Exercising willpower for a six pack

ASK L.K. – Because life can get a little messy

By L.K. ELLIOTT, Connect Columnist

DEAR L.K. – 
I just turned 30 and want to celebrate by getting in the best shape of my life. I’ve never had abs before, so that is my goal: six pack abs by the time I’m 31! Do you have any advice for the best exercises for a six pack?
                                                                                                                                                    – Six Pack Sally

DEAR SIX PACK SALLY:

First off: Congratulations! That is one of the best celebrations for a thirtieth birthday I’ve ever heard. Bravo to you for making the rest of your life, the best of your life. Now to answer your question: there are a ton of ab workouts you could do, but the most important thing you need to exercise is your will power.

Believe it or not, you already have abs, they are just hidden under adipose tissue (fat).

Believe it or not, you already have abs, they are just hidden under adipose tissue (fat). No matter how hard you work your abs out in the gym, until you have lowered your body fat per cent, they will not be visible. (Read that last line again, because it’s critically important you understand that.)

To shed fat, you’ll need to burn more calories than you consume. It’s that simple. Don’t go with something too drastic because it won’t be healthy or sustainable. A 30-day diet will help you for 30 days, but what is going to happen after that?

Choose healthier options that you can sustain for life: eat whole grains vs. refined processed carbs like bread and pasta, drink more water, add more dark green vegetables to your diet and stick to lean protein when possible.

 

Choose healthier options that you can sustain for life: eat whole grains vs. refined processed carbs like bread and pasta, drink more water, add more dark green vegetables to your diet and stick to lean protein when possible.
Do some research online about macros and try to determine how much you should be eating for your current body weight.

To burn calories, you can combine weight training with cardio. But without a consistent and slightly restricted diet, you will not burn as much fat as you want to show off your hard work and muscles.

When it comes time to train abs, do a little research on the anatomy of your abs. You’ll find there are many aspects of it you’ll need to train to develop true core strength. There are variations of crunches that will activate the upper, middle, and lower parts of your abs. There are also your oblique’s on the side that will need some attention. Incorporating abs into your workouts can be done daily, or every other day. They are a strong muscle group that needs to be challenged if you want them stronger.

Working on holding a plank (push up position and hold) will keep the whole area strong, and I encourage getting out of your comfort zone and trying crunches on an exercise ball. To begin I would start without weight, and simply focus on your strength. There are so many angles and subtle changes to crunches and sit ups that will keep you busy, and as you gain strength start looking online for more advanced ab workouts. And be sure to work your lower back when you’re training abs, as it is a part of your “core belt”, but is often overlooked in ab development.

Sincerely, L.K.
L.K. Elliott is a local fitness guru turned self-help author. Send questions to L.K. on Twitter: @lkelliott_

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