One might hear “It’s easy to get a six pack and even easier maintaining it.” This idea can sound very simple but putting it into action can be quiet challenging. Getting six pack abs is not for the weak minded. It will take a lot of time, dedication and hard work but it is definitely worth it in the end. There are two essential concepts that one must grasp in order to start their six pack journey. They are diet and exercise. Combining these two concepts will give you your desired result. They work in conjunction so one cannot do one or the other.
Before learning how to obtain the perfect six pack we have to look at some of the myths that you might have heard about getting a six pack:
- Once you get a six pack your work is done and you don’t have to maintain it. This is a really big myth because fat can build up and the definition can be lost if you’re not doing regular exercises.
- A six pack can happen overnight or within a week. This is also a myth. If one does not have fat around their tummy it takes at least 6 weeks for an entire six pack to form.
- The best way to get six pack abs is doing hundreds of crunches. This is also a myth because diet and other types of exercise are essential to burn the top layer of fat and crunches just strengthen your abdominal muscles.
There are different types of ab exercises that will work both your upper abdominals as well as your lower abdominals. All of these exercises can be done without any equipment and in the comfort of your own home except for the last exercise which requires a plate.
The Plank: This exercise is one of the hardest abdominal exercises however it’s one of the best. It strengthens your entire abs and it needs to be done 60 seconds at a time for 10 minutes.
Reverse Crunches: These crunches target your lower abdominal muscles which are usually the last part of your six pack that would start to show. These need to be done for 10-15 minutes with two 30 second breaks.
Alternate Heel Touches: This exercise targets your obliques and need to be done 2 minutes at a time with a 30 second break for 10 minutes.
Seated Leg Tuck: This exercise targets your entire abs and is especially good for your lower abdominal region. It needs to be done for 10 minutes with 2 30 second breaks.
Side Bridge: This can be very hard if you are just starting off but it works extremely well if you want to target your obliques. They need to be done for 5 minutes on each side with two 30 second breaks.
Air Bike: This method is very simple and easy to do, it is recommended by indoor cycle trainers if you don’t have an indoor bike at home. It targets all your abdominal muscles and needs to be done for 15 minutes with three 30 second breaks in-between.
(Not less efficient are also stationary bikes, check on IBC7).
Plate Twist: This exercise needs to be done with a heavy metal plate. It strengthens your triceps as well as your abdominals and it works all your muscles. This needs to be done for 10 minutes with 2 30 second breaks.
A diet is a very important part in getting your ideal six pack especially if you are on the heavier side. The excess tummy fat needs to be shed in order for the six pack to show through.
Old diet systems tend to make you eat fewer calories and make you very hungry. Being hungry is no good, you want to be full. That’s why you need to eat 6 times a day on your ab journey. If you are eating foods that are high in healthy fats, fibre, and protein you are full you won’t be tempted to devour that large greasy domino’s pizza because you are starving. Getting a six pack does not mean you have to go on a no dessert diet for 6+ weeks. Give yourself one meal in the week where you eat whatever you want and however much you would like.
It really is simple. Eat three healthy standard meals a day, breakfast lunch and dinner as well as 3 healthy snacks in between.
A Daily Diet Plan
Breakfast: Egg Sandwich, orange juice and a banana
Snack: 1 ounce almonds, 4 ounces cantaloupe, glass of water
Lunch: Low-carb turkey sandwich and a glass of water
Snack: 1 stick of string cheese, raw vegetables or 2 teaspoons peanut butter, raw vegetables and a glass of water
Dinner: Chile-Peppered Steak and a fruit juice or water
Snack: Protein or fruit smoothie
Below are a few tips to guide you through your six pack journey:
- Do different types of cardio and ab exercises so you do not get discouraged or bored
- Do not look at the scale, muscle weighs more than fat, so when you’re building muscle you might tend to weigh more
- In order to see a real difference, take before and after pictures once every 3 weeks and this will motivate you to continue to work hard
- Everyone has a different six pack, if yours does not look like the guys on the magazine covers it’s because your six pack is set like that because of your genetics.
- Avoid smoking if possible and avoid alcohol as it decreases your metabolism
- Every single person even obese people have abs, however a layer of fat is covering them. It’s your job to lose that layer and to strengthen the muscles.
- Don’t overdo yourself and make sure to stretch before every exercise, drink plenty of water and get at least 8 hours of sleep as that’s when the body does most of its rejuvenating.
I decided to write this article because I’ve recently completed my six pack journey. It only took me six weeks but I’m only 48 kilos so I mostly had to strengthen my abdominal muscles. It was very hard giving up my Macdonald’s burger every morning for breakfast and my Krispy Kreme’s during lunch but I had my cheat days which kept me happy. The hard work definitely paid off and I’m happy with my results. I do my exercises 3 times a week to maintain it for 45 minutes. Some days I felt like giving up but I kept on going. I did not even need a gym, so it was time and cost effective for me. Swimming, running, keeping to the diet, workout dvd’s and the abdominal exercises is all I needed to do. Time is not a problem if you are really dedicated and it’s something you want. Good Luck!