THE 6 COMMON MISTAKES HIDING YOUR 6 PACK
Understanding the Fat Loss Process:
Before we get into the list, though, let's quickly brush up on what is involved in the process of getting a 6-pack. To achieve a defined midsection, you must reduce the amount of fat that covers and hides your abdominal muscles sitting beneath. Yes, it's true. We actually already have a 6-pack to begin with... Most of the time, they're just hiding until a little excess fat in the abdominal region!
Therefore, getting the 6-pack you desire means you need to drop your body's fat mass, which is primarily a product of what you are putting into your body every day. This brings it back to the good old saying "abs are made in the kitchen," - meaning your diet will play a MASSIVE role in getting that 6-pack you desire.
The 6 Mistakes Hiding Your 6-Pack:
To start off the list, you are likely not drinking enough water throughout the day. Exercising, working in air conditioning, and working outdoors will dehydrate you, leading to two negative outcomes. The first downside of dehydration is poor recovery, as water is greatly needed to absorb vitamins, minerals, and electrolyte replacement. The next issue with being dehydrated is that the human body cannot distinguish between hunger and needing water. As a result, dehydration can potentially be mistaken for hunger and result in overeating.
2) Training Abs
Doing crunches and sit-ups is excellent for strengthening your abdominal muscles but won't help much with giving you a more visible 6-pack if your diet isn't right. A good point to bring up with abdominal training is that you CAN NOT exercise a muscle group and cause fat to be lost in that area. This common misconception is called "spot reduction." How your body loses fat will be genetically based, but you can control the rate at which it will lose fat.
However, that's not to say you should avoid training abs. An excellent abdominal training program is doing sit-ups on a swiss ball three times a week with sets of five and reps of 20; this will help build core strength.
3) Cardio Time and Type Of Cardio
There is no opportunistic time to perform cardio. So, for all you out there who start work in the early hours of the day, don't stress! You don't have to wake up at 3 am to achieve your 6-pack goals. If you perform one hour of cardio before breakfast, after a workout, or before bed, you'll still see the same fat loss results from all three times mentioned above.
The next question in this mini topic is "what type of cardio is best?" This really depends on the individual's preference. For some, switching between either LISS (low-intensity steady-state) or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a great way to mix it up and prevent boredom. A great HIIT session is doing sprints on the treadmill. Try doing 30 seconds of sprinting at a speed you are comfortable with, followed by 90 seconds of fast pace walking cycled through eight times. This will really get that heart rate pumping and get you that one step closer to 6-pack abs.
4) Lack of Sleep
This sounds a lot easier said than done, but if you aren't getting sufficient sleep, you're ruining your chances of getting a 6-pack. When dieting for fat loss, your body can produce a hormone called cortisol, which will slow your fat loss results down, make you lose muscle mass, and even make you moody. In conjunction with dieting for fat loss and lacking quality sleep, your cortisol levels can go through the roof, rendering all that hard work with your dieting and training useless. Not to mention, how many of us are likely to break our diets when we are stressed and mentally tired? That BBQ chicken pizza and 12 donuts with one liter of ice cream looks good when we are super tired. Am I right?
How much sleep should you get a night? Try for at least six hours a night; optimally, seven and a half hours is best for mental and physical recovery, and any more than that isn't strictly necessary but is certainly nice.
5) Stopping Your Creatine Supplementation
Many people have a misconception that supplementing with creatine monohydrate will make them hold fat or hold water, giving them a puffy look. Creatine will not give you this puffy look or hold onto fat. Simply put, creatine does draw water but makes you draw water intramuscularly, so if anything will give your muscles a more pronounced look. So why take creatine when trying to get ripped abs for building and maintaining your strength? A stronger individual will see faster fat loss results, which has been widely concluded through many scientific studies.
So, for the ultimate intracellular hydration and performance-enhancing strength, you'll want a super-pure and refined Creatine supplement like Creatine Monohydrate from NutraBio. Consume 5g of this pure grade micronized Creatine before your workout and benefit from additional power and output to achieve your lean muscle growth goals, not to mention a faster recovery!
6) Lifting Light Weights
When starting a gym program, getting back into the gym, or swapping your goals of bulking to cutting, so many men and women will drop the weight they are lifting for higher reps. For example, if they can bench press 100kg for eight reps, they'll go to 80kgs for 12 reps. Dropping the weight will more than likely lead to muscular atrophy (muscle loss)... Ever heard of the term "if you don't use it, you'll lose it? "If your muscles have been developing on a certain stress level, then backing off that stress level will cause your body to think this amount of muscle mass isn't necessary anymore for your environment to survive.
Why does maintaining strength, not lifting too light, and keeping muscle mass matter, you may be wondering? Muscle requires energy to exist, so having more muscle on your frame will contribute significantly to your body burning more energy through your metabolism, meaning faster fat loss results and a more visible 6-pack.
So there we go, consider all these points coming into summer. Some of these topics mentioned may not apply to you, and some might be a real eye-opener as to why you aren't seeing your 6-pack