Getting ripped abs is a process that takes lots of effort and individual experimentation to see how your body best reacts in terms of fat loss. However, the basic outline to build a set of great six pack abs is universal in its application. These tips should be incorporated into your own fitness regimen and should serve as the foundation to your journey towards ripped abs.
1. Say bye bye to sugar
Some people advocate getting rid of foods containing sugar entirely. However, I feel that the nutritional value of fruit will offset any potential obstacle for getting cut and would only become a real factor if you were eating a ton of fruit each day. The sugar I am talking about comes from processed snack foods and other ‘treats’ that have no real nutritional value and will only serve to hinder your fat loss.
2. Lots of water
It is extremely important to cut out useless calories that have no nutritional value and the easiest place to do so is by cutting out soda and alcohol. Just two sodas a day can add up to over 2,000 calories per week which is roughly a day’s worth of calories. Learn to love water and the health benefits that it can bring you.
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3. Eat 5-7 times per day and always have breakfast.
When trying to get ripped abs starving yourself is just about the worst thing you could do. Not eating will make your body not only try to preserve as much fat as possible you muscles will also start to atrophy. Having small meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism running high and at least for me really helps prevent cravings. I find that I am much more likely to stick with a diet if I allow myself little (healthy!) snacks throughout the day because on an empty stomach you’re that much more likely to make a poor food choice. Breakfast is also important in this respect, it can set the tone for the rest of the day and refuels your body after a good nights’ sleep where you were simply running off stored calories.
4. Tail off carbohydrates in the evening
You don’t want carbs getting stored as fat while you sleep so after about 8 or 9 PM eat very little to no carbohydrates. The exception to this tip is if you are working out at night then you should have your post-workout meal include lots of protein and some carbs. For example, you might have chicken breast or fish with some brown rice. At breakfast get your carbohydrates from something such as oats. If you are doing early morning cardio on an empty stomach then save you carbs for afterward and perhaps drink a protein shake before you workout so that your muscle mass is preserved.
5. High protein intake
Protein is very important to help build muscle mass which in turn burns more fat. To get a sculpted body you will need plenty of muscle because otherwise you will just appear to be really skinny instead of ripped. A good rule is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. Do not underestimate the importance of protein.
6. Workouts should include weights and cardio
Weightlifting is obvious if you want to get that cut look because it is the best way to shape your body and put on more muscle mass. Cardio on the other hand is important to burn fat. I like to mix up my cardio workouts with both shorter duration and high intensity exercises and on other days a longer cardio session. A great cardio workout I like to do on a treadmill is to walk briskly on an incline for 5 minutes and follow that with 5 minutes of running on a flat surface. The running is at a fast pace which keeps my heart rate up and the walking helps me to rest for the next run while still burning lots of calories.
Getting ripped abs is possible for anyone who is willing to put forth the effort. However, effort alone will not get you anywhere if you do not have a solid foundation on which to build a plan. These tips are a great outline for you to use as a jumping off point and you can quickly turn them into a more specific and individualized plan.