As summer approaches, thoughts turn to that most impressive of body parts… visible abs. Here are 6 things you need to do to unveil your six-pack abs.
Nail your nutrition.
First and foremost, make sure your diet is on point. Get plenty of good nutrition: quality sources of lean protein (meat, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy), healthy fats (oily fish, avocados, nuts, lean meat) and moderate carbohydrates (try oats, sweet potato, starchy vegetables like squash, and rice). Fuel your body so you can train hard and burn body fat. And make sure you’re getting enough fibre: not only will it help you feel fuller, but will support your body’s natural detox powers. Whey protein is a great way to increase your protein intake, reducing your desire to snack and helping you recover from training. And our Complete Multivitamin Complex™ will support your immune system and general health even as you cut calories or ramp up your workouts.
Mix up your workouts.
If you want to lose a bit of your excess, you need to take your workouts up a level. More isn’t necessarily better, but changing your routine will do the trick. Swap out some of your LISS (low intensity steady state) cardio for HIIT (high intensity interval training) to give your metabolism a healthy shock, and to benefit from the afterburn effect of intense intervals. Intervals and circuit-style training results in a greater level of EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), helping you torch the fat with shorter workout times! Try our ELEVATE™ pre-workout to increase focus and exercise capacity so you can train harder and burn more calories.
Calories in, calories out.
Remember the simplest rule of getting your abs to show through: a slight caloric deficit. It really does come down to calories in vs calories out. Whether you choose to create your deficit by trimming calories from your diet (calories in) or by increasing activity (calories out) or a combination of both is really up to you. Abs don’t tend to show through if your body fat is greater than 10% (in guys, that is!) so all the sit ups and crunches in the world won’t save you if you always finish the day in a caloric excess. Is it time to reassess your diet, cardio and training?
Bonus tip: Try our CUTTING EDGE™ fat loss supplement to give you the edge. It contains glucomannan, an all-natural ingredient proven to increase satiety, as well as green coffee extract and caffeine, stimulants shown to reduce RPE (rate of perceived exertion), so you can train harder for longer.
Water, that is. We can easily mistake thirst cues for hunger, and turn to our next meal when we really should just have a drink. This is particularly true as the weather gets warmer. Make it your mission to drink more water, and you’ll snack less. Keep a shaker bottle of plain water with you on the go, whilst driving, and at your desk. And start the day with a large glass of cold (or warm) water with a slice of lemon if that’s your style! Add some INFORMED BCAA™ to your water during intense training to prevent muscle breakdown, even as you’re cutting body fat.
Focus on the big lifts.
Make your time in the gym count: concentrating on the big lifts like the squat, deadlift, overhead press and row (rather than buff ‘n fluff moves like arms and abs) will result in greater muscle recruitment and more caloric output, ultimately leading to an increased metabolism and fat burn. Just what you want! And all those big moves will challenge your core, too.
Work the angles.
OK, so now your abs have started to show through (hooray!) Try this trick to really make them pop: include a variety of angles in your direct ab work. Regular crunches will work the three main regions of the rectus abdominals (lower, middle, upper), but you need to work your deep core muscles, transverse abdominals and obliques too. Mix it up with plank holds, Palof presses, Russian twists, reverse crunches and bicycles to get awesome all-round ab development.
About the Author:
Nicola Joyce has been writing for (and about) sport, fitness, nutrition and healthy living since 2004. She’s also a keen sportswoman: her background is in endurance sport but she now competes as a natural bodybuilder, most recently winning a world title with the INBF. When she’s not writing content, she can be found blogging. Follow her here www.nicolajoyce.co.uk and on Facebook & Twitter (@thefitwriter) too.