Six Tips for Getting Six-Pack Abs
Are you doing 500 sit-ups each day to develop your abdominal region? More importantly, are you getting results? Probably not. To get six-pack abs, it’s more than doing core workouts. You must not only exercise properly, but make other lifestyle changes. Getting a chiseled six-pack isn’t easy, but if you follow these six rules compiled with the help of Men’s Fitness, you will be looking for any excuse to take off your shirt and show off your washboard stomach.
1. Cut Back Your Caloric Intake
You can do all the cardio and exercising you want, but cutting back on your food intake by 500 calories each day can make an even bigger difference. In order to develop chiseled abs, you must have low body fat content. By cutting back by 500 calories per day, you can lose about a pound in one week.
2. Perform Compound Movements
Ever seen a guy at the gym who is constantly working on his arms? Well chances are that guy is never going to get the gains he wants if he only does isolation exercises for his biceps. Compound movements are multi-joint exercises that hit more than one muscle group. These should be the staple of your workout because they can pack muscle on in a hurry and elevate testosterone levels which can help elevate the fat loss process. Exercises such as deadlifts, squats, bench press and lunges are examples of compound movements.
3. Watch Out For the Carbs
Carbohydrates are an important part of our diets. They are especially important for those who exercise. They are the easiest food to break down by the body for energy which is very important when you are working out. However, if you eat too many carbs, you will gain excess weight. Carbs that are not used by the body instantly are stored as glycogen. Once glycogen stores are full, excess carbs are stored as fat. Try to limit carbohydrate intake to the morning and afternoon and immediately after workouts.
4. Hit Your Abs From All Different Angles
Isolating one part of your abdominals isn’t going to get you a six-pack. Instead you need to hit your abs from all different angles. Instead of just focusing on sit-ups and crunches, incorporate movements such as oblique crunches, Russian Twists and weighted side bends.
5. High-Intensity Interval Training
This type of cardio is an excellent fat burner and muscle builder. High-intensity training involves working around maximum effort. As your muscles work at maximum effort, more oxygen is required for them to continue full exertion. When you are training at that level you are near your VO2 Max, which is the highest amount of oxygen consumed by your body during exercise. Interval training is splitting your exercise into periods of high intensity followed by periods of rest or low-to-moderate intensity. When you train near your VO2 Max level, you trigger the afterburner effect which keeps burning calories well after your workout. This form of training not only boosts your metabolism but it also promotes lean muscle growth. An example of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is dividing your running routine into 6 rounds of 30 seconds of a vigorous pace followed by 90 seconds of a moderate pace or jog.
6. Sleep More
Whether you’re working out or not, you need a good night’s sleep. When someone tells you sleep is for when you’re dead, counter with this bit of factual information. Ghrelin and leptin control your appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates your appetite while leptin is a hormone that sends a signal to your brain telling you you’re full. If you do not get a sufficient amount of sleep per night, those two hormones get out of whack. Ghrelin levels increase and leptin levels decrease. Studies indicate those that that do not sleep enough have higher levels of ghrelin, lower levels of leptin and increased body fat.