With summer not far away it is time start thinking about what you might look like with your shirt off on those hot days. No matter what your gender is it is pretty much universal that the opposite sex likes a good set of abs. If you want to turn some heads this summer follow these 5 tips and you will be well on your way to making a good impression.
1) You must lose fat
One of the biggest myths about getting ripped abs is that you have to do a million crunches or buy some silly gadget off of an infomercial to get any results. The truth is you can do crunches until the cows come home and buy every infomercial gadget ever made and you will never see those abs if they are covered up by 3 inches of fat. You have to burn that fat off if you are ever going to see the ab muscles. Now that I have saved you from buying the Ab Roller 5000 follow my next 4 tips to get those abs out there.
2) Go Low Carb
I have found that when it comes to burning fat low carb is the way to go. To put it in a nutshell when the body does not get enough energy from carbohydrates it will start burn fat to use instead. This subject could be a whole website in itself really but low carb is a very effective way to burn fat. Carbs should not be eliminated completely though, when you do eat carbs they should be good carbs such as green vegetables, whole grain breads, and brown rice to name a few. These are slower digesting and can be used more effectively by the body, it will also not be turned into fat the way simple carbs would be.
3) HIIT Cardio
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. What this means is that you do a high intensity exercise such as a sprint for a certain amount of time, usually 1 minute or less, then low intensity like walking for the same amount of time. You then sprint again, then walk and so on until you have done at least 5 sets of sprints. I would recommend 5- 10 sprints. This method has been shown to be more effective at burning fat even well after you are done exercising. Another advantage of HIIT training is that you can get it done and move on rather than spend an hour jogging at a medium pace bored to tears. Learn much more in our article HIIT – What, Why & How
4) Work the abs
You didn’t think I was going to write an article about getting ripped abs with mentioning any ab exercises did you? My favorite exercise for abs is the hanging leg raise. This is a great ab exercise that really hits the lower abs well. It also creates god separation between the abs so they can be seen easier. Another good exercise is the ab crunch on the stability ball. I like to turn while I do these to make sure to hit those obliques as well. My last exercise would be cable crunches, they are also a good overall exercise to finish them off. A good sample routine would be:
Hanging leg raises: 4 sets of 15 reps
Stability ball crunches: 3 sets of 15
Cable crunches: 3 sets of 15
You read that correctly, I said cheat. You need to cheat from time to time. Two reasons for cheating are 1) to keep yourself sane and 2) to keep your body on it’s toes.
Let’s face it if you are eating the same healthy diet every day you are going to get bored and perhaps give in and say “it’s not worth it”. This is why you need to cheat from time to time, I would say once or twice a week. Get in a quick cheat get it out of your system and get back on track after.
Perhaps even more important than getting it out of your system is the fact that a cheat meal will throw your body a curve ball. Your body gets used to eating healthy and low carb and will start to adapt and start to slow your metabolism. This is why you need to cheat every few days just to throw your body a curve ball so that is cant adjust and will keep the metabolism high.
There you have it, 5 tips to get you the washboard you have always wanted. It isn’t easy, if it was we would all have a 6 pack and you wouldn’t be reading this. However if you put your mind to it and make it a priority you will get there. All you need is determination.