Public Body's Guide to Hot and Awesome Abs
Who doesn’t want to run slow motion down the beach like the opening sequence of Baywatch while everyone at the beach looks at you an wonders, “How did they get those gorgeous abs?....and why are they running in slow motion?” At Public Body, we always want to spread hotness and awesomeness around the world, and fab abs are definitely a part of that mission. Achieving God or Goddess status in the ab department is not about doing a million crunches, so we are sharing our favorite ab tips to support you on your quest for six-pack superstardom.
Abs Are Made in the Kitchen!
First and foremost, we have to talk about diet! Certain carbs will boost fat storage on top of your abs, so regardless of how many crunches you do, that layer will be there hiding all of your gorgeousness. Carbs to avoid are white bread, white potatoes, sodas, sports drinks, and table sugar. Instead, choose whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruits, vegetables, quinoa, beans and brown rice.
Start the Right Way!
Speaking of diet, we also need to think about breakfast! Simply stated, eat a balanced breakfast! If you do, you can increase your metabolism by roughly 20-30%! A healthy metabolism = many steps closer to fab abs! Think egg whites, avocados and vegetable omelets.
Get off Tinder!
Ending the night the right way is just as important as starting it the right way, so be sure to get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep causes the body to release cortisol, a stress hormone that causes fat storage in your midsection, and will ultimately destroy your quest for delicious abs. Facebook and Tinder can wait until the morning! Go to sleep! Getting enough sleep (8-9 hours) will also allow the body to function at an optimum level which will result in a faster metabolism. Bonus!
First or Last?
So now that we have tackled some ways to support your core work, let’s get down to business and train your midsection effectively! There are lots of opinions about when to train your abs. Some say to do them first so that you don’t skip them at the end. While there is merit to this idea, especially for those of us who want to get home in time to watch reruns of The Real Housewives, consider the following. The abs stabilize your core, which allows you to produce greater force during your workout routine, whether it be leg day, chest and back day, etc. If you train your abs first, you fatigue them, which decreases your core stability, compromises form and safety, and your ability to generate force during your workout. Conversely, we want to work all muscles to fatigue. So if you train your abs last, you will still work them while lifting, then they will be well on their way to fatigue prior to you targeting them specifically with your ab routine at the end of your workout.
Slow and Easy is Better
…when working your abs. Like most strength training, we want to keep our muscles under tension for longer periods. This means flexing a body part, such as your abs, and holding that position. To do this, flex and tense for 6–10 seconds, then relax for 6–10 seconds. Repeat for 10–20 sets. You can apply this principle to most ab exercises, like crunches, leg lifts, Spiderman planks, and Russian twists.
Lift Heavy Sh**
Do you worry that if you do weighted ab exercises, your abs will become thick and blocky? Well your abs are muscles just like legs and biceps, so they need definition and separation to stand out. You use weights when working your biceps, right? So be sure to include weighted ab movements in the 8–10 rep range for optimal ab development, hotness and awesomeness.
Werk Yo’ Whole Body
The only way to achieve ultimate hotness and awesomeness is to reduce your total amount of body fat. Doing crunch after crunch will only condition the abs under the food baby! You simply cannot crunch the fat away. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and metabolic conditioning are widely considered to be effective for burning fat even well after exercising is finished. Metabolic exercise is also not aerobic exercise. If the body is not being pushed into the aNaerobic zone (super-duper aerobic…technical term), you are not doing metabolic conditioning. It is not powerlifting or bodybuilding. If you are taking long rests between sets, not elevating your heart rate, and not feeling wiped after about 20-30 minutes, then you can be pretty sure you’re not doing metabolic exercise. Metabolic conditioning is about getting ripped, increasing endurance, improving performance, and especially burning the maximum amount of fat calories during a workout…. and for many hours after the workout. You spend periods of time in the aerobic zone and periods of time above the lactate threshold. You do both cardiovascular training and resistance training simultaneously. You simultaneously exert many muscles by moving up, getting down, exploding through a set of squats, nailing as many push-ups as you can, and blasting through a 1-minute sprint. All of this is done with little rest between exercises. Sometimes, you carry weights and sometimes your body will be your weight. Bottom line is, work your whole body hard to burn fat and let your luscious abs show through! Get hot! Get awesome! Love, Public Body