The Two Secrets to Getting Flat Abs – Shhh, Don’t Tell Anyone
Let’s face it, you can work out until you are blue in the face (or more likely red in the face to be more realistic) but until those abs start peeking out from your midsection, you really haven’t reached the pinnacle of fitness. And yes, I’ll admit that for the average person having that six-pack is a fantasy that won’t ever come true. For people much past puberty it is a lot of work to have that happen. It’s just too much work.
But if you want to get that six-pack there are two ‘secrets’ that will help you to get there. The first and by universal agreement is diet. Diet really is the key to fitness in any sort of a workout regiment. Whether you want to run a marathon, help control cholesterol, perhaps impact diabetes or “merely” get in better shape, diet is about 85 percent of the battle. Your physical workout is going to have a definite impact – that’s where the definition and form all come into play, but your diet is going to make or break your fitness goals. Eating as close to whole foods as possible and having a truly balanced diet is extremely important. Eating smaller meals multiple times a day is the best routine for weight loss and increasing metabolic rate, but unless you are eating healthy at those meals, six times a day isn’t going to help you nearly as much.
The second part of our “quest for abs” is exercise. What exercises are you doing and how are you doing them? I wrote once before about how to get “really small muscles” and that article discussed in detail how people work most of their muscles to get them larger – think of large pectoral muscles on a man (larger pectorals can also increase breast size.) So why would doing a lot of exercise reduce your abdominal muscles? It won’t. That is a problem that some people have. They exercise their abs and obliques and then are surprised that they get larger.
What you want to do is short bursts of effort. This is generally referred to as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and lots of people just think about this with cardio-vascular training, but it really works well on the resistance training side as well. So think about instead of doing a slow and steady three sets of 25 or 50 reps (or whatever you are comfortable with, but not too comfortable) you want to do maybe twenty really quick reps, rest thirty seconds, do a second set, thirty more seconds rest and then the third set. I also believe you should concentrate on doing leg raises, either on a machine, or lying on the floor.
Remember to also work that opposite set of muscles – the lower back – to keep a balance to your appearance and stability. If you stick to a good diet and are faithful and consistent with your gym visits a visible six pack is possible at any age.