To achieve a six-pack means quite a bit of hard work in the gym.
Naturally, many people are desperate to get a six pack. When we see the lean, mean, taught washboard looking bodies on the beach, we kind of vow that when we get home, we are going to start an exercise regime to look like that! And both men and women admire this in each other because they know these are people who take care of themselves – it’s sexy to look at, and its admirable because getting a six-pack requires discipline, it requires one to be mentally strong and it’s about working hard to earn that six-pack – all highly attractive qualities – and who doesn’t want to look good, fit and healthy?. But in saying that, there are some key mistakes that people make in their training, so here is a bit of good advice to incorporate in your abdominal workouts.
1. Don’t make poor exercise selections
A lot of people focus on just the typical and well known abdominal exercises. One particular one that comes to mind is the abdominal crunch and sit-ups, particularly with the beginners. And yet when all is said and done, they aren’t really that effective, and some can be dangerous. Both of these exercises flex the spine where the spine is at its weakest. With 6-pack abs training, you are actually meant to strengthen the spine and not weaken it so every small crunch you do is small cross in the tick boxes for back trouble. The solution is to drop the spine-crunching exercises and focus on movements that will work your abdomen in the natural bracing position. It’s not that crunches don’t work, but there are better exercises for your abs and they are safer. Planks offer good abdominal workouts. Swiss ball rollouts are also a good alternative. Some people like focusing on cable rotations, which give the abs a functional workout while allowing you to increase your weight load as you gain in strength.
2. No progression
Many people will rarely increase the intensity of their workouts; to work their muscles. Usually, those who use the bench press will display their strength by lifting more and more weight, and yet when it comes to the abdominal workouts, they just do the same stuff week after week after week. Maybe they assume that all it requires to work on the abs are just a few crunches. But this is wrong thinking. Your body adapts to an exercise after just a few sessions, which afterwards they won’t do all that much for you. Your abs need just as hard a workout as your other muscle groups do. Don’t short-challenge your abs workout with unchallenging tired kind of workout regimes. The solution here is to progress with your abdominal exercises to get better results. The most popular exercises you decide on can be progressed on and if you really want to fire up your abdominal workouts, move on to something like a suspension trainer. That is if you really want progress!
3. Training too frequently
Basically, if you can still feel the pain or effects from your last workout, you are not ready to do another workout. Many people buy into the logic that more is better but the reality is that gains aren’t really made in the gym – the gain is made as you rest. You need to rest your muscles as well. The solution is to focus on targeted intense workouts, working out your abs for around 10-15 minutes of isolation work one to two times a week. Then allow at least 48 hours of recovery time before you train them again. You combine this with this proper sleep and proper nutrition in the same way you do for when you train the larger muscle groups.
4. You need to focus on body composition
Just relentlessly training your abdominals won’t make any difference to that washboard look for your abs if you don’t have the right kind of body composition. This means that if you want to see your abs, you need to get your body fat lower. Put it this way – to make your abs really show, to really reveal your abdominal definition, and possibly your six-pack, men generally need to achieve a body fat percentage of around 6-9% whilst women need to reach 16-19% body fat. The leaner you are, the more defined your abs are likely to be. You need to use a good and comprehensive workout program – one that will incorporate full body workouts and also fat burning cardio. Naturally, you need to eat a healthy diet too. Avoid the high processed, high sugar foods and aim for diets high in protein with plenty of healthy fats and moderate carbs. See if that doesn’t get you down into the lower digits in no time!
5. Don’t rely on the gimmicks
Achieving 6-pack abs is about good food; targeted exercises and adequate recovery time that will help you progress in building a good overall body, including your abs. You must have seen it, because in today world, we are constantly bombarded with ads that offer instant solutions; quick fixes, and it is particularly prominent in the health and fitness industry – like getting a six pack in just 6 days kind of thing! Don’t fall into this trap because these types of adverts will just hamper your progress let alone empty your wallet, and possibly even damage your health! There really are some ridiculous advertisements with ridiculous claims and you need to watch out for these. The solution is rather to focus on the known principles like healthy foods, good exercises, adequate recovery time and proper, normal progress. There are also some supplements that can put you at a slight advantage but they are not there to be relied on entirely, far from it. Caffeine, for example, can raise your metabolism and even enhance your workout intensities. It doesn’t take an Einstein, however, to figure out that drinking coffee alone is not going to offer you rock hard abs!
6. Don’t isolate a certain area of your body
When you focus too much on your abs for instance and neglect the other, larger muscle group just because you want a six-pack is being short-sighted. You will end up having a bad posture, muscular imbalances and in the end, hamper your dreams of the six-pack. The solution is to develop for yourself a program that incorporates large compound movements that will develop overall strength and muscles.
Want six pack abs? Don’t give up; just remember why you started, so keep calm, because your six-pack abs are in progress!