Every year as the rain starts to go away and the sun starts to break through the clouds, the one thing on many people’s minds is how to get their abs looking good for the summer! My question to you is, why did you leave it so late? But the fact that you have left it late doesn’t mean you can’t improve on your abs. You can still obtain extremely great results in a short period of time, whether it’s for a holiday or you just might want to show off a little flesh and feel more confident. If you’re willing to put the work in then there is no reason you can’t transform yourself into the new and improved you.
Now a lot of peoples misconception of abs is that doing 100’s of sit ups everyday will get you a beautiful stomach, well this is wrong. Improving your midsection is not a complicated thing but it needs to be attacked from two different angles, eating and exercise. Both areas are really important and if you’re not whiling to apply 100% to both areas then you can’t expect to reach your full potential in the time which you have allowed yourself.
Eating plays a big role, what you need to do is begin to change the way you look at food! Stop looking at food as a luxury and think of it as fuel, think about what each meal does for you and how it will benefit you. When eating you are providing the body with energy, and it will use that energy function during your day, now many people tend to over eat taking in too much energy! Come the end of the evening the energy left over is not just discarded, your body try’s to store it by converting it into fat, and majority of your fat is stored in your abdomen area. Different food groups provide different amounts of energy. Carbohydrates provide you with the most amount of energy, now you have complex carbs which break down slowly over time, complex carbs being things like oats, rice, potato etc. Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly, not giving off too much energy but give little bursts, these are things like fruit. The key to your perfect diet is being nice and balanced, you see a lot of quick fix diets that work but they are unhealthy and you will lose the result quicker than you got them. The secret to burning body fat and improving you abs is to consume less energy then you are using up during the day, you can increase the amount of energy you use via things like exercise (read on to find out more about the exercise), this will force the body to break down the body fat that it is storing and use that instead. You want to start of everyday with some complex carbs, this will help to boost your metabolism and get your body to start burning fat first thing in the morning. The key to burning fat after that is to eat small and often and as the day goes on begin to reduce your carbs. The reason you reduce your carbs later on in the evening is because you are consuming energy with no way of burning it, therefore it will probably convert into fat. Now you want to maintain a steady protein intake throughout the day. This would help you repair the muscle tissue which you will be using when you exercise, and it will also help stabilise your blood sugar levels which is vital in order to maximise fat loss!
The second part is exercise. Now this should be broken into two sections, cardio and resistance. Cardio can be carried out every day. What you need to remember is the main focus of this cardio is fat burning and not about improving overall fitness. This is a common mistake that people make. The difference between the two is all about intensity and heart rate. Now your fat stores are used mainly at low intensity cardio carried out for long periods of time, so this would be things like slow jogs, or incline walks for around 40 minutes. The moment you up the tempo you are no longer using your body fat stores you are now carrying out a cardio workout out which will no longer prioritise the use of your body fat as energy, this is because body fat takes a little longer to break down so the moment your intensity is increased your body knows it will not be able to utilise your body fat in time so therefore it will focus on using of your cardio vascular system.
Next in line is the actual abs exercise routine! Your mid-section is built up of 4 main areas, upper abs, lower abs, oblique’s and lower back. You need to think about the current condition of your abs. Do you need to flatten your abs or need to get more definition, by pulling out your 6 pack a little more? This is important because the exercise you carry out will play part of the roll towards the type of results you will be left with. If your aim is to flatten you will need to carry out a higher range of repetitions using your body weight, things like crunches without a weight for instance. Many people carry out sets of 20 or 10, but if your abs are strong that might not be enough to force your body to adapt if it is too easy, therefore not causing any real adaptations. So what is better to insure your abs workout is as good as it can be is by carrying out each set until failure. If you can carry out a higher rep range like 25-30 then that usually means the exercise you are doing is too easy for you. The general range you want to achieve is about 20reps, with around 3 sets, your abs are a muscle just like the rest of your body so the same rules apply, you do not need to carry out abs workout every day for more results, that would work against you, be sure to allow your abs time to recover. If you need to pull out the muscles in your abdominals you need to carry out more weighted abs exercises, these are exercises with extra resistance like preys, decline weighted crunches. The rep range you want to be working threw is around 12 for around 3 sets as well. Abs workout should take around 20 minutes with 30-40sec rest between sets; it should be hard and intense!!!
Flatten programme 3 X failure
- Crossed leg raises
- Flutter kicks
- Swiss ball crunches
- V sits
- Oblique crunch
- Hyper extensions
Build muscle programme 3/8-12
- Leg raises
- Weighted leg pull ins (in/outs)
- Decline weighted crunch
- Side dumbbell tilts
There you guys have my all time best tips for getting a ripped mid section!!! Hopefully I have enabled some of you to hit your goals and you will continue to prosper as an athlete using these rules!