If your fitness goals include getting a sexy six-pack, you know you’re in for a real uphill battle — but it’s one that can absolutely be done, so long as you’re dedicated to working out and eating healthy.
Developing definition in your abs is a shade different than bulking up elsewhere because you already need to have a low body fat first, and only then can you start sculpting — which means exercise, hydration, eating right, recovery, and repeat.
But what happens if you’re putting in the time and you’re not seeing the results? Sound familiar? Honestly, it’s way more common than you think.
Here are some of the most common factors that may be hindering your six-pack progress.
Your Fitness Routine is Too Ab-centric:
- Reduce your overall body weight because, in order to get abs, you need to have a low body fat percentage. For men that means around 10%, while for women mid-teens.
- Fun fact: we all have abs. But to show off your effort you need to ditch the fat layer that we’re all born with, and thicken up your ab muscles (rectus abdominis) for that washboard look.
Unlocking Your Inner Abs Exercises: Burpees, lunges and squats (compound exercises) for a full-body blitz and plank moves that scorch fat and do wonders for your abs. Get your free trial of BodyRock+ here, for all these exercises and so much more.
Your Diet: Abs are Made in the Kitchen
You can work out like a trooper, but your results may suffer if your diet is too lax. If you choose to fill up on crap (fried or junk food) or you overeat, then it’s no wonder your abs are evading you.
- You know the drill, out with bad (sugar, processed and junk) and in with the good calories, lean protein (chicken or tofu), complex carbs (sweet potatoes) and of course, nature’s multivitamins — fresh produce. Learn more about nutrition and start meal prepping like a champ with our BodyRock Meal Plan and Nutrition Guide eBook Bundle. (It’s on sale now!)
- Clean up your eating habit not only to build muscle but to shred unwanted pounds to help push you closer to the abs finish line. To help you out, try implementing some portion control techniques for an effective non-diet approach that really works.
Not Enough Exercise Variety
Variety is essential when it comes to keeping your muscles on their toes. If you’re a creature of habit and have been replaying your favorite workout video over and over again, ask yourself this: at what point did you stop seeing results? Your abs are no different, so don’t get stuck in a rut, mix up your workouts. Fullbody HIIT one day, cardio the next. The key here is: keep your muscles guessing for greater ab gains.
- We know you’ve heard about BodyRock+, but did you know we’ve got over 800 home gym workout video options for you to choose from like: yoga, cardio, prenatal, combat-training and more...you want variety, we got your muscles covered.
Too Many Brews
Nobody wants to be that guy with killer arms and a beer gut. Sadly, the beer gut is actually a thing. When you drink too much alcohol the liver tackles the booze while the 150 calories and carbs in that beer (average caloric count) go straight to your gut. Multiply that exponentially if you drink regularly. No one’s telling you to stop drinking entirely, rather be cognizant of your intake because no amount of core exercises can erase a night of binge drinking.
If you’re a late-night binger, pick up our new BodyRock Late Night Eating eBook and find out how you can still have your night out and not bust your six-pack efforts.
Too Much Stress
What doesn’t stress do to your body and mind? There’s a link between chronic stress and obesity. We’ve all experienced the disastrous effects that stress-eating can have on our body.
The solution: take good care of yourself. Follow some of our helpful stress reduction tips and do one of the most doctor-recommended suggestions to alleviate stress — exercise. Get your heart rate up, get your sweat on and work of the stress and see the fruits of your labor. What better way to feel better in your skin, then to own it and tone it!
Most Importantly: Rest & Recovery
Rounding out the six-pack list is a point you probably weren’t expecting — remember to rest. If leg days mean resting your glutes the next day, it should be no different for ab days. Consider this, your muscles don’t grow as you’re working out. Your muscles repair and get bigger during recovery. So what this means to you is when you hammer away at your abs, don’t forget to give ‘em a break.
- The basic equation for abs: intensive full-body HIIT + rest = greater gains.
- Want more ab reading, a la BodyRock? Try our BodyRock Get Sexy Abs eBook.
Get Sexy Abs
When you think of the Holy Grail of Fitness Success, it’s almost always achieving the impossible by earning yourself a cool set of washboard abs. Unfortunately, your abs are as cantankerous as you are post-workout when you realize you’re out of your favorite recovery food — cue hangry vibes. Thankfully, there’s no need to get frustrated, just take a step back and figure out what’s blocking your progress so you can make the necessary adjustments and get ready to hit your fitness goal.
All About Abs Playlist
Want to hone in on your abs? Try these workouts in BR+. If you’re not a member, no sweat--join now for 30 days free! Everyone else gets only a 7 day trial.