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Simple 5-Step Tutorial To Reveal Your 6-Pack Fast

Simple 5-Step Tutorial To Reveal Your 6-Pack Fast

There’s a lot of conflicting information on the internet about how to reveal your abs. Some say you have to eat no carbs. Some say you have to do 100 crunches every day. Some say you have to eat only clean foods.

None of that is true. It’s actually simpler than you think.

1. Learn How Fat Loss Works

6-pack

    The first thing you need to know is that your abs will not show unless you first make changes to your diet. Ever hear the saying “abs are made in the kitchen?” It has been popularized because nutrition is the single most important factor when it comes to revealing those 6 small bumps that men and women alike inexplicably drool over.

    You don’t have to do anything as drastic as eating a zero carb diet. While this works for some, it is 1) typically not the best method considering it’s a tough diet to stick to long term, and 2) no fun.

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    In order to reveal your 6-pack, you need to decrease your body fat percentage. In order to decrease your body fat percentage, you need to lose weight — and not just any weight. You want to lose fat while maintaining your lean body mass. This can be accomplished by consuming fewer calories than you burn throughout the day (this leads to weight loss) and following a high-protein diet* (this helps your body maintain it’s lean mass). Doing so forces the majority of the weight you lose to come from fat stores.

    *I suggest 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight

    2. Cut Out The Junk

    cut out junk food

      Yes, you can eat a high-protein diet that puts you in a calorie deficit while eating junk food. Junk food is just less filling and craving-inducing. Your life will be much easier — not to mention healthier — if you make clean food choices most of the time. These include fresh fruits & vegetables, nuts, meats, and dairy.

      200 calories of cake and 200 calories of fruit will have a similar outcome at the end of the day when it comes to your weight. Therefore, I do recommend including an occasional treat if it promotes sustainability and diet retention. Just try to eat healthy most of the time while sticking to your daily calorie goal; it will curb your hunger and keep you more satisfied.

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      If you stall losing weight, simply decrease your daily calorie intake or perform more physical activity.

      3. Perform Cardio

      cardio for abs

        Remember how I said you need to consume fewer calories than you burn? Cardio is the fastest way to burn more calories. This, in effect, allows you to eat more while also losing more fat. Studies have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns a similar amount of calories as moderate intensity cardio, but promotes a small increase in lean muscle mass. That means high-intensity cardio will decrease your body fat percentage a little bit faster than low-to-moderate intensity cardio.

        Try jump roping or sprints — anything that will get you pushing your max heart rate quickly and in short bursts. Intervals of 20 seconds of high-intensity work followed by 40 seconds of rest for 10-15 minutes is plenty to get the fat melting off.

        4. Lift Weights

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        how to get a 6 pack

          What does lifting weights have to do with revealing your abs? A whole lot. Resistance training is one of the best possible things you can do to decrease your body fat percentage. It burns calories to help you lose weight and promotes lean body mass retention (and even growth in some cases) when eating in a calorie deficit. Also, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns at rest — AKA you’ll lose fat even faster.

          Find a good lifting routine that hits all of your major muscles. Compound movements such as squats and deadlifts provide the best bang for your buck. Lifting weights 4-6 times per week will maximize your lean body mass and reveal those abs even sooner.

          5. Exercise Your Abs!

          ab exercises
            pennstatenews THON Fitness Class 005 via photopin

            Now that your nutrition and exercise are on track, you need to make sure you actually have abs to show!

            Well, that’s only half true. Everyone has abs under the belly fat. In fact, you can have a 6-pack without ever doing a single abdominal exercise.

            So, why work your abs if you can get a 6-pack without exercising them? Answer: working your abs will make them thicker and harder, causing them to poke through the belly fat much sooner and with less dieting.

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            Find a good ab routine and make sure you’re hitting both your Rectus abdominis and Transverse abdominis. The function of the Rectus abdominis is spinal flexion, AKA crunching motions. The Transverse abdominis is a flat layer underneath the Rectus abdominis; you can work it with planks.

            You can find a list of over 100 full ab workouts that are guaranteed to work up a burn here.

            And that’s it! It takes time to reveal your 6-pack, so follow these 5 steps and be patient. Those starting with a lower body fat percentage will be able to achieve chiseled abs sooner than those starting with a high body fat percentage. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you would like. Learn to love the process and you’ll reach your goal in no time.

            More by this author

            Drew Kocak

            Online Personal Trainer / Fitness Blogger

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            Last Updated on September 4, 2020

            How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

            How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

            There’s a lot of confusion, mystery, and desperation around how to lose fat and gain muscle. We applaud body transformation pictures we see on Instagram, Facebook, and magazine covers but are never able to replicate the results ourselves.

            Well, that mystery is over because I will tell you exactly how to achieve those results in this article.

            The journey to getting there is straightforward but not easy. Most people give up too early in the game, when they stop making visible progress.

            Keep reading to learn how to utilize your metabolism and the laws of muscle building to lose fat and gain muscle fast.

            Skyrocket Your Metabolism to Lose Fat

            Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time is one of the biggest misunderstandings of body transformations because they are opposite metabolic processes.

            To lose fat, you must have calorie deficits each day, and to gain muscle, you must be in a caloric surplus, but you cannot do both at the same time.

            When you look at pictures, it looks like it can be done simultaneously, but what is actually happening is a change in fat and muscle percentages.

            If your weight stays the same through your journey, and you lose body fat, your percent of lean muscle mass automatically goes up by default. You didn’t gain any muscle, but your fat and muscle ratio percentages have shifted.

            Calculating Your Calories to Lose Fat

            There are many good calorie calculators out there that will give you an estimate on how much to eat to start losing fat for weight loss. You usually need to cut about 10 to 15% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calories to start the process.

            You can find a visual explanation of TDEE below[1]:

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            Use TDEE to learn how to lose fat and gain muscle.

              Remember that the calculators are just an estimate. It’s up to you to track your measurements and to adjust your caloric intake to ensure you’re getting the results you’re looking for.

              Metabolism calculators take into account four different ways your body burns calories to come up with your TDEE, or how many calories you burn in a day:

              • Resting metabolic rate
              • Thermic effect of food
              • Thermic effect of activity
              • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis

              Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

              This is your baseline metabolism at rest, or how many calories your body needs to survive if you spent the entire day lying in bed awake.

              RMR accounts for about 60 to 75% of your total daily energy expenditure. Your RMR is mostly determined by how much you weigh.

              A heavier person has a higher RMR than a lighter person, even if the lighter person has a higher lean muscle mass, because the metabolism of muscle only contributes to about 20% of your total RMR energy expenditure[2].

              Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

              You’ve heard that to lose weight and gain muscle, you should be eating lots of protein. This is true for a number of reasons:

              • Lowers your intake of other types of foods, like processed carbs.
              • Increases satiety, so you continue to feel fuller, longer.
              • The building blocks for your muscles are found in protein.

              About 30% of the calories from protein intake are burned off during the digestion process, which includes absorption and waste removal of it. Eating more protein as opposed to other macros increases the amount of calories burned during digestion. That’s why you feel fuller with a higher protein diet.

              Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA)

              The calories burned in TEA are relatively minor in your entire TDEE equation. TEA is any calories burned during official exercise, like going to the gym, doing an aerobics class, or going for a run. It covers any exercise you do outside of your normal activities.

              Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

              The calories burned in NEAT is the big game changer for most people and can vary up to 2000 calories burned per day between people with identical RMRs[3].

              For the majority of us, when we’re done with our workouts for the day, we don’t do much else for movement. We spend about an hour in the gym, and instead of using the other 15 hours awake as an opportunity to move and burn more calories, we spend it sitting.

              This is how there can be such a big difference between the amount of calories burned between two people who have the same RMR.

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              Outside of your gym workout, any additional body movements count towards burning additional calories. The quickest way to add this to your day is to make everything you do as inconvenient for yourself as possible.

              Examples of inconvenient activities that count towards NEAT include:

              • Taking the stairs versus the elevator
              • Parking farther away
              • Getting up to change the TV channel versus using the remote
              • Pacing and walking while on a phone call instead of sitting down

              Increasing your NEAT goes a long way to helping your burn calories faster, leading to quicker fat loss. For more ideas on how to make life a little more inconvenient to up your activity level, check out this article.

              The Laws of Building Muscle

              Congrats on reaching the stage where you want to tone and get some definition! Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle isn’t an easy process, so if you’ve taken it on, that’s a huge step.

              To build muscle, first you want to increase your calorie intake.

              Based on your TDEE, you want to add about 10% more calories as a starting point. This is enough calories to build muscle, and any excess can lead to fat storage if you’re not training hard enough or aren’t active enough.

              Again, be sure to track your measurements and adjust your calories if necessary.

              Second, follow a muscle-building program that you can sustain for at least 3 to 6 months.

              Consistency is key with building muscles because they need to be stimulated and broken down on a regular basis in order to build back up. You want to strength train at least twice a week for at least an hour each time to start getting results.

              Of course, more often is better but requires better planning and a more complicated body parts training plan. So, start simple if you’re a novice. It’s not necessary to train 6 times a week unless you’re training for a competition.

              Progressive Overload

              Muscle needs to be challenged in order to grow. You need to gradually and consistently increase the amount of load and volume you are lifting.

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              Load means the amount of weight you’re lifting during weight training. Up to a certain point, it becomes unrealistic to keep adding pounds to each exercise every week, at which point you need to switch exercises and work on your weaker points to break that plateau.

              However, the goal with load is to keep increasing the amount of weight you lift.

              Increasing the volume you do is another method to progressive overload. Volume means the total number of reps for that specific exercise. If you’re doing 3 sets of 12 reps, it means you’ve done a total of 36 reps.

              But increasing volume doesn’t mean doing super high reps of 20+ unless you’re training your muscle for endurance versus strength.

              You want to use a challenging weight and be able to lift more of it each week through increased reps and sets.

              Here is a visual explanation of how you can engage in progressive overload[4]:

              PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS by @jmaxfitness - Visit the link in my bio to claim your free 1-week muscle bu… | Muscle, Gain muscle, Weight training workouts

                Training Intensity

                Paying attention to what you’re doing is required if you want to lose fat and build muscle because you want to build and improve the mind-muscle connection to optimize growth.

                A healthy mind-body connection means you’re able to better feel your muscles working during each lift.

                You know you’ve picked the right weight when the last 2 to 3 reps of your intended rep range is challenging. On occasion, you want to push past the burn and muscle fatigue for the last reps.

                This little bit of pushing past the discomfort is the difference between an average body and a body with more definition. Lifting almost to failure increases muscle recruitment, metabolic stress, and anabolic recruitment to grow muscles.

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                Proper Recovery

                This is the most overlooked aspect of building muscles. We focus too much on pre/post workout meals, macro tweaking, and supplements, forgetting that we already have the ultimate tool for recovery: our own body.

                For best recovery practices, allow at least a day, but no more than 3 days of rest between workouts that stress the same muscle group. Overtraining results in diminished exercise capacity, possible injury, and illness.

                Remember, muscles are broken down in the gym and built outside of it during recovery.

                Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and be mindful of your stress levels to optimize recovery time. A lack of sleep and excess stress will spike cortisol levels, leading to hunger cravings, decrease regulation of burning fat, and cause faster aging.

                You can learn how to lower your stress levels fast here.

                Stop Program Hopping

                Every day, there is new workout, new exercise, new program on a website, in a magazine, or in your social media feed. No wonder we’re tempted to try a little bit of everything!

                Frequent program hopping stops you from getting any results.

                When you change programs too often, you don’t make progress on each exercise. It becomes hard to gauge whether you’re getting stronger or even getting results because you’re not allowing enough time for your body to adapt.

                Strength is a skill that needs to be built and developed by practicing it consistently. If you’re changing the skill set too often, you won’t know if you’re improving, and, therefore, cutting yourself short of future muscle gains.

                Conclusion

                The steps to losing fat and gaining muscle are simple, but the journey to get there is not.

                Tracking and measuring your calories is the quickest way to lose fat, along with increasing your activity level outside of the gym. Having a stronger, more toned body can be yours when you follow the laws of building muscles consistently.

                Applying these methods will guarantee that you get the results you’re after!

                More on How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

                Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Cheat Day Design: What is TDEE?
                [2] International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Determinants of energy expenditure and fuel utilization in man: effects of body composition, age, sex, ethnicity and glucose tolerance in 916 subjects
                [3] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: Variability in energy expenditure and its components
                [4] J Max Fitness: PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS

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