Whether we're trying to get in shape to impress our relatives on a family cruise, or trying to shed off the last few pounds of that baby weight, abs are almost always in the picture. And when you close your eyes and imagine your dream physique, what do you see? I'm willing to bet that the the first or second thing you picture is what your abs would look like. So the questions is: how do we get that to translate to real life? Well, the process isn't easy, but it's quite simple. Here's what creating washboard abs looks like.
MAKE THEM IN THE KITCHEN
Time and time again, we've heard the saying "abs are made in the kitchen." So why do we need to hear it again? To be blunt, we don't. We just need to re-apply the meaning and nail it on the head. Sometimes people say that fitness is 70% nutrition and 30% training. WRONG. Fitness is 100% nutrition and 100% training. Your food must be as consistent as your training is. There is no such thing as outworking a bad diet. So, what steps do we need to take to make abs in the kitchen? First thing's first, find a macronutrient and nutrition calculator. I love the IIFYM Calculator. Once you have figured out how many calories you should be eating, as well as your macronutrient split, it's time to hit the grocery store. There are plenty of places you can go to find clean, healthy recipes that can be catered to your macros. My favorite is the Healthy Recipe Database at Bodybuilding.com.
If you're completely green to this process, I recommend contacting a professional such as myself to guide you along the way. Once food has been brought home and meals have been made for the week, it's time to stay consistent and track our progress.
Don't let your food work around your schedule. Have your schedule work around your food. Is a six-pack only a goal? Or is it a priority as well?
DON'T FORGET CARDIO
Cardio, cardio, cardio. I can't stress enough how important it is to work on your cardiovascular fitness while training for any goal. With six-pack abs, cardio is a MUST. Question is, what kind of cardio should you be doing? I'm sure you've heard plenty of debates on which style of cardio is best, and you can get my opinion by reading my previous blog post. In a nutshell, I believe HIIT cardio is best for fat loss, especially while training to maintain as much muscle mass as possible. My recommendation is to perform 15-30 minutes of HIIT training after every single weights session. This brings me to my third rule.
TRAIN ABS LIKE ANY OTHER MUSCLE GROUP
I hate to break it to you, but that 300 repetition bodyweight ab workout you've been doing is going to get you nowhere. Yes, your abs might recover quicker than a lot of muscle groups, and the fibers may be more dense, but muscle tissue is muscle tissue. In order to have a prominent six-pack, you must have a thick ab wall under your skin. So, we need to train our abs with weights, just like any other muscle group. Arnold didn't get his chest by performing 1000 pushups each day. Add some weighted exercises to your routine, and lower your rep range to 10-20 each set. We need that ab wall to get thicker, so it will stand out more as you lose that body fat in the midsection.
So there they are. 3 rules for crazy abs. They are simple, because getting six-pack abs is simple. It's not easy, but it's simple. Apply these to your day-to-day, and let me know how it's working out for you!
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