Dreaming of the best six pack abs in the world? Most people do at some point or another; six pack abs are considered the epitome of health, fitness and attraction. Movie stars have them, athletes have them and we want them! But there is a lot of controversy around the Six Pack Abs dream, mainly circling around the difficulties in getting them and the fact that many people opt for costly pills and diet plans when the reality is both simpler and harder that it seems.
Is there a secret to six pack abs? It’s simple: Diet and Exercise. Is it really that simple to get the best six pack abs?
Of course it is easier said than done, but with the right exercise routine, diet, and of course attitude, anyone can go from flabby to fabulous. But, aside from aesthetics, what are the benefits of having strong, toned abs? Why is this a goal worth working towards? There are several benefits to a strong core:
- Increased stability
- Increased balance
- Increased endurance
- Stronger back
All of these things lead to a better quality of living and a longer, stronger life to enjoy. These benefits come about because the abdominal muscles aren’t just stomach muscles; they are actually the muscles which aid in the stabilization of the back and help with posture and balance.
Weak core muscles can, in part, lead to back problems and an overall increase in body aches and pains. It is fairly clear just from this that having stronger abdominal muscles is very important for your health as well as for your appearance.
Getting Your Six Pack Abs
Getting six pack abs doesn’t actually start with exercise. You can do a thousand crunches a week and have abs like iron, but if you have a layer of fat over them, it won’t matter-no one will see them! For this reason, and so that you can exercise better and stay healthy, it’s important to start with your diet.
In broad strokes, daily eating will be comprised of six small meals a day instead of the traditional three with breakfast being the largest meal and dinner being the smallest. This is so that your metabolism stays ramped up and your body continuously burns calories and produces energy to have at your disposal.
Alongside the meal program, there is a focus on both cardio exercises (to burn fat) and abdominal exercises (to build up the six pack), so while it sounds simple on paper, the effort must be made to get results.
Eating Your Way to Six Pack Abs
In order to get six pack abs, eating right is an underestimated but extremely important part of the process. Gone are the days of the three large meals; instead, six small meals spaced about three to four hours apart are the norm with breakfast being the largest and most important meal.
Eating for six pack abs means cutting out or down on the processed sugars, trans fats, salts, and calories while increasing your intake of fiber, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. The most important meal is breakfast, which should be the largest and have as much of the important food groups and nutrients as you can get. The smallest is dinner; this is because most people get sluggish after dinner and don’t burn off those calories as readily.
Calorie counting or measuring pounds isn’t very helpful here because muscle building takes a lot of energy and at the end, the weight on the scale may read the same or even higher. This is because muscle is denser than fat; furthermore, while building muscle, you will also be strengthening your bones which are also heavier than fat. Instead, focus on eating a balanced diet and checking out how you look on a month-by-month term. This is the best way to keep yourself on track for six pack abs.
Exercising for Six Pack Abs
Exercising your way to stronger abs is a two part process. First, integrate more cardio exercises into the routine. Cardio such as jogging, dancing, swimming, sports and running is important because it sheds the fat around your abdominal area (and elsewhere) that would obscure the muscles.
Cardio is also generally important because it improves endurance, the heart and lungs, and helps to shed fat all over the body, not just the core area. Second, add more abdominal targeting exercises to your regime such as crunches, sit ups, and leg lifts.
These exercises, and their modifications such as using a medicine ball or balance board, are fairly simple to do, but really help to build up the core muscles. Six pack abs exercises abound in the gyms and in books, but they tend to boil down to variations on the stomach crunches.
Do not worry about having to live at the gym in order to fulfill any goals. Indeed, the best exercisers know that it only takes about twenty to forty minutes a day, three or four days a week, to make muscle grow and lose fat. Roughly half of this time is spent in cardio and the rest is doing a cycle of abs exercises, such as rotating between crunches, bicycle crunches and leg lifts. And the time off between exercising is just as important as the days on exercising; this time gives your body the time it needs to heal and build up the muscles you want.
The Role of Genetics in Six Pack Abs
Diet and exercise will take you extremely far in this field, but at a certain point, you will have to acknowledge that family and genes will have some part to play as well. It is also important to consider your general build. If your family has a history of being less than athletic, you will have to work harder to overcome that.
Women generally have a harder time building up a full blown six pack than men and the older you are, the harder it gets. But as long as you are committed to your goal, you can get the six pack you want.
The best six pack abs are very attainable and they are not only gorgeous to look at but are also very good for your physical well-being. With the right diet and exercises, backed of course by the right attitude and some willpower, anyone can have a six pack of which to be proud.