What is the million dollar question when it comes to body image and feeling better about yourself? Both men and women both struggle to get rid of this sometimes elusive and stubborn fat. Most people want refer to wanting the magic pill to get rid of it, and desire it to be gone and to never return. But it often doesn’t occur overnight and won’t be fixed overnight either. In my experience, the most prevalent health, and fitness question is: How do I get abs, tone my belly or get a ripped six pack? All the same question just different verbiage. Most Marketing companies don’t pitch or tell you the right things. They want you to buy the late night infomercial that doesn’t provide you with any answers and they put a very fit men and women on there to deceive you to actually make you think that this is what they did to get there. Well, here I’ll spill my best info on how to do get to the lowest body fat level possible for you.
But How Do I Get a Six Pack?
First and foremost, in order to get abs or see your abs, you must drop your body fat in general. Just strengthening your abs isn’t going to get you anywhere. So, just lying on floor doing hundreds of crunches isn’t the answer and since that will only build the muscle not burn the fat. Your main goal needs to be to get lean or leaner. You need to focus on a few things to burn the fat.
Cardio Training…What Is Best?
Cardio plays a huge role in fat loss. There are two forms of cardio that you will need to do 1) HIIT (high intensity interval training) and LISS (low intensity steady state). I think most of the beginners in fitness go about their cardio sub-optimally for fat loss. I think this is two part. One, because they are too shy. Second, they are unsure or how to use the other pieces of equipment or why they should. The goal of cardio is to get into an energy deficit and to have fat be the main use of energy. Being in an energy deficit means burn more than you are taking in. Most people use a lot of LISS (elliptical, treadmill jog) and leave out the HIIT (intervaling heart rate from high to medium/low) but the HIIT is what creates more of a calorie burn. I give them credit for trying to do something about their health and fitness but it’s just not as effective and more boring which can get people frustrated and quit. We need to pair HIT training with LISS training to get optimal results AND to keep it interesting for the long term as it does you no good to get into great shape then to fall back into your old habits! This is called yo-yoing and it’s not what you want!
Should I Weight Train?
Using weight training in a high intensity fashion is also a very important for part of getting abs. You need to keep your intensity high or moderate depending on the level of fitness and the weights moderate so you can burn a lot calories during your workout. You shouldn’t do it where it’s light and not a challenge the weights need to be between 8-15 reps, little rest and you should be dripping in sweat. If you are not dripping and sweat and keeping active then you are not doing it right. I wouldn’t suggest you to be on your phone or be talking to friends in between sets. You need to be active in the gym and burning as many calories as you can. If you use a heart rate monitor, see how many calories you burned in the hour and try to match or improve it!
Nutrition Is Key!
Nutrition from what I have seen is really the most misunderstood and the hardest to get people to adapt to. The reason is because they are uneducated and think it supposed to be painful. They also think it takes some more change on top of the change they just made to start exercising. Think about it, how hard is it for some to get into the gym? Pretty hard! Now, have the newbies add a second chore to that new habit which makes it almost impossible. My suggestion is to tackle one that after that’s down, add the second one. If not one at a time you can bring yourself to overload and overwhelm causing you to quit. As far as the strategy for most people is they will need to keep grainy carbohydrates limited, increasing vegetable intake which will decrease the insulin spike, decreasing calories and helping less energy be stored. Also, increasing protein intake a bit via food and/or supplementing with protein shakes is essential. Also, keeping healthy fats moderate is also important. You must Incorporating foods that you like occasionally to keep you sane is something that is a must from keeping you from over eating. You want to eat healthy 80-90% of the time to keep healthy habits. If you are eating 100% perfect I would suggest to not strive for perfection because from experience it’s not worth it mentally, emotionally and will not be sustainable. Make sure you enjoy yourself and the foods you eat or it won’t last.
After you have this dialed in you can now start to focus on abdominal work. Crunches are often done improperly by most beginner because they haven’t learned how to contract and keep tension on the ab muscle during the movements. I also see a lot of people try to do to advanced movements without learning how to do the basics right first. Learn how to develop ab recruitment then increase level of difficulty. Start with planks then move to sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts, and twists.
I hate to say it. We’ve all seen people with “good genes” and wondered if they had any idea how lucky they are. They probably don’t, but that’s okay. Consider getting to your goal a character building experience you will learn a lot about yourself and you will have to dig deeper and focus harder to get to your goal. Just because you weren’t blessed doesn’t mean you can’t. It will just take more work. Which has never killed anyone by the way.
Make sure you use HIIT and LISS type of cardio, Take out a lot of the grains and replace with vegetables, increase protein intake, and keep your healthy fats moderate. Then start training your abs and last but not least work hard and stay consistent.