Ready to hit the beach with a six pack? Here’s how you can get great abs:
The first step to building six pack abs is to lose some belly fat. This is, of course, within reason. If you’re already pretty slim in the abdominal region, you can probably skip this step and start building muscle. Otherwise, skimming off a bit of fat is going to be necessary to see results.
Find a routine that works for you, and as always, set realistic goals. Losing weight takes time: the safest amount of weight you should be losing per week is 1-2lbs. It’s tempting to crash diet and work out excessively to try to get faster results, but not only is this method unhealthy, it’s usually not effective in the long-run. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’re going to need to change your lifestyle. Losing weight means cutting back on your caloric intake—usually about 500-1000 calories per day. Educate yourself on healthy eating, and start doing some cardio exercises to burn some of those calories.
Getting great abs isn’t just about the killer workout regimen—it’s about eating smart. If you’re killing yourself in the gym and then hitting the drive-thru for a cheeseburger and fries afterwards, you’re doing it wrong. You need to be focusing on protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Eat lots of protein. Lean protein helps you build muscle and burn body fat like no other. This is because lean protein has the highest thermogenic effect on the body, meaning your body burns more calories breaking it down.
Don’t let anyone tell you to cut carbs. You won’t be doing yourself a favor. Good carbs provide your body with healthy, natural energy, and a good helping of fiber to boot. But you have to stick to the good stuff, like healthy grains and starches. Meanwhile, stay away from the bad stuff, like pastries, white bread, and white pasta, which have been stripped of their natural fiber.
Good, healthy fats are 100% necessary to cutting unnecessary belly fat. Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E; and they help lower the risk of heart disease. Reach for avocados, almonds, cashews, peanut butter, olive oil, and canola oil for a healthy serving of fat.
Now for the good stuff. You’ve probably heard that in order to get a decent rack of abs you need to do about a million boring crunches, but fret not because that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, you’re probably better off doing a variety of complex ab workouts to feel the burn and see results. Check out some different workout routines and mix it up a bit. Just remember to keep moving and push yourself to achieve maximum results. Here are some good ab workouts to try:
- Health.com’s 24 Fat-Burning Ab Exercises
- Men’s Fitness’ “The 30 Best Abs Exercises of All Time”
- Fitness’ Top 10 Ab Exercises
Now that you’re ready to work on those abs, stock up on some sweet workout apparel from Athlete Beyond and stay motivated!