8 Closely-Guarded Secrets of Guys with Abs, Revealed!

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8 Closely-Guarded Secrets of Guys with Abs, Revealed!

Abs are one of the most sought-after muscle groups. Besides making you look super fit, a shredded midsection can make you a hit among the women, or at least this is what Instagram Reels makes us believe. 

Quick question: Have you ever seen a Greek god statue without a chiseled midriff? Heck, superhero costumes come with six-pack engravings.

The grown men in costumes want the world to know they have a shredded abdomen under the suit. We cannot think of another reason why a superhero would need abs drawn on his outfit. We are pretty sure it does not help fight the bad guys, but we digress. 

Carving a Greek god-like midsection requires a lot of patience, persistence, and determination. More than all of this, it requires you to watch what you put in your mouth throughout the day. It came out wrong, but we hope you get what we mean. 

So, you have a big day coming up in eight weeks, and you want to sport a six-pack for the special occasion? We hate to be the ones breaking this to you, but you are never going to look like a cover model in such a short period, especially if you have never hit a gym or followed a strict diet plan before. 

If you are a fitness noob, the only chance of a physique transformation you have in such limited time is to make best friends with a guy who is into selling juice. Just so you know, we are not talking about fruit juices here.

Related: Best on the Planet! Physiques with Picture Perfect 6-Pack Abs

8 Closely-Guarded Secrets of Guys with Abs

Carving a six-pack is much more than a weekend project. It requires a lot of trial and error, and individuals usually need to follow a personalized approach to see optimal results. 

But if you study the techniques and habits of people with a shredded midsection, you will find a lot of similarities. They might be eating different amounts of calories in a day or performing different exercises, but they are usually following the same principles.

Shredded midriff

Decrypting the Secrets Behind Building Abs

Here are eight totally doable things guys with a ripped midsection do every day of the week:

1. Start with You!

No two individuals have the same body composition. Let’s say you want to have a midsection like Wolverine. But before you start your transformation journey, you need to complete a very important step. No, we are not talking about buying adamantium from the black market. 

To ensure an effective transformation, you need to do the preliminary work. Note down your current body fat percentage, weight, and goal numbers. 

Put down your current diet plan into a calorie tracking app and figure out your daily caloric intake and the macronutrient breakdown. This and not crunches should be the first exercise you do if you want to build picture-perfect abs. 

On top of that, many rookies make the mistake of choosing a super-strict diet program right out of the gates. Building abs requires you to drop your body fat considerably that, if done sustainably, can take some time. You want to follow a diet that consists of your favorite food (healthy) and fits your environment. 

You do not want to pick a diet from YouTube that has you eating exotic foods that are not available in your neighborhood or relies heavily on seasonal fruits that can burn a hole in your pocket.

Check Out: Zac Perna’s Guide To Picture Perfect Abs

2. Crunches (alone) are Not Going to Cut it

If you think you can crunch your way to a six-pack, you are in for a rude shock. By the way, when we say “crunch,” we are referring to all the abdominal exercises – leg raise, plank, Russian twist, and the works. 

Building a solid core requires much more than performing these exercises in isolation. Your core stabilizes the entire body and helps transfer power between your lower and upper limbs, and training it that way yields the best results. 

Compound exercises that challenge your full-body stability and power should be a constant in your ab training routine. The clean and jerk and snatch are a couple of compound lifts you should be doing if you want a shredded midriff. 

Other multi-joint lifts like barbell front squat and kettlebell goblet squat are also great for building a strong anterior chain. 

The Abs Workout You’ll Feel Until Next Week

3. Do NOT Be Afraid of Carbs

Many fitness newbies make the mistake of demonizing carbs. They think the bread loaf is the reason why they are not able to build abs. Only when they cut out the villain, can they have the six-pack of their dreams, or so they think.

Contrary to what most people think, carbs from nutrient-dense whole foods can give you the energy to perform high-intensity workouts, recover properly, drop body-fat percentage, and, in the end, develop a six-pack.

As per research, high-quality carbs can help boost endurance performance, burn fat, and build muscle. 

Now, the next logical question would be – If you are just starting your fitness journey, how many carbs should you be eating every day?

While every individual is different and might need a different amount of carbs to see optimal results, 1g of carbs per pound of your bodyweight per day is a good starting point for most abs-chasing guys.

We highly recommend taking a professional’s help when you are starting out. It will help shorten your learning curve drastically. While we understand it might cost a little money upfront, it will pay dividends in the long run.

4. Be Like Johnie Walker, Always “Keep Walking”

Let us let you in a little secret. Guys with a six-pack do not train their abs every day or work out every day, for that matter. But one thing all of them do consistently is move.

The WFH lifestyle has turned many people into couch potatoes. Walking from their room to their car and from their car to their office was the only workout most of these people got pre-COVID. Now that it is gone, they spend most of their day hunched over a computer screen or phone.

Homo sapiens evolved into hunters and gatherers. Our bodies were not designed to be completely sedentary. Sitting for long durations can contribute to tightness, poor blood and nutrient transport to your muscles, and a sluggish metabolism.

If you cannot go out for a daily walk on your rest days, make sure you are doing at least 15 minutes of stretching. It will help ease your muscles and get your blood pumping.

Besides, you should make the most of your rest days and focus on optimizing your recovery process. Getting your blood flowing throughout your body is key to recovery. Any movement that gets your limbs to stretch through a large range of motion at a relatively low intensity can be beneficial.

Next Read: Debunked: The Top 5 Myths About Six Pack Abs

5. Food is Your Fuel

When training to build abs, many people like to starve themselves. Eating too few calories can be counterproductive to your six-pack goal. Consuming fewer calories than your body needs to function optimally can put you in a catabolic state. 

When you are in a catabolic state, you are breaking down or losing overall mass, both fat and muscle. Your body does this to sustain its energy reserves. 

So, burning muscle by being in a catabolic state and building abs do not go hand-in-hand. If you had an intense training session, do not hold yourself back from a high-calorie meal. It might be exactly what your body needs at that point.

 

midriff

6. Sleep Your Way To a Six-Pack 

Working out does not give you abs. It helps carve your abs, but it is not the be-all and end-all of building a six-pack. Everyone has abs, but most people have their abs hidden underneath a layer of body fat.

To build a shredded mid-riff, you need to fix your diet, train your core optimally, and rest. You break muscle tissue when you are training in the gym. Your muscles grow back bigger, stronger, and more defined when you are in deep sleep.

On top of that, lack of sleep puts your body under stress and has a detrimental impact on your metabolism and hormonal balance, resulting in increased appetite and accumulation of abdominal fat

If your goal is to build a six-pack, you need to sleep at least seven hours every night. However, if you are unable to log the seven hours in a single night, make up for it by napping during the day. 

Next Read: Build Superhero Abs with these 5 Routines

7. Protein is Your Savior

Protein is the building block for your muscles. It is no secret that protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to building muscle mass. 

There is a reason why most shredded guys have protein in every meal. Not only does protein make you feel full for long periods, but it also helps in burning body fat, even when you are not physically active.

Your preferred protein sources should include turkey breast, soybeans, red meat, and mung beans. They are rich in the powerful muscle-building amino acid leucine.

8. Cut Out the Junk

Nothing kills an ab-building dream faster than junk food. If you are setting out on your transformation journey, you should avoid processed foods at all costs. 

Processed foods are high in refined and added sugars, sodium, fat, and other inflammatory chemicals that can interfere with your ability to sculpt a six-pack. 

Also, calories from processed food can be more fattening than those from whole foods. Refined foods are processed to the point where they are digested quickly, and the body can absorb more of these calories. This helps add to McDonald’s bottom line and your waistline. 

But what about cheat meals, you ask?

Well, forget about eating junk food until you have visible and defined abs.

Related: How To Get A Six-Pack (Post Pandemic Edition)

Abs

Bonus

Six-Pack Ab Workout

There are plenty of reasons to want a strong set of abs. Since they are incredibly difficult to carve, one of these reasons could be that they provide a fitness challenge. 

To sculpt your midsection, you need to incorporate exercises that target all four major muscle groups in your midsection – the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal obliques, and external obliques. 

Here is an ab workout you can do at your home that will help you build a shredded midriff:

Circuit: 3-rounds

  • Bicycle Crunch: 10 reps, no rest 
  • Side Hip Bridge: 10 reps (on each side), no rest
  • Reverse Crunch: 10 reps, no rest 
  • Air Chop: 10 reps, no rest 
  • Shoulder Tap: 10 reps (each side), no rest 
  • Extended Arm Plank Bird Dog: 10 reps (each side), no rest 
  • Extended Arm Plank To T-Raise: 10 reps (each side), no rest 
  • Plank to Toe Touch: 10 reps (each side), no rest 
  • Russian Twist: 10 reps (each side), no rest
  • Hollow Hold: 30-seconds, 1-minute rest

Six-Pack Ab Diet

Shredding diet

Here is a sample 8-week six-pack diet plan to help you build the abs of your dreams. 

Note: This diet is designed for people weighing around 170 lbs. You can follow the same diet if you are in the 160-180 lbs range.

Phase 1: Weeks 1-4

Meal 1: Breakfast
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 oz chicken breast
  • ½ cup green pepper
  • 1 medium apple
Meal 2: Snack
  • Coconut-Lime Chicken Bites with Baked Zucchini Fries 
Meal 3: Lunch
  • 4 oz turkey breast, boneless, skinless
  • ½ cup brown cooked rice
  • 1 cup broccoli, steamed
  • ½ large grapefruit
Meal 4: Snack
  • ⅔ cup cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 10 almonds, chopped
Meal 5: Dinner
  • Spicy Citrus Shrimp with Quinoa 
Meal 6: Bedtime
  • 20g whey protein isolate
  • ½ tbsp peanut butter, natural
Daily Totals: 
  • Calories: 1,480
  • Protein: 169g 
  • Carbs: 119g
  • Fat: 40g

Phase 2: Weeks 5-8

Meal 1: Breakfast
  • 3 oz chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ cup green pepper
  • 6 almonds (as a side)
Meal 2: Snack
  • Purple Sweet Potato Parfait
Meal 3: Lunch
  • 4 oz turkey breast, boneless, skinless
  • ½ cup brown cooked rice
  • 1 cup broccoli, steamed
  • ½ large grapefruit
Meal 4: Snack
  • ⅔ cup cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 10 almonds, chopped
Meal 5: Meal Dinner
  • Chicken Kababs with Mediterranean Brown Rice  
Meal 6: Bedtime
  • 20g whey protein isolate
  • ½ tbsp peanut butter, natural
Daily Totals: 
  • Calories: 1,437 
  • Protein: 164g
  • Carbs: 124g,
  • Fat: 34g

Phase 3: Weeks 9-12

Meal 1: Breakfast
  • ½ cup oatmeal, uncooked
  • 20g chocolate whey protein
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
Meal 2: Snack
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 3 oz chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • ½ cup green peppers, chopped
  • ½ large grapefruit
Meal 3: Lunch
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 4 oz turkey breast, boneless, skinless
Meal 4: Snack
  • Baked Sole with Grapefruit Avocado Salsa and ½ cup brown rice
Meal 5: Dinner
  • Sweet Chili-Lime Barbecue Chicken with Cucumber Salad 
Meal 6: Bedtime
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup baby spinach
Daily Totals: 
  • Calories: 1,311
  • Protein: 152g
  • Carbs: 122g,
  • Fat: 24g
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