February 18, 2021 4 min read
It’s typical for many beginners to default to developing abs into a six-pack as their first goal. It’s an easily visible metric of the progress they’ve made and often makes people feel more attractive and more confident. There is nothing wrong with any of that. It’s just as good a goal as any other, and we’d like to help teach you about the fast track to great abs and how to get a six-pack quickly. It will require hard work, but a little bit of guidance will go a long way in helping you hone in on what practices you need to adopt to accomplish your goal.
It may seem obvious that you need to focus on exercises around the abdominals, but are you fully aware of what the abdominals are? If not, then know the rectus abdominis is the long muscle that extends vertically around the entirety of your abdomen. This muscle is vital for basic bodily functions such as breathing, coughing, and bowel movements.
Some of the exercises to prioritize for strengthening the abdominals includes crunches, planks, and bridges. These three are the most commonly used exercises, and they are a good place for you to get started. Some more advanced abdominal exercises include the Russian Twist or the hanging knee raise, both of which make use of equipment such as medicine balls or a pull-up bar. The most important thing to note about abdominal exercises is that they are not effective for burning belly fat and it is a common misconception that those trying to get a six-pack have. Instead, you will need to supplement your routine with another form of exercise that is better for burning fat and losing weight.
The best secret for the fast track to great abs and learning how to get a six-pack quickly is incorporating other forms of exercise that don’t necessarily focus on your abdominals. Since abdominal exercises don’t do much for burning off the belly fat and allowing your abdominals to shine through, we recommend you make use of cardiovascular exercise, which is very conducive to weight loss.
Cardiovascular exercise is any form of exercise that increases your heart rate—the simplest method being, of course, walking and running. Incorporating cardio into your routine will speed up your progress towards a six-pack by burning extra fat. In addition, cardio exercise has the most accessible and varied home fitness gym equipment if you intend to make a home gym during this pandemic.
Ideally, you want to try to fit in at least 30 minutes of cardio at a time, 3 to 4 times a week, in order to gain the benefits that come with increasing your heart rate and blood flow.
Because doing other forms of exercises other than abdominal exercises will help speed up the results of your six-pack, you may even want to try out high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Interval training involves switching between intense bursts of activity with short recovery periods. This keeps your heart rate up and works out more of your body for a more intense and greater fat burning exercise. A good starter interval routine is to alternate between walking and sprinting in 20-30 second intervals.
Now, let's talk about diet. Your diet is a crucial part of exercising, as it provides fuel for your body to get an effective workout. A good diet also aids in weight loss if you cut back on the elements you don’t need and instead consume more of the nutrients that will be beneficial towards building up your body. Since you’re looking to grate cheese on your abs, the first nutrient you want to increase is protein.
Upping your protein intake will promote weight loss, fend off belly fat, and most importantly, support muscle growth as you look to nurture your abs. The protein can aid your muscles during rest periods to repair and build upon your muscles, which is the exact effect you want to develop bigger and more defined muscles while preserving muscle mass during weight loss.
Common protein-filled foods include meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
In addition to protein, another nutrient to focus on is fiber. While it makes for healthier bowel movements, soluble fiber also aids in weight loss by moving through the gastrointestinal tract undigested. It does this by slowing the emptying of the stomach and making you feel fuller for longer, helping you avoid cravings and indulge in snacking.
Some high fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds; these are all foods that can go well with the protein foods for a complete, enjoyable, and healthy meal.
As for what you don’t want to eat, you should first cut back on the number of refined carbohydrates you consume. These carbohydrates lose most of their nutritional value—such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber—during processing. This results in a product that is empty of benefits but still full of carbs that will add fat to your body.
Foods that have these refined carbs include pastries, pasta, and other processed foods. These can instead be swapped out for substitutes like brown rice, barley, bulgur, and couscous for more nutritious meals that will help reduce your belly fat but keep you just as sated.
All diets aside, there is nothing more important than keeping hydrated as you work out. Water is the key ingredient to all aspects of health and will keep your muscles working in their best condition as your exercise. Not keeping hydrated will present an increased risk of injury in your muscles, as they may seize up or ache from overuse if they are not properly hydrated.
Hydration will also benefit your dietary needs as it will improve your metabolism. Thirst is also often confused with hunger and may accidentally cause you to overeat just to feel full. A good rule of thumb is to simply continue to sip water throughout the day. Thirst alone is not the best indicator for hydration, and a good way to keep track of how hydrated you are is the color of your urine. The clearer your urine, the more hydrated you are.
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