Saturday, 17 December 2011

How To Get A Six Pack

          Whether you are after the elusive six pack, or just looking to lose a bit of extra weight you're carrying around the mid-section,there are three "key" areas you need to focus on to accomplish maximum abdominal development and answer the question frequently asked    ' How to get a six pack.'
          Areas Of Focus - Strong abdominal muscles not only help strengthen your lower back, but also help improve your posture. Alot of lower back injuries occur, believe it or not, due to a weak set of abs. Focus on these 3 areas and over time, you will notice improved results.
         Proper Cardiovascular Work - You can have the most spectacular set of abs in the world, but if they are covered by a layer of body fat, who cares. In order to lose the extra body fat around your midsection, you need to add effective cardio sessions into your fitness regime. It's impossible to spot-reduce the midsection by doing extra ab exercises like crunches or sit-ups. You must first get rid of the body fat through proper cardio to properly define the abdominal area.
          Abdominal training alone will not do much. Your cardio seessions need to be intense  in order to get your body fat % low enough to reveal your six pack. Three to four sessions a week of intense running, jogging, the elliptical, the Stairmaster,  jumping rope, or biking should be enough to get the results you desire. Swimming, hiking, and taking aerobics classes are all helpful in achieving your goal . Although by far the best cardio is jogging or running. It is the most intense, efficient, and effective method of burning calories. If running outside hurts your joints, try running inside on a treadmill or outside on a dirt path. It definitely is easier on the body.
          Again, you NEED 3 to 4 intense cardio sessions a week to help create a calorie deficit and help rid the body of the fat that covers your abs.
          Proper Nutrition - Do not waste your results in the gym by allowing yourself to pig out. Getting rid of body fat once and for all is achieved by proper nutrition, even more so than doing additional cardio. All in all, if you have taken in more calories than you have used, you will add body fat. Burning more calories than you consume is the most important factor in losing body fat.

           Nutrition is important because you can reduce the amount of calories you take in, therefore greatly having an effect on the amount which you have to expend through cardio. Eat 5 to 6 small, well-balanced, healthy meals spaced apart about every 3 to 4 hours.
           Always try to keep healthy snacks with you at all times. If you don't, when you become really hungry, you will go for something that isn't as good for you. When you become overly hungry, all proper thinking goes out the window.              

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           But it is important to make sure you take something in. Not eating on time or at not eating at all is nearly as bad as over eating. Keep protein intake high (about 50% of daily calories), carbs moderate (40%), and fats low (10%).
           Muscle fiber is made of tightly-wound protein molecules that are broken during a workout, so you need more protein than the average person to help that muscle tissue repair. Carbohydrates have an important role in the body, but do not base your meals on them. Try to avoid simple sugars like cane sugar, honey, fruit juices, syrups, and even a lot of fruit.
          Drink at least 4 liters of clean water every day as well. It will help in nutrient absorption and digestion and will help flush toxins from the body.
          Bottom line, make sure you are supplying your body with well-balanced, healthy food every 3 to 4 hours.
          Resistance Training The Abdominals - This is where a majority of people go wrong in their attempt to build quality abdominal muscles. I often ask people i see in the gym, "Would you train your biceps with sets of 50 reps with no weight?" Of course, they say "no." How about your chest, 50 reps with no weight? Again the answer is no. I then ask, "Then why would you do that with your abs?"
         Here's an important factor. If you want proper development of your abs, you need to add resistance (weight) to your ab exercises. Abs are muscles just like pecs, triceps, biceps, glutes, whatever. You need resistance to properly build and strengthen them. The same applies to abdominals.
         Ab Exercises To Use For Proper Ab Development:
         Weighted Crunches - Hold a dumbbell, either in front of your face, or allow it lie on your upper chest, under your chin, and perform regular crunches. You are now using your abs more to work against the resistance the dumbbell has created. Use a heavy enough weight where you can do 10-15 reps, but no more. Remember, you need to create enough resistance where your abs are forced to work.
         Cable Rope Crunches - Hold the tricep rope, kneel down, and bend downwards, forcefully contracting your abs on the way down. It's basically a crunch, only, you are on your knees. But the contraction is the same. To make sure your abs are doing the work, don't swing your hips. Just a slight, 30 degree contraction until you feel the abs contract, hold for a 1-2 count, then back up.
         Weighted Leg Raises - Lie flat on your back, tuck your hands under your butt. Wrap your feet around a small dumbbell, and perform leg raises. Start with your feet about 6 inches from the ground, then raise them about 12-18 inches from the ground and then back down in controlled form. This exercise can also be done on the end of a bench.
         Seated Ab Machine - Once again, do not swing all the way down, about 30 degrees is enough to contract the abs, hold for a 1-2 count, then back up. This is very similar to Cable rope crunches.
         Stability Ball Crunches - Working on the stability ball will add balance into your abdominal work. They are effective at strengthening your abs and lower back (core region.)          You lie down on a stability ball like you are going to perform a crunch. Position yourself on the ball so your lower back is resting on it. Keep your feet close together on the floor, this will make your body less stable (helps add more balance on your part) and fold your hands on your chest or place them behind your head. Crunch your upper body towards your knees, exhaling as you contract your abs. Then in a controlled manner lower yourself back to the original position while keeping full tension on the abs.
          Whatever exercises you do, the key is to add weight/resistance. If you don't, you will never increase the amount of lean muscle tissue in the abdominal area. For maximum results you only need to train your abs twice a week. Once again, treat them like any other muscle group (which means you wouldn't train them more often). Combine these abdominal workouts with proper diet and intense cardio and that elusive six-pack will be yours in no time!

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                                                                        Mike from Tallahassee

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