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9 Tips for ABS Training & Growing a Sixpack + Schedule

One of the most frequently asked questions is how do I get a six-pack? Many men dream of a flat stomach but will never get to see their abs. A six-pack or muscular belly requires dedication, time, and patience.

Do you want to burn stubborn belly fat and get a lower fat percentage?

In this article, I'll give you the best tips to burn fat quickly and get those abs that you've only dreamed of until now.

What I tell you in this blog is, among other things:

  • What fitness myths are keeping you from having visible abs
  • The safest method to lose weight quickly as a bodybuilder and to maintain muscle mass (are you already doing this?)
  • What stupid mistake 99% of strength athletes make when it comes to training their abs
  • How you can increase metabolism by up to 30% with the help of water
  • The best abdominal exercises for a muscular six-pack to get
ABS Training & Growing a Sixpack + Schedule

The Truth About Visible Abs

There seems to be a persistent misunderstanding in the fitness world when it comes to reducing belly fat and gaining abs.

I became aware years ago that the mighty fitness industry's primary goal is not to help people achieve their health goals.

In the end, it always comes down to the same thing: making money.

I have seen dozens of products in recent years that all claim to remove belly fat, but none of them have lived up to it.

And that is not possible, because locally burning body fat is a myth that I will come back to later.

You don't get a washboard from one day to the next.

To actually get a six-pack you will have to do (and not do) a few things.

Read on to train and grow your six-pack.

Tip #1: Throw the Sixpack Myths in the Trash

Everyone seems to be an expert on bodybuilding, health, and nutrition these days.

You stumble across the commercial fitness magazines and nutrition pages that all promise you the golden tip when it comes to growing a six-pack or getting visible abs.

People blindly accept the advice of Tel Sell-like programs without thinking for themselves whether they are working efficiently.

You have these persistent fitness myths that keep coming back:

  • That you could convert fat into muscle mass
  • That it is possible to burn fat locally
  • That you permanently lower your fat percentage with a crash diet

Whoever helped the above myths into the world should give them a one-way ticket to North Korea today (just kidding).

Getting a six-pack by simply doing two hundred crunches a day is bullshit.

  • It is impossible to burn local abdominal fat through abdominal exercises.
  • This is confirmed by an American study from 2011 that investigated the effect of abdominal exercises on local abdominal fat.

The researchers got subjects to do hundreds of sit-ups and crunches for weeks, and at the end of the study, it was checked whether local abdominal fat had disappeared.

Conclusion: abdominal exercises alone will not give you a visible washboard.

What is much more important than performing hundreds of crunches repetitions can be read in the next tip.

Tip #2: Lower Your Fat Percentage For Visible Abs

The weather is nice and you decide to go to the beach with your friends.

Once at the beach, the big moment comes, namely the moment you take off your shirt.

I don't think I'm saying anything weird when I say that every man would like to have a six-pack at a time like this.

A six-pack simply looks good and will certainly be appreciated by women.

You can do abs until you weigh an ounce, but you'll never see them with a layer of fat over them.

So you will first have to get rid of this fat if you ever want to see your abs.

It's pretty bad, but a lot of people don't realize this.

My neighbor showed up at my door one day and was eager to get a six-pack for his honeymoon.

He did abdominal exercises for months along with a ridiculous diet (potatoes in the blender! Seriously?)

Unsurprisingly, my neighbor had not achieved any results.

I told him that if your body fat percentage is as high as it is now, your six-pack will never be visible, no matter how many abs exercises you do.

To support my argument, I measured his fat percentage.

He came in at 22%. His abs were hidden under a thick layer of fat.

The ideal fat percentage for a six-pack is 10% or lower in men.

But often you can already see the abs in men at a fat percentage of 12%.

Although it also depends on the fat distribution in your body.

Some men have more localized belly fat than others, which will make your six pack harder to see.

  • The lower your body fat percentage, the more visible your abs will be.
  • But beware: a fat percentage that is too low for a man is not healthy.

If you stay below 5% fat percentage for a long time, this will be at the expense of your testosterone level and s3x drive.

“What about women Glenn?”

With women, it is a bit different.

Women have a fat percentage that is on average a lot higher than men.

The female body is designed to quickly store fat reserves in case of pregnancy.

This is because, once a woman becomes pregnant, she needs her fat reserves to stay healthy and survive childbirth.

A healthy fat percentage in women is normally between 25% and 30%.

  • Women who drop below 15% for a long time throw their hormonal system into disarray.

This can cause several problems in women:

  • Menstrual problems
  • Reduced fertility
  • Weakened immune system

Tip #3: Eat Lots of Healthy Fats

Now you know that losing fat locally using abdominal exercises is not possible.

But what is extremely important for losing belly fat quickly?

  • Eat healthy fats to fight belly fat.

Yes, this may sound a bit contradictory, but healthy fats are your best friend for losing weight and getting a lower fat percentage.

By healthy fats, I mean the Omega 3 fish oil fatty acids. These are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

The positive effects of Omega 3 fish oil are:

  • It stimulates fat burning
  • It inhibits fat storage (lowering your cortisol)
  • It suppresses your hunger pangs
  • From research shows that daily intake of fish oil with meals provides extra calories burning.

Your body will simply use more energy.

Taking Omega 3 fatty acids has so many benefits for your body that you would be stupid not to use this cheap supplement in your current diet.

These essential fatty acids are mainly found in fish species:

  • Mackerel
  • salmon
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Herring

But it is a mistake to think that Omega 3 fatty acids are only found in fish species.

Omega 3 fatty acids can also be found in vegetable sources.

Then think about:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • Seaweed
  • walnut oil
  • Olive oil
  • sesame oil

In addition to daily nutrition and a balanced diet, I recommend that you buy an omega 3 supplement product.

This way you can be sure that as a strength athlete you get enough omega 3 fatty acids.

Tip #4: Add HIIT Training To Your Weekly Routine

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective methods to grow abdominal muscles and quickly burn body fat.

It is not for every bodybuilder.

It demands a lot from your body, but you also get a rock-hard body in return that many men envy.

High-intensity interval training is an excellent way to work on your body with short and intensive exercises.

The main benefits of HIIT for getting a six-pack:

  • HIIT significantly increases growth hormone production ( source )
  • HIIT increases fat burning by muscles by 36 (!) percent ( source )

Do you hate those hours-long cardio sessions and are you looking for a much better alternative?

Then HIIT should certainly not be missing from your weekly routine.

Check this article for the best HIIT tips and exercises.

Tip #5: Start With Intermittent Fasting

“Intermittent fasting Glenn? That's really bad for bodybuilders, isn't it?"

Remember when I talked about persistent myths in the fitness world?

That fasting would be bad for you is one of them.

On the contrary, intermittent fasting is an effective way to safely lose weight and maintain muscle mass.

And let me tell you why.

Intermittent fasting is not a diet but an eating pattern.

It mainly focuses on the times WHEN you eat rather than what you can and cannot eat.

As a strength athlete, I am a big proponent of it.

The main benefits of intermittent fasting are:

  • Intermittent fasting increases your metabolism by 3.6 to 14 percent. ( source )
  • Intermittent fasting hardly leads to muscle loss in contrast to continuous calorie restriction (diet) ( source )
  • Intermittent fasting lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes ( source )
  • Intermittent fasting helps repair and replace body cells ( source )

As you can see, intermittent fasting is an effective way to safely and quickly lose body fat and maintain your muscles.

How does it work?

Pretty simple!

You do intermittent fasting once or twice a week.

  • This means that you do not consume food for at least 24 hours.

For example, you eat your last meal on Monday evening at 7:00 PM and then nothing more until 7:00 PM the next day.

Fortunately, you can drink the following during intermittent fasting:

  • Water
  • Black coffee
  • Tea
  • Diet soft drink

It contains few to no calories that do not undo the positive effects of fasting.

As soon as your 24 hour fast is over, pretend nothing is wrong and eat what you would normally eat at that time.

Are you unable to last 24 hours?

No problem: 20 to 24 hours is also sufficient.

By periodically fasting weekly, you create a calorie deficit of at least 10%.

This is much more effective than a crash diet.

Especially the first time you will have to get used to the hunger attacks, but if you have managed to endure those 24 hours you will be proud of yourself.

Tip #6: Drink a lot of water and green tea

I don't think I need to explain to you that drinking water is healthy for you.

Unfortunately, most people don't drink enough water.

And that's a shame because water has many benefits when it comes to losing weight and losing body fat.

Look, the feeling of satiety plays a big role in losing weight.

Fasting or dieting is harder to sustain if you have constant hunger that drives you crazy.

  • A simple trick to counteract that feeling of hunger is to drink more water.

Drinking water makes you feel fuller and less likely to brag. ( source )

It's a simple way to reduce your daily calorie intake.

Scientists have shown that drinking half a liter of water can increase metabolism by up to 30% for an hour and a half. ( source )

By the way, drink cold water to make the impact of water on calorie burning even higher.

In this way, your body has to expend more energy to bring the water you drink to body temperature.

How many liters of water should you drink per day?

  • Multiply your VVM by 0.04 and you arrive at the number of liters of water per day that you should drink.

Green tea

In addition to drinking a lot of water, green tea is also a good way to lower your fat percentage.

In addition to boosting your metabolism, green tea has another powerful secret for bodybuilders:

The effects of strength training appear to be stronger if you drink a few glasses of green tea every day.

  • The fat-free mass among athletes appears to increase when they combine strength training with green tea. ( source )

Tip #7: Tackle Your Abs Intensely

It is often thought that you should train the abs lightly with many repetitions.

But the opposite is true.

  • Performing hundreds of crunches and sit-ups in a corner of the gym is completely useless.

As a former fitness instructor, I can tell you that exercising your abs for 20 minutes three times a week is enough to grow an impressive six-pack.

The number of repetitions with abdominal exercises is not important at all.

  • Train your abs at least 2 times a week with a maximum of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Just like any other muscle group, you have to train the abdominal muscles heavily and intensely.

Important tips to get you a muscular six-pack:

  • Use extra weight
  • Perform the abs exercise slowly
  • Do the full range of motion
  • Think of the peak contraction (tighten the muscle extra and hold it for a while)

The purpose of this is to increase the size of your abs so that they press against the skin and give you that nice six-pack.

Resistance training and intensity are the ingredients you need to increase your abs.

Tip #8: Train All Muscle Groups With Heavy Weights

You may not think about it anymore, but training with weights weekly also ensures that you lose hundreds of kilocalories.

Besides intermittent fasting and HIIT training, strength training is a great way to burn calories and train your abs.

With intensive squats or deadlifts you burn as many calories as you do 30 minutes at a low intensity of cardio.

Training large muscle groups ensures that you will burn more calories.

For that reason alone, skipping a muscle group such as your legs is a bad thing.

  • Sports scientists at Southern Illinois University discovered that a strength training session of just fifteen minutes leads to more energy consumption in the following three days.

Lifting weights naturally costs energy, but the physical recovery after strength training also causes more energy consumption.

This is because your body uses more oxygen after a workout than before.

This is also known as Excess Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) .

Basically, the harder you train, the more you can benefit from EPOC.

You get a higher afterburner by:

  • Have short rest periods during training
  • Lifting with heavyweights

The longer the period of an increased heart rate, the more kilocalories you will burn during and after training.

Tip #9: The 6 Best Abdominal Exercises

Best of all, of course, comes in the end.

Losing belly fat so that your abs are visible is one thing.

But with only a low-fat percentage you are not there yet.

There is a difference between a muscular body and a dry body and a junkie look with a bad diet.

To get a great six-pack with impressive blocks you will have to train the abs hard.

To get more muscle mass on your abs, I, therefore, recommend the following abdominal exercises:

Abs Exercise #1: Planks

The plank exercise builds a strong core. This exercise looks easy but is still quite heavy to keep up for a long time.

Performance:

  • The starting position is the push-up position.
  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart as if you are about to do a push-up exercise.
  • Place your forearms and toes on the floor and squeeze the glutes and abs to stabilize the body.
  • Face the floor with your head and hold the position for at least 20 seconds.
  • Try to maintain a straight line from head to toe during this time.

Abs Exercise #2: Leg Raise

The second abs exercise that you will do is the leg raise.

Performance:

  • Lie with your back on the floor and place your hands at your sides for support.
  • Raise your knees so that your legs are off the floor and keep your abs tight.
  • Hold your breath as you raise the legs and exhale as you lower them.

Abs Exercise #3: Hanging Knee Raises

The hanging knee raise is an abdominal exercise that targets your hip muscles and lower abs.

Performance:

  • Start the exercise by hanging on to something with your hands.
  • Now pull your knees up toward your stomach so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Once at the top, keep the abs contracted for one second.
  • Now lower your legs again and exhale.

Abs Exercise #4: Cable Crunches

The cable crunches are a good exercise to develop the upper and lower abs.

Performance:

  • Grab the rope and kneel under the overhead pulley.
  • Pull the rope down to your face.
  • Now bend your hips and waist while contracting the abs so that the elbows are past the knees.
  • Now go back to the starting position.
  • Make sure to keep constant tension on your abs while performing the exercise.

Abs Exercise #5: Pulse Up

The pulse-up abdominal exercise is also an exercise that should certainly not be missed in your workout.

The exercise is quite tough but very effective to get that washboard.

Performance:

  • Lie on the floor with your hands under your buttocks.
  • Now move your feet towards the ceiling and extend your feet fully.
  • The idea is that your buttocks are off the floor so that you feel great tension on your abs.

Abs Exercise #6: V-Up

The V-Up is one of my favorite exercises to train my abs. With the v-up, you mainly focus on your middle abs.

Performance:

  • Lie on the floor, making sure that only your buttocks touch the floor.
  • Try to keep your legs and back off the floor at all times.
  • Raise your back and bring your knees toward your chest.
  • Then you go back to the starting position.
Abdominal exercises Training schedule
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