There are six basic aspects of any abdominal workout routine you must master to obtain the six pack abs you have been chasing. You can do crunches until you toss your dinner and not meet your goal of a beautiful set of six pack abs. You have to use a comprehensive approach that addresses nutrition (diet), water intake, supplementation, exercises protocol, proper sleep rhythms, and the detoxification of your body. If you do all of these things you will acquire a six pack of abs and a nice set of obliques to frame around them.
It does not mater what your workout goal is, you will never obtain a set of defined abs if you do not eat properly. I am not talking about just skipping the fast food crap. I mean carbs, protein, and the right time to load up on each.
If you have extra weight to lose, you should be careful not to restrict your calories to much when working out. Just restrict the starchy carbs and useless calories like all sugars.
If you restrict calories too much you will lose muscle and water, not the fat cells you want to shed. Eating a meal that contains complex carbohydrates like rice, pasta, bagels, fresh fruit, or baked potatoes about 30-60 minutes before your workout will provide a more sustained energy level and the carbohydrates that you need to keep your blood sugar level up. Also consume organic food whenever possible.
What you eat after your workout is just as important as what your have before. You are going to need the same types of carbohydrates, but you will need to add some protein for muscle repair and growth. I would suggest a recovery meal.
The recovery meal serves two purposes: 1) It replaces lost carbs and influences the amount of cortisol (a hormone which reacts to stress) your body will release. 2) It loads up amino acids into your muscle to begin the re-building of muscle tissue. If you miss this window of opportunity you will not gain muscle and lose body fat as fast.
Cortisol – Increases blood pressure, blood sugar and reduces immune responses.
All Mighty Water
Hydration is an often overlooked aspect of all workout routines. If you do not consume enough water while working out or for that matter during your entire day you have wasted your time and may have caused damage to yourself. Not enough water equals dehydration.
Drinking sugary/sports drinks, caffeinated beverages only dehydrate your body quicker. You should try to drink 7 to 10 ounces of room temperature water every 20 minutes while working out.
Water helps to regulate your body temperature; deliver oxygen to your muscle tissues by keeping blood volume elevated. It also assists the kidneys in removing biological wastes, and enhances with fat burning and muscle growth. A good rule to follow is to drink ½ of your body weight in ounces per day.
If you are considering taking a supplement to put on a little more muscle, it’s important to take stock of your lifestyle before forking over a dime. If you’re not eating right, getting enough sleep, cutting back on stress and exercising regularly, meaning at least a couple of times a week, supplements are not going to do a whole lot for you.
You cannot expect to slack elsewhere and have these pills or powders make it up for you. You have protein powder, creatine, glutamine, multi-vitamins, fish oils and amino acids to start with.
Protein is the most recognized muscle building supplement in the world. It is available in whey, soy, casein, and egg. Which is best for you? Whey – I would stay away from soy and use hemp if you are a vegetarian. Use what is available to you. You will want to look at your goal for your protein first.
Each of these four is absorbed at a different pace. Whey is great for a post-workout meal because it is absorbed within 30 minutes. Then comes egg and casein (milk) which are absorbed over a period of 1.5 to 7 hours. Either of these before bed will provide a great source of protein for muscle repair and growth while you sleep. Soy protein is an overall source, but due to the estrogenic proprieties of soy I would use hemp milk instead. Most serious bodybuilders/athletes will take a combination of all of these protein supplements for maximum benefit.
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance in your body. The basics behind creatine supplements are that they cause an increase in the amount of ATP (the main energy source for muscles) in your body. More ATP means more reps and sets at higher weight. This means quicker muscle building. This supplement should be cycled though. It is best to take it for four weeks and then take two weeks off.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissues. It helps to eliminate muscle wasting and improve your muscles recovery time. Amino acid supplements should always contain branched-chain amino acids to give you better results. Make sure that you do not take creatine and glutamine at the same time. They compete for receptors on muscle cells and will cancel each other out. Take glutamine pre-workout and creatine post-workout.
The reasons to take a multi-vitamin are obvious. A lack in any mineral or vitamin can really hamper your progress and limit muscle growth and retention. You really cannot neglect any of the supplements and expect top results.
A full program of muscle development is obvious to get a set of abs. Simple routines that you will adhere to work the best. An overall program plus a good core workout that includes movements for the abs are all important in obtaining six pack abs. Abdominal exercises that will lead you to six pack abs and a set of well defined obliques to frame it.
Sleep and Body Detoxification
You must get enough sleep, period. Your muscles grow and repair themselves during your sleep periods. Your energy stores and blood sugar levels restore themselves while you sleep. Depriving yourself of sufficient rest is the same as depriving yourself of muscle mass and definition.
Why workout if you are not going to have enough recovery time and end up wasting the effort. Detoxifying your body is important for the proper flow of nutrients to the muscles and the needed elimination of the by-products of muscle strain and growth. Driving these toxins out of your body will help to increase blood flow to the muscles. Every bodybuilder knows the benefits of a better blood flow.
In addition to eliminating the obvious bad guys like caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods, you need to lower your stress levels. Meditation and “quiet times” are very helpful for overall body harmony.
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