Who doesn’t want a beautifully sculpted stomach?
Having a well-defined midsection is a goal that many people have, yet very few seem to be able to achieve.
While it is certainly easier to focus on biceps, triceps and deltoids they are nowhere near as impressive as a set of finally toned abdominals. Often the core muscles are neglected or simply over looked in favour of doing another big arms session. There are a lot of people out there with really impressive physics really big powerful shoulders and chest yet they carry around a layer of fat over their stomach that is stubborn as hell to shift.
The common answer to this problem is a bit of a misconception that they need to work on their core by
- Training there abs more often
- Train them harder
- Take more supplements
- Do more crunches
These answers are to put it bluntly wrong. If you continued on that path you would never see your lower abdominals. The actual answer you are looking for is fairly simple one at that
- Reduce your adiposity – your body fat level
It really is just that simple, everybody has abdominal muscles as I stated above they are just covered by a layer of fat, removing that layer of fat allows us to see the muscles.
So you can put down your huge training manuals and books stating they have the secret of how to train for the perfect 6 pack and all that nonsense I’ll save you the hassle of it and some up what every one of them books says in short.
- Reduce your body fat percentage so the muscle composition is visible
- If you do not have developed abdominal muscle train them.
So the next question how to reduce your body fat level?
You need what’s known as a caloric deficit which put simply means that in order for your body to go about its daily routine and sustain its current weight and activity level it needs its maintence level of calories. This can vary from person to person and by your height, weight and age, you might of heard of this it’s commonly known as being 2500 calories for a man and 2000 for a woman. Well when we are looking to build muscle we need a calorie surplus this allows for growth and repair and development of new muscle, unfortunately some of these calories are stored as fat as well. So when we consume fewer calories than are maintence level requires we are in a state of caloric deficit which results in the body utilising its fat stores resulting in a reduction of body fat.
Ok so it would be easy to just leave it there, let’s look at some helpful little life tweaks that will help you on your journey to getting that perfect 6 pack you always know was there..
Cutting out empty calories from your life. It’s no secret everyone knows your body doesn’t benefit from crisps, sweets, fizzy drinks and chocolate, yet we all love them. So your natural instinct is to deprive yourself of them they have nothing you want right, this is where a lot people fall down. By depriving your body of these foods you are doing good and bad, you will trigger your body to go into starvation mode and hold onto your body fat. What you need to do here is replace your craving with something nutrient dense, your mind satisfies its craving and your body allows fat to be eliminated. if you are craving some chocolate or sweet simply have some fruit or a greek style yogurt.
Elevate your heart rate. It’s a bit of a no brainer really by forcing your heart rate higher than resting for an extended period of time be it through cardio or anaerobic circuits it benefits you in two ways.
- It keeps your heart strong and healthy
- It helps elevate your metabolism which in turn burns fat.
Keep hydrated. When your body is dehydrated it retains water, this leaves you looking bloated. The opposite of what we are looking to do here. Obviously staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids is the best way to do this. However it is a good side note to mention you should try keep sodium intake low, especially by cutting out processed foods which are full of it. Also try and increase your intake of whole foods not just for the hydration for just general health as well.
Your hips. Now this is as much for the men as it is for the women. If you still have some small bloat in the lower abs this could be due to your hips being tight. Meaning you could be in a state of pelvic tilt, this causes your back to arch creating a slack in the abdominal wall as your hips are tilted forward.
How to fix pelvic tilt
- By stretching the quads and hip flexors you can loosen out and open the hips and will alter your posture slightly.
- By strengthening the glutes and hamstrings it will pull back on the hips helping elevate the tilt.
Relax everyone is busy and everyone has stuff to do places to go people to see, the fact is that stress can cause cortisol a hormone that can cause fat to be deposited around the midsection. By lowering your stress levels, less cortisol is released into the blood stream. So take five minutes to relax and breathe throughout the day can make a difference.
To finish it off here the most important thing you can take from this is by reducing your calorie intake while maintaining your physical activity level will result in the body tapping into its fat stores and subsequently revealing the abs you thought you never had.
And remember the saying abs are made in the kitchen.