Abs: Crunch v Munch
Perhaps the most longed after of all muscle groups, a set of perfect abs is, to many, the pinnacle of their health and fitness goals. But how do we reach these heights? How do we get a great set of abs, and what’s the trade of between diet and exercise? In this article we look at all of the issues, and we highlight the relative importance of the crunch (workouts) against the munch (diet).
There might be some time to go before summer comes around again, but that time should be used wisely. You need to formulate and document a plan of action and start implementing it now. Getting a great 6-pack isn’t easy, otherwise we’d all have them. The time to start is yesterday.
If you have belly fat, then you will never see your abs, regardless of how hard you train them. In fact you need a body fat percentage of around 10% or less, and that in itself is not any easy thing to achieve.
If you are not watching what you eat and drink (they are called beer bellies for a reason), then you may as well forget your dream 6-pack. Diet is probably considered the number one factor when it comes to abs. You need to eat clean, and watch those…
You need to be calorie deficient to lose weight i.e. burn more than you consume. So start by working out how many you eat and how and you expend exercising. Then try to get to a deficiency of around 500 per day which should lose you 1lb of fat per week. Remember though, it is easier to eat 500 less than burn 500 more exercising, and if you don’t believe this, just think 2 slices of pizza or 1 hour moderate cycling…
It isn’t just how many calories but where they come from. Cut out refined sugar, and go for wholesome filling none processed foods, reduce your salt and focus on a good source of clean protein – the food for muscles. You need a source of fat for your body to function properly, but use natural not hydrogenated, and not too much.
Once you have resolved the issue of diet, and your food intake, you will need to train! Exercise not only helps with the calorie deficiency aims, it also is necessary to target all muscle groups – including the abs.
However, only doing crunches will not help. Yes they have a place but you need to have a holistic approach. You will need to undertake full body training, targeting muscle development, as this helps your metabolism which in turn helps your body.
As well as weight training, you’ll need a good source of cardio, to keep your heart healthy and your body clean. High Interval Impact Training or HIIT, gives great bursts of cardio in short periods, or you may prefer the tradition of hitting the road/treadmill. Check out https://www.payasugym.com/ for deals on flexible gym memberships, which should help you considerably along the way.
Then you’ll need exercises specific to the abs. Think of core based exercises such as the plank, leg raises/rotation, crunches, v-sits, and the old favourite sit ups. Focus on your core, including your obliques, and aim to target the top, middle and bottom abs.
They say that abs are made in the kitchen – but the reality is that they are made by choice. You need to make the right choices when it comes to diet and you’ll need to choose the right level and form of exercise. No it isn’t easy, but then it will be more than worth it. Good luck.