|Disclaimer: I am not a professional PT or nutritionist, advice given in this post are purely from my own experiences|
Many people have the illusion that getting good abs entails not eating, but such perception is completely untrue. In my ‘Strong Not Skinny’ post I mentioned that a lot of people in the past often thought that I was skinny because I never ate. More recently I have been accused that my abs are photoshopped (which is ridiculous because photoshopping abs without making it look obvious is physically impossible). So I’m not entirely sure why ‘being slim’ or ‘having abs’ will always be subject to the degrading stigma of ‘not eating’ or ‘being photoshopped’. Often in my life I have come to the terms that ‘I will never win’ when it comes to public opinion, but the most important thing is to be happy in your body and that is why I will always be a winner in my eyes. So, what’s the secret to having abs?
|Above: condition after lifting lighter weights, high reps|
Moderation and patience is key. My abs have not miraculously appeared after a couple of sessions in the gym, it has taken 2 years to get into my current condition. Sure, I probably would of got there quicker with a much stricter diet but for me, I didn’t want to lose my love for the gym and exercise. Abs are muscles which need to be grown through reps and resistance, so I am afraid just using treadmills and cross trainers are out of the equation when it comes to building. The best way to train abs is slowly whilst focusing on contractions- this can also be done through squatting or lifting weights in an arm session. Engaging your core is key. I also like to incorporate weight into simple ab exercises, for example, lifting a 10kg plate whilst doing sits ups on an Ab Bench. Overall I have seen huge improvements in my abs since lifting heavier weights and enduring an ‘ab workout’ does not necessarily mean doing a 100 crunches, you are probably better off squatting whilst keeping your abs tight. Just check out my before picture (above) and after picture (below), it shows the difference between lifting lighter weights to heavier.
|Above: condition after lifting heavier weights, high reps|
So how often a week do I train my abs a week? Probably only once or twice. This is because I also engage my abs in leg, arm and shoulder exercises (for example). There is never a session that goes by where I do not keep my abs tight- it’s like I am always exercising two muscle groups at the same time. As there are different muscle groups of the abdominals, it is also important to incorporate different exercises which targets those areas. A good example would be oblique crunches to work the obliques and leg raises to work the lower abdominals. A few months a go I published ‘My Ab Routine’ on YouTube where I demonstrate (on the beach) a few of my favourite exercises which targets these areas. Click here to check that out or you can simply follow my current ‘go to’ ab exercise routine:
– x20 10kg crunches on the ab bench
– x20 10kg ab twists on the ab bench
– x40 pulsing ab crunches on the ab bench
– x20 (each side) full oblique circles on the ab bench
– x15 (each side) 5kg half oblique circles on the ab bench
– x20 weighted v-sit ups
-x20 weighted toe touch sit ups
x20 (each side) oblique crunches
x50 leg raises (not putting your hands on your bum but to your sides)
-x50 russian twists using a 8kg kettle bell
– For fun, grab your partners ankles and get them to throw your legs (side to side, front to front) and also do some scissor kicks… your abs will be in pain!
|Above: click on the thumbnail to check out my Ab Routine|
Whilst I have a clean diet, I sure do love a cheeky GBK, Indian or a few Harribo whilst I edit a YouTube video, but I would have to say that diet it 80% of what it takes to get a 6 pack (ever heard of that saying that ‘abs are made in the kitchen’). Now sadly I do not have a 6 pack (more of a 4) but I truly believe that if my diet was extremely strict, it could be possible for me to have one. But for me portion control, drinking water and eating a high protein diet is the essential ingredients to good abs. Typically in a day I would eat the following:
– Breakfast: Omlette or a high protein yoghurt with blueberries
– Snack: nuts or a banana (or both!)
– Lunch: Tuna crunch with avocado, cous cous and sweet corn (a dab of mayo never hurt anyone)
Snack: high protein bar which is low in sugar
– Protein shake within half an hour after a workout
Dinner: anything from chicken, rice, mince meat, steak, vegetable etc…
Supplements: now I do take natural supplements and you can read about them by clicking here. I do not take fat burners as I do not believe in them.
But don’t stress out if you have a mince pie or a burger for dinner, it’s all about moderation. I mean if you have bad food all the time abs would probably not be possible, but just relax and enjoy yourself (I do and I have abs!). Now before I go on holiday or if I’m cutting up for a photoshoot, I do tend to increase my cardio in my daily workouts. I usually like to incorporate interval training or HIIT workouts or fasted cardio (for 30 minutes) in the mornings. This is where the treadmill and cross trainer is good for abs *smiley emoji*.
Do you have any secrets/or tips when it comes to having abs?
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Eltoria- South West Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger and South West YouTuber
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