There are many myths regarding how to get abs. Some people are led to believe that thousands of repetitions are required every day in order to get them to show. Others believe that the secret must be some exercise that successful bodybuilders keep to themselves. The truth of the matter is that getting abdominals is a combination of the following:
- A Balanced Fat Burning Bodybuilding Diet. I have a saying that "abs are built in the kitchen". The truth is that no matter how many abdominal exercises you do, or for how many repetitions, if you do not follow a bodybuilding diet that emphasizes fat burning you will never get to see your abs. If you go to an anatomy class in college, you'll see that even without exercise, everybody has a great set of abs. However, they are covered by a layer of fat and water. In order for you to be able to see your abs, you need to get your body fat to be low enough for the abs to show. For men this comes out to be a body fat level below 10% body fat and for women below 13%. Typically, guys that have a well defined "six pack" hover at around 6-7% body fat and women at 11-12%.
A great diet consisting of 40% carbs, 40% proteins, and 20% good fats works best for the purposes of losing body fat. Since you are focused on reducing body fat, dairy products and fruits need to be eliminated at this time; not because they are not healthy, but due to the fact that the type of simple carbs contained in these foods may slow down fat loss.
Carbs should come mainly from complex slow releasing sources such as oatmeal, grits, brown rice, sweat potatoes in combination with fibrous sources such as green beans and broccoli. Proteins should come from chicken, turkey, tuna, and lean red meats. Fats should come from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources. Canned extra virgin olive oil and flax seed oil should be the main sources of these.
For more information on this topic, please take a look at my Bodybuilding Diets Guide.
- Enough Cardio built into the program to start the fat loss process and burn some extra calories. 20-30 minutes, 3 times a week at a challenging pace should start producing results. For those of us with a slower metabolism, we may need up to 45 minutes 6-7 times a week.
For more information on this topic, please take a look at my Cardiovascular Workouts Page.
- A Good Weight Training Routine that has you in the gym for 45-60 minutes four to five times a week. After all, you do not want to just have abs without a good physique to carry them, right?
Take a look at the section that talks about Selecting A Training Routine on my Bodybuilding Guide in order to select a routine that is best suited for your bodybuilding goals and training experience.
- An Abdominal Training Program that is performed at least 3 times a week. A good abdominal training routine serves to strengthen and tone the ab muscles thus giving them a firm and hard look once you are able to see them. For good examples of abdominal routines, please see the articles below:
Bonus: Bodybuilding Supplements For Abs
Are there any bodybuilding supplements that can help a bodybuilder get abs? If the advice provided above is not followed, then no supplements that you take may help you in your quest for good abs. However, assuming that you are following all of the advice provided above, there are a few supplement stacks that may indeed improve your metabolism and help you in your quest for better abs.
For more information on these types of supplements, please take a look at the following:
About The Author
Hugo Rivera, About.com's Bodybuilding Guide and ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, is a nationally-known best-selling author of over 8 books on bodybuilding, weight loss and fitness, including "The Body Sculpting Bible for Men", "The Body Sculpting Bible for Women", "The Hardgainer's Bodybuilding Handbook", and his successful, self published e-book, "Body Re-Engineering". Hugo is also a national level NPC natural bodybuilding champion. Learn more about Hugo Rivera.