How to Build a Killer Six-Pack
Whether to improve your desk posture, lower your risk of back injury, or simply to look better naked, a six-pack is one of the most difficult physical features to unlock. Part of the reason for this struggle is that people are not aware of their training mistakes, and don’t realize that a few simple adjustments could make all the difference. This list is a good place to start.
Top 10 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Building a Six-Pack
1. You’re Neglecting Your Cardio
Anyone can have the hardest abdominal muscles on the planet, but if they’re buried beneath a layer of fat, no one is ever going to see them. You need to burn off more calories than you’re consuming, and the fastest way to do that is to concentrate on your cardio game. Jumping rope, swimming, and cycling are all fine suggestions, but nothing is going to hit your core quite as fiercely as running and/or jogging.
2. Your Cardio Isn’t Intense Enough
A pleasant jog around your block is better than nothing, but if you want to seriously slice off that extra fat, you’ve got to push your game to the max, by forcing 3 – 4 hardcore sessions a week at least. You can also improve your daily jog by adding wrist weights to your regime, shedding even more calories for very little added effort.
3. You’re Neglecting Your Carbs and Fats
While protein intake is your priority, the thought that one should avoid carbs and fats is dead wrong. Cutting out carbs will only bring fatigue and moodiness, and a lack of fats can imbalance your hormones. Rather consume good carbs post-workout to prevent them from turning into fat (sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal), and introduce a moderate amount of healthy fats into your diet plan as well (nuts, olive oils, avocado).
4. You’re Snacking and Drinking Alcohol
Sorry to tell you, but the fun stuff is out of the question. Your body will hang onto your fat until the liver pushes all of the booze out of your system, and even the sugars found in fruits or honey can slow your progress. To combat this, keep healthy snacks like carrots or peppers on hand to avoid acting on hunger impulses, and if you must drink, trade the beer for a whiskey with water.
5. You’re Not Lifting Weights
One of the most criminally overlooked methods of strengthening the abs is this one. By performing compound lifts such as bench presses, squats, or deadlifts, your abs are activated in their most natural position, which stimulates muscle growth and raises the metabolism.
6. You’re Not Sleeping Enough
During your awake period, it’s your time to shine and commit yourself to a rigorous training schedule. But it is within the sleep cycles that your body takes control, performing its natural magic by repairing your aching muscles and striking a hormonal balance. Get at least seven hours a night or your six-pack may never wake up.
7. You Think a Thousand Crunches is the Answer
There is a lot of conflicting information about the importance of performing core abdominal exercises, so let’s set the record straight: yes, they are a useful part of the full suite, but no, they are not the end-all solution some may think. To truly harvest the benefits of these movements, add resistance weights whilst keeping your training varied with squats, planks, and vertical chair knee raise.
8. You’re Not Drinking a Lot of Water
Drinking plenty of water is recommended no matter what the circumstance, but when it comes to abs, this could be the secret you’re looking for. H2O curbs hunger, boosts your metabolism, helps burn calories, and (like veggies and fiber) flushes any toxins out by keeping you regular.
9. You’ve Become Impatient
Did you read a blog which promised you solid abs within two weeks? Did you enter your credit card details on a site selling a magical protein formula guaranteed to produce a six-pack whilst you slept? And when this didn’t happen, did you lose motivation and waddle on to the next quick promise? Sad but true, with so many different body types, bad habits, and levels of fitness from person to person, there will never be any one-size-fits-all approach to getting abs. The only secret is to work. Really hard.
10. You’ve Ignored the Presentation
If you’re comparing your tummy to those photos you see on Instagram, you’re being tricked by all the other aspects required to snap that perfect shot. For example posing, exhaling, lighting, posture, and filters, as well as locating the perfect complementary mirror whilst maintaining a straight face. Pick your pre-photo meal wisely, keep the stomach’s surface clear of hair, spend some time developing a tan, and then marvel over the warm validation as thousands of strangers click the button that says they like you.
The Bottom Line
While there is no one size fits all when it comes to building a killer set of six pack abdominal muscles, the following ten tips are a great starting point on your six pack journey. Remember, at the end of the day it’s really going to come down to a balanced exercise and nutrition regimen but most importantly consistency and determination to achieve the results you long for.