Monday, September 22, 2008

Lose Belly Fat - How To Lose Belly Fat


Almost everyone wants to lose some excess fat on their body somewhere. For the vast majority, they're looking to lose belly fat and they want to lose belly fat fast! Whether you want to admit it or not, most of us spend far too many months of the year overeating and then scramble at the first sign of warm weather in order to remove what's accumulated over the time. Unfortunately, if you're trying to learn how to lose belly fat, it's not exactly a quick fix.

The problem most individuals run into is they overlook how difficult it can be to lose belly fat off their body. If the truth be told, a fat belly is probably one of the hardest areas to successfully remove because it's made up what is known as 'stubborn' fat.

You're body is actually physiologically slightly different when it comes to fat around the abdominal region. What's the reason for this? Primarily, it's the first place we tend to store fat and where body fat is needed for protection the most - to protect the organs and internal structures.

As such, your fat belly is going to do everything it can to hold onto it. Not a good situation in your quest to lose belly fat.

In order to outsmart this, you're going to have to work really hard. That's not to say it can't be done - it most certainly can, you just have to have realistic expectations about the time line you will achieve this goal over and how much effort you'll have to put in.

First things first, lets talk about exercise to lose belly fat. First, hit the weights. When lifting, be sure you are lifting as heavy as you possibly can, as this is what will ramp up your metabolism the highest. You want to shoot for the 6-10 rep range, as this is most appropriate for metabolic effects.

Second, get that cardio up there. Don't do hours on end though, focus on doing sprints. In fact, better yet is to sprint first, then do more steady state cardio afterwards. This will help to release the fatty acids from the tissue (mobilize them) and then burn them off during the steady state cardio. This type of set-up can be far more effective at getting that stubborn fat off your body than doing a typical cardio session is.

Lastly, check over that belly fat diet. Too many fat or carbohydrates calories will slow your progress, while protein, generally speaking will help due to the fact the body burns more calories just digesting it.

This can be taken too far though - there is no need to exceed 1.5 grams per pound of body weight, but keeping it up around that level is your best approach. Then, fill in the remainder of your calories with carbohydrates around the workout period and fat during the other times.

As long as you are patient with the process and continually push yourself in the gym, there is no reason why within time, you can't be sporting your own set of six-pack abs.


About the Author:



Vince DelMonte is the author of Your Six Pack Quest found at YourSixPackQuest!

He specializes in helping chubby guys and gals get six pack abs without gimmicks, supplements or dieting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ab workouts - Finding The Best Ab Workouts


When trying to achieve the illusive six pack, it' easy to get confused by all the "best ab workouts" available. You'll likely notice that there a multitude of ab workouts to choose one, so deciphering which ones will work the best can be tricky.

The thing to remember is that whenever you are trying to work your core, everything works, for a certain period of time. Everything from high reps, low reps, weighted work, bodyweight work, stability ball exercises, and BOSU ball exercises - it all works until your body adapts and says, "This is easy, I'm not going to change unless you give me a new reason to adapt."

Your ab training should be progressed from stable floor work with your body weight to a unstable surface with weighted work. Progressing to movements that will reduce your base of support as much as possible are the best ab workouts because they will call into play all the muscles within the core, especially those really deep that stable floor work can not target.

Such examples of floor ab exercises that would do this would be crunches, sit ups and leg raises. Eventually you want to do these same exercises against gravity, then a load and then on unstable surface like a stability ball. Body weight exercises like "front planks" and "side planks" should be the foundation of a core program and progressed to one arm planks in the frontal and side planes and then eventually on a stability ball or BOSU ball for further recruitment.

The best ab workouts to make your abs "pop" would be a variety of weighted movements. I'm sure you've skinny guys with a flat stomach but no "eye popping" abs, which is because they have not developed the actual abdominal muscle, just like every other body part. Part of getting nicely chiseled abs is going to be developing the muscles underneath the fat, and weighted ab crunches with cables or on a stability ball with a heavy dumbbell will do this best.

During all your ab workouts be sure to get a full stretch during the eccentric phase of your ab exercises. Going through an entire range of motion on the way up (if doing a crunch on the floor or ball) is not necessary, however, you should be "crunching" your upper abs onto your lower abs during each rep to maximize the burn, recruitment and full development.

The one weighted exercise you will not find in my programs is weighted side bends, as this could make you look wider in the waste, distracting from creating a lean image.

One concerning question most people have is regarding lower ab workouts, typically the most troubling spot. Yes, hip flexion (emphasis more so on lower abs) is important to perform and should be done first in the workout but the reality of the matter is that you cannot specifically separate your abs into upper and lower components. Whenever you perform any type of ab movement you should automatically be focusing on working both the upper and lower portion at the same time.

Good exercise to definitely direct a little more force into the lower area would be the progression of lying leg raises, lying leg raises on a incline and eventually hanging leg raises fully vertical. Lying leg raises on a stability pull is also an extremely challenging and advanced exercise to create razor sharp abdominals.

Finally, the last thing to consider is when you are going to perform your ab workout is training frequency. Again, generally speaking, the more the better assuming your abdominals have recovered. Whether you want to perform it at the end of your workout, before your workout, during your workout or on a day of it's own is up to you. My ab workouts incorporate all methods depending on if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced. Some theories of that warn you not to start with abs is because abs work as a synergistic muscle for so many of the other exercises you'll do, if you pre-fatigue them before the start of the workout, you may not progress as much during the rest of your workout. I don't agree with this and if you're abs are your weakest link then they should be given first priority when you are the most fresh, the start of your workout.

Incorporating a specific ab workout is only a small part of the battle - diet, lifestyle and overall caloric expenditure through weight training and cardio are the true building blocks to creating a sexy and desired mid section.

About the Author:


Vince DelMonte is the author of Your Six Pack Quest found at YourSixPackQuest!

He specializes in helping chubby guys and gals get six pack abs without gimmicks, supplements or dieting.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ab Exercises - The Best Ab Exercises


When it comes to getting a solid six pack, doing the right ab exercises is crucial. You can spend hours doing needless sit-ups that aren't really going to have all that much benefit, much to your disappointment. Taking the time to choose smart ab exercises will save you not only gym time, but a great deal of frustration as well. In this article we will discuss the best lower ab exercises and the best home ab exercises as well.


The best movements for the abdominal muscles are going to be ones that reduce your overall stability. The reason for this is because this will require all your muscle tissues, even the ones deep within the core, to contract in order to maintain balance. When you perform regular sit-ups, for example, they are really only going to target the more superficial muscles; one that will still help, but not get you near the results you could be seeing.


So what ab exercises are ones that reduce your balance?


Basically, anything done on an unstable surface is going to get the job done. This would include movements such as walking across a balance beam, performing one leg squats, one arm shoulder presses, or bent over dumbbell rows standing on one leg and of course, utilizing an exercise ball for any laying abdominal movement you perform. Working on a BOSU ball and stability ball ab exercises are also excellent options. As long as you have a set of free weights and stability ball then these would qualify as your best home ab exercises as well.


By far the most effective lower ab exercises are hanging leg raises while you use your lower abs to rotate your pelvis which is the secret to performing this effectively. Lying leg raises, lying leg raises on a 45 degree incline and cable crunches are also rock hard ab exercises.


Another area you might want to venture into with your ab exercises are those that utilize heavy weights.


While this will not necessarily get you 'cut' so that all your individual muscles are showing - that takes having low levels of body fat, what weighted movements will do is help further build the muscle tissue and make your abs "pop".


The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolic rate will then be, so in an indirect way, that could in fact help you burn off excess body fat.


Furthermore, doing weighted movements will also increase your strength greatly, reducing the risk of injuries from any other type of exercise you may attempt. Weighted ball crunches with a stability ball on your chest is my favorite home ab exercises.


When choosing when to perform your ab exercises, if you are looking for performance, do them on a separate day from all your other work. Just like any muscle group, you want to be fresh when you do them.


If, on the other hand, you are more just doing them to help build some strength, but more to round out your exercise program, then you should be doing them at the end of your workout session. This will prevent them from fatiguing early, because they are going to be predominately used in all the other lifts you perform (heavy squats for example).


In many cases this rule can be bent though. For example, if a client comes to me and their abs are the weakest muscle group then performing them at the end of the workout makes no sense because they will be pre fatigued from the workout and you will not be able to train them as intensely so prioritizing your abs at the start of the workout can become the exception in this case.


So, next time you are creating your workout and are picking out ab exercises, keep these points in mind. Having good dedication to performing these exercises on a regular basis and then following a clean diet based around raw vegetables and proteins are the two main components to developing that six-pack you're hoping for.


About the Author:


Vince DelMonte is the author of Your Six Pack Quest found at YourSixPackQuest!

He specializes in helping chubby guys and gals get six pack abs without gimmicks, supplements or dieting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Secret To 6 Pack Abs


Everywhere you turn, someone's promising the next secret to getting 6 pack abs. Some of these so called 'secrets' have some degree of accuracy, while others, not so much. Deciphering which are the best methods to getting 6 pack abs is going to be critical to your having success with this goal.

The biggest area you need to focus on when trying to obtain 6 pack abs is going to be on your diet. Like it or not, the old saying that 'abs are made in the kitchen', is probably one of the most truthful statements in the fitness industry. If your diet isn't in line, your stomach is going to show it.

So, what should you be doing with your diet?

First, ensure you are getting enough protein. Not only is protein going to form the key building blocks you need to build muscle tissue, but it's also going to provide you with a better feeling of fullness than eating just carbohydrates alone would for example. Protein is more "expensive" than any other macronutrient meaning that your body will burn more calories breaking down protein compared to carbs and fats.

Next, don't be afraid of dietary fat that comes from primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oils, fish oils, a mix of nuts, natural peanut butter and avocado. While it's true that eating fat will increase your calories fast, as long as you keep it between 20-30% it can be one of the best things to get 6 pack abs fast. The important point here is that dietary fat helps keep your insulin level stable, which, when high enough can actually cause fat gain itself.

Furthermore, dietary fat will keep you feeling the fullest for the longest duration in time; longer than both protein or carbohydrates would. Interestingly, some diets high in fat can get you 6 pack abs fast because your body learn to metabolize fat for energy.
So, while you do need to watch it, be sure you are getting some in your diet.

Finally, when it comes to carbohydrate intake and getting 6 pack abs, you want to focus most of your carbohydrate intake around the post workout period.

Why?

The biggest reason for this is because this is when your body is going to need those carbohydrates the most and will really suck them up into the muscle tissue. When you eat them at this time, it is least likely that they will turn into body fat.

Additionally, consuming carbohydrates during this period will also help to aid with muscle recovery and repair, so that means less down time from the gym for you.

If getting 6 pack abs fast is your goal than each meal you should consist of 1-2 cups of raw vegetables to control insulin levels, improve absorption of your protein and flood your body with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.

So, if you are aiming to get 6 pack abs in the coming months, have a good hard look at your diet. That is the big secret that must not be overlooked if you are to succeed.

About the Author:

Vince DelMonte is the author of Your Six Pack Quest found at YourSixPackQuest!

He specializes in helping chubby guys and gals get six pack abs without gimmicks, supplements or dieting.