What is your motivation for working out? People work on their fitness levels for many reasons: To improve general health, to lose weight, to tone muscle, and to look better. If you are seeking that toned, trimmed, and ripped appearance, especially in your ab regions, then there are a few things you should understand about how bodybuilders get their sculpted and chiseled physique.
Diet is one of the most important factors in successfully bringing those abdominal muscles to the surface. Although we all have abs that have been developed to a degree, they are usually covered by layers of fat. Even people who are not overweight will develop this subcutaneous layer of fat over their midsection. The consensus among experts used to be to cut out as much fat from the diet as possible, but these guidelines have changed as science has consistently confirmed that it’s not necessarily fat in the diet that makes a person accumulate fat on the body. Now health experts are suggesting a diet consisting of moderate fat intake, low simple carbohydrate consumption, and relatively high amounts of protein. It boils down to this: To get ripped abs, your dietary choices will make up about 80-90% of your overall effort.
People don’t always realize that billboard quality body-builders or muscle-bound sports stars aren’t representative of the majority of the population. Every individual is born with a unique set of genes that determines many things including abdominal muscle shape. It’s important to not get hung up on a particular image of the way you want your abs to end up looking. The fact of the matter is that even if your body fat percentage drops to ab-ripping levels, you may not end up with the same shaped abs as the guy on the front of the magazine. On the positive side of things, with the right diet and consistent targeted exercise, your abs will become as ripped as genetics possible and, chances are, they will get noticed.
Contrary to what some may believe, working the ab region every day does little to boost the appearance of your six-pack. Abdominal exercises should be done every other day, at most, and should consist of about three sets of three to five exercises. Rest time is crucial to growing muscle and working your abs three to four times a week is more than enough. Also consider weighted abdominal exercises like weighted decline sit-ups or performing hanging leg raises while wearing ankle weights. Weighted abdominal exercises will help the ab muscles grow in size and not just strengthen and tone them. The best ab exercises not only include isolating the abdominals, but also any exercise that forces you to engage your core. Exercise balls or BOSU balls are excellent tools to use in conjunction with your regular ab exercises
On your journey to ab ripped-ness, don’t forget these few rules: Exercise properly and give your muscles time to recover; accept and appreciate the muscle make-up you were born with; and lastly, remember that diet is almost everything when it comes to exposing rock-hard, ripped abdominals.