We all know this fitness fad and the popularity of the term doesn’t even warrant an elaboration when it is said – six pack. It is widely seen as the benchmark for complete fitness and everybody who can claim authority as a fitness buff sports it. For some of us a six pack is something only others can have. Well, no more! Read on to find out how, with rightly directed hard work, even you can challenge any fitness buff with your own six pack!
Where you need to be before you can think of a six pack:-
Thinking of sporting a six pack this summer when you are a couple of tens of kilos overweight is unrealistic. So you need to get to a point where attaining a six pack in a reasonably short time could be a realistic dream. This point is ideally when your body fat percentage is around 15%. For you to get to a point where the abdominal muscles show up as a six pack, you need to go below 10% and depending on the level of your muscle build up, perhaps even close to 6%. So before you aim for a six pack, aim for a 15% body fat percentage.
How to get a six pack:-
Now that your body fat percentage is around 15%, you’re all set to embark on the hard journey to a visible six pack. There are three simple mantras to getting a six pack – balanced diet, rigorous cardio and crunches. Let’s see how you can accomplish it.
Step I – Balanced Diet
Start with a diet journal. Be very keen about what you eat and its nutritional composition. Body fat reduction gets tougher and tougher as your body fat percentage gets lower. This is why a balanced, nutrition-rich diet is vital. See below for the foods that you need to consider and the foods you need to avoid:-
- Fruits (apple, banana, grapefruit, etc.)
- Milk (2 cups at least)
- Eggs (maximum 2 eggs)
- Avocado (or guacamole)
- Chicken (3 times a week or more)
- Soya beans or soya milk
- Wheat bread (no Jam, eat Hummus if you need something for taste)
- Brown rice alternate days (if you can’t live without rice)
- Protein Bar (at least 20grams of protein)
- Nuts (Cashews, Pistachio, almonds, sunflower seeds) (Don’t take too much, this is fat)
- Green tea (helps raise the metabolic rate. Drink it before running and it will help the running)
- Carrots (abundant in fiber)
- Cornflakes (take protein-rich flakes)
- Tuna (high source of protein)
- Chapattis (flat wheat bread)
NOT TO EAT:-
- White Rice
- White bread
- Dairy products such as curd, Ice cream etc.
- Chocolates (if you are really hungry eat Snickers it has around 10 grams of protein.)
Maintain strict diet throughout the week without a break because taking a break from balanced diet and settling for fatty foods even for one meal means all your hard work would be washed off.
It is highly recommended that you eat at least 5 – 6 meals a day with each meal being a very light one. Do not dump lots of food into yourself each meal in a 3 meal per day plan. This is advisable because the digestion process in your body itself takes a lot of energy and the more number of times it is initiated/performed, the more energy it takes and consequently larger amount of fat will be burnt.
Step II – Cardio
A balanced diet is just one thing. You could go on and on with a balanced diet and never get your body fat percentage low enough. The actual process that is going to help here is cardio. Cardio is any workout that is going to speed up the pumping of blood in your heart and circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. This process requires a lot of energy throughout the body and thus burns a lot of calories. When your diet is low in fat, the body takes up energy from reserves and this means it uses up the stored energy that lies under your skin and above your muscles as fat. This is the simple science behind how cardio burns fat.
It is advisable to perform all those exercises that have a good deal of afterburn. Afterburn is nothing but the effect where your body burns calories long after the exercise is over, usually after some hours. It is the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (aka EPOC) that boosts the metabolic rate. Usually exercises that have high afterburn are those that burn a lot of calories in a short period of time. Examples are running up a flight of stairs at a high speed, swimming very fast, sprinting etc. These exercises consume a lot of energy in a very short period of time and thus are ideal for burning fat. Other ideal cardio workouts include:-
- Elliptical trainer
- Jumping rope
- Kick boxing
It is ideal to burn at least 150 – 250 calories per day, seven days a week, to reduce body fat in a healthy fashion. Do not go to the extremes and starve yourself or burn too much fat in the same day. It could be injurious to fitness and health and cause complications later.
Step III – Crunches
Since the highlight region of our focus is the abs, we need to perform exercises designed specifically to work out the abs and crunches do that best.
The reason why just balanced diet and cardio workouts are insufficient is that while you may have burnt the fat that lies between your skin and abdominal muscles significantly, the only way the muscle definition is going to show through the skin is if it exists! So, in order to create muscle definition and exude that ripped look, crunches are absolutely necessary.
It is vital to perform different types of crunches to work out the different muscle groups of the abs region. Perform regular crunches on the floor, side crunches for the sides of the body and reverse crunches for the lower abs. More in-depth details on how to do everything right on this page – http://www.ab-core-and-stomach-exercises.com/how-to-do-crunches.html
Perform at least 100 crunches of three types of crunches daily to see quick results. This part can be excruciatingly difficult but is so because it is so vital for results.
Step IV – Important Tips
- Maintain a weight journal that also includes a Body Fat Percentage column so that you can maintain your progress objectively.
- For you to get the motivation enough to do all the hard work above, you need to have your mind prepared and deeply engrave in it the need for a six pack rather than just a shallow desire.
- Try to get 7-8 hours of organized sleep every day and make sure you sleep only at nights.
- At least 4 liters of water every day (1 liter per 20kg of your weight).
- After running and cardio press the hand slightly into stomach, you should be able to feel your abs.
- If heart rate (while running) increases 170, try to relax and slow down…If it reaches more than 190, it is not good.
- Always perform the crunches in the correct form. NEVER do it in the wrong posture or form. It can lead to complications and injuries.
- Never ever go on crash diets or look at starvation for a solution. They burn muscle along with fat and you’ll become too weak let alone showing off ripped abs!
Hope these instructions and tips help you get to a ripped washboard aps with a detailed six pack! Good luck!