Are you doing too much?
The first mistake a lot of men make is thinking that more is always better. They crank out hundreds of crunches a day and wonder why those squares of muscle aren’t developing properly. The reason is that, like any other muscle, the way to build your abdominals is to keep the reps per set fairly low – in the region of 10-12 – and increase the resistance when you find it too easy, not the number of reps. That means adding weight when doing crunches or using a cable machine.
Are you forgetting something?
The other mistake that men often make when hunting for abs is to forget about the layer of fat that covers them. Men tend to store fat around the gut, so you really need to work hard at lowering your overall body fat percentage if you want to see your abs. This means watching your diet and doing plenty of big muscle moves, such as squats and deadlifts, that torch calories.
Are you an all-rounder?
Your six-pack is actually one sheet of muscle, called the rectus abdominis, which extends from your ribcage to your pubic bone. So any abs-specific exercise will work the entire area, but your rectus abdominis is supported by your external obliques, internal obliques and erector spinae. Together they support and manipulate your spine to form your core – the muscular region that connects your upper and lower body. A strong core is vital for performing any dynamic movements in sport and for preventing back pain. So abs training is not just for show. It will make you stand taller and perform better in all areas of life.
Here’s a selection of the best exercises for beginners to experts in building a rock-hard six-pack, plus variations so that you (and your muscles) don’t get bored.
Lie faceup with your legs straight, arms at your sides, palms facing down. Raise your legs and torso 45 degrees off the floor. (You should look like a “V”.) Reach your hands alongside your legs as high as you can without rounding your back.
Key Point: This one is tough, but focus on contracting the abs to move your body.
CABLE SIDE BEND
For this, both diet and exercise play important roles, but the reward is a set of abs that are the envy of everyone you know. Here are six ab exercises to get you that highly sought, but rarely achieved, holy grail; the six pack.
Attach a D-handle to a low-pulley cable and stand so your left side faces the weight stack. Grasp the handle with your left hand, keeping your arm by your side, and place your right hand on your hip. With your head facing forward, slowly bend to the left. Return to standing, repeat for reps, then switch sides.
Key Point: Granted, obliques aren’t abs, but this movement is an integral part of any ab workout.
Lie faceup with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms toward your knees, holding a lightweight plate with both hands. Keeping your arms extended, slowly lift your head and shoulders off the floor moving into a full crunch.
Key Point: Again, focus on contracting your abs to do the work. Use a light weight and anchor your feet if needed.
Hit your abs from the side to target the obliques, the muscles that frame your six-pack.
I cannot sit here and suggest a specific diet that will work for everyone. Everyone is different and I don’t think diets as a whole work. You have to know your body and know what works for you to lose weight. I personally use intermittent fasting as a means to maintaining a functional eating plan for myself. It has a lot more health benefits than simply weight control.
If you eat lots of lean protein, about as many grams as you weigh, eat lots of greens, fruits and veggies, and fill the bit that’s left with some healthy carbs and healthy fats, I’m confident to say that you are on the right track for fat loss and a six-pack.
A gallon a day. Drinking water helps you to stave off hunger as well as helps with water retention – a big issue when trying to get that six-pack showing. Get a gallon jug, fill it up in the morning and every time you’re are hungry, jug water before you reach for food. Most of the times we seem hungry it is because we are thirsty, so stay hydrated and you will eat less.
Diet Pills and Weight Loss Supplements
Most of the diet pills out there are chalked full of ingredients that have never been actually linked to fat loss, or are seriously dangerous when taken in dosages high enough to make a difference. I recommend you skip the diet pills and weight loss magic and just put in the hard work necessary to achieve your six pack goals.