Wednesday, July 11, 2007
How To Get Six Pack Abs?
Over the years I have seen a lot of flimsy ideas of how to get a set of six pack abs. The most common scams are special machines that will do it and sometimes some kind of drink. I remember at one point Slim Fast seemed to be showing chubby people suddenly spawning a set of six pack abs.
Anyway I wanted to put this notion to rest that there is some magic to getting a six pack. Sure there is some genetics involved in sculpting perfect abs but the two most important factors are diet and exercise.
What? Did you think there was a shortcut?
The diet part is fairly simple; you need to drop any extra fat. You have probably heard this before but there is no such thing as spot reduction when you are losing weight. You will lose weight proportionately, generally, as you lose weight. What you may find is that you have a large stomach and if that is the case of course you will lose that fat faster than you lose the fat on your legs but that is just because that is where the fat deposits will be easiest for your body to use.
As you probably know from reading other posts of mine I subscribe to the idea that people eat too many carbohydrates generally but I still do not support the Atkins diet generally. I believe that you must increase your protein to 20% of your diet, keep fats at about 20% of the calories of your diet and then have carbs as the other 60% of the calories of your diet. If you still have trouble losing you may be a bit sensitive to carbohydrates and you can up the protein a little.
As for exercise, to get a set of six pack abs you will have to do two things; get in an hour of cardio a day to increase your metabolism and start really dropping the fat and secondly make sure that you do your abdominal exercises at the start of your workouts.
For cardio exercise it does not really matter what kind of cardio exercise you get but it is always best to vary your exercise so that you do not overtrain any one muscle group. I never see people speak of this in regards to cardio training but I have found in the past with my bicycling that when I am riding a lot my legs get sore but the rest of my body recovers fine. So maybe try to alternate some kind of biking, swimming, hiking, running, brisk walking and even using a rowing machine if you have a chance. Do cardio almost every day, five or six days a week is good, seven days a week is pushing it a little too much in my eyes.
Next is the abdominal exercises themselves. There are three places to target for your abdominals, the obliques, which are on your sides, your upper abdominals and your lower abdominals. Doing abdominal exercises is something that some people believe you should do every day but I really believe you are doing well if you just do them every second day or three days a week.
For your obliques you can do twists. Simply sit on a bench with you body straight up and down and put some kind of a light bar or broomstick across your shoulders and then do twists twist from one side to the other as far as you can go for two sets of 100 reps. The key is to not use much weight at all as gaining muscle on your obliques will widen your midsection which is not something most people want to do.
To work your upper abdominals you want to do some kind of sit ups or crunches. I am more a fan of crunches as they are easier on your neck and mower back. Lie on your back with your legs up on the seat of a chair so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle to your body and then just lift your shoulders a few inches of the ground and then let them down again. This should put stress on your abs and you should feel it pretty intensely after just a few reps. be sure to do this exercise slowly and for at least three sets of 30 reps.
To work your lower abdominals you need to do something that raises your legs in the air as opposed to lifting your upper body into the air. The exercise that I prefer for this is a kind of reverse crunch that I do not have a name for. I lie flat on my back and hold something behind my head to keep my upper body stable and then I just bring my knees up towards my chest and back down to the ground again. If you get really strong this way you can try just lifting your legs straight out and up but sadly I am not that strong.
If you follow this plan you will se results very quickly and depending on how much fat you have to lose you can see rock hard abs fairly quickly. The other great thing about strengthening your abs besides looking better is the fact that strengthening your core makes you stronger overall and help out with your balance and even your stamina.
For more information on picking a diet and workout plan for yourself you can visit my diet.calputer.com/ site or my www.nadraszky.com/fitness/archives/fat-loss-for-idiots.html review.
Posted by Lawrence at 7:18 AM