Wednesday, 21 August 2013

How To Get Abs!


"Oh what it would be like to have a flat stomach and a 6 pack!" I think every single one of you has dreamt about this at some point and has believed and tried "If I just do crunches than I will have abs in 6 weeks" yet you don't see anything and your stomach still isn't flat this is because getting abs is not that simple! However it is possible to have abs and this is your guide on how to get them!

How do I get abs?
Everyone has ab muscles whether it's hidden under a layer of fat or your skinny and need to build them up. Having abs mostly comes from diet but building your core muscles up and training them just like any other body part is important because when you are strong from your core it makes you stronger in everything else you do as your core is your foundation of strength. I would suggest training them a couple of days a week with days of rest between to allow them to rest and recover. They will also get a workout from other parts of your workouts from squats, bench press etc as they are your foundation of strength and are used in a lot of exercises.

Help! I can feel my abs but have fat covering them: To be able to see your abs you need to have a low enough body fat percentage. Women start to see their abs around 17% body fat (this also depends on genetics too). Around 20% for women is the ideal body fat for health. As women we naturally need and store more fat on us than men for our hormones to function normally and to have children. I would recommend not going lower than 15% body fat for women unless you are competing as this puts you at risk of losing your period which can lead to not being able to have children and also developing osteoporosis as dieting to get to lower body fat not only loses fat but some muscle and bone density as well. Losing your period is your bodies way of telling you that you are unhealthy and it can't carry out its normal functions. In saying that there is a way to still look bad ass and be healthy at the same time but it's finding a balance. Your abs may not be completely shredded but you still see some definition and you are healthy which is vitally important. I personally start to see nice ab definition around 18.5% but every ones bodies are different.

For guys to see your abs you need to be around 10%. Guys have a different range of body fat which is lower as you are not designed to carry children. Although for guys I would recommend not going below 7% as you still need a certain amount of fat to keep you healthy and carrying out daily functions. 

How do I drop body fat?  Getting abs mostly comes from your diet because you need to get to the body fat percentage where you can see your abs to do that you have to be eating the right foods and amounts. Dropping body fat is where what is know as a cutting phase comes in where you eat around 300-500 under your daily maintenance calories, eat fewer carbs and more protein. Check out my post on Bulking and Cutting Phases to learn and understand more about gaining muscle and dropping body fat. If you are skinny and need to build muscle or are what is known as "skinny fat" dropping body fat is not your answer... you need to build muscle which consists of eating more with the right training program for your muscles to grow bigger and stronger, if you are "skinny fat" you will find that you body fat will come down a bit and you will see some definition. It took me 6 months into my training journey before I saw ab definition and I had put on around 6kg! 

I hate to burst any happy bubbles of going and getting a machine off a TV commercial and having abs in 2 months. It doesn't work like that! If you happen to have amazing genetics or already have the muscle there and just need to drop some body fat you will be able to see your abs within a few months if you eat and train right. Getting and maintaining abs takes a combination of training, eating right and time. When you first start to see an outline of your abs it's such an exciting feeling! In that first stage and even when you can fully see your abs there will be some days where they will be popping out and other days where they will be hidden this is because things like sodium and water retention all effect the body with bloating. Having abs is possible and it's going to take hard work, clean eating and determination but it's worth it and it's such a wonderful feeling when you see those little babies coming through! ;)

One of my favourite body parts to train is abs so here is some of my favourite ab exercises!

My Top 5 Exercises For Abs!

1. Planks

2. Reverse Crunches

3. Bicycle Crunches

4. Hanging Leg Raises

Most gyms will have a machine with an arm rest which you can perform an easier version of this exercise

5. Dumbbell Side Bends

Remember getting abs is going to take time but it's all a journey and each little step in your journey you make is going to help you get there and soon enough you'll be rocking them abs!

With love
Rainbow :) xoxo 

1 comment: