So, how do we get the mysterious six-pack abs? Everybody comes to me asking for fat-loss, most of the time they want to build muscle and drop the body fat, they want the abs to show. That's the number one target. So I'm going to give you three tips, on how to hack your metabolism and get that six-pack showing very very fast.
Freak Your Metabolism.
What I mean by that is you have to jump-start it and reprogram it. Metabolism, you can reprogram that thing every single day, so what we want to do is jump-start it, right at the beginning of the day.
How do we do that?
We eat first thing in the morning. First thing in the morning, your thoughts should be breakfast. Shouldn't be coffee, shouldn't... Which is an appetite suppressant by the way. It shouldn't be work, it shouldn't be, you know, anything else. Wake up, let me get the meal in and let me conquer the day after that. So, we do that just to kind of start the metabolism, right? We are cavemen, if we don't get food, we just go into straight survival mode. Our bodies think we're going to die if we don't have enough meals. So, when we fast for eight hours, 10 hours, (or six hours for some of the workaholics). we're depleting our body for that long. We want to jump-start our metabolism, right as we wake up! We want to get that engine going so we can continue to burn calories and fat all throughout the day.
2. Know What You're Eating.
You have to know your daily numbers, meaning your daily calories and macronutrients. What's your target? You have to have your targets in place before you can do anything. Otherwise, you are going to be spinning your wheels and hitting roadblocks. If you don't know what macros mean, I’m talking about your proteins, carbs and fats. Those are the things that make up the calories because protein, carbs, fats, all have certain calories associated with them.
Protein = 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
Fats = 9 calories per gram
They all add up to the daily calories that you're going to hit.
So, calories…. Know them! And know your macros too. For fat-loss, you're obviously going to eating at a calorie deficit. You need to be taking in less calories than what you're actually burning so that your body starts to tap into its energy reserves, I.e., fat storage! That fat is just energy reserves, It's your body's way of saying, "Okay, we're gonna store that away for a rainy day. If we ever need energy, I'm gonna burn this fat." So we want to be at a point where we're exerting more energy than we're taking in with food. Do you see how important it is to know your daily calories and macro goal? Your cals and macros have to be at a deficit, and that should be hit every single day, while you're on this cutting plan. For losing weight or dropping body fat, I like to start high with the carbs and then start dipping off as I go. It helps keep glycogen (energy stores) in the muscles, fuels hard training, and helps recovery but also it gives us wiggle room to adjust week to week. You don't go too hard, too fast, we want to start at a good spot and then adjust as we go because our body will adjust every single time. If we start too low we will kill our metabolism, lose a lot of muscle and really be pushing a boulder up hill. Not to mention become the posterchild for “skinny fat”
3. Training Intensity
A lot of people think for fat loss you need high reps at a lower weight and completely take the training intensity down. You need keep intensity high when trying to achieve fat loss because you are eating at a deficit and we want to preserve the muscle by stimulating it with hard training. When I say, intensity or hard training, I mean know the difference between a working set and a warm-up set. Know the difference between exertion, and just kind of going through the motions, "Well, I did three sets of 10." Okay great, what did your body exert though? Was it 10 with no pain or exertion? Or was it like “I had to dig deep for those last two reps” kind of 10? What did we exert? How much energy did we put into that and how much muscle breakdown did we get?
So, we want to make sure we're training with the right intensity and it's a progressive program, meaning the volume builds over time. You should be programming for eight-week blocks, 12- week blocks. We could even stretch it to 16-week blocks, maybe with a de-load in the middle, but progressive, right? It should build. We shouldn't just come out hard and heavy and that's it, the program stays the same for weeks on end or we go in the gym and wing it. We’ll stagnate that way, we have to do more. Start at a point and then give yourself room to adjust and grow with the volume, grow with the intensity but the training has to be hit hard.
A few bonuses
4. Get Your Sleep
Most of us are very busy professionals and are wearing tons of different hats, if you have kids go ahead and multiply those hats! It’s super important to not only get the workouts and eating in but just as important to recover from the workouts. Set some time to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep. Our bodies grow and change in our sleep, if you are not sleeping not only does that wreak havoc on your hormones and metabolism, but it slows muscle growth to a crawl! Work smarter NOT harder and get some ZZZ’s
5. Don't Worry or Stress About It
Understand this is a process. Putting on muscle, dropping body fat, it takes time. It takes a lot, a lot of time to get that body composition right. So don't worry about it. If you start stressing about wanting results faster you run the risk of higher stress and losing sleep. Those things can really raise cortisol levels, which is going to make your target a lot harder to hit. It's going to make fat-loss that much harder.
Put the right team in your corner and get the right structure in play, and go ahead and get that six-pack!
If you need help you can shop my Online Personal Training packages and rates or contract me directly to talk about your specific wants and needs.
If you want to see my video on this subject, you catch my YouTube video here