Five Ways To Make Those Ab Muscles Pop
Everybody wants a six-pack. Okay, maybe not everybody, but surely a huge number of the population does. Abs are the main reason why we often see a bunch of people [in the gym] doing hundreds of crunches each day, with high hopes that these moves will give them that highly sought-after six pack. However, doing sit ups and crunches alone aren’t enough to make those abs appear. Having a well-chiseled six-pack doesn’t come easy, but surely they are worth it. If you’re eager enough to be a part of the small population with washboard abs, here are five ways to make those ab muscles pop.
1. Make a huge shift to your diet
We’ve all heard it – “abs are made in the kitchen, revealed in the gym,” and it can’t be any truer. What you put in your mouth has a huge say on whether or not those abs will show up. A good rule of thumb is to reduce simple carbs (rice, bread, pasta) and sugar in your diet. Anything deep fried and too oily, as well as alcoholic beverages, also have to go. Replace these with lots of veggies, lean meat, whole grains, foods rich in healthy fats, and be prepared to kiss your Saturday night beers goodbye.
2. Know how much protein you need
Protein isn’t just crucial to muscle growth and build up, it also has a huge thermogenic effect on the body – meaning it helps in making you sweat and burning off calories. Additionally, this macronutrient takes the most number of calories when being broken down by the body, which makes it a plus if you’re trying to build up those abs. And while protein is needed by everyone, the amount one should be taking still varies from person to person. Calculate your macros, and be specific on your goals when calculating your protein intake. An average of .8 to 1 gram of protein per lean body mass is believed to be essential both for muscle gain and fat loss – exactly what you need if you’re aiming to have a six-pack.
3. Learn to love cardio…or at least like it
The problem with fat loss is that you can’t specifically target it, so doing thousands of crunches and sit ups won’t show those abs off if a layer of fat is covering them – and this is where cardio becomes your best friend. Doing cardiovascular exercises – like running, biking, and swimming – is an effective way to lose fat, not just in your midsection specifically, but in the entire body. Hate doing long-pace cardio? Try HIIT – these moves last anywhere between four and thirty minutes, but torches more fat down than your regular cardio.
4. Stop doing just crunches
Many people believe that if they do hundreds (or even thousands) of crunches, they will instantly have those abs pop out. But they are wrong. While it is true that crunches help in developing those ab muscles, there are also other compound moves that doesn’t just strengthen the core, but helps in melting belly fat away as well. Barbell deadlifts, pull-ups, barbell squats, push ups, and barbell bench press, are among the compound moves that strengthen your core that you can add to your routine.
5. Consume carbs after your workouts
Carbs often get a bad rap because most people believe that they can make you fat, when in reality, eating too much of anything is the main reason why people get fat. Carbs, when consumed (especially) after a workout, have the slightest chance of being later stored in the body as fat. But of course, you can’t munch on sugary cereals and expect washboard abs in return. The key to carving those six-pack abs is by choosing to eat the right form of carbohydrates. Among these ab-friendly carbs are natural grains and starchy carbs like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.
Go ahead and follow these five simple ways and surely you’ll be seeing those ab muscles pop in no time.