HOW TO UNLEASH YOUR ABS
PT Manager Matt Williams explains how to unleash your abs.
Now that summer has arrived, it’s time to hit the beach and show off that six-pack you’ve been working on for the past few months. But if your midsection isn’t ready yet here are our top tips to help you unleash your abs.
Follow these simple rules and you’ll get your abs to show in time for beach season.
Drop Your Calorie Intake By 500
You’ll never see your abs if you’re carrying too much body fat. Your mid-section will always be hidden behind a layer of fat, regardless of how many core exercises you do. To truly get that V-line to show, you need to get lean.
The best way to drop fat is to create a caloric deficit: eat fewer calories than you burn per day. Use a food journal for just a few days to track exactly how many calories you’re consuming. Then, reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day—that should be enough to boost your fat loss and melt the fat around your mid-section (and everywhere else, too). Every two to three weeks, measure your body fat to make sure you’re moving in the right direction.
Boost Your Testosterone With Heavy, Compound Exercises
Research suggests that a disproportionate amount of body fat around your lower abdomen could be related to low testosterone levels. But to boost your body’s natural testosterone production, bicep curls and calf raises won’t cut it; you need heavy, total-body lifts to stimulate a lot of muscle growth and unleash a massive hormonal response. Heavy strength exercises also speed up your fat loss, which will reveal your lower abs faster.
Fill your workout with lots of heavy squats, deadlifts, lunges, barbell presses (bench or military), and heavy rows. Target between 4 – 8 repetitions for 3 – 5 sets and go as heavy as you can while using flawless form.
Limit Your Carbs To Workout Days Only
Starchy carbohydrates like rice and potatoes can actually be great when leaning out—if you eat them at the right times, that is. By saving your carbs for the days you hammer your muscles with heavy, complex exercises, you’ll ensure that your body is using that energy specifically for recovery and muscle growth.
Completely eliminating carbs from your diet, however, will work against you. Carbs give you the fuel you need to build muscle, melt fat, and target your abs; without them, your performance in the gym will suffer.
Do The Right Core Exercises
Some ab exercises are based on movement. Others focus more on balance, so your abs contract harder to keep your body stable. Most men have difficulty with either stabilisation or mobilisation. Include both types of moves in a workout to challenge your abs.
For instance, try performing a Swiss-ball rollout (mobilisation), followed by a Swiss-ball crunch (stabilisation). To do the rollout, kneel in front of the ball with your forearms pressed against it. Keeping your knees and feet in place, roll the ball in front of you so your hips, torso, and arms slide forward. Advance as far as you can without arching your back, then pull back to the starting position.
This one’s almost too easy, but drinking plenty of water not only helps you burn fat, but also builds more muscle.
Abdominal muscles are multilayered, but most people focus only on the outermost layer with exercises like the crunch. So look for moves that work the abdominal muscles closest to the spine, such as the plank. Strengthening these tiny stabilisers will provide a solid foundation to allow your six-pack muscles to grow stronger and bigger.