How You Can Get 6-Pack Abs!

Copyright (c) 2009 Stephen Smith

If you mention the words, six-pack and summer together, most people immediately think of beer. Images flood their mind of relaxing, warm, summer days spending time with friends and having a couple of coldies! In this article, we’re more concerned with the other type of ‘six-pack’ the abdominal type and how you can get them fast!

There is no other body part that is more universally revered than a set of rippling abdominal muscles. They are the hallmark of athleticism and indicate a great level of physical condition. A ‘wash-board’ midsection gets noticed. Men look on with awe and envy, whilst women stare with wonder and admiration. Add to this the fact that when you’ve got a great set of abs – you feel great. It makes sense that achieving a chiselled stomach is high on the list of priorities for most men. Unfortunately though, it is a very elusive goal. It seems that no matter how hard they try and no matter what exercises they perform, some guys never seem to attain the highly desirable, ‘granite-like’ midsection displayed by many of the men that grace the pages of Men’s Health magazine!

Surprisingly, it is actually very easy to get a great set of abs and in this article we will show exactly what you need to do

Attaining a great set of abs requires a multi-directional approach; you must combine a variety of factors in order to get the desired result. To get a great set of abs, you need to apply principles to build the abdominal muscles as well as principles to strip the fat that overlies them. Let’s face it, even if you have the most well-developed abdominal muscles in the world, if they are covered by an ugly layer of fat, you won’t be able to see them and neither will anyone else!

Before we cover the exercises for training the abdominal muscles, let’s firstly go through the ten ‘Six-Pack Abs’ principles:

1. Train all the abdominal muscles

2. Apply the abdominal training principles

3. Do not perform more than 20 reps per set

4. Train to failure on every set

5. Progressively overload the muscles

6. Don’t train abs more than twice a week

7. Perform 2-3 giant sets of 5 exercises each workout

8. Train all muscle groups (weight training)

9. Regularly perform cardiorespiratory (aerobic) exercise

10. Follow a sound nutritional plan

1. Train all the abdominal muscles

The abs are made of four muscles: rectus abdominis (the muscle at the front of your abdomen), the internal obliques, the external obliques (the muscles at the sides of your body) and transversus abdominis (the inner-most layer of abdominal muscle).

In order to have great-looking, strong and functional abdominal muscles it is imperative that exercises are performed that work all four muscles.

2. Apply the abdominal training principles

The abdominal training principles should be used when any exercise is performed for the abs. They are as follows:

– Perform the movements slowly

– Work through a full range of motion (from full extension to full contraction)

– Emphasise the stretch of the muscle being worked

– Breathe out during the flexing (concentric) phase

– Focus on squeezing the muscle being worked

3. Do not perform more than 20 reps per set

Performing more than 20 reps per set trains your muscles for endurance rather than strength or muscularity. If you can perform more than 20 reps for an abdominal exercise, change the exercise or find a way to make it harder. Aim to work within the rep range of 8-15.

4. Train to failure on every set

The abs are just like any other muscle group in the body, they respond to the same stress. If you want to get maximum benefit from your ab workouts, take each set to a point of momentary muscular failure; continue the exercise until you can’t perform another rep; no matter how hard you try.

5. Progressively overload the muscles

Since the abs respond and adapt to training just like any other muscle group, you must find ways to make the ab workouts progressively harder. This can be done by selecting more advanced exercises, reducing the rest between sets, performing a few more reps for each set than the previous workout or increasing the number of exercises being performed in the workout.

6. Don’t train abs more than twice a week

It is common for people to train abs every day under the mistaken belief that it will help them burn the fat off their stomach. ‘Spot-reduction’ is a physiological impossibility. Abdominal training will only build the abdominal muscles. Cardiorespiratory (aerobic) exercise, a good nutritional plan and an elevated metabolic rate (from having more muscle on your whole body) are the only factors that can help you lose body fat.

7. Perform 2-3 giant sets of 5 exercises each workout

There are many ways to train your abdominal muscles in order to get the results you desire. This is just one training regime that is very effective. It is a very intense way to train your abs and is also a very efficient way to train them. You will get fast results from a relatively short training time.

8. Train all muscle groups (weight training)

By performing weight training exercises for all your muscle groups you will increase your muscle mass. Since muscle is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body (it burns up a lot of energy), your metabolism will get an enormous boost An elevated metabolism means you will burn off fat faster and your abs will show through sooner. Perform at least 3 weight training session a week.

9. Regularly perform cardiorespiratory (aerobic) exercise

Cardio is enormously beneficial in helping you shed body fat fast. Not only can it help you burn fat whilst you are exercising, but it can also keep your metabolism elevated for some time after the session is completed, further enhancing fat loss. Cardio also increases the levels of oxidative (fat-burning) enzymes in muscle cells, making your muscles more efficient fat-burners. Perform at least 3 cardio sessions a week.

10. Follow a sound nutritional plan

The old saying, ‘You are what you eat’ holds true. If you eat badly, your body will look and function badly; but if you eat well, your body will look and function well. By being disciplined with your eating habits you will be amazed at how easy it is to stay in great condition, have abs all year-round and feel fantastic!

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