Make no mistake about it: getting a six pack is hard work, let alone in a month. To really get those chiseled, ripped abs, you need to be dedicated in both your workouts and food consumption. A month is not a lot of time, so there’s no room for mistakes. Your exercise needs to be efficient and effective, and your diet needs to be perfect, no cheats.
1. Eat Right
The first step to attaining God-like abs is essentially summed up in a single phrase: “Abs are built in the kitchen, not the gym.” Eating right is crucial to getting a six pack, and there are several foods you should and shouldn’t eat that help you reach your goal.
Increase Protein Intake
To get rock hard abs, it is recommended 10-15% of total calories come from protein. Aim for 1 g protein per 1 kg body weight, or “around .4 grams per pound.” Proteins are constantly being broken down and replaced, so it is important to constantly supply your body with adequate amounts of protein.
Additionally, protein is more diet friendly than carbohydrate or fat. Protein consumption stimulates dietary-induced thermogenesis because more energy is required to digest and metabolize such dense foods. Consequently, you’ll burn more calories.
Furthermore, protein increases satiety. By opting for protein, you’ll feel fuller longer, enabling you to avoid unnecessary calories while you create the ideal environment for muscle growth.
Limit Carbohydrate Consumption
Carbohydrates are necessary for providing fuel and energy. However, too many carbs cause insulin levels to spike, resulting in fat storage. While you don’t want to eliminate carbs altogether, limit carbohydrate consumption to in the morning and post-workout. This replenishes glycogen levels while minimizing fat storage.
It’s also important that you opt for complex carbohydrates over
simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates supply longer lasting energy because they contain longer sugar-chain molecules. These take longer to break down, so your energy supply will be smoother and more sustainable.
Reduce Sodium Consumption
Limiting sodium intake is crucial. On average, people should consume no more than 1,500 mg sodium per day.
Dr. David Ryan, former Medical Director for the Arnold Sports Festival and practicing chiropractor, explains the body is slightly acidic and salt raises pH levels. This in turn forces the body to hold onto water. Excess water retention “makes you look soft and also stops you from losing the amount of weight you so dearly want to shed.”
Watch Out for Refined Flour
It is important to avoid white flour at all costs. Flour, as well as other refined carbohydrates, has less dietary fiber than whole grains. Furthermore, it is a contributing factor to type II diabetes.
Flour is converted into bad sugar – simple sugar. Although this supplies a quick burst in energy, it also leaves you feeling hungry after. As mentioned earlier, sugar intake should come from complex carbohydrates, and only at certain times.
Refined flour is an ingredient prevalent in many different foods, so be vigilant in selecting foods that only contribute to six pack abs.
2. Exercise Often
Implementing a good diet is more than half the battle, but working out is just as important if results want to be seen in a short time.
To Chisel Abs…
Jeremey DuVall M.S., a fitness writer and personal trainer, explains working your core 2-3 times a week prevents overtraining and ensures effective results. During core workouts, he explains a variety of abdominal workouts should be implemented, not just crunches. “Planks, cable woodchops, and abdominal rollouts are all good variations to include.”
Jessica Matthews M.S. also mentions, “As with any resistance training exercise, you ideally want the last few repetitions to be difficult to complete.”
For best results, set goals and dedicate your time to getting those crucial abdominal workouts each week.
Lift Weighs After Cardio
Abdominal workouts really start to pay off with weight lifting. Lifting weights, especially after doing cardio, elevates heart rate and keeps it there to burn calories and blast fat. Aim to lift at least 4 times a week, and if possible, as many as 6 times.
Cris Slentz, PhD, and lead author of a study published in the American Journal of Physiology states, “Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass.”
Try to superset exercises by allowing minimal time in between sets. This increases your workout intensity and enhances energy expenditure (which benefits abdominal definition).
Don’t overdo it, though. Find a comfortable level and push yourself gradually, increasing in time as the month progresses. Getting a maximum heart rate becomes harder with age, and exercising too intensely increases risk of heart problems.
It all comes down to how many calories you burn. As Slentz puts it, “If you choose to work at a lower aerobic intensity, it will simply take longer to burn the same amount of unhealthy fat.”
3. Take a Fat Burner
Think about using a fat burner to aid workouts and healthy eating. Fat burners including catechins and caffeine are an excellent way to increase energy and boost metabolism, resulting in more calories burned and a better workout.
One study tested either 690 mg catechins or 22 mg catechins on 2 groups of men for 12 weeks. The men who ingested higher catechin amounts experienced a higher reduction in waist circumference than the other group.
Caffeine is also a stimulant linked to increasing total weight lifted during chest press. Be smart with your supplements. If you do decide to supplement your workout and eating routine with a fat burner, use it appropriately. If you want to see those abs quicker, workout harder and watch what you eat; consuming more fat burners than directed is harmful and detrimental to your six pack abs goal.