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Getting Sexy Abs: 5 Simple Steps To Lean Abs

Updated on September 24, 2012

1. Space Your Meals

Instead of eating 3 squares a day, try spreading out your calories a little more by eating 5 smaller meals. You might not even have to eat less (depending on your current eating habits) to see results. Spacing out your caloric intake allows your body to use what it consumes very efficiently, greatly lowering the chances of fat storage.

Of course, this also relies heavily on what you eat. You can space your meals perfectly and still put on weight if the content of your food it poor. That brings us to the next step.

2. Consume the Right Carbs

Avoid sugars, starches, and basically any processed or refined food. These unnatural foods are usually full of sugars and starch, which shoot your blood sugar and insulin up out the roof. Free-floating ATP or energy results and then fat storage from that. Eating very clean (meaning natural or unprocessed) foods is the best way to go to avoid this. You also want to limit your grains, even whole wheat breads and pastas, as these foods, healthy as they may be will cause greater influxes in blood sugar than other options. Better sources for carbs include sweet potato and brown rice (cooking rice in a combination of chicken broth and water is quite tasty).

3. Perform Compound Exercises

Forget spot reduction- your attempts to burn fat off various places of your body through isolation techniques; this will not burn fat or get you ripped abs. Also, quite doing hours of endless cardio. A little cardio is all you need to complement the right resistance routine. And what is the right resistance routine? One that prioritizes compound movements, or exercises that use multiple muscle groups. This method is actually backed by science, and if performed correctly will get you lean faster than anything else. And what does correct performance look like? You want to perform a higher amount of repetitions with a lower amount of weight to stimulate muscle tissue without getting bulky. Great compound movements include: squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, rows, shoulder press, and many more. Notice how I left out ab exercises? Yeah that’s because abdominal exercises aren’t compound movements, and they won’t burn fat, not even off your belly. I know this might fly in the face of everything you’ve ever heard about losing stubborn belly fat, but look around. How many people do you know that have the kind of abs you want? Not many, right? So let’s trash the “common knowledge” for something that actually works. Now you can do ab exercises, but this should be to strengthen and build your ab muscles, not burn fat off of your tummy.

4. Don’t Over-Rely On Cardio-

I know I mentioned this in step 3, but it’s important enough to warrant a step all to itself. Cardio has its place in weight loss; it’s just not the most important part. I realize a lot of people would disagree with this statement; I’ve heard so many people say that doing cardio is the best way to burn fat. However, studies and experience show that you can more burn calories during and after exercise if you perform resistance training instead of cardio. And the reason is simple; you see after cardio, your body recovers quite quickly, allowing your metabolism to drop back to normal in a short amount of time. However, after resistance training your muscles must recover, not just your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. This takes up to 48 hours, and keeps the metabolism elevated until your muscles have recuperated adequately. This means that even while you’re asleep in bed your metabolism is active and using energy to rebuild muscle tissue. Cardio by itself just cannot provide this kind of effect. Your best bet is to perform cardio on your off days, given that you’re doing resistance training every other day. You want to be careful about doing cardio after resistance training though, because this can cause muscle wasting- not a good thing.

5. Be Patient and Don’t Give Up

If you’re like most people, it’ll take time to get lean, especially lean enough for your abs to show through. A lot of folks don’t have that washboard stomach because they don’t have the patience to stick with it long enough to see results. I’ve found that if I can persevere long enough to see at least some results, then that will provide me with the motivation to keep it up in the long run. Taking before and after pictures might also help, along with putting up pictures or posters of people that personify the body you’re working towards. Having a fitness partner can make a big difference. See if any of your friends are interested in working out with you. But the main thing to remember is that you determine the outcome. Taking these tips to heart and sticking with it will yield you a better body and those abs you’ve always wanted

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    • verbalstasis profile image

      Ice 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      You must put that work in, i've been researching things like this for weeks ...it all adds up

    • jclaffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Jesse Claffee 

      6 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      Hey Mark- I know; it is a very very common misconception that cardio is the best training method to burn calories. However, by performing resistance training, you put your muscles into "repair mode", in which your muscle use alot of energy to repair torn muscle fibers. This increases your metabolic rate around the clock (even when you're asleep!) for up to 48 hours and can contribute to fat burning if you watch you intake of fats and regulate carbohydrate consumption. If you need some additional info on exactly how to do that, feel free to visit my profile and check some of my other hubs. The "midsection" and "weightloss" articles would probably prove most helpful. Of course, if there's any particular question you have, I'd be happy to give it my best shot if you direct one to me. Good luck with your efforts!

    • Mark Hunt profile image

      Mark Hunt 

      6 years ago

      "...can more burn calories during and after exercise if you perform resistance training instead of cardio." very interesting. I didn't know that, I knew that Cardio isn't enough but I never understood why. I think I need to change my training plan.

    • jclaffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Jesse Claffee 

      6 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      Thanks again MundaneMondays!

    • profile image

      MundaneMondays 

      6 years ago

      Exactly people feel they can just drink a cup a day and it will do the trick, i reallt think it's a fat cutter. Putting in work and taking the time will have massive results. I appreciate this, my uncle has been fit his whole life, yet could never get a six pack. I think these tips will assist him. I went from a huge gut to a six pack in like 8 months, simply work, and dieting. As i say again very nice my dude.

    • jclaffee profile imageAUTHOR

      Jesse Claffee 

      6 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      MundaneMondays- yes I've heard both. I'm pretty sure the reasoning with the cider vinegar is based on the assumption that vinegar raises meabolic rate. I honestly don't know how true that is. If it is true, one obviously cannot rely on vinegar alone to achieve results! You must view it as a helpful tip, but nothing more. The olive oil is pretty much just a healthy source of fat, which is a must if you're cutting fried, greasy foods from you diet (and you should be). I think the tendency for most people is to rely on easy tips (like 'consume vinegar' or 'cook with olive oil') at the expense of smart exercise and disciplined eating. As you said, "putting in the work and consuming the right nutrients" is your basic formula for abs and overall better health. Thanks for posting, great insight!

    • profile image

      MundaneMondays 

      6 years ago

      Great, nice work, it's a race and a struggle for some to have nice abs, but putting in work and consuming the right nutrients will put you in play. I've heard that olive oil and i think apple cider vinegar worked on the six pack as well. Have you heard this ?

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