Ah yes, the much longed-for six pack.
We are bombarded with images of it in almost every movie, every magazine and every TV show we see. People put them on their Facebook profile, and spend thousands of dollars on crazy fitness programs in the hopes that one day they will have em too.
Maybe in the past it has seemed impossible for you to achieve them. Maybe you have struggled with diet plans, fitness plans, and six pack plans for too long and you are ready to finally put those struggles into the rear-view once and for all.
In this six-pack abs guide I am going to show you the basics behind getting a six pack. I will also give you my own personal ab exercises routine that I still use to this day and also recommend to my clients.
THE REALITY ABOUT HOW TO GET A SIX PACK.
First thing you need to understand, and this is absolutely imperative if you are serious about learning how to get a six pack, is that before you even think about diet, working out, or doing crunches, you need to know this one, indisputable fact.
To get a six pack of your own means you have to decrease your overall body fat percentage to a specific level.
Which means no spot reduction, no doing three million crunches, and no crazy diet pills. Realizing how to get a six pack lies solely in losing fat.
Got it? Good.
So what are the fastest ways to decrease your body fat levels?
Glad you asked.
There are a limited number of ways to truly torch fat. Despite what all those ridiculous infomercials will tell you, there is no just-found, never-seen-before way to lose weight in a hurry. It’s been the same since day one, just packaged differently.
You need to have a good diet, rest adequately, and workout like a demon.
Seriously. No need for weight loss jewelery, insane diet pills, cleanses, ridiculous diets or “slimming” suits.
Now, if it were that simple, everyone would probably have a six pack by now, right?
It’s learning how to use those three things to the best of their ability that many people get confused about. They don’t know how much to eat, when to eat, or how long to workout, or what exercises to do.
The main principles of having a good diet include:
- Drinking tons of water.
- Avoiding processed foods.
- Eating more frequent meals (5-6) per day to condition you to eat smaller meals.
- Eliminating refined sugars from your diet.
And that’s pretty much it!
Having a new diet is always a struggle. Eating well can be a challenge especially since we are bombarded with hundreds of messages per day via TV, magazines, etc to rush down to our neighborhood to plow our mouths with triple-stacked cheeseburgers.
Hey, I understand how hard it can be too fight that temptation! But once you make having a good diet a priority as well as a habit, it becomes dramatically easier.
In my experience when you combine the following two forms of exercise you turn yourself into a virtual fat-burning machine.
Lifting weights is an awesome way to burn a ton of fat. Not only does the act itself result in calories being shed off of your body (and mid-section!) but simply having more muscle in your body keeps your metabolism at a high rate. For each additional pound of muscle you have you are burning an additional 10-30 calories per day. Free calorie burning!
As if that wasn’t enough, strength training also helps you by:
- Preventing the loss of lean body mass from dieting or getting older.
- Gives you better posture and body composition.
- Reduces the likelihood of injury by strengthening joints, ligaments and bones.
Simply doing a typical 30 minute circuit 3x per week can be enough to get you these benefits.
This is my favorite form of exercise. I get the most net benefit for the amount of time spent, and it’s the one I employ the most after binge eating over the holidays.
If you are like me, sitting on a bike or treadmill for 40-50 minutes sound like a lame way to spend your time. Not only does your butt tend to fall asleep, but low intensity, medium paced cardio is significantly less effective at burning fat. Bump up the intensity every few minutes and get your heart rate up and you will kick your metabolism into high gear.
I can literally see the effects of doing this form of exercise after a week or two. There are a ton of other benefits to this form of cardio, all of which I outline in Six Pack Secrets as well.
Of course you knew this was probably coming. To get those beautiful, sculpted abs we are also going to have to work ‘em.
You don’t need to do a million crunches per day to get a sculpted mid-section. In fact, you can get all the abs work you need to get done in about 5-8 minutes, done every second day.
Here is my favorite ab circuit that I do that Is not only short on time, but hits every part of your abs and hits them hard. Depending on your level of physical ability right now, perform between 10-30 of each exercise, with no rest between exercises. Take 1-2 minutes between circuits.
Crunches => Bicycle Crunches => Reverse Crunch => Plank
The classic. Hands behind your ears, raise your upper body towards your knees. Imagine a cable bringing your sternum straight to the ceiling. Hold at the top for a moment. Repeat.
I prefer to use a swiss ball as it supports the back better.
Still on your back, hands still behind your ears, extend your legs so that they are not touching the ground. Bring your right knee to your chest. Rotate and elevate your torso so that your left elbow touches your knee.
Don’t swing your elbow or pull on your head — your movements should be slow and controlled.
Probably my favorite ab exercise. It targets the lower abs like nothing else. From your back, place your hands at your side or under your buttocks. Lifts your legs to ninety degrees and bring them back to your chest without bending them from ninety degrees.
Push them back so that your feet nearly touch the ground (you will feel a good stretch in your abs at this point), then slowly bring back to your chest.
A highly effective exercise for your core strength. Lying on your stomach, lift your body so that the only parts of your body that are touching the ground are your toes and forearms.
Keep your elbows at shoulder width. And hold for 30 seconds.
Seems like like it shouldn’t really make a difference, but when you lack sleep the stress hormone cortisol increases. Cortisol is a strong retainer of fat in the belly area. Get your 7-8 hours of rest and you will glide through your days with less stress and without that annoying fat retaining hormone wreaking havoc on your belly area.
Not only does sufficient rest decrease your stress levels, it will also significantly improve your workouts, and also help you keep focused throughout the day. Not bad for just laying on your back with your eyes closed!