The Complete Midsection Development Guide
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Everyone wants to build ripped abs because they’re a hallmark of healthy, stacked physique. From bodybuilders to athletes, all types of lifters covet the six-pack look, but many of us have a hard time getting there.
The good news is there are some basic principles anyone can apply to help you craft a tight, sexy midsection in less time than you might have thought possible.
Here are 4 six-pack shortcuts that can give you ripped abs fast.
Though many trainers and many articles would have you believe that abs are “special” and need exotic training protocols to make them look great, the truth is that what we usually call “abs” are a single muscle, the rectus abdominis. It’s a sheet-like structure that covers the front of your abdomen and helps you bend forward. It’s also crossed with bands of connective tissue that give it its segmented appearance. To build your six pack, you need to grow your abs large enough that they stand out from these bands and each other.
The best way to accomplish that is the same as it is for any other muscle: train hard and heavy, pushing your sets to or near failure, and add weights or reps whenever you can.
Conventional wisdom for training abs has you doing lots of sets for hundreds or thousands of reps per workout several days a week. If you’re really training hard enough to make abs grow, though, not only will you not WANT to train them that frequently or with such extended duration, you won’t be able to. What’s more, much of the original motivation for those marathon ab workouts was to burn fat in your midsection, but research and gym experience have shown that such “spot reducing” is inefficient at best.
No matter how hard you train your abs or how much you develop them, you’ll never have a six pack if they’re covered with a layer of fat. At some point, you have to drop your bodyfat to around 10% or lower if you really want your abs to stand out. The best way to do that for most people is to begin reducing calories from your daily intake. Start with dropping a 300-500 calories a day and monitoring your weight and abs weekly. If you’re not seeing progress after a couple of weeks, reduce calories further and repeat the process until you’re losing no more than a pound a week OR until you drop to around 1800 calories a day (if you’re a man).
Most men won’t want to drop too far below 2000 calories a day because it can he hard to take in the nutrients you need at super-low calorie levels. One you have dropped to around 1800, you may need to spike your activity levels to increase fat burning if your abs are not coming into focus. Start with 20 minutes of walking, jogging, or biking — or another activity that you can tolerate — three times a week and then add to the duration and number of workouts as needed to boost your fat-loss efforts.
In your quest to build a six pack, the important thing to remember is that abs are a muscle and need to be trained hard in order to grow. Don’t get caught up in long-winded, draining workouts that do little for your ab development, but do make sure you get your bodyfat under control if you want to display a tight, ripped midsection.
Building the six pack you want is not all that complicated, but it does require hard work.