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3 Requirements For Defined Abs

guss

guss

MuscleHead
Aug 11, 2010
380
179
#1
If you had that elusive six-pack, that apparently unachievable flat stomach and defined abs, you wouldn't be reading this, would you? There's nothing mysterious about getting ab muscles firm and fit, though there are many myths about working the abdominal area. It is true that there's a lot more to muscular, sharp abs than simple crunches. There are several probable causes if your abs aren't all you would like them to be:

1. Body fat percentage
2. Incorrectly practicing abdominal movements
3. Genetics


You can't spot reduce. Men usually store fat around their waists, while women generally keep it around their hips. The best way to get and keep a washboard stomach is by following a low fat diet and doing plenty of aerobics. Crunches and side leg raises will build and strengthen the muscles, but will not make them appear through the layer of fat between them and the skin.

The first requirement for getting defined abs is setting your goals. Once a goal is decided upon there are three components that will need to be addressed: resistance training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition. Resistance training includes lifting free weights with barbells, dumbbells, weight-resisted machines, or resisted bands. When resistance training, muscle groups should be trained 1-3 times per week with at least 48 hours break between workouts.

The next important part of the equation is cardiovascular exercise. This is any exercise that stresses the heart, lungs and circulatory system, and includes walking, running, swimming or biking.

You also need a good weight-training routine, which takes several variables into consideration. The existing condition of your health should be the most important concern as this can have an effect on secondary factors like recovery ability, vulnerability to injury and overtraining, and physical limitation.

For instance, if a 35-year-old guy with a history of back trouble were to build a weight-training program the effectiveness of heavy squats in his leg program or deadlifts in his back program would be dubious. Abdominal workouts do not need to be done in the gym, contrary to what many believe. The best abdominal workouts you can possibly get are right in your own home, in fact. However, the solution to making your self-crafted ab workout turn your jelly belly into a blazing six-pack is the big "V." Variation. Blending several different movements and exercises with all sorts of variations in motion, speed and resistance can shock your midsection into the washboard of your desire.

The last and most important component for getting defined abs is nutrition. It doesn't matter how many hours you spend sweating in the gym – if you fail to adjust your eating behavior, poor food choices and amounts will bring your progress to a screeching halt. Buying food for you and your family appears easy enough. However, many people don't really know what they're eating, because they don't know how to read a food label and are fooled by the claims on the front of the package. The main mistake people make is not looking at the serving size. You can find the serving size listed directly under the "Nutrition Facts" on the food label.

Eating "smart" is not just about eating ONLY "healthy" food, eating a smaller amount of food, or eating certain kinds of food in certain combinations. A smart and healthful eating plan is one that highlights fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat or fat-free milk products.

Fruits: vary your fruit intake – it's okay to eat fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit.

Vegetables: think "color" – and take in more dark green and leafy dark green vegetables, and orange vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, squash and even sweet potatoes.

Calcium/milk products: try to get 3 cups of milk per day, or have the equivalent in low-fat yogurt or cheese.

Grains: go for at least 3 oz. of whole grain breads, cereals, rice or pasta each day.

Meat: protein is a very important part of your daily eating plan.

Why Are Flabby Abs A Problem In The USA?

Foodstuff is MUCH cheaper here.

No one walks or bikes anywhere.

People eat a lot of processed food.

Marketing forces are powerful, especially in the form of TV ads.

Practice conquering your urge to eat by opening the refrigerator and saying out loud, "I just can't stop myself from eating this food," and then close the door and walk away. Consequently you will show yourself that you can break your snacking tendency, and the more you do this little exercise, the more routine the act of shutting the fridge door will become.

Family obligations, full time employment and life in general can at times hinder your fitness, but with good planning you can still make time for training. Riding your bicycle or walking to work or school can be the best way to make time for keeping fit. It may be hard to get up for the additional travel time but the physical and psychological boost you will experience from it will pay big dividends.

Believe it or not, unsuccessful people are just as disciplined as successful people. You see, we always "intend" to take action when the idea strikes us. But if we don't convert that intention into real action fairly quickly, the urgency starts to weaken. So take action! You need to take the first step in the direction of your aspiration to have defined abs when your passion is soaring and the inspiration is strong, clear, and powerful.
 
AllTheWay

AllTheWay

TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
4,240
411
#3
i have always had abs even when my diet sucked, so i dont entirely agree. when i started this journey i was 32%bf and my abs were visible. even when i was eating over 3000 calories a day because i was too lazy to count calories i had visible abs. i think abs are first about genetics, than diet and working them depending on your genetics after that. i work mine every morning and all i ever do for them, atleast the past year and a half, is hanging leg raises.

people get too hung up on the how to get abs discussion. if you want them, work them and watch your diet and hope you have the genetics :D
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,187
#5
i have always had abs even when my diet sucked, so i dont entirely agree. when i started this journey i was 32%bf and my abs were visible. even when i was eating over 3000 calories a day because i was too lazy to count calories i had visible abs. i think abs are first about genetics, than diet and working them depending on your genetics after that. i work mine every morning and all i ever do for them, atleast the past year and a half, is hanging leg raises.

people get too hung up on the how to get abs discussion. if you want them, work them and watch your diet and hope you have the genetics :D


I think that at 32%bf, the fact that you were a woman, with genetics to store fat in your lower body first, had as much to do with still being able to see your abs as anything. Men and women, typically, will store their bodyfat predominantly in different areas: men around the waist, women in the butt and thighs. I'd venture to say that 99.99% of men, at 32%bf, would not be able to see ANY semblance of abs. Whereas many women, my wife included, who store fat in the butt and thighs first, may still be able to see abs at 20+% bodyfat (the fact that you could at 32% is amazing regardless of sex, nice genetics there). I agree with you that it is genetics, but more genetics for where bodyfat is stored.
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,252
2,532
#6
i have always had abs even when my diet sucked, so i dont entirely agree. when i started this journey i was 32%bf and my abs were visible. even when i was eating over 3000 calories a day because i was too lazy to count calories i had visible abs. i think abs are first about genetics, than diet and working them depending on your genetics after that. i work mine every morning and all i ever do for them, atleast the past year and a half, is hanging leg raises.

people get too hung up on the how to get abs discussion. if you want them, work them and watch your diet and hope you have the genetics :D
Someanddone basically summed it up. Everyone can have visible abs. Women for the most part don't hold fat in the abdomen region. They hold it in the hips and ass. Men hold it in the kidney (love handles) and the abdomen region. Genetics does play a role in where you hold your fat but saying that you have bad genetic and can't have visible abs is nothing more than a cop out. You get your bf% low enough and you'll have abs period. Abs are also over rated. It all depends on what sport you take part or compete in. If you lift for strength some cushion that a lil extra fat provides is essential to lifting heavy and avoiding injury. That doesn't give people excuses to be a fat ass but depending on your sport you may not be so worried about sporting abs.
 
Last edited:
tommyguns2

tommyguns2

Senior Moderators
Staff Member
Dec 25, 2010
4,512
1,754
#7
'The best way to get and keep a washboard stomach is by following a low fat diet and doing plenty of aerobics."

I don't agree with this statement. Proper diet is key, but for me, low carbs is much more important than low fat. And technically aerobics is OK if he means some time of aerobic activity. When I do circuit work with weights, I find that very aerobic, even anaerobic (sp?)
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,252
2,532
#8
'The best way to get and keep a washboard stomach is by following a low fat diet and doing plenty of aerobics."

I don't agree with this statement. Proper diet is key, but for me, low carbs is much more important than low fat. And technically aerobics is OK if he means some time of aerobic activity. When I do circuit work with weights, I find that very aerobic, even anaerobic (sp?)
That's a very good point. You need to consume healthy fats to burn fat. EFA's are essential for a reason.
 
ITAWOLF

ITAWOLF

VIP Member
Dec 9, 2010
1,008
422
#9
alot play into abs...ive seen guys that are below 15% that look ripped as hell but very little lower abs.....i dont work abs direct ..never have ....but i have a 8 Pack...with money makers...my abs are big as hell not flat at all...to see them is diet...but add in dna with diet and bam..u can see them like crazy...my top abs stick out ...i blame squats and boxing ....ATW has an awesome set and what works for her works
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Staff Member
Feb 27, 2011
17,069
4,627
#11
In the case of man vs. woman and bodyfat storage, you should also take into account that a woman at 10% bodyfat will look shredded and a man at 10% bodyfat just looks like he's "in good shape."

Brother Iron said it plainly "it all comes down to diet." And you can't get too specific about what that diet should look like. Some people can eat a diet of 60% carbs and stay lean. Not I.

Everyone should work to find that magical formula of a diet that works for them, whether it be low carb moderate fat and high protein, or vegetarian with low protein and high carbs with moderate fat!
 
AllTheWay

AllTheWay

TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
4,240
411
#12
if it all comes down to diet, why does mine suck and yet i could still see abs? and i know a ton of women who store most of their bodyfat in their abdominals. i agree that there are body types that store it differently but to say categorically that women store it in their ass and thighs and not their abs is not true.

i dont think there is any one right or perfect way that works. you just have to find what is your thing and do that!
 
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