THE THING THAT STANDS BETWEEN SEEING YOUR ABS AND NOT SEEING THEM IS FAT!
In my experience as a trainer and an internet surfer, one of the most common questions I encounter is "How do I get my abs to show?" Well, here is the answer.
Two hundred sit-ups per day is one of the biggest misconceptions about abdominal training and will not necessarily lead to perfect abs. Abdominal training is perhaps the least important element, when developing an eye-popping mid section. You're probably guilty of doing weighted side bends, thinking it will give you that V-shape. In fact, by performing weighted-side bends, your oblique's will enlarge, giving the illusion that you have love-handles even though there is actually muscle there. Your abdominal muscles unlike your bicep, or hamstring muscles, cannot grow outward. Why waste your time with countless crunches if crunches will not force your abs to show through that layer of fat.
The reason you don’t see your six-pack when you look in the mirror, is not due to the fact that they are underdeveloped, or that you don’t have any at all. Rather, visceral fat (fat around the abdomen) hinders your body from maintaining a trim waistline. By eating unhealthy foods, and living a sedentary lifestyle, your body will store more visceral fat. Fat accumulation is a result of poor nutrition. The law of thermogenics suggests consuming less calories then you are burning will place you in a caloric deficit. The result is fat loss. Burning fat will trim your waistline, and define your abdominal muscles. Remember, the only thing stopping you from seeing your abs is FAT!
6 simple nutrition tips to help you to trim the belly fat:
1. Cut out junk food, deep-fried foods, and food which contain trans-fats from your diet
2. Consume protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats along with whole complex carbohydrates in moderation throughout the day to fuel your body (brown rice, sweet potatoes, and vegetables).
3. Do not eat carbohydrates too late at night, as the energy produced from consuming carbohydrates is not required at nighttime, and may cause excess fat to be stored
4. Drink lots of water - drink a quantity of water equal to half of your body weight in ounces (i.e. a person weighing 200lbs should drink 100oz of water per day).
5. Stay active and perform at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity per day, which will keep your heart healthy, help your body burn fat and improve your body’s efficiency
6. Get plenty of rest. Not allowing your body to rest, will hinder your body’s ability to burn fat.
The last component to attaining a six-pack, is training your core muscles. There are more muscles then you can imagine that make up your core, which is why it is vital to target your core from different angles. Not only will having a strong core make your six-pack look more defined, it will also assist in muscle mechanics such as body stabilization, balance and movement. Having a strong core is not all about aesthetics.
5 Exercises to develop the core:
Leg raises Crunches
Side twists Rope
Abdominal training should be implemented separately from your resistance training, three to five days a week. Spend 15 minutes at three sets per exercise, with 90 second rests between each set, allowing for enough time to catch your breath. Follow the steps listed above, and in no time you will have desirable six-pack.
Written by: Amer The Hammer, NASM- CPT Photography: Chris Linton Model: Tony Magee