A defined six-pack is still the fitness symbol par excellence. No wonder most athletes are working to be the proud owner of such a six-pack. This picture is confirmed when asking experienced coaches. You can be sure that they almost certainly did not have a client in their careers who did not want to work at his body center to look good or strengthen the middle of the body for another sport.
The reasons may be different, but the goals are the same. But why do not all of them run around with a six-pack and thus correspond to the ideal of the fitness lifestyle? Quite simply, because it takes a lot of work and above all discipline to build a six-pack and then to keep it lasting. So how can you do it?
So you build a defined six-pack
Simply "just" developing strong abdominal muscles or bringing out the abdominal muscles in a suggestive six-pack is actually not that hard. This is the level that most athletes try, but not out. Either because they do not want it or because they shy away from the work. Because getting a six-pack that makes other people's jaws drop is a completely different matter.
And let's be honest: only those of you who are willing to work extremely hard and sacrifice a lot for the six-pack dream will achieve this status. But do not be put off by these words, because our guide will soon make you look like that.
What does it take? A plan that gives you a clear direction and takes you in the areas of nutrition, cardio and strength training something in the hand. Let's go! Let's work on your six-pack!
Point 1 - Your diet
Let's get started without much theorizing: It does not matter how good your abdominal muscles are already through more or less ambitious abdominal training. Under a thick layer of body fat they look anything but impressive in any case. Abdominal muscles must look like well-laid cobblestones - voluminous and with deep transitions between the individual packs.
In practice this means that you have to reduce your body fat percentage until only a thin layer of skin blocks the view of your six-pack. And because "in the kitchen is defined", high quality food to cover your macronutrient needs is the first starting point - apart from a moderate calorie deficit.
Good source of nutrients for the six-pack diet
- Protein: lean beef, turkey, turkey, chicken, game, salmon, whitefish, egg white, Harzer Roller, protein powder etc.
- Carbohydrates: Wholemeal pasta, brown rice, white rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, wholegrain bread, oatmeal, quinoa, rice cakes, fruit etc.
- fats: Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, avocado, olive oil, flax oil, nut butter, fish oil or fish oil capsules etc.
- Vitamins, minerals, fiber: all sorts of colorful and green vegetables
So that you can start planning your diet right away, we would like to give you a brief sample of an exemplary day at hand here. For the sake of clarity, we classify the corresponding foods as the three macronutrient categories "carbohydrates", "proteins" and "fat".
- Protein: Protein Powder (Shape Shake / Whey) 2 Scoops
- Carbohydrates: 100 grams of oatmeal (tender / pithy)
- Fat: no added fats
The delicious top seller, ideal as a meal replacement:
- Protein: 250 grams of chicken breast
- Carbs: 200 grams of brown rice (weight after cooking)
- Fat: no added fats
Meal 3 (pre-workout)
- Protein: 250 grams of tilapia (cichlid)
- Carbs: big mixed salad
- Fat: 1 teaspoon of olive oil
Meal 4 (post-workout)
- Protein: whey protein 2 scoops
- Carbohydrates: 300 grams of potatoes
- Fat: no added fats
A true miracle of versatility & basic supplement at the same time:
- Protein: 250 grams of rump steak
- Carbohydrates: 175 grams of sweet potatoes
- Fat: no added fats
- Protein: Casein Protein 2 Scoops
- Carbohydrates: none
- Fat: peanut butter (no added sugar)
The bottom line is that you get over 300 grams of high-quality protein, 200 grams of carbohydrates and more than 30 grams of essential fats. Of course, depending on how hard you are, minor adjustments need to be made so that the amounts of food can fit your personal needs. In addition, while you lose body fat, you need to make sure that you adjust your calorie intake weekly, but every two weeks at the latest. Finally, your total calorie needs will drop as well.
The lower you get with your body fat percentage, the further you should reduce your calorie deficit. That way, it may take longer for you to get rid of the last body fat over your six-pack. On the other hand, you also reduce the risk that you lose your laboriously built muscle mass again. This is the error that most trainers commit and later get annoyed with their "lean-six-pack", which looks anything but sexy.
Point 2 - The cardio training
Yes, now we come for most of the unpleasant part, because long cardio training is not necessarily the favorite discipline of strength athletes. Of course, there are also some genetic freaks out there who have such a high metabolic rate that no additional cardio training is needed.
However, it is very likely that you do not belong to this group. This means you can not rely on a well-balanced diet on your "washboard belly" project and your body can do the rest. So you do not come around for cardio training.
However, before you start cursing, you should be aware of some things. For example, that endurance or fat metabolism training for us "normalsterbliche" strength athletes must not be a bad thing. And of course not with regard to fat loss, but also to the strengthening of the cardiovascular system. Because this is the weak point of many strength athletes. Or did not you ever wonder why the guys with the heaviest arms are the ones who breathe the first time they move? So how can you build in cardio training?
1. Perform the cardio workout at the right time.
To keep the cardio training as short as possible, you should install it exactly if it makes the most sense and the body provides the optimal "template" for burning fat. The best times for cardio training are therefore directly in the morning after getting up and immediately after the strength training. Why? Because at both times of the day the muscle glycogen stores are relatively empty and the blood sugar level is comparatively low. This in turn forces the organism to switch increasingly to fat as an energy carrier.
2. Use both "Slow and steady cardio" and "HIIT cardio"
The fitness community is still arguing about which form of cardio exercise is better now - "Slow and stealthy" (SS) or "High Intensity Interval Training" (HIIT)? We consider it pragmatic: both forms have their justification and should therefore be used in combination to burden the organism as much as possible. For example, you can go for a run in the morning in the park and on another day you can really work out in the HIIT style right after strength training on a bicycle ergometer. The important thing is that you go through the training regularly, even if it is not fun.
3. Rise yourself regularly
In order not to overload you immediately, you should not go down from "0 to 100" start and do 60 minutes of cardio training every day. Start slowly and plan to do something for your cardiovascular system for 20 to 30 minutes three or four days a week. Work your way up on a weekly basis by slowly increasing the scores in 5-minute increments, building a less intense unit through an intensive exchange or even a fifth cardio day.
4. Discard your cardio training
Sometimes it is better to put several short stress stimuli on one day instead of a long one. You can also easily implement this principle in cardio training by distributing your daily program of, for example, 60 minutes in two units. A session in the morning after getting up and a second session after the workout or the evening before dinner to boost your metabolism.
Motivation despite tiredness? That's fine!
Who does not know that? Little sleep, hard work and then there is still cardio or even HIIT on the training plan. A good helper / friend can be the Pink Burn in such cases. Its ingredients accelerate metabolism up to three times and boost fat burning. In addition, and this is almost more important in this case, it provides you with energy. Already 20min after the intake you will notice an intentional tingling sensation in the body and you can not help but go for a workout.
Point 3 - The abdominal training
Why does the abdominal training come in third place? Because a healthy diet and a customized cardio program play a more important role in building a six-pack. Nevertheless, well-balanced strength training is essential to give the abdominal muscles a certain thickness, because only then do the muscles emerge properly. And that goes even for many competitive athletes with a one-digit body fat percentage. The following rules will be different for you.
The "Ab Training Rules"
- Train the abs twice a week
- Treat your abdominal muscles like all other muscles
- Slowly perform the repetitions and focus on the muscle tension
- Use extra weights so you can train effectively even in low reps
- Build sets of 10-20 reps, each time until failure
- Make sure you perform exercises for the upper, lower, and lateral parts of the abdominal muscles
- Find an exercise where you feel your muscles best, and keep them as the core element of your abdominal training
Exercises for your six-pack
- Cable crunches
- Crunch machine (sitting)
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Cable Side Crunch
- Side Crunch (lying)
- Crunches (with additional weight)
The POWER / REP RANGE / SHOCK (TM) Sixpack Training
This training system is a cyclic training method that allows you to set a very individual hypertrophic stimulus every week. The following list shows you what your abdominal training might look like.
- Extra weight crunches (2-3 sets / 10-12 repetitions)
- Hanging Leg Raise (3-4 sets / 10-12 reps)
"Rep Range Week"
- Cable Crunch (2-3 sets / 13-15 reps)
- Hanging Knee Raise (2-3 sets / 16-20 reps)
- Side Crunch Lying (2-3 sets / 21-25 reps per side)
- Crunch machine (2 sets / 16-20 repeats drop set)
- Hanging Leg Raise (2 sets / 16-20 reps)
- Hanging Knee Raise (2 sets / 16-20 repetitions)
- Cable Side Crunch (1 set / 15 repetitions "Rest Pause to Failure")
So that your muscles do not get used to the training program too much, you should at least partially swap the exercise after two complete cycles, ie 6 weeks. Of course you can also use completely different abdominal exercises.
As you can see, there is no magic formula to build a six-pack. All it really takes is hard work, discipline and the insight that the abdominal muscles are a muscle group like any other.
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