Let’s be honest. At some point, we’ve all wanted to have six-pack abs. Most people, when embarking on a weight-loss journey, make having visible abs an end goal of their journey but few know how difficult it really is to have and maintain that perfect six-pack.
The truth is that there are no shortcuts. There is no checklist to follow that will guarantee you a set of perfectly chisselled abs. Our bodies are different and unique and, as such, they respond differently to training and diets. But there are a few essential do’s and don’ts that will get you one step closer to having the abs you’ve always wanted.
1. Doing 1 000 sit-ups won’t get your six-pack abs
Unfortunately, you cannot spot-reduce when losing weight, meaning you cannot choose where your body loses weight first. A lot of body fat is stored around the mid-section so it is not that you don’t have abs – we all have abs. However, some of us just have a bit more body fat around the midsection than others. Doing
1 000 sit-ups to try and burn the fat around your waist won’t make your abs visible.
2. Follow a structured ab routine
Incorporate a variety of abdominal exercises into your routine and dedicate at least one day a week to work on your abs and core. Try to change the exercises that you do often to maximise your results and avoid stagnation, but stay consistent by hitting your session every week.
Do isolated as well as compound abdominal exercises. Some of the most common and loved abdominal exercises are:
Hanging leg raises
3. Follow a structured and consistent cardio and weight-training programme
It’s all about getting lean so that your abs will become visible. Cardio exercises burn calories while you’re exercising, while weight-training burns calories throughout the day. Remember, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day – your body burns calories to maintain the muscle. So weight training is the perfect solution to sculpting your body while burning fat.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is also a great method to optimise your fat burning instead of fasted or steady-state cardio. The key here is to stay consistent. Consistency is the key to reaching your goal.
4. Follow a structured and balanced meal plan
As much as we would like to exercise our way to the perfect six-pack, it is simply not that easy. What determines whether you will have visible abs or not is your diet.
Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast every day to kickstart your metabolism, followed by five or six balanced, high-protein meals structured three or so hours apart. Protein will help you build and maintain lean muscle while burning fat.
Eat clean, fresh food and try to stay away from sugar and processed foods.
5. Drink lots of water
Keep your body hydrated and nourished and it will perform at an optimal level.
6. Don’t expect miracles overnight
As with weight loss, getting to the point where you have visible abs will take time. As long as you stay consistent with your diet and training, you will see the results sooner or later.
Remember, genes play a role. Depending on your body type, some of us may see results sooner than others. Some don’t even have to put in that much work because they are genetically pre-positioned to have visible abs. As long as you work with what you have and stay consistent, you can have visible, washboard abs too!
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