Everyone these days wants to know the secret to acquiring that ever so coveted six-pack. A guy with chiseled abs will leave the girls drooling and a girl with sexy, toned abs will have a hoard of men ready to beckon to her every need.
However, amidst a sea of misinformation and false claims, most people have very little clue as how to actually achieve that desired appearance. There are hundreds of so called "experts" out there that either don't know what they are talking about or they simply want to sell you a product that they know won't work.
The purpose of this article is to clear up all of the confusion in order to help you, the reader, achieve a set of gut-busting abs that will leave others in awe.
I bet you've seen the commercials for products like the Ab Roller, Ab Lounge, Torso Trimmer, and the Ab Scissor. In fact, you may even have one of these products in your household.
I would also venture to guess that you probably believe that doing hundreds of sit-ups is going to get you a nice set of abdominals. However, and this may shock you, but the reality is that it is all lies. That's right. Doing sit-ups or doing a nice little workout on an Ab Roller will not get you the results you want.
There seems to be a very strong misconception out there that you can actually spot reduce around the abdomen. Doing sit-ups does not burn the fat right off of your abs. It just doesn't work that way.
The body distributes body fat fairly consistently around the whole body. The first place that it stores it in women is in the butt and thighs. For men, excess fat is stored right around the abdomen.
The only way to achieve a six-pack is to reduce your total amount of body fat by burning more calories than you consume. Doing sit-up after sit-up will only condition the abs under all the fat. It will not "work the fat off" as many like to believe it will.
I have been in the same boat as many others out there. I used to believe that a simple abdominal machine could do the trick. However, the more and more I did my homework, the more I realized how false that idea was.
I began to realize that the fitness industry isn't always about helping people achieve results. It's a business like anything else and it all comes down to money. If a product doesn't work but people are willing to buy it, then why wouldn't someone try to capitalize on that opportunity?
We'd like to think that everyone out there has good intentions, but the truth is that there are a lot of extortionists out there that will try to make you believe a lie so they can make money.
I'm going to the one who actually tells you the truth because I believe strongly that helping people achieve results by giving them the right information is far more important than making money through exploitation of innocent customers. Here are 6 tips that will actually get you gut busting abs.
1. Train Abs Heavy
The only abdominal training that you should be doing is intense training with heavy resistance. A good rep range to work within is the 8-12 repetition range. Do one or two different abdominal exercises with a total of around 5-6 sets. That's all you need.
The purpose of this is to build some size on the abdominals so that they will press up against the skin, which will help out tremendously in achieving ripped abs. Doing sit-ups all day will not increase the size of your abs because there is little resistance being added.
The three absolute best abdominal exercises are:
- Cable Crunches
- Weighted Leg Raises
- Weighted Decline Crunches
It is also important to make sure that you perform the exercises properly. Cable crunches are the absolute best abdominal exercise out there. However, it is actually very rare to see anyone perform this exercise correctly.
Remember that it is a crunch so your abs should crunch together. Most people don't crunch down and they end up sacrificing the purpose of the exercise.
2. Small, Frequent Meals Along With Plenty Of Water
Eating small, frequent meals with adequate carbohydrates, protein, and fats will speed up your metabolism and will allow your body to burn off excess body fat. Your metabolism will slow down dramatically 3 hours after a meal so plan to eat once every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. A faster metabolism equals more calories burned and less fat covering your abs.
It is also absolutely critical to drink plenty of water as well. Think about it. The body is approximately 75% water. Every cell in your body needs water to function properly since many transport systems in the body require water. It also helps the body regulate itself by serving as a pH and temperature buffer. Water must be important.
A good way to measure your level of hydration is by the color of your urine. If it is bright yellow, then you are dehydrated. It should either be a very light yellow or clear. During a workout routine, it is best to make sure that your urine is clear. Keeping it clear will prevent you from feeling light-headed and will allow your body to perform at an optimal level.
I see a lot of people that skip breakfast in the morning and they absolutely kill their metabolism. By simply eating a balanced breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up, you can actually increase your metabolism by roughly 20-30%! That is a huge difference!
Eating breakfast will kick start your metabolism and will help in run smoothly throughout the day. It is the absolute most important meal of the day.
4. Cardiovascular Exercise
The beauty of cardiovascular exercise is that most of the energy that you burn during cardiovascular exercise is fat (70-90%). Fat can only be burned through aerobic processes in the body. This basically means that your body only burns fat when enough oxygen is available.
Doing cardiovascular exercise creates a need for energy but also forces your body to pump a lot more oxygen into the bloodstream. Since you are performing exercise, your body will want to maintain your muscle tissue and will prefer to burn off fat as energy instead. Cardiovascular exercise is much more effective in the morning as well since the body is refreshed.
Intense cardiovascular exercise is always preferred when trying to burn fat, but it is also important to note that doing something is always better than doing nothing.
If you can't handle intense exercise, then just get out and move. Go for a walk or a bike ride. It really isn't that hard. Getting ripped abs can happen very fast with an intense workout regimen, but I understand that many people don't want to put themselves through all of that.
If your one of those people, then getting active and moving can still get your body to burn enough fat to create visible abs. However, it'll just take a whole lot longer.
5. Focus On Building Muscle In Other Areas Of The Body
It is important to try to build up muscle mass on the rest of your body. More muscle mass will result in a higher BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and thus, more calories burned.
Your BMR is basically the amount of calories that your body burns while you sit around. People that have more mass will have a higher BMR than those with less mass on their body because their body needs more calories to maintain that extra mass.
Heavy weight lifting will also burn a lot of calories. You can essentially burn the same amount of calories doing a few sets of squats as you would if you spent 30 minutes doing low intensity cardiovascular exercise.
It is a good idea to attempt to train all the large muscle groups to turn your body into a calorie burning machine. This means doing all the lifts that many people tend to shy away from like squats and deadlifts.
Inadequate sleep causes the body to release a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol promotes fat storage and will ultimately kill any efforts to get ripped abs.
Getting enough sleep will also allow the body function at an optimum level which will result in a faster metabolism and greater muscle gains. Plan to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep.
Hopefully I have cleared up many of the misconceptions about getting ripped abs. The key is to add size to your abs and to burn fat through the right kind of exercise and diet. I strongly believe that anyone who is somewhat in shape can get absolutely ripped in a matter of months.
It is perfectly possible. All you have to do is just get up and do it. You now know the secret to getting gut busting abs and best of luck on achieving your fitness goals.