Everyone's health and fitness goals are different, but if yours entail getting a shredded 6-pack, here are 15 key things you need to know:
#1 Your Core Has An Important Job
The rectus abdominis or 'abs' are just one part of your core, which has a big responsibility. The core helps stabilize you when you're standing and it controls your head, neck and pelvis. So keeping your core strong and healthy is important to many areas of your physicality.
#2 Body Fat Makes A Difference
The way your abs look comes down to how much body fat you have. But how strong and functional your abs are doesn't change because they are more or less pronounced. You can have a strong core and have it covered by excess fat.
#3 Reducing Body Fat Requires Commitment
Busting away your belly fat is the key to letting your abs show. The average woman has about 40% body fat and the average man has roughly 28%. To get your 6-pack to become visible, a woman would have to get lean enough to be in the 12% body fat range and a man would need to be at 18%.
#4 Shedding Body Fat Means Fewer Calories
Using an online calculator
is the easier way to find out how many calories you need to cut in order to reach your goals. The calculator helps you to plan out meals, and figure out a good caloric intake which won't cause a drop in energy and nutrition level. Once you've calculated your ideal calorie intake, get some meal ideas from the BodyRock Meal Plan
#5 Fat And Weight Are Different
When you say you lost weight, it usually means you lost a combination of body fat and muscle. But when you say you lost fat, it means the weight you shed was only body fat and you're still maintaining the same muscle mass. An online calculator can also assist in analyzing your body fat percentage.
#6 Strength Training Is A Must
Squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, rows, and pressing are all vital to building up and maintaining a hard 6-pack. HIIT workouts can do wonders for carving your core, and are quick and simple. They are also easy to stick with and can be done nearly anywhere.
#7 There Is No Spot Reduction Exercise For Fat
If you really want to get rid of a little extra body fat around your midsection, I'm sorry to say that there is no specific move that blasts it away. However, there are exercises that can enhance the look of abs which can be useful tools to achieving your desired look.
#8 Stop doing hundreds of sit-ups and crunches
Doing a billion crunches, sit-ups and planks can help enhance you abs, but if you don't take time out to recover, then all your work has gone to waste. When you overload your muscles with hard hitting workouts, they need time to rest and rebuild.
#9 Get A Swiss Ball
A Swiss ball will be your ab-workout BFF. You can do so many amazing moves that also target your shoulders, back and legs! Mini moves like the Swiss ball rollout and Swiss ball pike
are total time-savers that can get you results quickly.
#10 Good Prep Is Going To Take Over Your Life
Abs are made in the kitchen, so get educated on nutrition and the correlation between food and your body. You want to get enough protein, healthy fats and energizing carbs as a starting base. Skipping your strict diet rules can hinder your results, so stay focused. As you become more acquainted with nutritional lingo, you'll learn about the complex science of maintaining a low body fat while staying ripped.
#11 You'll Sacrifice Certain Foods
Goodbye, ice cream cake! Most serious fitness buffs maintain their diet constantly, with very little room for cheat meals or pizza nights. 9 out of 10 meals should be properly portioned and meet your nutritional needs.
#12 You'll Need To Catch Some Zzz
Muscles are built in the bedroom...by sleeping of course! Getting enough sleep and really resting on your rest day is a vital part of building a beautiful 6-pack. So you'll have an excuse to chill out, have a little Netflix binge and sleep in.
#13 Your Social Life May Take A Hit
It's hard to go out for dinner when you have very little room for unplanned meals. You also will be spending more time at the gym and focusing on prepping. And of course, your rest days will involve lots of chilling and not a lot of moving. No time to hit the clubs for cocktails!
#14 Don't Push Yourself Too Hard
Some bodies don't respond the same to working out and dieting as others, so don't beat yourself up if you don't have shredded abs right away. Genetics play a role, and so do hormones. Encourage yourself and don't be negative when you look in the mirror! Burning yourself out won't solve any problems.
#15 Love Your Life, And Your 6-Pack
Don't abandon your social life completely, or rule out having fun just because you have fitness goals. This lifestyle does require making sacrifices, but ultimately you're doing this as a part of your overall wellness. Your abs aren't your life, just a factor within it. Break when you need a break, pace yourself and don't let this consume you completely!
Are you ready to make the commitment to a 6-pack? Share your tips on getting shredded abs with us!