Want Abs? Get in the Kitchen
The first thing that we need to discuss when it comes to building abs is nutrition. You may have heard this time and time again but that doesn’t make it any less true: nutrition is 70% of the results that you see in the mirror. You can have the best training program in the world but without high quality whole food nutrition, you’ll never achieve that lean and ripped six-pack that you want. To sum it all up: Abs are made in the kitchen.
Macronutrients for Abs
When you are deciding what to eat, it’s important to first look at the macronutrient breakdown of your diet. In the United States, the typical diet is focused on simple carbohydrates with moderate protein and fat intake.
If you want to eat for abs, I’d recommend adjusting your macronutrient ratio to reflect more protein and fat and less carbohydrates as lower carbohydrate diets have been shown to promote greater fat burning. If you want to show off your core muscles, you need to start melting the fat around your waistline while promoting abdominal muscle development. (We’ll talk about ab workouts below.)
This may not be applicable to everyone out there but I would suggest a daily macronutrient goal of the following:
- Carbohydrates: 10%
- Protein: 60%
- Fats: 30%
Meal Choices for Abs
To meet (or come close to) the macronutrients listed above, I would recommend meals that focus on lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of leafy green vegetables. For example, an appropriate lunch time meal would consistent of the following:
- 5 oz. chicken breast
- 1 cup of leafy greens mixed with butter salad
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil placed on the salad mix
With that in mind, here is a grocery store list that I would recommend bringing with you and selecting your choices from. Remember that it’s important to eat food as close to the source as possible. Avoid processed options if you can help it.
Lean Meats / Fish / Animal-Proteins
- Turkey bacon
- Grass-fed beef
- Other wild-caught fish
- Blue Berries
- Salad lettuce mix
- Butter Lettuce
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
What Diet Should I Use for Abs?
You may be curious to know if there is a poplar diet plan that is available and ideal for sculpting your midsection. I would highly recommend trying the ketogenic diet. I personally use the ketogenic diet to keep my body fat low while maintaining solid lean muscle mass year-round.
The ketogenic diet focuses on consuming healthy fats with a moderate amount of protein and a small amount of carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet and it has been shown in several key studies to skyrocket fat burning, promote healthy long-term weight loss, boost cognitive health, and protect lean muscle tissue.
Supplements and Six Pack Abs
Make no mistake about it: Great nutrition needs to come exclusively from whole foods; however, once in a while, you may want to provide your self with an extra boost in performance and recovery. When your goal is to build a solid core and ripped six-pack, you are going to be putting your abdomen through a lot of resistance training exercises. Supplements may offer a convenient solution to giving your body the nutritional edge it needs to see better results in less time.
Personally, I don’t use many supplements although I am a fan of a strong mineral and electrolyte blend for recovery. Most notably, I use Trace Minerals Endure, which I find is helpful for improving recovery and allowing me to get back to my workouts faster.
Exercise and Six Pack Abs
While nutrition is the key to revealing your abdominal muscles, if you aren’t engaged in a proper and effective resistance training program, you’ll have nothing to reveal. Having a solid core is important for more reasons than just looking great.
First and foremost, having a strong and developed core is going to make a world of difference for your health. All movement originates from your core. Whether you are walking or lifting, your core is the foundation from which every other movement pattern comes from.
As we age, we tend to get more sedentary. This begins a vicious cycle. The less active you are, the less you engage your core, the greater chance for atrophy of your core muscles. When your core muscles atrophy or weaken, you increase your risk for injury. You could simply be getting out of bed and hurt your lower back.
Young or old, having a strong and well-developed core may dramatically boost your quality of living. This is especially important for the elderly who are the highest risk of injury related to a weak core musculature.
Who doesn’t want to walk around with a six-pack? One of the more obvious reasons for developing a six-pack is for the attention. Having that lean and solid six-pack is going to turn heads no matter where you go. This positive attention can play a helping hand for your self-confidence and overall mindset.
Type of Exercise for Abs
Resistance-focused exercises, whether bodyweight or using external weight such as a dumbbell is necessary if you want to build an impressive core. Just like when you are trying to build solid lean muscle tissue anywhere else on the body, you need to apply targeted resistance to the muscle group.
Abdominals and core muscles are built for higher endurance exercise, which is why you may see guys and girls doing 200 crunches without the big and bulky abs. Getting six-pack abs isn’t just about doing some crunches and eating well. You have to work the entire core!
Core Workouts vs. Abs-Only Workouts
A core-focused workout is a proper exercise program for getting six-pack abdominals. I know you want a ripped six-pack but you can’t exercise only the front abdominals. Why? There are two key reasons:
The core musculature works as one unit. If you want to twist from side to side, for example, you wouldn’t just use your front abdominals; you need the entire core. When you train one muscle group and not another, you set yourself up for over compensation issues. If one muscle group gets too strong, it will begin compensating, or taking the work load, from other smaller muscle groups. This starts a vicious cycle of one muscle group continuing to get stronger while another group keeps getting weaker. Eventually, that strong muscle may experience something called over training, putting you at high risk for strain, break, or injury. Keeping all muscles on the same page as far as strength and development helps you and keeps you safe.
Having a six-pack turns heads but you’ll also be turning heads if your front is shredded and you have love handles with undeveloped obliques. In other words, it’ll be painfully obvious that you had only one small goal in mind. Aside from improving your quality of life and keeping you safe from injury, engaging in a well-rounded core workout is going to make sure you are turning heads and getting attention for the right reasons.
Best Abs Workout
Below, you’ll find three highly effective workouts that you can use to build a six-pack and a well-developed core. I’d recommend performing each routine once per week if you want to see serious results in your core.
For each exercise, perform the movement for 45 seconds then rest for 15 seconds. Repeat this action of 45-on and 15-off ten to twelve times. Once you complete the final round, move on to the next exercise and repeat.
Versa Climbers and Sculpting Abs
If you want to guarantee that six-pack, there is one machine that I’d highly recommend using: the Versa Climber.
The Versa Climber provides you an incredibly effective resistance workout that provides a full body workout that is core-focused! That means you’ll be working all the major muscle groups with a huge emphasis on your core muscles.
What I love about incorporating the Versa Climber in with my core workouts is that it is the perfect complement with its adjustable resistance. If I train hard with a lot of weight during one of my core workouts, then I can adjust the Versa Climber to be lighter and vice versa.
What’s more, I’m doing more than a core workout with the Versa Climber: all of my major muscle groups are involved. This helps to avoid those over compensation issues that I talked about earlier.
Don’t take my word for it! Check out this testimonial for the Versa Climber and how it helped to transform belly fat into a six-pack.
Have you been chasing after a six-pack? What questions do you have that can help you achieve your goal? Have you already built a six-pack? What tips would you offer your fellow readers?