“Yo how do I do to get abs?”, “what do I have to eat to get abs?”, “if I train abs every day will I get that magazine cover six pack?” … A rock hard, chiseled six pack is one of the main goals of every single dude that goes to the gym. For some of them it’s the only reason the got to the gym in the first place.
They spend hours and hours doing thousands of crunches trying to get their abs to show so much that they can wash off clothes on them. However, there are some misconceptions when it comes to abdominal development and overall abdominal training that make people do a lot of things that, honestly, are useless.
That’s why today I am going to tell you exactly what you need to do in order to get the six pack you’ve always wanted. No bullsh*t, this is straight up what you need to do, I am going to keep it simple and straight to the point. Let’s begin!
1.- THE SECRET
Let me start with the most important thing. Now, I want you to pay attention to what you are going to read in the next few lines cause this is what you need to hear (even though you probably won’t like it): the secret to getting abs is…THAT THERE IS NO SECRET!! Stop looking for magic pills, stop buying those useless electrical stimulation bullsh*t devices that tell you to sit on the couch to watch TV while they “do the work for you”, stop doing crazy nonsense diets, stop following the advice of some random guy that you found at the gym who has no idea about training but just because he has some sort of what looks like abs you though it was a good idea to ask him for advice….
There is no secret. Instead of trying to find a magic solution, educate yourself. Learn about training and nutrition. That’s what will help you get abs.
“Ronaldo does 3000 crunches a day and has abs so, I’m gonna do the same…” First off, that was a rumor that Ronaldo himself announced that was false. He does not do 3000 crunches a day.
Second of all, doing that number of crunches (or any other abs exercise) will only cause overtraining and serious back problems. Your abs, just like any other muscle group, need to rest and recover. Hypertrophy (and therefore, muscle growth) involves both, the process of breaking muscle fibers (caused while training) and the process of repairing them (which occurs while resting). Doing that amount of reps for abs, every day… is nothing but a way of overtraining and causing muscle loss (exactly the opposite of what you want).
It’s all about quality, not quantity. My suggestion when it comes to abs training: pick 4 exercises (targeting every part of your abdominal muscles) and do a circuit. Do one set of each (10 – 20 reps each exercise, depending on how difficult the exercises are), without resting in between. That’s one round. Rest a minute and go again. Complete a total of 4 rounds.
If you pick the right exercises, and you perform them how they are supposed to be performed, it should be pretty challenging, and it would take you no longer than 10 - 15 mins. Do it 3 times a week. Ideally with one rest day in between them.
Remember that your abs are indirectly involved in many other exercises (squats, deadlifts, military press, etc) so, there is no need to train them every single day.
This is the first step. If you want to develop your abs and have a “six pack”, the first thing you need to do is to properly train your abdominal muscles to make them grow, just as you would do if you wanted bigger arms, chest, legs or any other muscle group. Just remember one thing, in order for them to grow, you need to be in a caloric surplus (eating more calories than your body needs a day).
However, if you feel that your abs are already well developed and you don’t want them to grow more, you can just start in the second step, which is burning fat.
3.- TIME TO BURN FAT
You have been training your abs properly for quite some time now, but they are still not showing. That’s because now you need to take the second step, which is losing fat. Your abs are there, they have always been there and they will always be. The fact that you have trained them means that you have developed them and they’ve grown bigger. But in order to see them, now you need to lose the layer of fat that is covering them.
That is done by a cutting phase, which is a period of time in which you eat in a caloric deficit (that means, you eat less calories than your body needs a day). Now, let me set one thing clear: there is no such thing as localized body fat loss. “I want to lose fat just from my belly”, yeah me too, but you can’t lose fat just form the area of your body you want, it is not biologically possible. You lose fat from all over your body and part of it will be from the area you want.
How much body fat do you have to lose? Till you get to around 10% BF. This will be different for every person, and it will depend of how developed your abs are (the more developed they are, the less body fat you will have to lose to see them) but overall everyone (or at least most people) should see them at around 10% BF.
I feel like a lot of people read this type of articles and they think it is a process of weeks. Not even close. As everything in life, this takes time.
What you see on magazine covers are professional athletes that have been properly training and eating for years (a lot of them for over a decade). Don’t expect to reach that level in a few months.
Give yourself enough time to build and develop your abdominal muscles (that is, do a proper bulk), and then, when you start cutting, give yourself enough time to lose all the fat you need to lose (the higher your BF percentage is when you start, the more time you will need).
It doesn’t matter what your fitness goal is, it will take proper nutrition, proper training and time. Time will pass anyways, whether you invest it or waste it is up to you ;)
That’s it for today’s post!! If you have any doubt, question, suggestion or constructive critic, please do not hesitate to let it in the comments section or use my social media.
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See you in the next one! :)