A six-pack is an elusive training goal for many men. But the truth is there is no quick fix for achieving this chiselled look. Supplements, pills and ab machines are no substitute for hard work. However, with a dedicated, long-term approach to training and nutrition, rock hard abs are a goal that can be achieved. Here’s how!
To build a six-pack it is obvious you need to work on your abs. A well-planned regimen of three abdominal sessions per week is essential. But, rather than just relying on crunches and sit ups, focus on building strong, functional abdominal muscles.
Isometric holds, such as the plank, are a must. These require your abdominal muscles to maintain a neutral spine and pelvis under resistance, targeting the rectus abdominus and transversus abdominus. Use twisting movements, such as Russian twists, to hit the external and internal obliques, both eccentrically and concentrically. This will develop the finger-like muscles running from the lower ribs to the six-pack.
Finally, target the six-pack itself with flexion movements of the spine. Hit the upper abs with exercises such as crunches and sit-ups, and the lower abs with exercises such as hanging leg raises and TRX jack knives.
Even if you have the firmest abs, a layer of abdominal fat will hide your pride and joy. I see guys commit hours each week working their abs, but never achieve their six-pack goal because they neglect their cardio. In order to trim body fat, you must include some form of high intensity aerobic training. Interval training is time efficient and effective, and will blast your body into a fat burning machine.
With all health and training goals, your nutrition should compliment your exercise. Your goal is building muscle and trimming fat. To do this you need to fuel your muscles with high-quality protein and carbohydrates, while controlling your total calorie intake to reduce body fat.
Lean meats, both red and white, are great sources of high quality protein that will help build muscle tissue. Include low GI carbohydrates in your three main meals to fuel your muscles, while keeping your blood sugar under control. Finally, eat a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and fruits, and manage your serving sizes, to help control your calorie intake.