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Six Pack Abs

These days the six-pack-abs craze has swept the country. If you too have geared up to get the washboard abs, let’s investigate the process.

Building abs

Believe it or not, we all are born with six-pack-abs but for most of us they sleep under the layers of fat. Hence, weight loss, in this case fat is crucial to gain six-pack-abdomen. Your exercise schedule should include resistance training to build the muscle and aerobic activity to shed body fat. “The hugest myth to which many folks subscribe to is that umpteen abdominal crunches everyday will yield six-pack-look, which is far from truth. Muscle size increases with temporary muscle failure at 10-12 repetitions. If you do even one more repetition than this you risk injury,” says Neesha Maria Bukht, registered dietician and certified trainer with Talwalkars fitness centre. When you train, your muscles get hurt and they respond by growing bigger and stronger, but the recuperation needs time. “Abdominal muscles recuperate faster than other muscle groups and training alternate day is a safe bet”, adds she. Crunches, reverse crunches will help stimulate abdominal muscles but just focusing on ab exercises will not suffice. Allow six weeks to develop these muscles; after that rope in more of aerobics because the definition of your abs will refuse to see the daylight unless you do cardiovascular exercises to burn fat. You should do cardio exercises—jogging, skipping, brisk walking, bicycling, swimming—for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week, more so if you are trying to lose more of fat.

Fat theory

Moving on to the second step, at what body fat will your six-pack reflect?

“The fat ratio for men is 18-22% of body fat and for women it is 23-30%. But six-pack, an euphemism for your well developed abdominal muscles will be visible to the world at a body fat percentage of 9% or below”, says Nisha Verma, Reebok University master trainer. “This implies that all those folks deciding to carve out six-pack-abs have to go for high protein, low carb or no carb diet. But, such low levels of fat index cannot be sustained for long, as it leads to extreme muscle fatigue, low levels of vitamin E and hormonal imbalance. Even body builders use prudence and try to return to normal fat levels, once they are finished with the display of their washboard abs”, warns she.