You’ve been doing sit-ups and push-ups every day for the past few weeks, yet you’re still not seeing the fruits of your labor. You’ve probably looked at the mirror more times than you can count to see if you’ve at least come closer to getting that six-pack you’ve always wanted.
“Am I doing something wrong? Should I change my current workout routine?”
These are just a few of the questions you may have asked yourself. Unfortunately, even if you crank up the numbers in your workout regimen, you won’t get a six-pack. You may see some improvements in your middle-section, but that’s as far as you’ll go.
Even with a perfect workout regimen, you can’t guarantee a six-pack within a few weeks. After all, your workout routine is just one step in getting a six-pack, and that’s why you’re here.
Below are a few steps that will help you get that six-pack faster than your current rate:
1. Prepare A Training Log
A training log is similar to a journal, but instead of recording various life events, it only records your workout performance and other things related to it. People initially used paper for their logs but, nowadays, a single file can do pretty much everything. Now you might be thinking, why should you get a training log?
- Motivation: One of the primary purposes of training logs, or any kind of journal, is to motivate the owner consistently. It reminds you of your ultimate goal and keeps you from giving up.
- Repeat Performance: More often than not, you’ll find that there are certain days where you perform better. By keeping track of these days, it’s possible to find the pattern that leads to this improvement, allowing you to recreate your astounding performance.
- Self-Awareness: Training logs also help you become self-aware of your strengths and allow you to work on your weaknesses.
Although a training log is essentially just a journal, that journal will ultimately decide whether you can successfully get a six-pack or not. But remember that a training log doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to your workout—it may also include details about your diet, which takes us to the next step.
2. Adjust Your Diet
Vegetables, fruits, fatty fish, poultry—these are some examples of food groups that can significantly help you with your workout routine, whether your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle.
The problem is, if you eat and eat and eat, even if you only include healthy food, you’ll eventually gain weight, or worse, belly fat, and this can ruin your plans in getting that six-pack. So, how can you practice healthy eating without overdoing it? Simple—just focus on certain foods that can significantly help with your goal. Here are a few examples:
- Most greens can promote a healthy metabolism and may even speed up muscle recovery. However, you might want to avoid overeating since this may result in bloating. Eating around three cups of vegetables a day should do the trick.
- Bananas, carrots, and sweet corn are some of the few fruits rich in fiber, which should be one of your priorities when working out as it helps with weight loss.
- Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and other foods that contain protein can serve as a great addition to your diet since this nutrient promotes muscle growth.
Similarly, there are certain food groups that you must avoid, such as processed foods, pastries, pasta, and the like. These foods mostly contain calories with no nutritional value, so they will only end up giving you belly fat. On that note, you should also watch out for caffeine.
3. Steer Clear Of Caffeine
When you work out, your body’s muscles tend to suffer from damages, which isn’t exactly a bad thing since they repair themselves and end up more robust than before. This whole process is what experts call protein synthesis. As such, if you want to build muscle, protein synthesis must always be active within your body. But what does this have to do with caffeine?
To start with, studies show that caffeine suppresses specific signaling pathways within the body that are responsible for protein synthesis. In other words, caffeine can possibly hinder protein synthesis within your body. Hence, it’s advisable to avoid caffeine when working out.
4. Consider High-Intensity Interval Training
So, you’ve prepared a training log, took care of your diet, and even went as far as to avoid your favorite beverages. You might be wondering, should I change my workout routine as well?
Fortunately, there’s not much to change about your workout regimen. As long as you’re working hard, that should be enough to get you to where you want to be. However, if you have a lot of time on your hands, you can try the HITT regimen.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HITT) is a type of routine where you continuously work out for an extended period with relatively short breaks. This exercise aims to promote weight loss, which is one of the critical components for when you want your muscles to be visible.
After all, if you have fewer fats, there is more space to showcase your muscles. It’s also worth buying a pair of ab rollers to complement this routine. You can use yourworkoutbook.com as a reference. However, if you think your body mass index (BMI) is already fine as it is, you can always make time to relax.
5. Learn When To Relax
Surprisingly, relaxing can also help you get a six-pack faster, and this is mainly because of cortisol—the hormone responsible for many bodily functions, including protein synthesis. In fact, studies show that cortisol, just like caffeine, can inhibit protein synthesis. Hence, when your cortisol levels are off the charts, it negatively impacts protein synthesis.
Since your cortisol levels increase when you’re stressed, you need to know how and when to relax if you want to get a six-pack faster. Perhaps meditation can help, or you can also get in a hot tub after your workout. Either way, during relaxation, your cortisol will calm down, turning your body’s protein synthesis back to normal.
Getting a six-pack can be pretty complex, and it’s usually harder than building bigger biceps or toning your legs. In fact, you’ll encounter muscle builders with a buff physique, yet they don’t have a six-pack. Similarly, there are individuals with a skinny body but possess the six-pack you’re looking for. The point is, you’ll have to put in more effort if you want to achieve this goal.