With the New Year having rolled around one resolution that is at the top of many people’s list is getting in better shape. Usually one of the things that people think of when getting in shape is having a nice set of abs that are visible. But, while a lot of people want that, there always seems to be confusion on how to get abs.
Sadly many people try and take advantage of the masses by providing products that supposedly produce results in a short time frame. It is disappointing that people still try and scam one another out of money, but that is just the way the world works. So with that in mind…
3 Things that Don’t Work
- Spot Reduction – There are a few weird products put there like belly bands or other ‘spot reduction’ pieces of equipment, including abdominal devices, that supposedly help you melt fat away from only the mid-section and tone up the area without dieting. Too bad that they don’t really work.
- Diet Pills – There are a lot of miracle diet pills that will help increase your metabolism to burn off fat while you literally do nothing. While the pill might provide a slight boost to your metabolism from caffeine and also include an appetite suppressant; that really does not solve the problem of how to get abs. Instead, at best they help you tread water.
- Crash Diets – A Crash diet is anything that is unsustainable over a long period of time. Things like juice diets, fasting, Atkins-style diets and the like might provide an initial reduction of weight but typically people rebound back later and gain more weight than they started with.
So those things won’t help, but what will? Honestly the answer of how to get abs is the same solution that has always been out there; a combination of diet, resistance training, and cardio work. The key is how much effort you put into each category which usually surprises most people.
The Secret of Getting Abs
The biggest thing most people don’t realize when they start a fitness program designed to lose weight and get a great set of abs is that diet is about 70% of the equation. Instead, many people focus on abdominal routines and doing lots of cardio. While those are both important, you diet is truly the key to unlocking the answer of how to get abs.
First off, a good diet means you won’t be adding anything extra to your current state. Let’s say you are 20 pounds overweight. You will need to remove those 20 pounds if you want to be able to see your midsection. Now if you diet is not tight and you would be adding a 1/2 a pound of fat each week that means you are going to have to work just to be at an even level, then work harder to burn more calories and thus fat each week.
On top of that, a good diet can increase your metabolism (to help burn more calories each day), increase lean muscle mass (which helps burn more calories each day), provides lots of energy for daily activities and workouts, and generally leaves you feeling good. Now this doesn’t mean starving yourself; in fact this is the exact opposite. You should focus on eating lots of good healthy food, especially in the morning and during the day and then taper off in the late afternoon and evening. Give your body the right fuel in the right way and you can lose weight without working out.
Next you combine a quality cardiovascular program and ab-toning routine that you perform 3 times a week. For an extra push do full body weight workouts twice a week to work on overall muscle tone, which as we said before, helps burn more calories each day.
For cardio, focus on high-intensity interval training. That means short bursts of high intensity mixed with mid and low effort. Routines like this can be accomplished in 20 to 30 minutes, so you aren’t in the gym all day. For your ab specific exercises work on doing a circuit of abdominal exercises before your cardio when your energy is at its’ highest. The full body workouts can be done as a circuit as well for additional calories burning.
The Bottom Line
The answer to how to get abs is simple, it takes some hard work. But the hardest work comes in the area of your nutrition. Learning to eat the right foods, especially at the right time provides huge benefits to your overall health and life. Plus they turn your body into a more efficient machine that burns calories instead of storing them. This helps immensely with trimming fat off the body that covers your midsection. High intensity cardio helps with that and then you just need to tighten and tone the muscles. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!