The most sought after physique goal is getting that coveted six pack. With the start of 2017 a month in a lot of the New Year’s resolutions have come and gone but why? They are not seeing the results that they want! One of the biggest culprits for this, is that they simply don’t know how to train for their goals. Let’s dive into the four key areas that need to be addressed to help get you on track to getting that coveted six pack!
Lastly the dreaded cardio conundrum. What do you do? Cardio for fat loss and abs often varies based on who you talk to. There are two main types of cardio Long Slow Distance (LSD) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Most of the time when you go to lose weight people tend to lean towards the LSD side. The question here is why? Most of the time it’s because it burns more calories during the time that you do it compared to HIIT. Here lies a bigger problem. By focusing on one type of cardiovascular work you can do more damage to your metabolism than by combining the two types of cardio.
Doing LSD cardio longer than about 15 minutes will have the body look for fuel in the easiest way it can break it down. Where is this fuel going to come from? Your muscles. The body can break down muscle much easier than it can fat mainly because it takes less energy about 2,500 calories per pound of muscle as per 3,500 per pound of fat. This has a negative effect as stated earlier in the strength training portion about metabolic rate. So why would you want to do this to yourself it’s like taking one step forward and two steps back. What is a solution? HIIT, this type of cardio allows your heart rate to spike and recover with bouts of intense exercise thus allowing your body to adjust its search for energy. This goes hand in hand with the energy systems of the body (which is room for a whole other article) to allow your body to utilize muscle glycogen and save and or gain lean muscle mass.
Here is how you can add HIIT to your training schedule. Due to the intensity of this type of training its best to only do it a max of 3 days a week and should only take about 10-15 minutes to do. One of the best ways is sprinting for 30-60 seconds and then job for 30-60 seconds and repeat for a certain amount of time. Then on the other days you can focus on your LSD work by staying with in 50-60% of your max heart rate (220-age) for about 20-30 minutes to get the effect of working your oxidative system.
To acquire that coveted six pack adjust your program to fit these 4 components and you’ll be on your way to your goal in no time. It’s important to realize each of these builds onto the others and you should not skip or substitute one for the other. After all you wouldn’t build a table with only three legs instead of four, would you?
Author: Ron Smith