Your six-pack isn't yet there for all to see? You have been building it carefully but you still cannot clearly see the fruits of your labour? Domyos, your weight training partner, will tell you why.
The 2 factors for success
To ensure that the six-pack you have been longing for makes an appearance, 2 things are essential.
- Your abdominals must be large
- Your level of fat must be low
Ideally, the combination of these two elements will enable you to achieve perfectly visible abdominals. Nevertheless, if you haven't yet reached this stage, all is not lost! These factors compensate each other: so if your abs are not large but you have been cutting, they will then be visible. Similarly, your abs will become visible if they are large and you are a little overweight.
The solution for flawless abs
To increase the size of your abs, you must train regularly. On the other hand, to reduce your levels of fat, leaning down is necessary.
Moulding your abs
To mould your abs, time for a turbo boost! You can work on these little muscles without too much difficulty and make rapid progress, they won't drain your boundless energy.
There is no point in carrying out hundreds of repetitions of crunches in order to see the size of your abdominals rocket up; you run the risk of stagnating.
Do only one exercise to enable hypertrophy. Each series must be completed in an average time of 25 seconds to ensure a correct workout (about ten controlled repetitions with the use of additional loads to develop muscle volume. Give yourself 1 minute of recovery between each series and do not exceed 100 repetitions per session. Focus on the contraction of the muscles. Train at a rate of two or three times a week, at the end of a weight training session for example.
Don't forget that it is important to develop the muscles in the whole of the abdominal zone and not to focus only on the same muscle. By respecting this principle, you will train by doing:
- one exercise for the rectus abdominis
- one exercise for the oblique muscles
- one exercise for the transverse abdominis
Cutting is done
To develop a perfect muscle structure of your abdominals; when you are a little overweight, the best solution is cutting!
Without submitting to a draconian diet, choose a healthier and more balanced diet (reduce lipid and carbohydrate intake, increase protein intake moderately).
You can also try a complementary physical activity such as cardio training, which is perfect for burning fat. To lose fat effectively, check your heart rate while training because it will indicate the lipolytic threshold. The lipolytic threshold corresponds to the heart rate at which your body starts to eat into the reserves of fat. It is very useful for anyone seeking to lose weight. The lipolysis zone is located at between 70 and 80% of the maximum heart rate (MaxHR =226-age), it is the perfect threshold for burning fat and limiting muscle wasting.
Without going overboard with excessively intense weight training sessions which will lead you to overtraining, your regular sessions will enable you to spend large amounts of energy. The effects of the leaning down will be faster.
By reaching a level of cutting of 10-12% of your fat, you should see the results appear rapidly. Above this rate, the lower part of the abs will not be visible.
In order to gain that six-pack, with perfect, trim and toned abs, reduce this rate to 10%: you will achieve perfection!
NB: the shape of your 'six-pack' is determined genetically (tendinous insertions) as well as by your physical activity.
It is therefore possible to correct certain asymmetries by using suitable exercises. Eg: the lower part of my rectus abdominis is smaller than the upper part, so I use exercises which work on this lower part and reduce the work on the upper part to compensate the imbalance.