Eat Your Way To Great Abs
A simple guide to the best way to get abs
Many people regularly bust their guts doing sit-ups and crunches with one goal in mind: a washboard 6 pack stomach. Unfortunately, the washboard abs look has more to do with the absence of belly fat than with well- developed stomach muscles. Instead, use these simple tips to reveal your six pack:
For your abs to be visible, you have to start by getting rid of the fat. This is done simply by burning more calories than you take in. If you cut your calorie intake by 250-500 calories per day, this should promote a gradual fat loss of around 1-2lbs per week, and you will be on your way to the ultimate 6 pack in no time.
Many people fail to realise the importance of protein when trying to develop lean muscle and consequently great abs. Your muscles can utilise between 0.8- 2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. So, a 70kg man should aim for 56 - 140 grams of protein per day. Protein feeds your muscles to help rebuild after a tough workout in the gym. Find it hard to eat all that protein?
Although too much fat isn't healthy, some fat in your diet is a key part of a healthy balanced diet.. High-fat, cold-water fish such as salmon or mackerel are rich in the long-chain Omega 3 fats. Foods like avocados, nuts and olive oil contain primarily monounsaturated fat, which is another type of 'good' fat, and can be eaten on a regular basis. Learn more about Omega 3 fats here.
Quality CarbsOnce your protein and fat intake is taken care of, the next step is to adjust carbohydrate intake. Consider eating more fruit, vegetables and fibre-rich foods. Helping you achieve you your training goals to get a 6 pack.
Eat little and often
We suggest having five smaller meals a day, ensuring that its a healthy well- balanced diet. Another popular approach is to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and for convenience protein supplements are ideal as a mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon snack.
It's important to do some form of resistance training 2-3 days per week. Resistance training will help you keep the muscle that you've worked so hard to build. Stick to heavy compound lifts such as the deadlift, squat, bench press and shoulder press. Try to get in and out of the gym within 60 minutes, and follow your workout with a protein-rich food or supplement. The protein in the food supplement will help you maintain and develop lean muscle and support your training goals.
Cardio is the traditional and best 'fat burning' exercise, but it's important to do it correctly to promote fat burning while preserving muscle. Perform one of these workouts 2-4 times per week. Low intensity cardio (such as jogging or cycling) should be performed at 70-75% of your maximum heart rate for 30-60 minutes. If you're very fit, you may want to try high intensity interval training (HIIT), such as 10 x 100m sprints separated by 2 minutes of brisk walking. HIIT increases calorie expenditure after exercise and is also a great way to boost your cardiovascular fitness. Make sure to sandwich your HIIT workouts between a 5-10 minute warm up and cool down session.
As well as fat burning exercises, you also need to build the abdominal muscles to get the 6 pack definition. The best way to do this is to train your abs 2-3 times per week, using basic crunches, planks, reverse curls and oblique crunches. Do 2-3 sets per exercise, 8-15 repetitions per set (using extra resistance where necessary to make the load challenging). Check out the Maximuscle Body Part Blitz: Abs article here.