Everyone wants to know how to get great abs. We see them, want them, try to get them but often fail to achieve the desired results. Guess what? You’re doing it all wrong… well, probably. When great abs are the goal, people tend to make useless efforts like drastically cutting calories, trying “miracle” products, and/or waste time doing crunches. News flash: those methods are useless. Instead, embrace the idea of healthy eating and exercise.
It sounds a little cliché but great abs do begin in the kitchen. The way to set the proper foundation for 6 pack success is a clean diet. Adapting to such dietary changes may be challenging at first, especially if you’ve been consumed by bad habits, but it’s nothing a little motivation can’t fix. Aside from solely eating fresh, whole foods, focus on nutritional balance. Make sure there’s a lean protein on each plate as well as a serving of complex carbs and healthy fat. To further promote that balance, determine what macronutrient split works best. For most, a 40-40-20 split (protein to carbs to fat) is recommended. As for nutritional needs you can’t meet, supplement them.
Exercise for Great Abs
The other part of the ‘great abs’ equation is exercise. When the goal is well defined abdominal muscles, a fitness plan that combines cardiovascular exercise and strength training is best. Try using smarter cardio methods to maximize fat burn. For abs, interval training is the way to go. Short, intense intervals of high-intensity cardio burn more calories with the added benefit of continued calorie burn post workout. Even better, you don’t have to spend much time working out making it ideal for those with busy schedules. Then, follow with core and ab exercises to build strong, sculpted, well-defined abdominals. Larger, stronger muscles and less fat are needed for a tight, toned midsection. A few exercise examples with the suggested number of sets and reps are below.
- Plank – Hold for 30 seconds or more. Gradually increase duration over time.
- V-ups – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Reverse crunch – 3 sets of 20 reps
- Lying leg raises – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Side plank pulse – 2 sets of 10-12 reps per side
Try the above in succession with 1-minute rests in between each set. You can either perform on an active rest day following interval training or turn them into a high-intensity ab workout. Just reduce rests to 30 seconds while performing each exercise for 30-60 seconds at maximum intensity instead of counting sets and reps.