A well-defined “six-pack” continues to be the most desired ingredient in the world of fitness, but exercise is not enough!
You may forget the idea that to lose abdominal fat you just need to do daily abdominal sessions. Unfortunately, doing only abdominal exercises contributes little or nothing to localized fat loss. To get a “perfect six-pack” you have to learn how to conjugate the next 6 tips:
1 - DIET / FOOD
This is the first and most important tip I leave you. You must realize that your abs begin to be worked in the kitchen:
– eat more often (5 to 6 meals a day) and control the amounts, because the problem usually lies there.
– exclude all processed foods from your diet (cakes, cookies, bread, soft drinks, sausages and other processed meats …).
– eliminates all types of refined sugars and sweeteners.
– follow a diet suited to your lifestyle, but without going into exaggerations of prohibitions, so that you can fulfill it.
– If you can consult a nutritionist to guide you, do not follow the diets of others. Each case is a case, and there are no standard diets that fit everyone.
Remember that starting a diet is not the “answer”, but the beginning. Doing it consistently without giving up will make all the difference.
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2 - FAT MEAT
Do you want to define your “six-pack” and still have that fat to cover? I have the solution for you. Along with a good diet and strength exercises, you should also do aerobic exercises (cycling, treadmill, elliptical, rowing, step, swimming, rope jumping, calisthenics exercises …) that will help you “burn” this fat.
There is a lot of talk today about the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that has the potential to “burn” the maximum calories in less time and can still be used on all the appliances available in your gym (these already have programs to facilitate you). Preferably, these exercises should be done, at the end of the strength training, to better use of the energy sources and thus obtain better results.
If you do not have access to any of these devices use the weight of your own body (calisthenics) and you will see that it is simple:
– choose 5 or 6 exercises, prepare a circuit, perform each exercise for 20s and rest 10s (Tabata Training) and move on to the next exercise.
– If you are starting now, start at 20s and recover 60s, do 4 laps of these exercises.
I leave you with some exercises for your first training circuit: squatting, plank, paddling in the TRX, climbing / jumping box, abdominal crunch, rope jumps.
Nowadays, there are already classes in this method of training in gyms. It’s a good choice if you go to the gym and have little time to train.
3 - HYDRATION
Good hydration is also very important, just think that about 55% -75% of human body composition consists of water.
Drink at least 2.5l to 3l of water per day to stay hydrated and detoxify your body. A good technique to achieve your daily goal is to ingest 1.5l by lunchtime and 1.5l until you go to sleep. If it costs you so much water, you can also choose to drink tea or natural juices.
During the exercise, hydrate yourself, regularly, to restore all water lost through sweat.
Post-workout hydration is equally important, the first two hours after training are significant for fluid absorption thus increasing the volume of plasma in the blood.
4 - ABDOMINAL FORTIFICATION
You don't need to do a thousand sit-ups to have a flat stomach, on the contrary, remember that the abdominal is a muscle and you should train it as you train the other muscles.
The training should be consistent and there should be a routine, with different sets of exercises that provide stimulation to the abdomen. You need rest between workouts for the muscle to recover.
I leave here 4 exercises that I consider essential to achieve the “six pack” (do the exercises in circuit, and repeat 4 times each):
Abdominal crunch (4 sets of 15 reps): this is one of the most popular exercises for abdominal work, and remains the most effective for increasing the muscular part.
Lie on your stomach with your feet apart at the width of your hip and your hands on your head with your elbows far apart. Keep the cervical aligned with the shoulders and rise until the shoulder blades “peel off” the floor while you exhale. Then you inhale and return to the starting position.
Abdominal Roller (4 sets 15 reps): this exercise already requires some muscle capacity. It is a strong and intense exercise for the abdominal muscle, especially for the rectus abdominis and internal and external obliques. The best way to do it safely, with your knees resting on the floor, slide forward until it is parallel to the floor, but not touching the abdomen on the floor. Then return to the initial position avoiding a decrease in the tension of the abdominal region. You expire on the slide and breathe in when you return to the starting position.
Abdominal on Fixed Bar (4 sets 15 reps): hold onto a bar and without swinging your knees to the chest as much as possible. If you can not have abdominal stability while running and start swinging, you choose to support your feet on a platform / step so that you touch it each time you lower your knees. This way you will execute the exercise in a more controlled and effective way.
Isometric board (4 sets of 1 min): it is a good choice for those who suffer from some pathology in the spine. Stand on your elbows and toes, keep your body fully aligned and stay motionless in this position and focus on your abdominal area.
5 - SLEEP
As the saying goes “go to bed early and get up early gives health and makes you grow.” Try to sleep on average 7/8 hours a day. Rest is essential and helps muscles regain and grow.
6 - PATIENCE
Yes, you need patience, a lot of patience! There is no magic potion, there is diet, training and rest. If you follow these recommendations, with rigor and discipline, over time the results will appear and your so desired “six pack” will stand out, right on your first day at the beach.
By Luís Paiva, Personal Trainer
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