Abs and The Secret To Finding Your Six-Pack
Abs, abs, abs. The catalyst behind an internet full of mirror pics (guilty) and uninvited Jersey Shore-style shirt pulls (not guilty).
Right or wrong, abs are the de facto visual indicator of a person’s fitness level. They’re also the fuel behind a bazillion fitness products, ten-step articles, and magazine cover promises. I’m pretty sure if you took “X Ways To Get Sexy/Rock Hard/Washboard Abs!!!!” headlines out of magazine cover circulation, the entire magazine industry might very well implode from lack of “go-to” content.
Not that there’s anything wrong with chasing the dream of the ab-bricked road… It’s just all the hype and promises of “easy abs in 10 days” are kind of misleading. They can open the door to a series of hopeless expectations when that washboard doesn’t start “popping out” by the appointed day/time.
So how do you burn away that stubborn belly fat (always the last to go- amiright)?
The One Secret To Making Your Abs Show
Reality dictates you can’t “spot train” abs and make the fat just melt away from your six pack exclusively. You can do crunches, shake a weight, follow 10-step ab moves, and drink Slim Fast drinks all day long… but if you’re still packing fat (the deposit and distribution of which you have no control- thanks, genetics!), the abs will never ever make their debut.
But they CAN. Their debut just won’t be through gimmick-laden tricks of cleanses, miracle crunch routines, and fitness contraptions. The trick to making your abs show (and show they will!) is the same trick you use to blast your muscle mayo everywhere else… eating right and eating well that’s less than your total energy expenditure in the day. After all, the old fitness axiom that’s often forgotten still holds true: “Abs are made in the kitchen.”
As part of our dedication to your success, Kubex Fitness also focuses on nutrition. Most of our fitness centers not only come equipped with a Whole-Food Smoothie Bar which uses only the best in organic ingredients, but we also offer a complete nutrition guide to help you build a customized meal plan. This nutrition guide perfectly complements your exercise plan to help you become the healthiest you, and accomplish your health and wellness goals.
Nutrition and The Art of Patience
While we don’t like to call eating for weight loss goals a “diet”, we do like to call it “eating right nutrition.” After all, we’re not after an unsustainable course of action here. We’re after a lifestyle change that leads us to better choices. “Diets” are short-term planning without long-term solutions and we’re looking at the long game here. Nutrition (a combination of food, and consuming the right amount of it) is the CRITICAL component to that game-day offense where your abs come out the winner.
So here’s the deal: If you’re not seeing your abs, chances are you’re still in the “muscle mayo” zone (or that area usually above 10% body fat for guys and 22ish% for the ladies). As you continue to drop that fat (and it does take more focus on your nutrition and caloric intake if you want to get into the single-digit fat percentages), you’ll see your abs form up in order– the top two, then four, and finally that triumphant six pack. The last little bit of fat covering that “ponch” (or layer of fat) will take some patience and dialing in.
Don’t get discouraged. We’re talking patience measured by an honest assessment of your body fat and staying tuned in on your nutrition, just like you’ve always done. Stay on track and things will form up.
If you’re unsure what your body fat percentage is, come try our 3D Body Scan at Kubex. This body scan will help you understand where you’re at, and where you should be going.
Ab Goals: Stay On Target & What To Shoot For
Remember, finding your abs takes dedication to your caloric intake. Your body will shed the fat as it sees fit, and from where it sees fit, with a little nutritional/caloric discipline on your part. In the meantime, with nutrition dialed in, you’re toning and forming those muscles so as the body fat decreases, you’re looking good. Better yet, you’re feeling good. There’s some pretty good rules of thumb on when you’ll start seeing those abs you’re working so hard for:
- Although women tend to carry more body fat than men (but less body fat around their “tummies”) women typically need to have their body fat percentage down under 17% to start seeing six pack abs. If the “chix-pack” isn’t your ideal, 18-20ish % will leave you in that lean, toned range. Of course, the further down the fat % scale you go, the more “ripped” your abdominals will look.
- Men DO carry a lot of weight in and around the belly- love handles, spare tire– you know the terms. This means you have to get a little lower on the body fat percentage. For most, you’ll start seeing the ghost of your abs around 10%. 8% will bring much more definition and 6-7% will look absolutely shredded. 5% is competition-level MINCED. No flexing here. At 6-7%, you’ve got the “perma-pack”.
Working Your Abs- How Much?
I hope you see abs don’t need to be blitzed as their exposure is based almost entirely on body fat. In fact, one of the big reasons for ab work isn’t to have them look good, but to gain a strong core which helps you lift, jump and avoid injury. Ab work is an application in “real-world fitness”- not in making abs break through 30% body fat.
Here are Kubex, we offer some great ab working moves and workouts. Get your free day pass here and come check out what we have to offer.
You don’t need to work your abs every day. At most, you should only work them 2-3 times a week. After all, you’re not doing chest or bicep exercises every day, so why would you subject your abs (another muscle group) to that kind of punishment without rest? Seems crazy when you look at it like that, doesn’t it?