It may seem like everywhere that you look there are websites and commercials promising to reveal the big secret to gaining six pack abs. While there is no real secret to developing six pack abs, there are some nutrition and training tips that can be used in order to help you succeed at developing the six pack abs that you desire. One of the biggest things that most people miss when trying to develop their ab muscles is the diet. What you eat is extremely important for your success. Here are some tips for developing the flat stomach and abdominal muscles that you desire.
Protein and Carbs
Protein is going to help you burn body fat and develop lean muscle. Out of all of the macronutrients, lean protein offers the highest thermogenic effect for the body. This means that it is the most valuable macronutrient as your body will burn a lot of calories trying to break it down.
Most people think that carbs are bad and that they should avoid eating them as much as possible. However, starchy and natural grain carbs such as those found in oatmeal, brown rice, and sweet potatoes are quite beneficial on your quest to six pack abs. Try to eat some carbs after your workout for the most benefit as this is the time that they have the least chance of becoming body fat. After each workout try to eat a cup or two of vegetables to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to recover from the workout.
Many people think that if they do hundreds of crunches a day that they are going to get the six pack abs that they want. While doing crunches can be beneficial, there are several other exercises that are going to promote strong abs and fat loss much more. Multi-joint, compound, total body movement exercises are going to promote more fat loss as well as a larger muscle building response than doing sit-ups or crunches will.
Some of the compound exercises that should be included in your workout program include:
- Bench presses
- Military press
- Close grip bench presses
- Barbell dead lifts
- Dumbbell squats
- Barbell squats
Doing ab exercises around two to three times each week should be enough to put you on track of gaining strong muscles in the stomach.
In combination with the above exercises it is important to add cardio to your workout regimen. Many people think that long duration cardio is the best, but interval workouts in combination with abdominal exercises are going to provide you with the best results. When you are in the active recovery period for your interval workout, do an ab exercise. For example, if you are doing sprints on a treadmill, run for half a minute at your maximum speed. Then hop off the treadmill and do a set of crunches and then return to running. Repeat this several times.
The overall key to six pack abs is to focus on your diet and to create a workout that includes cardio combined with multi-joint exercises.