I’m not talking about a six pack you buy in the store! Many people who exercise never get that tight washboard abdominal look they want. Those ripped, six pack abs. They try and try but never seem to be able to get that look. You will see advertisements on television all the time with models demonstrating a product to try to influence people into thinking they got their six pack abs from the product as they are all in great shape. So what’s the answer?
The bottom line is this. We have to shed the body fat to see the abdominals. You wont get that washboard or six pack look from doing endless sit ups, ab machine exercises or from some gizmos on television. The answer is simple, but too many people are looking for some miracle workout or magic pill to get there and get there fast. We can’t eat anything we want when it comes to taking off body fat.
To get that washboard six pack abs and super tight waist look, we need to do a combination of clean eating, cardio training and resistance training. Each of these are important and when done properly will help us in attaining our goals. Our bodies can only take in so many calories, carbs and fat grams to use as fuel. When we overeat and or eat poorly, we put on extra weight which we call body fat. Many people put the extra weight on over years of unhealthy eating and not exercising enough, then they want to take it off right away. Everyone needs to remember that it took time to put the weight on so it will take time to take it off the healthy way.
So how do you get started? First, you will need to figure out how many calories, fats, carbs and protein your taking in daily. You should also check your body fat which can be done either by using a scale that can read that for you or other devices which can measure it. Some devices advertise that you can hold the product in your hand and it will give you a body fat reading. I also suggest taking measurements. Those would be calf, middle thigh, buttocks, waist, chest and arm. Let’s not forget taking before and after photos.
Now after doing that you will want to put together your training program and healthy eating plan. Both will vary on your experience level, current weight, body fat, metabolism and what type of work you do. You will not get the look you desire unless you put as much emphasis on your eating as you do your training. Everyone needs to find a starting point for their individual food intake and then make small changes according to your goals. Don’t make drastic changes as they are unhealthy. I would suggest lowering daily calorie levels about 5% to take off unwanted body fat. Go for a 4 week period with the lower calorie intake and see how that works. If there is no change, you could either make another 5% cut or increase your cardio level or the total time you do cardio. If you do make a cardio change, then do the same as with your nutrition which is a small change such as adding 5 minutes daily or going up one level on the intensity. Never take your calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats to an unhealthy level. We do not need to starve ourselves to take off body fat. Making healthy and smart food choices on a regular basis is the way to go. If you don’t know what healthy food choices to make, you should search ShapeFit.com or find a qualified trainer or nutrition specialist to help you with that.
As for the abdominal training, you need to use a wide variety of exercises and always use excellent form with constant tension and high reps. Personally, I like to work my lower abdominals first, then middle, upper and finally obliques. But remember, all the AB training in the world will not bring out your abs or make your tummy look nice and lean if you’re taking in too many calories and not eating the right foods. Its going to take some time and it will be the combination of clean eating, cardio training and resistance exercises on a regular basis. By doing all three, you will take off body fat. When I was competing in drug free bodybuilding competitions, I would do my abdominal training 6 days a week. As I got closer to a competition I would take one day and do abs for 45 minutes. Walking out on stage I could have my abs showing nice without even flexing them.
For me, I ate chicken breast, baked cod, egg whites, oatmeal, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, low-fat dairy products, protein supplements and quality drinking water to get in contest shape. I ate small meals every 3 to 3.5 hours during the day with a combination of protein and carbohydrates in each meal. Any time I would get hungry between meals I would snack on healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. I always baked or grilled my meat products.
Give it time. Just as anything else in life, things don’t happen over night. Just remember every time you eat, ask yourself is this going to benefit me and help me reach my goals? Only you can control the foods you eat and the old saying “we are what we eat” is very true. People are finding out everyday why that saying is spot-on.