It’s not gonna be easy…
Summer may be over, but your journey to fitness and washboard abs has just begun. Fitness cliche as it may be, summer bodies are indeed made in the winter. Well in this case, you can start early and begin your quest for a killer six pack this fall.
While we could have just read up on fad diets and Biggest Loser tips to get our 6-pack of knowledge, we decided to reach out to someone who knows what they’re talking about firsthand. So we spoke with Dr. Christopher Austin, who currently works at the US Athletic Training Center in Midtown Manahattan, and is both a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
Here’s what your intense ab training should consist of if you want to see results…
Frequency, Intensity, Duration
Increase the frequency, the intensity, and the duration. If you do all 3, you will be ahead of the game. Dr. Austin recommends 3-5 days per week of physical activity, moderate-high intensity (meaning quick pace, keeping rest breaks 30-90s), and a duration of 30 or more minutes.
If you’re moving quickly you can get a lot done in 30 minutes. The more intense the workout for 3 days per week. 5 days per week if the intensity is reduced. It really depends on your goals and what kind of shape you are starting out in.
As a general rule though, if you are working out less than 3 days per week, it will be tough to achieve those washboard abs. If you are resting or taking time off from working out for 3-4 days you will already be losing those strength gains you made on your previous workout.
Dr. Austin suggests checking out this video for a great quick routine.
Specific Core Stabilizing
When it comes to the routines or particular exercises that get the best results for washboard abs, it’s all about strengthening your core. Dr. Austin confirms this saying, “Any movement pattern that forces you to brace your core and draw all those abdominal muscles in tight (like a tourniquet) can be very beneficial.”
“I prefer the exercises that force these holds like planks, side planks, bridges. Yoga is great and the classes that incorporate fast paced holds and movements are awesome. It is not all slow stretching. Moving through each one with minimal rest and progressing the amount of time you hold the position will gradually make you stronger.”
“Planks can be made more challenging by putting your feet on an uneven surface or putting your hands on a balance board. Start with a traditional plank and then work yourself up to uneven surfaces/soft surface/rubber discs etc. Bridges can be done with feet on a bosu ball for a greater challenge and working up to single leg bridge on a bosu ball with the opposite leg held off the ball (very difficult to maintain balance if you don’t use your hands),” Austin told us.
Getting a six-pack isn’t just about strength and conditioning workouts, what you eat plays a big part as well.
Dr. Austin advises, “Eating a proper diet can go a long way. Keep your sugar intake low, keep your processed carbs (breads etc) low… if you don’t think you are getting enough vegetables [you can supplement your diet] with all green powders.”
Editors note: We recommend these ones.
Smoothies are also an excellent way to get your much-needed nutrients. Having a healthy smoothie in the morning is beneficial and can get your day off to a healthy start. Plus it’s quick, easy, and the best possible alternative to your current strawberry filling Poptart.
Want more tips on getting killer abs? Read this entire article in its original posting on Lifetailored.com