The key component is your nutrition. Without proper nutrition, you'll be lucky to achieve a flat stomach, let alone develop six pack abs. You have to dial in your nutrition. Period. You have to eat correctly at least 90% of the time. The old saying, "Abs are made in the kitchen", is very true! There's absolutely no way to spot reduce or eliminate belly fat with old-school crunches or sit-ups. That's an impossibility. The truth is that you must reduce your body fat percentage to the point where your abdominal muscles become visibly apparent. The only way to do that is by combining proper nutrition with effective exercises like high intensity conditioning and resistance training.
- Eat plenty of lean protein, fish and veggies.
- Limit or avoid dairy (milk and cheese).
- Limit or avoid alcohol.
- Avoid bad carbs, sugar and minimize starch.
- Eat good carbs such as sweet potatoes, fresh fruit/berries, steel cut oats, quinoa, and millet.
- Eat good carbs first thing in the morning or immediately after a hard workout.
- Eat at least 5 - 6 times per day (stabilizes blood sugar and keeps the metabolic furnace raging).
- Drink plenty of water, and drink it often.
- Eat healthy fats (nuts, avocado, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, seeds). Note: Healthy fats will not make you fat. They will actually help you become lean. Healthy fats will fuel your workouts and your mind.
- Use portion control (especially at night).
- Avoid soda, fast food, processed food, and junk.
The next 'must do' to develop your abs is to perform effective exercises. It's important to keep in mind that your core is much more than the front of your abdominals (see diagram above). Not only does the core encompass the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques, it's also composed of many of the back muscles. That means your focus should be on full functional fitness. The more you combine high intensity intervals with effective resistance training, the more your entire core will develop, your body fat percentage will lower and your abdominal muscles will begin to show. You will become lean over time.
- High intensity interval training.
- Resistance training (body weight, dumbbells and bands)
- Focus on plank work, push-up and pull-up variations.
- Squats and lunges.
- Plyometric training.
- Isometric yoga postures focused on the core.
- Examples: Shaun T.'s Insanity, Asylum Volume 1 & 2, T25, and Tony Horton's P90X2.
Final Note: Keep in mind that the key is to be consistent with your nutrition and fitness 90% of the time. If you do that, the results will follow.
Reach out to me with any questions: www.FullFunctionalFitness.com