to nutrition is to think of a pyramid whereby protein is at the base level followed by carbohydrates and finally fats. Hence your diet should consist of 50% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 10% fats. Our muscles are typically made from tightly-wound protein molecules. When we workout, our muscles will get damaged and when they recover they become stronger and bigger. That is why; you need to keep your protein intake high to help with the recovery of your muscle tissues.
Most people who go on diet tend to shun away from carbohydrates but the fact is, carbs play a vital role in the body which is to provide energy needed during workouts. If you do not have this source of energy, you will lethargic and weak during your workout sessions. However, do not overload yourself with carbohydrates as they are converted to sugar it not used. Keep away from soft drinks and simple sugars like honey, cane sugar, syrups and also a lot of fruit.
Water is also very important and you should drink at least a gallon of water each day. As our bodies are 80% fluid, water helps in nutrient absorption and digestion. It also aids in flushing out harmful toxins from your body. After working out, make sure you replenish your fluids by drinking lots of water or isotonic drinks. Click Here For Links
The key to getting your six pack abs to show is by getting rid of the fat around your abdominal area. The most effective way to do this is by making sure you supply your body with the proper nutrition every 3 to 4 hours and to have a proper cardio workout session 3 to 4 times a week. Create a calorie deficit to increase the metabolism rate in your body and you are on your way to seeing that six pack of abs you have always dreamt of.
Key Area #3 – Abdominal Weight Training
People often have this mentality that when it comes to abdominal workouts, they do not need weights. However, when it comes to training other parts of like biceps, chest and triceps they will automatically include weights in their training. Your abdominals are just like any other muscle and therefore you need resistance to strengthen and build them.
Below are some proven and effective abdominal workouts that will deliver proper stimulation to your abs.
Weighted Leg Raises
Lie flat on your back with your hands under your butt. Wrap your feet around a light dumbbell and raise your feet above the ground. Start with 6 inches above the ground, then raise them higher to 12 – 16 inches from the ground and then slowly go back down. Repeat the cycle for 20 reps and gradually increase the weight after you have gotten used to it.
Seated Ab Machine
When you do this, remember not to swing all the way down, just about 30 degrees down to fully contract your abdominal muscles. Hold your position for 3 seconds then go back up. Repeat the cycle for 20 reps.
Cable Rope Crunches
Grab the tricep rope, kneel down and bend downwards while contracting your abs. The concept is the same as crunches, only now you are on your knees instead of lying down. Do not swing your hips, just go down until you feel your abdominal muscles contract. Hold your position for 3 seconds then go back up. Repeat the cycle for 20 reps.
Take a dumbbell and let it lie on your upper chest or below your chin while performing crunches. You will notice you will have added more resistance to your workout. Experiment with the dumbbell weight till you can do about 10 to 15 reps. Keep in mind that for an effective abdominal workout, you need to have enough resistance.
No matter which exercise you perform, you must always remember the weight / resistance factor. If you do not add resistance, you will not be able to increase the amount of lean muscle tissue in your abdominal area. Do not overwork your muscles; twice a week is sufficient for maximum results. The combination of cardiovascular workout, proper nutrition and weight training will guarantee you a six-pack abs in no time. You only need the determination and persistence to achieve it.