Tuesday, June 14, 2011
How To Get A Six Pack
Ok... So everyone wants a six pack of abs and whether it's with clients, or browsing the internet on forums and chat rooms I constantly come across the same questions, how do I get a six pack? How can I get a six pack by summer? What are exercises for six pack? And my all time favorite, what is the secret to six pack abs? What is the secret? Like it's area 51 or something...
There is no secret, I'm gonna sum this up in three short sentences for those of you that don't have 5 minutes to read the whole blog:
Eat really good.
Do a lot of cardio.
Work out your abs.
Done. Enjoy the six pack and complimentary looks you get on the beach.
Now for those of you that have five minutes let's get started on going a bit more in depth. First a six pack for some may be really easy, I've seen people that never work out and have six packs, I've also seen people that train balls to the walls and never get this abdominal trophy. So let's go over each aspect of six pack training.
Diet: so with diet comes my least favorite word in fitness... Genetics, they suck sometimes. Genetics are going to decide when you are cutting your calories down and hitting the cardio hard if the weight is gonna come off your arms or your belly. I've been down to 9% body fat and still haven't had the six pack I wanted because my body wanted to take fat off other areas. But hopefully you have good genetics, so diet! Avoid eating crap, read my article on here the four diet commandments and figure out your caloric need to lose fat while maintaining the muscle you've worked hard for. Also check out this article on how to weigh yourself to make sure you are on the right track with body fat %.
Cardio: unless you are one of the few people that naturally have a six pack (ps we hate you) you're gonna have to move your legs to get the belly flat. I am a huge supporter of interval training. Slow paced jog or even walk followed by a rapid sprint or fast run, and back to slow. I've always burnt more calories this way as have most clients I've trained. 20 to 40 minutes depending on your weight loss needs, I've found that when people run for hours you'll get the marathon runners body of skin and bones.
The ab workout: ok here's my top secret ab workout that you can probably find hundreds other places, first you want an exercise that will work your rectus and transverse abdomens (the main part of your six pack). Crunches, machine crunches, stability ball crunches, roman chair crunches, and probably another thirty or so other exercises. Choose your rep range, generally 20 to 30 will be a good start. If you are advanced feel free to email me for my exact program I am doing now. Next you need an exercise to work your obliques (side abs). Side crunches, double side crunches, wind shield wipers, oblique raises, side plank, probably another twenty or so. Same rep range. Finally your lower abs, kicking motions, v ups, hanging leg raises, bench kicks, etc.
Here's three sample workouts at different levels, they should be done every training day at least, as your abs recover generally faster from the rest of the muscle groups we train.
Side oblique crunches 20
Bicycles 20 seconds
Do this for three rounds, so 180 total reps.
V ups 20
Double side oblique crunches 15
Bridge/plank 40 seconds
V ups 20
Bicycles 20 seconds
Side bridge 20 seconds each side
Leg raises 20/20/20
Machine crunches one drop set to failure
3 rounds... If you have difficulty laughing or coughing the next day go back to intermediate for awhile.
Remember all the abdominal work in the world is useless without the right diet and right amount of cardio... Unless again you are in that small percentage of the population that naturally has a six pack (ps we still hate you).
Feel free to email or facebook me with more specific ab questions!
Arizona Fitness at Inbox dot com
Consult a doctor or medical professional before beginning any diet or fitness program.