Beach Body Abs
With the return of warm weather in the spring, thoughts can never be too far behind of the approaching summer and the many wonderful outdoor activities that we'll often associate with it and among our top favorite summertime activities will always be the trip to the beach. Warm blue skies, refreshing ocean breezes, hot sand, cool waves and the many attempts at constructing the perfect sand castle; you can swear you're almost there just thinking of it. But that mental image just wouldn't be complete without also including images of hard, bronze bodies in attractive swimsuits soaking up the sun. Let's face it, attractive physiques will always be a top draw at the beach and the abs, or midsection, is the first thing that everyone notices.
But showing off beach body caliber abs certainly don't come easy. Successful ab training is a combination of a healthy, lean diet, consistent cardio work, and a comprehensive abdominal training plan. While all of that may sound daunting, it is certainly within your ability to attain a chiseled midsection that other beach goers will positively ogle at, and you certainly still have enough time to do so. This article will provide you with the steps you'll need to take to help you look your beach-body best.
The first thing you're going to have to change will be your diet. It goes without saying that even if you had the best abs in the world, it will still look pretty ordinary if a layer of bodyfat covers it. Diet plays a crucial role in defining your midsection so some modifications will be required in order for your body to look it's best. To begin with, get into the habit of using a diet log to keep track of your meals. Everyone is less likely to cheat when they know they have to write down everything they've eaten each day. An elaborate journal isn't necessary either; a simple notepad can work just fine. Also, begin switching to six small meals a day now instead of three larger ones to help rev up your metabolism as well as prevent the stretching of the stomach and the abdominal walls which occurs when one gorges themselves in food.
Next, you'll want to start creating a slight caloric deficit each day to help burn away the bodyfat. It is recommended that you work on losing only a pound or two, a week, of bodyfat. The weekly loss of any more weight than this, for the typical person, probably includes substantial amounts of water weight and muscle tissue and can wreck havoc on your metabolism. Remember, it's the bodyfat that's covering your abs that you'll want to lose so a good rule of thumb is to cut back your daily energy requirements by only around 500 calories a day.
Now if you're not sure what your daily energy requirements are for your current bodyweight (or the amount of calories you will have to consume each day to stay at your current weight), you can use this easy-to-remember formula as a guide. To estimate your daily total caloric needs, multiply 24 times 1.0 (if you're a man) or 0.9 (if you're a woman) by each kilogram of bodyweight you weigh. Then multiply that result by 1.7 (for a moderately active man) or 1.6 (for a moderately active woman).
(Men) 1.7 x 24 x 1.0 x bodyweight (in kg)
(Women) 1.6 x 24 x 0.9 x bodyweight (in kg)
To determine how many kilograms you weigh, divide your bodyweight in pounds by 2.2. Remember though that this formula is only a guide. It is highly recommended that you use the formula as a starting point, and then pay close attention to your body in order to fine-tune your calories according to how your body responds to your efforts. Look at your body in a mirror, if it doesn't appear (or feel) as if your body is losing any weight after a week or two, then reduce the amount of calories you ingest even more.
You'll next want to start including cardio (aerobic exercises) into your weekly routine. There are few short-term options that can burn calories and strip away the bodyfat better than sessions of aerobic activities. It is no coincidence that even top-level bodybuilders will steadily increase their cardio workouts as a contest approaches to help really bring out their muscle definition. Begin by working out 3-4 times per week for 20 to 30 minutes at a time on a treadmill or a stationary exercise bike. Then work your way up to more intense sessions of at least moderate intensity for 45 minutes or longer by weeks 3 and 4. The last few weeks before you hit the beach, you'll want to include interval training into your routine to really help blast away the last few pounds of bodyfat.
Spot-reducing your way to abdominal definition is a myth. It is impossible to localize fat loss over any one specific area of your body and is the reason why it is important for you to also watch your diet and include aerobic training if you truly wish to showcase some beach-body abs. But the inclusion of some solid abdominal training is still important for great abs. Strengthening the abdominal wall will tone and help reduce, if not prevent, any unnecessary sagging of the belly. Also, abdominal workouts will certainly develop the muscles of the ab (particularly the rectus abdominus and the external obliques) and enable them to easily become more visible, sharper and tight.
While there are literally hundreds of abdominal exercises to choose from, it is important that several considerations are first kept in mind before performing any of them. First, it is strongly recommended that you learn how to focus on feeling the contraction of your abs when exercising and really squeeze the muscle at the top of any rep. There are many individuals out there who lay claim to performing several hundred sit-ups per day, but it is the quality that counts here and not necessarily the quantity. Become more efficient when performing your abdominal exercises and allow the muscle do the work and do not use the mechanical involvement of other bodyparts or even momentum to help swing the body in order to complete any reps. Additionally, make sure that you maintain continuous tension while performing your reps and never allow your body to rest at the bottom of a movement. Finally, be sure to breathe in during the relaxation phase of your movements and exhale during the contraction phase of the reps.
Having now prepared yourself, choose three exercises to perform for your abs and complete 2 sets, of 15 - 20 reps on each exercise, three times a week. Once again, focus on squeezing the muscle at the top of the movement and go in a slow, deliberate manner during each repetition. Recommended abdominal exercises for beginners during their first week would be crunches (with legs supported on a bench), seated twists, and knee-ups or lying leg raises. As the next few weeks progresses and your conditioning improves, you will need to increase the intensity factor for the abs to really shine. Begin by increasing the number of sets of each exercise from two to three and then add additional, more advanced, movements to allow for up to five exercises for your abs. Recommended abdominal exercises during this stage could include reverse crunches, crunches on an incline board, vertical leg raises, medicine-ball twists and decline-bench twisting crunches. You literally have from hundreds of movements to choose from. During the last two weeks before you hit the beach, begin cutting back on the rest time between your sets and also start to include supersets of your exercises in which you complete one set of each exercise without stop.
While there are still other factors that could be included for consideration of your ab training, consistently eating a lean diet, performing cardio work and exercising your abs with sufficient intensity will always remain at its core. Put in the work on those three tenets of abdominal development and you'll be sure to possess a beach-body that will look great in a bathing suit and absolutely turn heads this summer!
About The Author
Nathan Boyd is author of the highly rated ebook, "The Fitness Lifestyle" and the current Director of Pro Fitness of Texas. Nathan encourages everyone in their pursuit of becoming physically fit and maintaining it for a lifetime. All questions and comments are always welcomed!
Successful Body Building Routine
There are some major key parts to a successful body building routine. I will go over a routine that was created by a personal trainer for me, and it worked wonderfully.
Comeback Bench Program
For those who are not familiar with my name, I am a National Level Strongman competitor in the United States. I lift stones that weigh just under 400 pounds, flip a 900+ pound tire routinely, and lift logs overhead.
Key Elements for a Bigger Bench Press
Proper positioning on a weight bench to maximize leverageKeep the bar in line with the eyes; if you are too far towards the top of the bench it puts your shoulders in a weak position and wastes energy, and creates unsteadiness when lifting off.Firm foot contact with the floor close to the bench is Paramount! Feet on the bench, straight legs with feet lightly touching the floor is a recipe for failure; it decreases force and puts you out of balance.
7 Surefire Strategies For Fat Loss!
1. Weight Training.
Get On the Ball: Core Stability
Have you heard the term, focus on the core? No, we're not talking about the inside of a golf ball; we're talking about the inner muscles that make up the abdominal region, hips and lower back. Most people focus their attention on the muscles that are more visible and easy to train, such as biceps, pecs and back, however, the most important muscles that act as our foundation are often over looked.
Get Rid of Cellulite, Once and For All!
Get Fit At Home With Ailsa : Get Rid of CelluliteHad it up to here with Cellulite? Want to get rid of it forever, and make your body all lovely and sleek? Yeah, me too, so I when one of my old 'Gym Boys' showed me this Exercise years ago, I started doing it al the time, and changed it up a bit to make it work more effectively for me. This is a great Exercise for Women, but I know for a fact that 'manly men' do it, too! ha,ha! (Oh, and in case you are thinking something 'innaccurate' about the 'Gym Boy' thing, that's just what I used to call all the guys at the gym where I used to work out a lot -- it's a term of endearment, but in no way a reference to anyone I went out with -- I either call those guys "that crazy old jerk" or "one of my great old friends".
Can Growth Hormone Boosters Enhance Muscle Growth?
Many experts feel that supplementation with growth hormones offers exciting possibilities to adult bodybuilders, especially those aged over thirty. They should not be taken by anyone aged under twenty.
Who Else Wants To Build Muscle Fast?
I see it all the time. Guys in the gym doing set after set of all these different exercises, and if you looked at these samepeople 3 months from now they have not really changed physicallyall that much, maybe a little more toned but nothing reallynoticeable.
Machines VS. Free Weights II
Machines are bad, there I said it again. How many of us join health clubs or purchase expensive home exercise equipment under the notion that the machine will protect our back, make the exercise easier or guarantee your results quicker.
How To Get The Greatest Possible Muscle Gains... And... Still Have Time Left Over To Just Goof-Off!
The number one thing you need to get from this article is this. Significant increases in the muscular size of any particular muscle group, can not be achieved without similar increases throughout the entire body.
Weight Gain Myths
The vast majority of myths about weight gain are mostly passed down from "gym talk" and so-called experts who know nothing about the body's workings.Myths that lead to wasted time, frustration and if are taken blindly as truth, can really set back your progress in the gym.
Ab Sculpting Exercise - One Of The Most Productive Exercises For Your Abs That Is Hardly Ever Used
Before I talk about one of the most productive and forgotten Ab Development exercises ever developed, you will need to know how your abdominal muscles actually work. I know for a fact, if I don't offer some pretty convincing evidence, it will be very difficult for you to believe such a claim so here is where a little education will go a long way to prove my point.
Are You Over Training in the Gym?
Every set was taken to positive failure, with three or more forced reps on top of that and if that wasn't enough I would throw in a few negative reps to top it off. This type of training would leave me totally exhausted and render me sore for days after every session.
Increase Your Training Intensity - Forced Repetitions
You can only build muscle tissue if you can generate progressively stronger muscular contractions, so this calls for an emphasis on finding ways to increase exercise intensity. This should not be confused with exercise duration as maximum training intensity will actually shorten the time needed to achieve maximal muscular growth.
Water Makes Muscles More Elastic?!
Before you say, "yeah, yeah, yeah I know to drink 8 cups a day and live until a hundred. Boring, heard it all before" and close the page? your best bet would be to read on, for what you are about to learn may indeed not only broaden your circle of knowledge, but save your life.
Building a Better Home Gym
If you're looking to get fit and into shape, home gyms may provide the best option if joining a traditional gym isn't feasible.A personal gym at home will allow for more flexibility in terms of your workout schedule, and if time is tight and you want to include exercise into the busiest of routines, a gym at home is definitely the way to go.
Waist Your Breath - Breathing For A Thinner Waist
The crunch exercise is the backbone of abdominal training. It develops the muscles of the abs to help you build that much-desired six-pack.
Two Major Training Mistakes You Must Dump Immediately!
The number of myths about natural bodybuilding are too numerous to mention. For every guy who knows the principles of effective bodybuilding, there are countless others who don't.
Exercise The Right Way - The Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Other articles in this series looked at a number of exercises, mainly from the perspective of developing a comprehensive muscle building program. Sometimes we take things for granted, especially when it comes to performing the basic exercises that constitute the core of most bodybuiders' training regimes.
Muscle Growth with Post-Workout Nutrition
If you design your nutrition plans to maximize muscle growth, you must think about planning and taking properly the most important meal of the day. Do you know which?It is easy if you have read the title! Yes.