This is a guest post by Alejandro Carillo Orozco. In this article Alejandro is going to talk about what it takes to get a six pack. So if you’re a man who has ever wanted a six pack (I’m going guess that’s pretty much every man out there) then listen up and follow the advice in this article. Enjoy.
Buying a flexible gym membership, gym day pass or even a monthly or yearly gym subscription is not going to automatically get you that 6-pack you so desire. One of the most sought-after physical attributes does not come simply by committing to a healthier lifestyle. You will need to live that lifestyle and engage in a full and proper workout regime. Only then will this holiest of grails be obtainable.
Like anything in life, if you work hard enough it may be possible, but it will not simply happen overnight, nor will it happen without your total dedication and full efforts. Here we look at the two elements that are the most important when setting out on the quest for a 6-Pack – your diet and your workout:
The 6-Pack Diet
People wrongly assume that a 6-Pack is obtainable simply through exercise, predominantly concentrating on crunches or sit ups. They often perform countless repetitions of these moves and then get disheartened when they see no change.
The most important thing to remember is that you only exercise for a small proportion of your average week, but your lifestyle and more importantly your diet, plays a part in your health every minute of every day. What you consume, and when, is as important as how often you hit the gym. Always remember this by thinking, is it easier to consume 500 less calories throughout the day or is it easier to burn 500 calories at the gym. You are going to need an awful lot of gym day passes if you think it is the latter – check out how many calories you burn in a normal routine compared to how many you eat in one sitting. Muscle definition and tone is much more about diet than it is about exercise, so let’s look to that first. Here are some basic tips to healthier eating, with the ultimate goal of a 6-pack at the back of our minds.
- Diet is Everything – it is best to avoid refined foods, especially sugars, and processed foods. These are easy to consume and thereafter difficult to shift. Think alcohol, full of calories and no real nutrition – why do you think they call it a beer belly after all?
- Little and Often – Do not eat as if you are about to hibernate, instead graze, eating up to six times a day, but little and often, so that your body keeps on burning the food, and doesn’t need to store up any as excess fat.
- Protein – find good, healthy sources of protein and ensure that they play a part in every meal, with the focus being more on protein towards the end of the day.
- Healthy Snacks – snacks can be a killer, crisps, biscuits etc. Instead, think nuts, seeds and fruit. There is nothing wrong with snacking per se, only the snacks themselves.
- Early Carbs – eat slow release carbs in the first two meals of the day, such as rye bread or oats, and then as the day progresses, reduce the carb intake in favour of protein.
- Lunch – think sweet potato with a source of protein, say tuna, and veg’.
- No Late Night Carbs ¬– if you have eaten properly throughout the day, then you will not crave carbs as the day progresses, but be careful not to succumb to any temptation.
- H20 – Water is the source of life and you will need to ensure that you stay hydrated at all times, it helps you feel fuller and helps the body function better.
- Cheat – We all deserve a treat when we have been good, and a healthy lifestyle can accommodate a “cheat” meal say once every 10 days, without the need of feeling guilty.
The 6-Pack Workout
Because you are looking to target specific muscles, such as the 6-pack, that doesn’t mean that you only do abdominal-based exercise, otherwise it would be easy to prescribe a routine of endless crunches, or leg raises.
What is needed is focus, but body-specific, not muscle group-specific. It is recommended that you work out 3-4 times per week, have at least one rest day off, and on any none-gym days, then you can do some cardiovascular exercise to burn any excess calories. If you are not sure whether you need to join a gym or not, then think of perhaps a flexible gym pass or gym day pass at first so that you can try before you buy – better than regretting signing up for a monthly or yearly subscription having never used it!
Try this routine of interval training, moving from one exercise to the next in a circuit, with say 30 seconds in between.
- Squats – 1-2 minutes of squats, depending on fitness level, weighted or not, again depending on the individual.
- Plank – Again 1-2 minutes progressing to feet elevated on a Swiss ball.
- Knee to elbow – from press up position, try alternating between knee to same elbow and knee to opposite elbow for 2 minutes, changing legs as you go along.
- Push-ups – from tri-cep, to normal, to wide, ensuring that you engage your core, complete to failure, dropping to your knees to add numbers to the set.
- Lunges – alternating, then to jumping lunges as you progress for 1 minute.
- Hamstring Curls – to ensure you remain subtle and flexible and healthy.
When not in the circuit or on “off-days”, use an uphill treadmill, or if you do not have a gym day pass, run up a hill. Ensure that your rest day, usually a Sunday, is a proper rest day; only stretching, if anything. You should also stretch every day.
A 6-Pack is the Holy Grail because it needs focus and is hard work. Gym work alone will not do it, nor will diet alone. You need a healthy and proper combination of the two plus a lot of self-discipline. With focus and hard work you can achieve your goals, and this one is no different.
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