A perfectly toned midsection is a challenging yet attainable goal. The 'secret' to getting a six pack is fairly simple: clean up your diet and start exercising. The body only burns excess fat when you create an environment in which you burn more calories than you eat.
The problem with getting a perfect set of abs is that the midsection is one of the body's favorite fat storage areas. Doing thousands of sit ups or leg raises gets you a strong set of abs, but a high body fat percentage always obscures your hard work. The key to a toned midsection is a low body fat percentage. How low differs from person to person but if you can't see your abs, the problem is most likely a high body fat percentage.
Burning Body Fat
The body stores fat during a calorie surplus; a state in which you eat more calories than you burn. When you eat 2,000 calories per day and only burn 1,500, the extra 500 calories causes weight gain in the form of body fat or muscle. Without strength training, a calorie surplus is stored as fat. Strength training forces the body to use all or part of a calorie surplus to increase muscle mass, however, diets that facilitate muscle growth also typically lead to a higher body fat percentage.
A calorie deficit is the only tool that successfully burns fat; a state in which you burn more calories than you eat. When you eat 2,000 calories per day and burn 2,500, you have created a deficit of 500 calories. The deficit of energy typically comes from stored fat, and over time, decreases your body fat percentage and increases muscle tone. You can create a a calorie deficit by eating less, exercising more or a combination of both.
Exercises that target the abdominal muscles (sit ups, crunches, leg raises) are great for increasing strength but do little to burn fat. Fat is the reason most people do not have a visible six pack. Remember, spot reducing (eliminating fat from a specific area of the body) is impossible. You can only burn fat all over, not from a specific area.
Workouts that burn a lot of calories (and lead to a reduction in body fat) include cardio (running, sports and swimming), compound strength training exercises (bench press, squats, dead lifts and rows) and circuit training (workouts that combine elements of cardio and strength training into one session with little or no rest between sets). Ab-targeting exercises are important to building a six pack but they should not be the foundation of your routine.
The Bottom Line
A healthy lifestyle built on enough exercise and a solid diet (appropriate calorie intake) is the best way to get toned all around. The articles in this guide will get you started on creating an exercise routine, diet and overall lifestyle conducive to attaining and maintaining a perfect six pack.
How to Get Abs The definition of your abdominal muscles is largely dependent on how low your body fat is. The less body fat you carry, the more defined your abdominal muscles look. Your body stores fat on top of muscle. The solution to this is creating an environment in which your body can start burning fat for energy.
Truth About Abs Getting a six pack seems like the ultimate way to show everyone you're healthy and in shape. To help you achieve this milestone, there are plenty of diets, books and contraptions out on the market. But do any of these solutions actually work? Here's the actual truth.
Love Handles Workout Love handles form when your body stores energy as fat above your hips. To get rid of them you will need to burn this fat by doing exercise that uses a lot of calories.
Love Handles Diet Love handles are located above the hips in people that have a high body fat percentage. A calorie restricted diet will force your body to burn fat stores which will also get rid of those pesky love handles.
Abs Diet Most people think that doing thousands of sit ups and crunches will give them a perfect midsection. Unfortunately for most people, this won't work. To get a nice set of abs you have to work hard in the gym as well as the kitchen.
Abs Exercise Routine The hardest part to starting an exercise routine is actually committing yourself to doing so. Once you're sure that you want to add exercise into your daily life, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
Does the 4 minute abs program work? A defined and chiseled midsection is seen as the pinnacle of health, and as a result, there are countless diets, workout plans and products promising a quick path to a perfect six pack. As always, it is difficult to differentiate between valuable and junk products. There are many factors involved in body fat reduction and these quick ab programs are not all inclusive solutions.
What is the best way to get a set of six pack abs? A perfect midsection is one of the most sought after goals in the fitness world. It is also one of the hardest because of both the diet and exercise sacrifices needed to get there. While difficult, getting a six pack is not impossible. It simply takes time, dedication and the right steps.
Do those home ab machines sold on infomercials work? You've seen all those infomercials that sell those peculiar looking contraptions that are supposed to give you a six pack. They promise results within weeks and show you before and after pictures of happy customers.
How can I get rid of my love handles? The term love handle refers to fat that accumulates on both sides of the body above the hips. This area of fat is a wide spread problem with no easy solution.
Top 5 Foods for your Abs Getting a perfect set of abs is difficult for a lot of people. The process however, is fairly straightforward. Everyone has a set of abs. Unfortunately, the body loves to store fat in your midsection and as a result, any definition is obscured. The solution is to force your body to burn that excess fat by creating a calorie deficit - burning more than you eat. When you burn more than you eat, your body is forced to make up the shortfall of energy by drawing on fat stores which causes weight loss and increased muscle definition. Here are a few food selections that can make this process faster.
Top 5 Ab Myths, Misconceptions and Mistakes A defined set of six pack abs sets you apart from the average person. A toned midsection shows you exercise regularly, eat a clean diet and care about your overall health. Society's fascination in getting a perfect midsection has led to an almost unlimited amount of bad information on the subject.
Top 5 Reasons You Don't Have a Six Pack So you're wondering why you don't have a perfect midsection? You can start with your exercise routine (or lack of one) and work your way over to the kitchen to check out your eating habits. These two factors are the biggest reasons why people can't seem to get that toned body.
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BMI Calculator This tool will calculate your body mass index (BMI) which is a good indicator of a healthy weight range.