By Danny Spicer
A ripped set of abs tops the list for what a man would change on their body, however there is a great deal of confusion surrounding how you actually go about getting six-pack abs.
Whilst you may want a strong core just so you can boast your washboard abs this summer, the abdominal muscles do have some functions which are vital to our day to day lives. Our abdominals main function is to help with our posture, aiding in the rotation of the spine and to support our spine from the front of our bodies. Without our abdominals we would not be able to support our spine and we would not even be able to stand up or bend over. Another vital function of the abs is to protect our vital organs and aid the breathing process; a strong core will be much more beneficial to you in the gym and could even save your life in the event of a high speed collision.
No matter how many sit ups, crunches or planks we do, it will not result in 6 pack abs. These exercises do not target belly fat like many people believe. It is impossible for our body to target certain areas for fat loss; it is generally evenly spread across our body. However this does not mean you shouldn’t train your abs at all. Building up your core will increase the size of your abdominals and will transfer strength onto your main compound movements such as the squat and the deadlift. A strong core is essential for these lifts and will reduce the risk of injury.
So how do I get a 6-pack?
If you want to show off your abs to the world but can’t seem to burn that last bit of fat, you should start paying closer attention to your diet. You have probably heard of the saying “Abs are made in kitchen!” and it is actually true. No matter how many crunches you do, it will not guarantee a ripped stomach. That is all down to body fat percentage!
The majority of men will have visible abs from below 12% body fat, whilst women will start to see theirs at around 16-17% body fat. However, this will be different for everyone depending on where your body’s stubborn areas are and depending on how much muscle you actually carry on your frame.
Diet is the biggest factor in getting visible abdominal muscles to show off at the beach. Making sure you are in a caloric deficit and eating fewer calories than your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) will ensure that you lose fat, revealing those abs! However, make sure you don’t drop your calories too low below your TDEE or your body will get rid of your hard earned muscle before it burns that fat. Try and aim for between 300-500 calories less than your TDEE to ensure sustainable fat loss of around 0.5-1lb a week and you will have a ripped stomach in no time!