Abs are most sought-after and most coveted body part in any physique. It’s the reason why most people do hundreds of crunches and sit-ups, the reason why they perform hours of cardio and eat the blandest of foods for weeks. However when it comes to abs more is not always better. Higher Reps won’t get those abs to show. To attain a true six-pack, where your abs are really popping, you’ll have to drop down to low body fat, and that can only be achieved by using a combination of effective resistance training program, metabolic-type work like intervals and circuit training and, most importantly, nutrition. These factors are an essential blueprint for making your abs pop. If you follow the tips outlined below, attaining solid shredded abs is guaranteed.
Tip 1: Train abs at least three times a week
Since your abs are sustaining your core, they are always working. Therefore you need to train them more often in order to make them grow. Increase your training frequency for abs by performing ab workouts at least three times a week. This will give you ample opportunity to target each area of the ab region and use as much volume as you need to thoroughly work your abs. Some people even train their abs every day of the week which they find is very effective in maintaining their abs and keeping them strong.
Tip 2: Add weights to your ab exercises
Most people are used to doing ab workouts by performing lots of reps. There is nothing wrong with that but if you want your abs to pop, you need to add resistance to your ab exercises. By adding weights to your ab exercises you force your abdominal muscles to work harder which builds the muscle that makes up the squares of your six-pack so they pop and when performed at different angles, weighted ab exercises allow you to build deeply-etched abs.
- Keep your reps in the hypertrophy range (12-15 reps) and work on increasing resistance, just like you would with any other exercises that you perform for other body parts.
Tip 3: Hit all areas of the ab region: upper, lower and obliques
Just like you do for any other body parts you need to target all areas of the ab region: upper, lower, and obliques. Most people ab routines are one-dimensional, they just do crunches or situps and call it a day. Thus one section of the abs more developed and stronger while the other ones are underdeveloped.
- To really make your abs pop, include at least one specific exercise that targets each area of your abs during your ab workouts.
Tip 4: Do cardio at least three times a week
Cardio is crucial for great abs and is always going to be a key factor in your quest to achieve solid abs. However too often, people engage in the wrong modes of cardio. They perform routines that are time-consuming and damaging to the metabolism and ending up burning off precious muscle in the process. Low-intensity cardio training has its time and place. However, you need to introduce interval cardio into your training routine to rev up your metabolism and start burning some real fat. Intervals have been shown to burn more fat than cardio sessions done at a constant slow-to-moderate intensity. Interval cardio also increases your metabolism at a higher rate for a longer period after exercise is over which results in greater calories burned over time.
- Train abs just before you do your cardio and then remember to pull your abs in while you are doing the cardio. And for your cardio sessions try going for 30-45 minutes at a roughly 1:1 ratio of intense to slow/moderate intervals. For example, if you are doing the treadmill, sprint for a minute, walk for a minute and repeat
Tip 5: Clean up your diet
You’ve heard it before: great abs are made in the kitchen. Cliche but very true. It does matter how many hours you work out if your nutrition is not on point, your abs won’t show. You can’t overcome poor nutrition with training. If your goal is revealing those abdominal muscles, you will need to maintain a very good clean diet.
- Eat foods that are high in protein and food that contain low-glycemic carbs.
Tip 6: Supplement with carnitine, green tea, and caffeine
In addition to training and nutrition, supplements can help you reveal your abs. Supplements such as fat burners have shown to burn and accelerate the fat burning process. Some of the best ones include carnitine, green extract, and caffeine. The combined effect of these three supplements will help show your abs in no time.
Carnitine is a popular fat-burner but also a powerful anabolic supplement. It transports fat into mitochondria cells where it burned and used as energy. Besides being a popular fat-loss supplement, carnitine is also known to enhance muscle growth by increasing blood flow to muscles, similar to benefits provided by NO boosters. It also increases testosterone levels postworkout.
- Take 1-3 gram(s) of carnitine with breakfast, pre and postworkout meals, as well as with your last meal.
Green tea contains the active compound EGCG. EGCG works to increase your metabolic rate and free up body fat by preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine which regulates your metabolic rate and fat-burning.
- Take about 500 mg of green tea extract standardized for EGCG in the morning, pre-workout, and around dinner time.
Caffeine boosts fat burning due to its ability to bind receptors on fat cells. Caffeine also burns extra fat during exercise. In addition, caffeine buffers muscle pain and sharpen mental acuity. Taken pre-workout, caffeine provides near-instant energy, increases muscle strength and helps the body use more fat for energy.
- Take 200-400 mg of a caffeine supplement in the morning and an hour before workout.
Tip 7: Drink lots of water
Keeping yourself hydrated is essential when you want to show off that chiseled six-pack. The most dehydrated you are, the more your body will retain water and store it under your skin. This stored water will actually look like excess fat. Therefore drink plenty of water to keep your metabolism high and maintain muscle fullness. Not only that but the water will help you satisfy cravings.
- Make sure to drink water regularly and during training sessions and continue to drink even when you are done. You should at least have a gallon of water per day