The truth is getting abs isn’t as hard as most people think. The sad thing is that most people won’t just do everything that’s absolutely required to strip away unwanted to expose their abs. Getting perfect abs is as easy as keying on four critical principles and executing them with consistency and long enough to burn the stored fat that blankets your abs. These principles are strict and consistent diet, high-intensity ab training, efficient cardio training, and fat-burning supplementation. That all you need. Apply these principles and your goal of achieving a shredded midsection becomes reality in no time.
1. Strict and consistent diet
It is said that you can’t overcome bad nutrition with training and this is more so true when it comes to losing body fat to carve out perfect abs. Nutrition accounts for seventy percent of the work needed to achieve great abs and the first fundamental principle you will need to strictly follow is to eat frequent small meals at regularly timed intervals. Frequent meals every two to three hours not only ensures a steady flow of muscle-building nutrients required to maintain an anabolic state for your muscle cells but more importantly it increases your metabolism. This will support your fat-burning efforts by repeatedly stimulating your metabolic rate every time you eat through a biological process known as the thermic effect of food.
To further boost this metabolic rate, eat meals high in protein and moderate in carbs. High protein meals increase your metabolic rate higher due to the thermic effect of protein. That’s because the body uses more calories to process proteins as opposed to carbs and fats. It’s also critical to consume the right of carbs and at the right time. Focus on eating slow-digesting carbs at moderate levels to avoid a high increase in insulin, a hormone which promotes fat storage. Also take in all the majority of your carbs early in the day or right after your weight training. This gives your body the opportunity to process all your carbs and utilize it as energy throughout the day to avoid it from being stored as fat in the evening when you are less likely to be active.
2. High-intensity abdominal training
One of the reasons most people can’t get their abs to stand out is because they haven’t trained them with enough resistance, volume or intensity to induce hypertrophy. The truth is, if you want your abs to get noticed, you will have to train them from a variety of angles and take every set to failure, just like you would do with any other muscle group. Train your abs three times per week to allow some time for your abs to recover, repair and come to the surface. Pick at least one exercise for each area of your abs to ensure that you build a well developed and balanced midsection. Be sure to add in variety by regularly trying out new exercises and changing exercise order, the number of reps and sets. The more you mix things up, the more your abs will respond to your training and the more attainable that elusive six-pack will be.
3. Efficient cardio training
No one enjoys doing cardio, but it’s a necessary component of attaining great abs. With the exception of few metabolically gifted among us, most of us will have to engage in some form of cardiovascular activity to force the body to break down fat stores, which liberates free fatty acids to be used as energy during workouts. One key factor to consider is the efficiency of your cardio sessions, precisely when and how you perform your cardio session in order to maximize fat burn.
First, perform your cardio first thing in the morning or right of after your weight-lighting sessions. During both of these times your blood glucose, muscle glycogen, and insulin levels are lower, thus forcing your body to burn fat stores as fuel for your cardio.
Second, if you are looking to burn maximum body fat without burning through your muscles, shorter-duration high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is your answer. This form of cardio is found to build high levels of fitness quickly and cut fat significantly than your regular slow/moderate pace cardio. HIIT is extremely difficult but brings amazingly rapid results. You can use HIIT for any of your favorite aerobic exercises, including ground or treadmill running, stair climbers, elliptical trainers, swimming or cycling. Limit your HIIT sessions to 20-30 minutes to maximize intensity while actually aiding muscle growth and prevent muscle loss. To make your HITT sessions even more effective, consider working hills into your HIIT sessions. This helps build your legs and add more detail to your hamstring and glutes. If you don’t have hills available, adjust the incline on your treadmill to stimulate it and be sure to drop the incline to level, or zero, during low-intensity intervals.
4. Fat-burning supplementation
Although a clean diet and intense training are the critical components to any fat shredding program, fat-burning supplements can help you get over the hump in losing those last few pounds of body fat or accelerate the process by which stored fat is broken down and metabolized so that it can be used as a source of energy.
There are several fat-burning supplements on the market today which you can buy and stack to increase the amount of fat you burn both during and after exercise. The most commonly used fat burners today are two these thermogenics: caffeine and green tea. This duo is critical for enhancing your body’s fat burning.
Caffeine reduces hunger, boosts your metabolic rate and increases the release of fat from fat cells. Combined with green tea, caffeine and green tea work synergistically to enhance each other’s effect to increase your overall caloric expenditure and fat burning during and after your training sessions. Other fat-burning supplements to consider are lipolytic agents such as Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLA), which release fat from fat cells to burn – and fat transporters such as carnitine, which transports released into your cells’ mitochondria, where it’s subsequently burned and used as energy.