Fitness Guide how to sculpt a perfect stomach
Looking to get a sleek, firm, and sexy stomach? This is one of the top goals that many women have when they step foot into the gym and yet, it’s one that few ever attain.
One of the big reasons why many women fail to see success with shaping their midsection is because they just don’t have the proper approach. Let’s fix this problem by walking you through the key requirements necessary to get that perfect stomach that you desire.
Put Nutrition First
When trying to get a set of flat abs, the first thing you need to do is stop the crunches and focus on your food. Sound odd? It’s a fact. What you put in your mouth on a day to day basis will influence the look of your stomach far more than any exercise you’re doing on the ab mats.
Everyone has a set of six pack abs. The reality is that most women simply have too much body fat covering those abs to actually see them. So your number one mission should be to bring down your total body fat percentage. That is done best with a sound diet.
Your nutrition should revolve around lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fresh produce. Complex carbohydrates should be kept to only those times when you are most active to keep calories in check and promote the utilization of body fat as a fuel source. Sugar should be eliminated completely. Taking in sugar will just cause a surge of blood glucose, which will increase your risk of fat storage. By keeping blood sugar levels under control at all times, you will maintain higher rates of fat oxidation all day long.
Cutting out alcohol, if you can, is also a wise move as when alcohol is consumed, all fat burning will halt until the alcohol is out of your system. Each time you take a drink, it’s literally like taking a break from fat loss.
Structure Your Weight Workouts Correctly
When it comes to the workouts that you do, ab workouts aren’t even the most important factor here. In fact, you don’t even need to do core workouts to develop a great stomach if everything else is done right.
What you do need to be doing however is heavy compound lifting. This means squatting, deadlifting, bench pressing, and performing rows and/or pull-downs. These moves are going to stimulate more muscle fibers, which then ramps up your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories at rest. This will kick-start fat burning, getting you closer to seeing those ab muscles.
And, because these exercises all require core muscle activation to keep you stabilized as you perform them, they will be hitting your ab muscles at the same time. This is why you don’t need to spend time each week doing core specific exercises. While you can still do a few to isolate the core and gain further strength, they will not be mandatory to develop a great looking midsection.
Aim to perform these compound exercises at least three days per week for optimal results, taking one day off between sessions. This can either be done as a full body plan or an upper/lower split if you prefer.
To your lifting sessions, you’ll also want to consider adding in smart cardio. This does not entail hours spent each week on the cardio machines first thing in the morning.
It’s been shown that intense interval-type sprint training is far more effective for fat burning purposes and to get you to that lean body you’re after. This is the cardio to focus on.
So two to three times per week, spend 15-20 minutes alternating between 20-30 seconds of maximum intensity exercise and 40-60 seconds of lower intensity active rest. Keep alternating between these 6-10 times, adding a warm-up and cool-down to the session.
Choose a mode of cardio that allows you to instantly accelerate to that intense pace such as running sprints (on a track), running stairs, or a bodyweight move such as burpees or even kettlebell swings if you wanted to add a little resistance to it.
Perform this cardio on alternate days as you do your weight lifting workouts, or preferably 6-8 hours before or after the lifting sessions if you must do them on the same day. As both types of workouts will be highly intense, it’s best not to do them in the same session.
Then, if you are going to do any core work in addition to these, try and perform as much variety in terms of your exercise choice as possible in effort to hit the core from all angles. Your ab muscles will be fast to adapt to the stress being placed upon them, so keeping this stress continually changing will be important for ongoing results.
Finally, don’t overlook the role that your lifestyle choices can have on your ability to get a great looking stomach. For instance, lack of sleep will slow your metabolic rate down, induce insulin resistance, and can cause you to crave more carbs than you otherwise would. All three of these factors work directly against your goal of getting leaner.
Likewise, if you are under too much stress and are not using productive stress coping strategies, this can cause you to release excess cortisol in the bloodstream, which then can lead to the loss of lean muscle tissue along with fat accumulation in the abdominal region.
Tending to both of these elements will help maximize your chances of seeing the fast results that you’re looking for.
There you have the main factors that must be in place if you hope to see flat-ab success. If you work hard, stay dedicated, and be patient, you can get the stomach you’re looking for. Just do be aware that since females will tend to store a greater amount of fat in the core region naturally, it may take you some time to get down to body fat levels where you see that definition. Consistency with your program will be key.