GET A SIX-PACK IN FOUR WEEKS
Can you really get ripped abs in a month? Yes you can. Team JDP is on hand to carve out your abs.
Can you really get a six-pack in a month? Yes, if you use a sensible exercise and nutrition plan. Here’s our advice.
How quickly you can reveal your six-pack depends largely on how committed you are – and how prepared you are to ignore the standard advice. The NHS, for example, advises dropping no more than 1kg a week for healthy weight loss. Not only is that based on poor assumptions, it’s also totally unambitious. First, it assumes exercise isn’t part of the plan. Why? Because the second assumption is that weight loss is achieved by restricting calories. That’s in spite of mounting evidence suggesting losing weight isn’t as simple as a calories in/out equation.
Besides, getting a six-pack is not about losing weight – it’s about burning fat. And losing 1kg-plus of fat per week isn’t just possible, it’s the real way to reveal your abs. At JDP Health and Fitness, we routinely see clients lose a large amount of body fat in eight weeks. This is done through portion control and by using diet to regulate the hormones controlling blood sugar and appetite. We also train our clients in a way that stimulates muscle growth, as well as creating a “metabolic disturbance” that keeps their metabolism – the body’s fat-burning mechanism – high for up to 36 hours after training.
In fact, you can eat more thanks to the metabolism change that comes from building new muscle tissue. This will support further lean tissue growth as well as ensuring the body doesn’t feel “starved” and hold on to fat.
A lot of people go carb-free when trying to lose fat. This is a mistake – the body reacts badly to a low-carb diet after two or three weeks. First, your thyroid slows production of the cells responsible for metabolism, and second, there’s an increase in production of the hormone cortisol. As well as storing fat around the belly, this breaks down muscle tissue and causes insulin resistance, which all spells bad news for fat loss.
So, yes, it’s totally possible to see your abs in four weeks. If you’re overweight it’ll take longer, but the immediate changes should be dramatic enough to keep you going until a six-pack starts taking shape.
Here are some top tips to help you reach that goal.
Add a High-Intensity Cardio Session to the End of Your Workouts
A common misconception when it comes to building a six-pack is that it takes hours and hours of cardio time to burn off the excess fat found in the mid-section. In fact a quick ten-minute hit of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can burn 150-250 calories quite easily and you only have to do it for a short period at the end of a workout, sparing you the mental anguish of a full hour’s cardio after strength training.
Try some of these quick cardio workouts on for size:
•Row at full intensity for two minutes, followed by two minutes at 50% intensity and repeat for 12 minutes.
•Cycle with a high level of resistance for ten minutes.
•Jog or run at a high pace for ten minutes.
•Sprint for 30 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds, repeating for ten minutes.
Over a period of four weeks this disciplined routine could help you cut 1-2% body fat, making a big difference for those on the brink of a fully visible six-pack.
Replace One Carbohydrate-Heavy Meal with Some Form of Low-Density Carb Each Day
As much as all the gym work is important, six-packs are achieved through nutrition more than anything. By replacing just one dense source of carbs such as bread or pasta from one meal everyday you could be cutting as many as 300 calories from your diet. Try replacing them with extra vegetables or lower-density carbs like wholemeal pasta and you’ll start shedding fat quicker. Over a period of four weeks, just following this one tip could help you lose up to 1.5kg.
Train your Calves, Forearms and Abs together
This does sound like a random grouping of muscles to be training together, but there is a method to the madness. Naturally most guys at the gym want to go for the big boy lifts – benching, squatting etc – but when you’re planning to include an abs workout too, they tire you out to the point where you probably won’t want to bother. To remedy this, why not try one session a week for your calves, abs and forearms? Training all these body parts together will make sure that you’re attacking them with full intensity. It’s not necessary to dedicate a whole workout to just abs, so adding these smaller muscle groups to the workout will ensure that you don’t get too tired and get a good workout for your six-pack.
Drink a Litre of Water When You Wake Up
When you’re putting on muscle or shedding fat, keeping hydrated is integral. You’re never more dehydrated than when you wake up in the morning so if you immediately hydrate yourself you’ll kick-start your body’s metabolism much quicker, potentially getting an extra hour or so of optimal metabolic function going each day.
Naturally it’s wise to keep this up throughout the day. A well-hydrated individual will always have noticeably less body fat than a chronically dehydrated person.