Everyone and their mother has an opinion on what you should do (and shouldn’t do) if you want ripped abs, but what should you do if you’re looking for the truth about the most effective six pack workout that you can do?
It’s hard enough keeping fit today, what with how sedentary the modern Brit’s lifestyle is. Unless you’re a professional athlete, you’re likely to spend most of the week on your bum in an office building somewhere, writing off emails on the computer and answering phone calls all day. Once you struggle home, you most likely lack the energy to do much but grab something to eat before going to bed, just so you can do it all over again the next day, and come the weekend you’d rather not do anything at all, let alone go for a jog or do a hundred crunches, and many so-called ‘fitness experts’ have come forward with secret techniques guaranteed to get you six pack abs through very little time and effort invested; we all know how well those schemes work – they simply don’t – but what does?
Know before you go
There’s a few things you need to know before you begin some harebrained abs workout routine that’s ‘guaranteed’ to deliver results: you’re going to have to put in shedloads of work before you see results. That’s right – there’s no quick fix, no matter what you may see on late-night television, which means only the most dedicated Brits with massive amounts of willpower achieve the six pack look.
The truth of the matter is that the amount and type of abs exercise you do is actually not nearly as important as how much fat you burn. You need about 10 per cent or less overall body fat when it comes to exposing your abdominal muscles, so unless you’re committed to some serious work – that doesn’t involve doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups – you’re never going to get those results.
Change your diet
You need to get your metabolism working quickly in order to aid in the loss of excess body fat, and you’re not going to be able to do that unless you change your eating habits. Modifying your diet so that you’re taking in far fewer carbohydrates and much more when it comes to protein is the key to building lean muscle mass and eliminating fat, so you need to cut out starchy, sugary foods and increase lean protein such as chicken and turkey; you don’t have to completely get rid of carbs, but you should eat heart-healthy sources such as whole grain oats and brown rice, as their increased dietary fibre content helps keep you feeling full without having to consume your entire body weight in grains.
In addition to these changes, you should of course drink plenty of water and also supplement your meals with green, leafy vegetables. Eating a massive salad never hurt anyone – just leave off the dressing and you’ll soon get your metabolism humming along, burning energy even as you’re just sitting about at work.
Cardio is key
Finally, if you don’t get up and start moving about, your weight loss progress is going to be slow. Sometimes it doesn’t take much – just a half-mile of walking every day can do it – but you could do worse than going for a nice 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise three days a week.
Cardio gets your blood pumping and your body working, which makes your metabolism speed up. When combined with the effects of eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water, your body burns fat at an amazing rate, leaving you feeling healthy and more energised – and at that point you can start looking at your now-flat stomach and begin choosing a good core muscle exercise to get definition and tone.