A decade ago, biceps were the number one glamour muscle. These days, it is without question a lean and well defined abdomen. Yet the six pack is no easy goal to achieve. It often requires a combination of disciplined diet, rigorous exercise, and unwavering focus.
Most people who attempt to achieve it go about doing so in a completely egregious manner. You cannot “crunch” your way to a six pack, nor can you just diet yourself to skeleton-like proportions. Discussed below is the proper way to achieve a lean and sexy abdomen.
Abs are Made in the Kitchen
No, you cannot bake yourself a six pack. What this means is that regardless of your exercise level, you have little chance of ever reaching your goal without proper diet. Most people already have well defined abdominal muscles. The problem is that they are usually under a few layers of fat.
You cannot burn fat in a specific part of your body because fat is burned in a uniform fashion. As such, you will need to get to a very low body fat percentage for your six pack to shine through. Such a low body fat percentage is nearly impossible to reach unless your diet matches your exercise. You will need to eat healthy and lean. Avoid saturated fats, simple sugars, and high calorie foods.
Do not eat so little that your metabolism crashes. A proper diet is all about balance. Eat whole grains for breakfast, plenty of protein, and make sure you are getting your vitamins and nutrients. Do not cut your calories by more than 500/day. If you are used to eating 2,500 calories daily, it is not recommended that you dip below 2,000. Whatever work is not done by your diet will be done through exercise (and vice versa).
Exercise Plenty; Not Just your Abs
A surprising number of people believe they can burn stomach fat through sit-ups or crunches. This is unfortunately a fallacy. To burn fat, you will need to perform a combination of cardiovascular and resistance exercises.
Adding muscle mass increases the number of calories your body burns on a daily basis (even without exercise), so you should be performing compound exercises that will add it on fast. These include push-ups and pull-ups and various variations of the two.
Performing compound resistance exercises is a great way to burn calories, and so is cardiovascular exercise. Spend 3-5 days a week hitting the treadmill for at least half an hour. Run at a medium intensity or higher to avoid losing muscle mass in addition to fat. Through proper diet and exercise, you can create a daily caloric deficit of as much as 1,000 calories (this means you’ll burn 2 pounds of fat a week).
Finally, work your abdominal muscles for when the fat is gone, and then they will be finally ready to be revealed. Remember that you have more than one set of abdominal muscles. You will have to work your upper set, lower set, and obliques. You can find various exercises for each online or at the gym.