Abs are one of those things that a lot of people want but not many want to work for them. This is usually because they don’t see results fast enough, or they are doing the wrong exercises to actually target the core muscles. Nutrition also plays a big role in this. So here, I am going to cover a brief nutrition overview that I tell my clients, and give you a solid abdominal routine that will specifically target the core muscles you are trying to show! But you must first understand which of these 2 reasons apply to you for not having a visible 6 pack yet!
– (1) You have too much fat layered over your stomach to show the muscle beneath
– (2) Your core muscles are not built up enough to show
– Or maybe both
Which ever the reason may be, there are specific ways to change it, and achieve a visible six-pack
Reason (1) “Layer of fat over abs”
Everyone has the muscles that make up a six pack! But many people also have a larger layer of fat covering them up. If you are like most people and this is what you need to change, luckily it is a pretty straightforward fix. Your goal should be to lose weight and tone up. This is done by
– Being at a slight calorie deficit (consuming about 500 – 800 calories less than you burn each day)
– Getting one gram of protein per pound of body weight
– Not cutting out carbs completely, but eating the right ones instead. Such as complex carbohydrates from oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and more.
– Also drink plenty of water, and not many other drinks.
Secondly, performing cardio a few times per week helps the process come along much quicker. Cardio can be a run out side, circuit training, treadmill, elliptical, bike ride, swimming, rowing, kayaking, and so much more. Basically anything that gets your heart rate up for about 30 – 60 minutes.
Reason (2) “Not enough muscle mass yet”
This is usually the case for people who are naturally really skinny. Luckily you don’t have to worry quite as much about cardio or cutting back on calories. Your main goal should to be building muscle, which will increase the mass of your abdominals and obliques! Once you do this you will begin noticing your abs starting to show! The key points to accomplish this are
– Work out for muscle mass by lifting heavy for major muscle groups. (reps of 6 – 10 per set)
– Include your abs training at least 3 times per week with mostly weighted core exercises such as decline sit ups with a weight, hanging leg lifts, weighted russian twists, cable crunches, etc.
– Get at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.
– Consume 500 – 800 more calories per day than you burn. Mostly complex carbohydrates from oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc.
Once you have built a good muscle foundation, you will start noticing the abs! If you begin to add a little bit of extra fat, it will be easy for you to cut it down, by simply eating a little less and continuing your workouts.
Whichever category you are in, you need to know this!
Your abs are a like any other muscle. You need to build them up for them to show. So simply cutting out calories will not do the trick. You want to make sure you get enough protein to build the muscle, and carbohydrates to energize your workouts. And speaking of which, you want to train your abs 3 – 5 times per week to build up your core and tone all the muscles that make it up! Below is a workout that specifically targets your core and you can progressively increase the intensity by adding weight or reps to any of the exercises, or decrease your rest time! Or all 3!
Hanging Leg Lifts = 12 = reps
Decline Sit Ups = 15 Reps
Sit up with twist right = 20 Reps
Sit up with twist left = 20 Reps
Bicycles – 30 Reps
Plank = 60 Seconds
Minimal rest between each exercise!
Complete 3 rounds with just 1 minute rest between each full round.
Watch the video below for a 10 minute full abdominal routine that does not require any equipment!