ABS – The Cliff Notes Guide To Sculpting Your Midsection
How to get the perfectly sculpted abs seems to be the obsession of our age. Go to any grocery store and as you check out you will be bombarded with dozens of magazines telling you to twist, turn, run, balance, lift your legs and stand on your head in order to obtain the midsection you desire. The problem is most of them are only speaking half-truths, if that.
One day I had a client come up to me during a rest interval and ask “Eric, how did you get your abs? I never see you doing crunches.” I replied, “Well it’s a combination of things… Olympic lifting, deadlifts, squats, pull ups, sprints, sleeping for at least 7 hours a night and being very specific about when (and how much) sugar I’m consuming.” She stood there for a moment and tried to digest what I said with a quizzical expression on her face and replied, “That doesn’t sound right”.
She immediately turned to another class member (who was struggling with her midsection as well) and asked the same question “how do you get abs”. I laughed, shook my head and continued with class. She had been reading to many Glamour and Cosmo articles.
So, without further adieu, here is your quick guide to getting a ripped (or toned…ladies) core.
- Sleep at least 7-8 hours a night; preferably at the same if possible. This will regulate your cortisol (stress hormone) levels and help stave off carb cravings.
- Men: Eat at least your weight in grams of protein each day. Women: Eat .8 grams of protein per lb. of body weight.
- Try to eat smaller meals through out the day instead of one or two big meals. Shoot for 4-6. Or, if you’re smitten with the idea of Intermittent Fasting, see how it does for you and evaluate. Over the years with my clients I’ve seen better results with eating smaller meals throughout the day.
- Take fish oil (2-4 grams/ day), a muli-vitamin and magnesium (200-400mgs/ day) to address nutritional deficiencies and make your metabolism more efficient.
- Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 2-3 times per week. This could be sprints, spinning, rowing, striking, jumping, plyometrics, etc. A simple example would be sprinting for 30 seconds and then resting for 90 -120 seconds and continuing with that until you are completely exhauseted. If you make it past 10 of those you are doing really well!
- Make sure that you are incorporating compound lifts into your routine 2-3 times a week. This includes all the lifts that I mentioned above. If you are not proficient in these lifts you should hire someone to teach you!
- The majority of your sugar intake should come post workout. In general, the leaner you are the better you will be able to process the sugar efficiently. If your midsection is one of your problem areas I would suggest keeping sugar to an extreme minimum until you start to see a reduction in your waist line.
There can be much more that goes into this subject but this is a great start for anyone!