A complete guide to sculpting the perfect six-pack abs
Crafting a six-pack is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. We wish getting a six-pack was as easy as grabbing a six-pack of beer from a store. Also, we think the alcoholic beverage companies are playing a practical joke on us. Or do they want it to act like a reminder that a six-pack of beer will never let you have six-pack abs? You be the judge.
The pandemic has been rough, especially for fitness enthusiasts. The mayhem that the coronavirus caused put us in an unexpected situation. Who would have thought we would be locked in our houses for months on end. The lockdown situation didn’t bode well for our bodies either.
While we did see the WFH culture take on a new life last year, it didn’t translate the same way for the fitness scene. The reason behind it is not so hard to figure. People have a motivation to work – money, but the same doesn’t always apply to fitness.
Ways To Build A Six-Pack After The Pandemic
Now that most of us have started training at gyms again, it’s time to create a blueprint for achieving our dream physiques. Washboard abs are a result of optimal training, nutrition, and recovery programs. Falling off in any of these can throw you off track.
Read also: 5 Gym Habits You Should Follow Post COVID
If Cap’n Crunch is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions crunches, you know you have some work to do. In this article, we will help you build a six-pack from scratch. Even if you’re a fitness newbie or an advanced lifter, you’ll take something away today.
Remember: Abs are made in the kitchen and crafted in the gym. You shouldn’t expect to build a chiseled midsection while feasting on burgers every other day. Your first step towards a six-pack should be to get your diet in order.
Your diet plan will vary depending on your current body fat percentage and the excess weight you need to shed. Everyone has abs, but most of us love them so much that we have them protected under a layer of fat.
Switch to a calorie deficit diet – meaning you need to be burning more calories than you’re consuming. Since you were in your house for a big chunk of the year, you could be running a calorie surplus.
How to Design Your Diet Plan:
- Use A Calorie Tracking App – Apps like MyFitnessPal and HealthifyMe are great for logging your daily food intake. You should log your meals for at least a week before checking your average daily calorie and macronutrient intake and breakdown.
- Find Out How Many Calories You Need – There are many online calculators which will tell how many calories you need to be eating based on your age, height, weight, and gender. Use this calculator to find your daily calorie intake goal and this for the macronutrient goals.
- Choose Your Food – Wisely – Some people make designing a diet plan sound harder than it is. After you know how many calories you need to be eating every day, you should begin putting down food items that meet your goals in a planner. The apps mentioned above have an extensive list of food items with different nutrient values. Selecting foods that fit your lifestyle is very crucial. You don’t want to add food items to your list that are too exotic or expensive.
- Follow The Diet Plan – Might sound basic, but following the program can be the roughest part of dieting.
Most people are never able to build a six-pack because they stick to vanilla ab workouts. If a few crunches and sit-ups are your idea of an ab workout, you shouldn’t even bother starting.
Break down your midriff training into sections. Your workouts should consist of different exercises to train your upper, middle, and lower abs. Oblique training is another overlooked aspect of core training. Follow the workouts mentioned below to take your abdominal to the next level.
- Hanging Leg Raises – 3 Sets 20-30 Reps
- Cable Crunches – 3 Sets 20-30 Reps
- Planks – 3 Sets 1 Minute-Each
- Mountain Climbers – 3 Sets 20-30 Reps
- Jumping Jacks – 3 Sets 1-Minute Each
- Flutter Kicks – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- Alternating Leg Lowers – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- Side Planks – 3 Sets 1-Minute Each
- Glute Bridge March – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- High Knee Running – 3 Sets 1-Minute Each
- Lying Windshield Wipers – 3 Sets 20-30 Reps
- Crunches – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- Superman Planks – 3 Sets 90-Seconds Each
- V-Ups – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- Burpees – 3 Sets 2-Minutes Each
- Russian Twists – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- Ab Wheel Rollouts – 3 Sets 10-20 Reps
- Push-Up Planks – 3 Sets 90-Seconds Each
- TRX Mountain Climbers – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- Squat Jumps – 3 Sets 2-Minutes Each
- Stability Ball Knee Tucks – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- Barbell Oblique Twists – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps Each Side
- Planks Pulses – 3 Sets 1-Minute Each
- Jackknives – 3 Sets 30-40 Reps
- Jump Rope – 3 Sets 2-Minutes Each
Many fitness newbies make the mistake of training their abs every day. You don’t need to spend hours working on it. An intense 30-minute session is enough to get the job done.
Cardio sessions are a must if you want a midsection that the Greek Gods approve. You should program a HIIT cardio session at the end of every resistance workout. Also, if you want a six-pack, forget rest days. Active rest days are the closest you get to no physical activity.
Since your midsection is a small muscle group, it needs time to recover from brutal workouts. As a rule of thumb, don’t train your abs if they are sore. And, if you are training your abs more than thrice a week – you are doing too much.
Some ways of improving your recovery after workouts:
- Drink at least a gallon of water every day.
- Never miss a post-workout meal.
- Use a post-workout supplement if you need it.
- Wear compression clothing.
- Warm-up before weight training.
- Cool-down post workouts.
- Make foam rolling and stretching a part of your training routine.
- Take a cold shower.
If you had a ripped midsection before the onset of the pandemic, you have a headstart. Your muscle memory is going to help you get back in shape in no time. On the other hand, newbies should stick to the workout, diet, and recovery programs for a minimum of six months before expecting any results.