Most of us would probably smiling a little wider right now if we knew that we had a beautiful six pack sitting underneath our t-shirts. Before you dismiss this as something only your vain and narcissistic friends care about, take a moment to consider that there might be more going on.
Working out is not just about looking good. It’s about being healthy and about overcoming obstacles. Every groove and contour of that six pack are testaments to the effort and discipline that went in to carving them out. They symbolize months of determined exercise and a relentless focus on eating well.So whether you’re drawn to the physical attractiveness or not, working towards getting sexy abs is about the challenges that you have to face to do it right.
There are hundreds of schemes and frauds online that promise you your six pack for little effort or through some breakthrough technique. You know as well as we do how much they’re worth and how helpful they’re actually going to be for you. The fact of the matter is that there is no substitute for hard-work. Having said that, you can get there faster by avoiding many of the common mistakes and misconceptions. Here are our favorite tips to help you along the way and speed up the journey.
1. It’s all about your diet
It doesn’t matter how hard you work out if you’re not eating right and timing your macros correctly. There’s a lot of good advice out there about this, but suffice it to say that most of us need to increase our protein and fiber intake and cut back on the unhealthy carbs and fats. By unhealthy carbs we mean refined and processed foods like flour and sugar. By unhealthy fats we mean oils and fried food.
Low-carb and zero-carb diets are all the rage right now but if you’re working out regularly, you want to make sure that you get some carbs in your diet, ideally right after working out when you’re likely to burn through it easily. Our favorite sources of healthy carbs are quinoa, oats and bananas. As for healthy fats, you can try walnuts, pecans, almonds, avocados and olive oil, all in moderation.
Finally, time your protein intake well. You should start the day off with a high protein breakfast and then have a protein heavy snack about an hour before or after working out.
2. Crunches will get you nowhere
Perhaps the most common and popular kinds of ab workout out there are crunches and sit-ups. Don’t be fooled though. This isn’t because they’re the most effective. Much to the contrary! They’re popular because they’re easier and sadly this means that they’re also less effective. So if you’re still adding more reps to your crunch and sit-up counts, it’s probably time to change up your routine.
As a first step, you might want to try planks, leg raises, V-ups and mountain climbers. If those seem easy enough for you, it might be time for plan variations like toe-tap plans or body saws, fire hydrants, glute bridges or single-leg lowering. Just make sure that you’re always challenging yourself (while being mindful of your body’s limits) and changing up your routine to workout all the different parts of your midsection.
3. Cardio is your friend
To build the perfect six pack, most of us need to build muscle from the inside out while also losing a few layers of fat from the outside in. Many of us may already have beautiful six pack abs that are just waiting to be revealed! So make sure that you combine your weekly ab workouts (1-3 times for 20 minutes is plenty) with some cardio work as well so that you’re burning off any fat that you might want to.
So there you have it! Get moving, get grooving and show yourself what you’re made of. Six pack or not, this is more about overcoming obstacles and reaching our goals.
Check out the Vivo app to help you along the way!