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We’ve all seen the ads in magazines and on the internet: “get ripped abs, and burn belly fat fast!"
Unfortunately there is no way to just burn fat in one area, that is a myth and the only way to burn belly fat is to burn body fat over all. However there are some things that have helped me get abs faster, and they are things that both male and females can do!
You’ve heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen” right? Well, that is 100% true! So the first step to abs is to be conscious of what you eat, and more importantly how much you eat. Some basic rules to follow with your diet are to keep your macronutrient (macro for short) ratios to 50% protein, 35% carbs and 15% fats. With these ratios you will build muscle faster, and at the same time burn fat, which is what everyone wants is looking for.
The sources of protein that I normally resort to eating come from chicken breast, tilapia, salmon, and lean ground turkey (usually 93% lean or leaner). Protein is typically the easiest macro to control/monitor, while carbs can be the hardest macronutrient to restrict. Every mouthwatering, delicious pastry or sugar-based food is mostly made up of solely carbs. Although these foods melt in our mouths, in what at the time seems to be taste bud heaven, they will hold you back from attaining washboard abs.
Lower glycemic carbs give me more sustained energy levels throughout the day, due to their slower absorption rate, and lowered insulin response. A big mistake a lot of people make when attempting to lose weight is cutting their entire fat intake out. Do not be scared to eat fats, as long as they are healthy fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) like, salmon, avocados, almonds, olive oil, ect. These fats will not only help lower LDL (bad cholesterol), and raise HDL (good cholesterol), but it will also help you burn stubborn fat! Yes fat will help burn fat!
I don’t take many supplements but I do always carry digestive enzymes with me! These enzymes are not considered to be a weight loss product, but they do help break down your food for better utilization of the foods nutrients and can help reduce bloating.
There are 5 parts to the abdominal that need to be targeted for a tight midsection; lower abs, middle abs, obliques, serratus and upper abs.
My favorite ab workout is leg lifts, which can be done in various ways; lying flat on the ground (beginner level), on the dip machine (intermediate level), and hanging leg lifts (advanced level). Leg lifts will develop the lower abdominal muscles and help give you that sexy v-shaped cut.
To target the rectus abdominis or middle abs, I like to use a stability ball for crunches, with these crunches I like to slow the tempo down and really focus on contracting my middle abdomen.
The Cable woodchop exercise is a killer resistance exercise that will target your obliques, just be sure to keep your core and abs tight at all times.
The serratus is a trickier area to target, but it can successfully be hit with one-arm cable crunches.
Last but certainly not least is upper abs. This area is really easy to target and the best way I have found to do so is with traditional crunches.
Here is one of my ab routines that I encourage everyone to try! A little trick that I have found to really help better shape my abs is exhaling out at the contraction of every rep:
Leg lifts: 4 sets of 30-40 reps (unweighted)
Stability ball Crunches: 3-4 sets of 20-25 reps
Cable Woodchop: 3-4 sets of 8-10 controlled reps followed by and ending set of 25
Kneeling One-Arm cable crunches: 3 sets of 25 reps for each side
Crunches: 4 sets of 20 slow and controlled reps
I realize that all of this can be overwhelming or mind boggling, but don’t let it intimidate you. Take it one step at a time, train hard, eat smart and you’ll soon be on your way to chiseled abs!