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Find your Abs in the kitchen.

 

Visible, Six Pack Abs are always at the forefront of people’s conversations when it comes to health and fitness.

Let’s face it, they look pretty good and are what most guys and to a lesser extent girls are striving for on holidays especially.

Not something I’m really interested these days, with a young family and changing reasons for exercising and eating healthily.

With a background of top level amateur rugby, physical performance was always my goal. It was only later in my career I discovered how food affected MY body from a body fat point of view. You see, what is the norm for everyone may not be suitable for you!

I used to see everyone else with these sub 10% body fats and me, eating and living far cleaner than them, struggling to get the same results.

One thing to remember, one plan doesn’t always suit all. Be prepared to listen to your body and how it reacts to certain foods and certain training methods.

The problem is it is an idealistic world we live in that puts a lot of pressure on today’s younger generation to have that perfect body.

The problem is, having visible abdominals does NOT mean you are healthy, it means you have a low body fat percentage. There is a difference.

I have friends who are like this but live very unhealthy lifestyles. It comes down to several factors –

Genetics, Body type, Metabolism, Calorie intake, Food intolerance, Training modalities. These all vary massively from person to person and have a direct impact on health, appearance, body fat etc.

Let’s get one thing clear…you can crunch your way through life without ever reaching the 6 pack look!  Sorry to burst your bubble!

 

Why?

 

It is a common pre conception that we will see abs if we crunch, in fact, it is not the case at all.  No matter how many crunches you do, if you’re eating plan isn’t on point, you may as well not bother.

You see your Rectus Abdominals (6 Pack Abs) are covered by body fat, this is why they are not visible. So yes, your abs are made in the kitchen. What do we need to do? You got it, reduce your body fat.

Want visible abs, eat clean and get your body fat % down to single digits i.e 10% or less.

My favourite cliché is, ‘You can’t out train a bad diet’. Most people think ‘as long as I train harder I can have this food as I’ll burn it off’

 

WRONG!

 

Certain foods such as wheat and Gluten can cause inflammation that can last for days after consumption.  So it’s not actually the affect the Carbohydrate has had, it’s the effect of your body rejecting the gluten it is intolerant to.

This water retention and inflammation of the gut will give you that bloating, which will give you a nice covering over your abs!

I often get asked, what are the best exercises for building abs.

Here they are:

  • Deadlift
  • Front Squat
  • Roll outs
  • Plank

As you can see, the big compound (Multi-Joint) lifts are top of the list.  Without knowing it, you need to engage your abdominals to perform both of these lifts.

Notice, the latter two are static contractions of your abdominals as these are the best way to tighten and strengthen the area, so forget about countless crunches!

My Top tips to getting lean physique:

  • Drink more water
  • Reduce your grains
  • Take sugar out of your diet
  • Increase your fish intake
  • Increase your protein intake
  • Be consistent with your training and nutrition
  • Include strength training and HIIT into your training program

 

So to sum up, having a diet being 80% compliant and 20% not, will not get you the required results. You need to follow a plan and stick to it.  If you are having ‘Treat meal’ just keep to certain guidelines:

  • Don’t let it run into being a cheat day / Weekend / Week! Sit down, enjoy your treat and move on.
  • Steer clear of Bread, pasta etc
  • Try and make whatever it is you enjoy yourself so at least you know what’s in it!
  • Work on getting your body fat down, build your abs through incorporating heavy lifts and only use a small hand full of abdominal isolation exercises.

Implement and enjoy!

Damian

Dalkey Fit pro

 

For more help and advice with achieving your health and fitness goals, feel free to join my Free Facebook Group ” All Things Healthy With Damian