They won’t admit it; they never do. The next time you strip down into that bikini or swim suit in front of a bunch of girlfriends (I’d say friends, but we all know this article is mostly for the women out there) you haven’t seen in a while, and you’ve got that perfectly flat, toned, and tight stomach, take a look at their faces. They do their best to hide it but they can’t. They’re soft, flabby, and looking rather……old. You on the otherhand…well you’re tight, toned, athletic, youthful, and amazing.
Don’t feel bad about it. You earned it. You didn’t go to some doctor to have a couple of double D’s installed. You didn’t happen to fall into this tight and toned body. You worked for it. You did what you had to, you made sacrifices, and you now get to reap the rewards for all that hard work.
The envy over your sizzling midsection is to be expected after all. Who doesn’t want a flat and tight stomach? Well, achieving this really isn’t as hard or as far off as you may think. After years of helping men and women of all shapes and sizes, I’ve uncovered some serious tips that will help put you on a path to success.
1. Your Abs are Made in the Kitchen. At LEAST 60% of the way you look is the result of your diet. It’s time to make a decision. Would you rather have ice cream after dinner tonight or a six-pack by the end of the summer? Start eating your way to a six-pack. Opt for complex carbs, avoid sugar, consume ample protein, and avoid bad fats.
2. Tons of Crunches Won’t Get It Done. For the love of God…there is no such thing as spot toning, AND, doing crunches won’t burn fat. You need a calculated approach that will strip your entire body of fat. An ab routine that burns fat and builds your core is ideal. Look for something that incorporates intense cardio and complex abdominal exercises. I’ve seen this work infinite times over for people much worse off than you, trust me on that one.
3. Understand what Toned Means. People always write in asking how to get “toned”. “Toned” simply means you have less body fat, thereby making your muscles look more pronounced, defined, or toned. Want to look toned? Start doing HIIT cardio. HIIT cardio has been shown by study after study to help you burn calories, boost your metabolism, and build a lean and athletic physique. Burn the layer of fat covering your abdominal muscles and a six-pack will slowly start forming.
4. Stop Expecting Change Overnight. When you expect instant change (and you don’t get it), you are setting yourself up for disappointment and burn out. Tell yourself this is a slow, but gradual process. Depending on your current physique, noticeable change in your midsection can be seen in 4-10 weeks. If it’s taking more than that and your diet is on point, up your cardio sessions each week.
5. Lift Weights. And no, I’m not talking about 5 lb dumbbell curls. When you perform heavy compound exercises, you recruit more muscles fibers during your workout. When you recruit more muscle fibers you build more muscle. When you build more muscle your metabolism elevates. When your metabolism is elevated you burn more calories throughout the day. When you burn more calories throughout the day you lose more body fat. Simple.
6. Meet Ab Wheel, He’s Your New Best Friend. Seriously, spend the 8 dollars and get an ab wheel. I’ve seen clients on all kinds of routines over the years. The ones that did 15-20 minutes of ab wheeling on their own at home a couple of times a week looked SO much better in the long run than those who didn’t. It effectively hits your core muscles from a variety of angles and keeps almost constant fatigue on them throughout. Simply one of the best core exercises out there. Get one and get it now.
7. Fiber Flattens. Consuming ample amounts of fiber have been shown to especially help abdominal fat stores. Some studies have shown that consuming 10 or more grams of fiber daily, your midsection will carry nearly 4% less fat. Beans, broccoli, lentils, and apples provide loads of fiber to help you get your daily dose!
8. Mix and Match. Forget the guy who says he does 1,000 crunches a day and has abs like a washboard. While it may work for him, that is certainly not the norm. Make sure you mix and match the types of exercises you do each day. Utilizing Body Diversity Training methods is a great way to make continued and steady progress. This approach will burn fat, build muscle, and deliver a tight and toned body. Not to mention, you’ll avoid running into that damn plateau phase everyone else eventually hits.
9. Jump In Head First. If you have access, regular swimming has been shown to be more effective than any other type of cardio on helping you build a lean and tight core. Swimming recruits more core muscle fibers, as well as provides a total body cardio experience which helps burn massive amounts of calories. Unlike running and other high-impact activities, it is easy on joints making it something you can easily do as you age.
10. Surround Yourself With Positive Influences. I’m not saying drop those jealous friends, but make room in your life for people who are where you want to be. Strike up a friendship at your gym, talk to someone in yoga class, go out of your way to surround yourself with people who are physically fit. Studies show people will often emulate those around them. If you’re hanging with a bunch of couch potatoes who consider not ordering dessert when they go out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory an example of healthy living, you’re setting yourself up for disaster.
Building a beautiful core you can be proud of isn’t hard to do. Does it take work, determination, and a little sacrifice? Of course. But there isn’t some secret formula to get there. The 10 tips laid out above WILL get you the stomach you’ve always wanted. Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today. Get started now and your friends will be green with envy in no time.
What has been the biggest obstacle for you in your quest for six-pack abs? Have you tried doing any of the above but are still running into issues? Let us hear about them and well be happy to help you overcome them.
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