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Abs - arguably the most sought-after treasure in all of fitness. It's not surprising that so much fitness marketing revolves around getting those six-packs, with even crazy promises of getting abs as quick as in 6 minutes. It sounds pretty exciting, but unfortunately, that's not exactly the case. There's a little bit more to it. So, let's go over some of the best & authentic practices to achieve well-defined abs. We will also bust a few of the myths along the way in the article.  

Always Remember The 1st Golden Rule: Eat In A Caloric Deficit 

Healthy food

When it comes to popping out your six-pack abs, the first & foremost step is something that most of you are probably familiar with & is hands down the most crucial step. If you want your abs to be visible, you need to lose body fat & for that, you need to eat in a calorie deficit. It simply means you need to consume fewer calories than you burn in a day. By doing this, you give your body a chance to burn that extra layer of fat for energy & as a result, you start losing fat. 

Eat A High Protein Diet 

Healthy high-protein food

You must have heard of the phrase - "Abs are made in the kitchen". Well, that's true. Fixing your nutrition should be your primary concern if you want those six-pack abs. A high protein diet helps you keep full and satisfied, which means you are less likely to overeat throughout the day. Also, protein helps you build & maintain muscle mass, which is vital to creating an excellent overall physique. 

Progressive Overload Is The Key 

A man doing bench press

Plenty of extensive studies have concluded that resistance training and a balanced nutrition plan are the cornerstones of an effective fat loss program.  

An essential component of your program should involve the principles of progressive overload and the systematic manipulation of your workout as you progress to get the desired outcome. Progressive overload aims to build upon your workload by gradually increasing the body's stress over time. It helps you maximize your training by encouraging physiological adaptations safely and effectively. Without progressive overload, the body has no further adaptation, which means that your progress will stagnate or plateau. 

There is no 'one size fits all approach to progressive overload as everybody is at a different level of performance and will have different training goals and needs. Therefore, if you're new to resistance training, it's essential to focus on making progress in your range of motion and technique. With better form and range of motion (ROM), you build more muscle fibres, improve muscle coordination and enhance energy output – that is progress.  

Once you have established the baseline, you could then look at progressing some exercises to challenge your body in a new way. For example, suppose you have been performing bodyweight pushups. In that case, you potentially could progress onto a barbell bench press and also start manipulating some more of the training variables (volume, frequency, intensity, duration and density). 

Smartly Incorporate Cardio Into Your Training Routine  

Man and woman cycling

Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is a form of exercise that increases your heart rate. Smartly incorporating cardio into your workout routine can help you burn extra fat and speed your way to a set of six-pack abs. Studies conclude that cardio is especially effective in reducing belly fat, making your abdominal muscles more visible. Try to get in at least 10-15 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day, & then keep increasing the intensity and time as you hit a plateau. Activities like jogging, walking, biking, swimming or engaging in your favourite sport are just a few examples to fit cardio into your day.  

Include HIIT Sessions To Quicken The Process 

man training in the gym

HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a form of exercise that includes alternating between intense bursts of activity and short recovery periods. HIIT helps to keep your heart rate up and enhances the fat-burning process. 

Adding HIIT into your workout routine can boost your metabolism and make it even easier to burn fat & get those six-pack abs. 

One study concluded that men who performed HIIT training for 20 minutes three times a week lost an average of 4.4 pounds & saw a 17% decrease in belly fat over 12 weeks. 

One of the simplest ways to add HIIT in your session is to switch between sprinting & walking for 30–45 seconds at a time. 

You can also include high-intensity exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers and burpees with a short break in between. 

Fat Burners Might Help 

L-Carnitine plays an essential role in boosting your body's metabolism. It does this by enhancing the mitochondrial function & energy production in the body. In cells, it helps transport long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, burning for energy. A study in Scotland found out that L-Carnitine also enhances insulin actions on muscle cells in addition to its fat-transporting work. It means that even after a high carb meal, it keeps the blood glucose level in check. Also, it helps in replenishing the glycogen levels in the body.  

Burns Fat For Energy. Increases Muscle Oxygen Supply. Keto Diet Friendly.

Ab Exercises Don't Guarantee Ripped Abs 

shirtless man training abs

Exercising your abdomen muscles is necessary to increasing muscle mass and achieving six-pack abs. However, it would be best to keep in mind that performing abdominal exercises alone does not decrease your belly fat. 

E.g., one study found that doing abdominal exercises five days per week for six weeks did not affect belly fat in 24 men.  

Instead, make sure to pair your abdominal exercises with a healthy protein-rich diet and incorporate weight training & cardio to boost your metabolism & hence fasten the fat burning process. Crunches, bridges, planks & leg raises are some of the few most popular abdomen exercises that can help strengthen your muscles and create the appearance of six-pack abs. 

Supplements do not perform magic on your body

vitamins and supplements

Supplements would work only if you do. Supplements are not some magic formulas that you consume & you get six-pack abs the next day. Supplements are called supplements for a reason. They are there to supplement your diet & training. Supplements help you to fulfil your requirements that you are unable to get from your daily diet. Therefore, you need to clean up your act first. Set up your diet & training plans, follow them. And finally, use supplements as icing on the cake to reach your goals faster & efficiently. 

Most Common Mistake To Avoid  

athletic man with gym bag

At the beginning of your fat loss, you are enthusiastic about the whole journey & motivated to get those six-pack abs. But as you gradually progress, the diet becomes tricky to maintain because you are in a consistent deficit for a prolonged period. Most people tend to give up on their diet & start eating more than they should be eating. It would be best if you stayed in a caloric deficit to observe any further fat loss. You can't lose fat if you are consuming more than you burn, even if it's all clean eating. Period.  



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