"The human body is the best picture of the human soul."
The six pack has become the holy grail of fitness and attraction in modern society. Those people who have earned this stripe have reached a new level. It's like going Super Saiyan.
No... scratch that...
It's like going Super Saiyan 3.
So how do you reach this pinnacle of fitness and have hordes of the opposite sex chasing you at the beach? (kidding of course; if you're lifting solely for that, consider this a wake up call)
Let me break the factors down for you:
The harsh truth is that genetics play a big role in the ease of achieving a six pack. You probably remember kids in high school who could eat like crap and still post pics of their shirtless abs to Facebook (by the way, screw those guys; it's like the trashy male equivalent of a duck-face).
Now, can someone with the WORST genetics get a six pack?
Anything is possible, my friends. Case in point: Stephen Amell appeared on WWE RAW the other night.
Diet is first and foremost when it comes to building your killer abs. Regardless of whether you're trying to build muscle or lose fat, you should be balancing your fats, carbs, and proteins.
Also, there aren't really any foods that can spot reduce belly fat. All you can do is lower your overall body fat levels until your abs are more visible.
Some people overdo it with ab workouts. They turn ab training into a daily, high-rep circuit with 10 different exercises (P90X's routine is notorious for this).
Furthermore, some ab workouts ONLY target the six pack muscles instead of your entire core. Obliques and other ab muscles can't be forgotten; after all, what's the point of a flashy six pack if it won't translate at all to gymnastic or olympic movements?
At the other end of the spectrum, you have people that claim they build their abs just by squatting, deadlifting and performing other power movements. While these movements DO involve substantial core involvement for stabilizing the weight, they don't target the six pack muscles.
To avoid having a useless workout, minimize your ab exercises and keep the reps moderate (7-12).
Here's a basic ab routine that will work your entire core:
- Sit Ups
- Pulse Ups
- Air Bicycles
And for those of you who are a bit more advanced, try out this routine:
- Alternating Planks
- V Ups
- Weighted Mason Twist
Now, let's say the second routine is getting easy already (you can do 13+ reps on some of those exercises). At that point just start adding weight for resistance (alternating planks could become more difficult movements like dragon flags).
Some people go crazy with giant sets on these exercises; I like to perform two separate supersets and keep the focus on mechanical tension instead of feeling the burn.
Regardless of where you are in your ab strength, the general idea keep the reps moderate (7-12; under 30 seconds for isometric movements).
Also, just like there are no foods that spot reduce belly fat, no ab exercises really accomplish that either. Just stick to some of the routines listed above.
There you go! That's your guide to having abs of steel.
Now go out there and make your abs pop out like a Calvin Klein model's.