By Christina | June 15, 2008
I workout all the time, I eat right, and I drink plenty of fluids. I am in great shape but my abdominals are not as I would like; you know a six pack. What can I do to have washboard abs?
I hear this question all the time, literally. It seems the main goal people have is to shred their abs. Not a bad goal but not an easy one either. There are two main factors at play: genetics and diet.
The genetic factor:
The first thing to come to terms with is that everyone has uniquely shaped abs. Randomly selecting a picture out of some magazine and deciding that’s what you want your abs to look like could be self-defeating, because even if you did get to low enough body fat levels, your abs may not be genetically shaped in a similar way; thereby letting yourself down. Rest assured in the knowledge that if you can get your body fat levels low enough and perform correct, targeted exercises for this muscle group, your midsection will vastly improve.
The food factor:
Have you ever heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen”? This is exactly correct. As stated, everyone has some ab muscles, but most have a layer of body fat hiding them. Removing this layer is going to be about 90% dietary effort and 10% exercise effort when it comes right down to it. If you aren’t ready to take control over the foods you are putting in your mouth, getting ripped abs should not be a goal for you.
You do not have to eat a diet devoid of fats, simply a diet high in protein, moderate in fat and low or moderate in carbs. This helps to control insulin levels better, and insulin happens to be the prime hormone that stores body fat. At the end of the day, it’s really going to come down to your total calorie intake, with less importance placed on how you get there; assuming sufficient protein is present, of course.