One of the most common questions I get from people is how they can get a six pack. Many people do hundreds of sit ups every day or starve themselves because they believe this is the way to succeed. Unfortunately it isn't, and what is worse is that you may end up causing long term health problems. Here are some tips on how you can get a 6 pack in a healthy way and also avoid the 3 most common mistakes that people make
Nutrition is one of the most important things if you want a 6 pack. If you eat more food than you need in a day then this extra food is stored as fat on your body and this layer of fat can hide your abs. So the first thing we need to do is eat less calories than we use in a day and this will allow our body to start using up the fat stores.
However it is important you don't make the first mistake that most people do make! Do not severely restrict your diet or starve yourself to get quicker results. This is because you will feel awful and have low energy. More importantly, as soon as you start eating normally again all your work will be undone and you may cause yourself long term health problems!
The answer is to make sure you have a healthy, sustainable, fat loss diet. This means eating 70-80% of your daily calorie needs and making sure you eat a mixture of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Concentrate on eating plenty of whole, unprocessed foods with plenty of vegetables and protein.
Ok, so now we know how to eat properly, but how can we speed up the process? We can do this by increasing the amount of energy our bodies needs through exercise.
The other thing you need to do to lose body fat is to exercise regularly. This is where people make the second big mistake. Spending hours on the treadmill is not an effective way of getting a six pack!
This is for a number of reasons. When you use exercise for fat loss the key is to exercise with a high intensity. This means using more calories in a shorter period of time. When you sit on a bike or use the treadmill for an hour you are not exercising at a high intensity, meaning you aren't using that many calories. You may get results, but it will take a long time and they will be difficult to maintain.
The best exercise to do is high intensity interval training (HIIT). The great thing is that you can do HIIT with bodyweight, weights, sprinting, swimming, circuits or anything. The key is that when you exercise you are going at 100%.
The third big mistake that people make when trying to get a 6 pack is doing hundreds of sit ups every day. Sit ups will help strengthen your abs, however doing too many can lead to lower back pain and other injuries. Also sit ups alone are not a very effective exercise as they do not use very many calories. Instead, concentrate on exercises such as squats, or lunges as these use lots of muscles and therefore burn loads of calories. You can keep ab exercises in your routine, but make sure you are doing other exercises as well. Personally my favourite ab exercise is the plank as this is actually a full body exercise and doesn't put strain on your lower back!
Ok, so after all that here are 3 rules to follow and 3 mistakes to avoid to get a 6 pack and to keep it.
Eat a healthy, balanced, sustainable fat loss diet (70-80% of your daily calorie needs) with the majority of your food coming from unprocessed foods
Do high intensity interval training
Concentrate on doing exercises that use lots of muscles (like squats) with some ab exercises
Don't starve yourself
Don't do hours of cardio on the treadmill
Don't just do hundreds of sit ups every day