I've gotten several inquires about how to attain the coveted six-pack. The range of difficulty of getting shredded physique with a washboard stomach will vary person to person (especially in increasing idling America). And why is everybody so infatuated with abs anyway? I once saw a guyís t-shirt that had an arrow pointing to his gut and exclaiming "fuel tank for the sex machine". Now a sense of humor can more sexier than a six-pack!
To be painfully honest, getting shredded abs is not going to be easy for anyone. But its not impossible. Let me give you little story:
I have to pictures on my wall of when I was back in college. They both had beaches in the background. Once was in Hawaii and the other in California.
My Hawaii photo was taken on spring break. This was one week after I competed in NCWA wrestling nationals. I had spent the prior 2 months working my butt off training. Tons of cardio to cut weight, weird dieting of vegetables, grains, lean meats. I had to make weight (165 lbs for competition) and I was already skinny.
Anyway to my unpleasant surprise I had a little stomach in my Hawaii photo. This was even more surprising since I just finished a 40 mile bike ride!
And then a few months later I started lifting heavy. During the summer I did a body part training program with little cardio except wrestling practice twice a week. It was early September and I decided to visit Santa Monica on a whim (I live in Denver). During this time I had to admit I'd been doing a little bit of drinking too (hey it was my last year in college). To my pleasant surprise, I had a shredded six pack at this time. Why? My resistance training had increased my metabolism rate and helped get rid of extra body fat.
So here are some tips for you guys (and girls)
1. Resistance Training: I recommend resistance training over cardio but both are very important. Heavy lifting that promotes muscle hypertrophy should be the initial approach of your program. I'll go into more detail about this in part 2.
2. Cardio: most people do this wrong. If you want abs you can't go for a 20 minute nice easy jog in the park and expect to incinerate a ton of fat. Your cardio needs to be tough and challenging. You needs to focus on INTERVAL training. My favorite is doing repeat miles on the treadmill. You got 1 mile at a very uncomfortable pace (but not to the point you can't go on) get off the treadmill and immediately hop on a stationary bike (or elliptical machine) for a moderate 5 min recovery. Get back on the treadmill for another mile. Repeat 4-8 times. This will help boost testosterone levels and spike your metabolism.
Warning: although I think swimming is an awesome cardiovascular workout I strongly advise against this method of training for fat loss.
3. Dieting: this one is so complex I'm going save it for part 3.
4. Supplements: did someone ask for the magic pill for abs? Almost as wishful as asking for the magic pill for financially security or a significant other. Alright I take that back. There are supplements available that can expedite your fat loss training regime. I just don't want you folks downing a bottle of ephedrine everyday and doing nothing else. Here are my favorite weight loss supplements (I linked to where you can find them).
Hot-Rox (http://www.discountanabolics/p/HRX) I used this while I was getting ready for my last fight. I got my body fat down to around 6% (itís normally around 8-9%). Hot Rox will increase your metabolism for up to 24hrs. Be careful though. Too much of this will give you the jitters. I recommend taking a max 3 capsules early in the day.
Hoodia Gordonni (http://www.discountanabolics.com/p/AP04) This supplement is very effective appetite suppressant. Might not be a bad idea to help cut down on holiday/winter time binging.
Axis Labs SesaMAX (http://www.discountanabolics.com/p/AX04) - This nifty little supplement works to control your appetite uses the lignan sesamin which is a powerful thermogenic (fat oxidizing) molecule. The SesaMax complex also contains flax seed oil which help support healthy metabolic function, reduce oxidative stress, and reduce cholesterol.
Now if you are going to approach your ab routine correctly you should be doing heavy resistance training (you better not plan on sitting on the couch and popping weight loss pills). I would recommend some protein and ergogenic supplements.
Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Ė(http://www.discountanabolics.com/p/ON03) - Out of all the proteins available I found this one to be the most economical (much cheaper than myoplex). Itís also excellent for dieting since its really low in carbs.
Muscle Milk (http://www.discountanabolics/p/CSMM) - this is best tasting protein drink on the market. It also contains a special MCT (medium chain triglycerides) that help promote leanness. Muscle Milk is an awesome product, but just one warning: don't overdo it. I've seen many folks consume too much muscle milk thinking that its ďsafeĒ since itís a protein supplement. Remember that muscle milk does contain a lot of calories. One scoop before bedtime is what I suggest (I'll get more into this in Part 3 about dieting).
NE2 Nitric-Ester (http://www.discountanabolics/p/AX03) - While youíre doing resistance training you should consider nitric oxide supplements for quicker recovery. Itís believe to be more powerful than NO2 since it keeps L-Arginine molecule is coupled with ester to keeping the arginine intact is it passes through the large intestine. I found that nitric oxide helped me become leaner as well.
5. Patience, patience, perseverance
If you think your going to get a six pack in two weeks you are out of your mind. You can only lose about 1-2 pounds of real fat (any more is water and muscle) a week. You should plan on sticking to your program for at least 3 months.
I got plenty more to write on this topic. Stay tuned for abs abs abs Part 2 and 3.
Chad Klingensmith is a American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer. Do you have questions about bodybuilding/weight loss? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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