With summer right around the corner, everybody wants to feel and look at their best. Eating a healthy and balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight are certainly universal goals for a prolonged life expectancy. If you have always wanted to reveal your six-pack to the world or to simply improve your stomach muscle tone, then here are four points to consider to achieving just that. The great news is that we all have a six-pack to begin with, it is often only hidden beneath layers of fat.
The great artist and sculptor Michelangelo once said “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”. What this quote implies is that not only is inspiration real, but that we all have greatness within us which can be unleashed. You may wish to interpret this physically or in terms of one’s personality and character. However, what is also indicated in the ‘carving’ aspect of this quote is that hard work is required to achieve such a goal. You need to develop a vision of what you would like to achieve and then to set yourself to task on accomplishing that goal.
Visualize the ‘new you’ with an improved fitness level. Picture yourself on the beach, at social gatherings or parties this summer and try to step into the new you in your mind. How good does that feel? In reality you can achieve that level of body confidence, but it all stems from your mental attitude towards exercise.
In your quest to develop a six-pack, you may sometimes hit a brick wall yourself in terms of your motivation and resolve. When it comes to such times the four points below could help to boost your motivation again and to help you to keep trying to succeed.
1. Lowering Your Body Fat Percentage
The first thing to appreciate and to be positive about is that everybody has a six-pack to begin with! It is often simply hidden by layers of fat. Therefore, to reveal your six-pack it would make sense that you have to find ways to lower your body fat percentage.
This can be achieved through a great diet and one which is balanced and healthy in content. Think about your five-a-day and if you are currently achieving the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables. Are you eating enough fruit and vegetables in your diet each day?
If you are really struggling with this issue then consider discussing it with a health professional or even a dietitian. Look for healthy diet plans and ways to promote healthy eating online for inspiration. In my quest to be healthier, I have invested in a small juicer. I find that this is great way to get more greens and vegetables into my system as well as fruit on a daily basis.
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I enjoy mixing up my juicing patterns seasonally and with the time of day. You will find that juicing is a great way to discover vegetable combinations that you would not necessarily try out on their own too.
2. Strengthening Your Core
Developing and strengthening your core is the key to a great 'washboard style' six-pack. However, you may be wondering what exactly your ‘core’ is composed of. There are several muscles at play in one’s core and these range from the internal and external obliques to the rectus abdominis and the gluteus maximus among others. However, in its most general terms, the core essentially refers to the central part of the body minus the legs and arms.
In addition, one’s core is essentially made up of fast twitch muscle fibers which are denser than slow twitch muscle fibers. This means that it can take a higher level of exercise to stimulate and reach these muscles. Therefore, try to concentrate on upping the intensity and resistance levels in your exercise routines rather than the sheer number of them.
It would be far better for you to only do ten repetitions of a high intensity exercise than to do one hundred low intensity and low resistance ones. Following this concept will allow your exercises to stimulate these fast twitch muscle fibers more readily. In addition, you will be able to make more productive use of your time when working out.
Below is the level 1 workout from Jillian Michael’s ‘6 Week Six-Pack Abs Workout’ routine which I really enjoy using because it includes both a beginner and more advanced workout option to watch as you go along.
Variations in your exercises will not only keep things interesting for you, it will help to work different muscle groups and to develop a better overall muscle tone for your body. Everyone wants to enjoy working out and to have a routine which you can persevere with. Therefore, trying out new patterns could help you to discover a better system and to not to get too set in your ways when it comes to working out.
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Even if you are already glued to your routine and know it very well, it could do you good to mix things up a little and to shake up your habits. This will help you to develop a fresh approach and to maintain your enthusiasm for the task at hand.
As with anything, perseverance is the key to achieving great results. It is when we apply ourselves fully to a task that we can truly unleash our determination, strength and resolve. Everybody wants to see results immediately as we live in an age where people have a shorter attention span than ever. However, progress and changes will be happening to your stomach muscles if you exercise regularly and stick to your healthy eating plan and workout regime.
Do not give up if you do not see results immediately. Instead, you should challenge yourself to continue because as the saying goes ‘nothing that is worth having in life comes easy’. One has to work for greatness. Therefore, believe in yourself and your abilities.
If getting a six-pack is something that you want to set your sights on then you can achieve it. Develop a ‘can-do’ attitude in your mind and view it as a long-term goal rather than a monthly project and you are less likely to get disappointed and more likely to keep trying. Good Luck!