Back when I was toying with the daring idea to be ready for a bikini, Kohy was one of the first to encourage me to go through with it. That’s when the Bikini Body Challenge was born! So I’ve called on the man-blogger that is Kohy to take us to the School of Abs to find out exactly what it takes to make this body-part look sexy in a bikini. Just take a look at his own abs right there in picture. Did I pick right one for this post, ya’ll!? (wink)
How To Get Great Abs
As a South Floridian, I often forget that this is the time of year to start planning vacations to various sandy destinations across the country. While you may call me me sun- spoiled, I’m forced to forego my winter fattening phase and maintain a lean beach appearance year round. So when I challenged Yum Yucky to commit to the bikini, it was only fitting that I offer my insight on the topic of how to get those abs beach ready.
Before I dig into the meat of the subject at hand, let’s put ourselves in the proper mindset for developing a great pair of abs. If what you desire is a lean, defined, tight midsection…or just a slightly less flabby version of your current gut, we must properly assess all actions involved. Great abs can simply be defined as a midsection that bares very little excess fat. The degree to which one displays a rigid six pack will vary based upon the amount of muscle mass in the abdominal area. Before I get into what goes into getting a great pair of abs, allow me to cover a few things that won’t.
• No number of crunches is going to burn the fat off your gut. Feeling the burn (in your muscles) should not be confused with burning fat cells. Weighted abdominal exercises may build bigger muscles, but it won’t make your waist smaller.
• Neoprene waist-belts are often marketed as products that will help you sweat the fat off. While there is some merit behind the practice of removing subcutaneous water, it won’t make a bit of visible difference if your body fat percentage is higher than the number fingers you have…on one hand.
• If you’re pursuing a workout plan for the sole purpose of obtaining a slimmer waistline you’re setting yourself up for failure. The truth is, getting a great pair of abs is less about the abs themselves, but more about reducing overall body fat. You can’t burn fat from a specific area any more than you can control where you gain it.
Training: The exercises you choose may vary based on body type or desired appearance. A little research on the anatomy of the abdominals and how they function will provide great insight on how to train them effectively. A majority of us want to create the appearance of a narrow waistline. Therefore you should avoid weighted exercises of the obliques, as this may result in a stronger, but wider waistline. Often overlooked is the Transversalis Abdominis that lies underneath the 6 pack region which serves to suck the stomach in. “Sucking it in” will train the inner abdominal muscles which are responsible for giving the appearance of a flat stomach. To get the most bang out of your ab training, inhale deeply at the top of the movement and forcefully exhale and contact your abs as you crunch your knees toward the torso.
Cardio: In order to reveal what you’ve built with your training, you must incorporate sufficient cardio. If you’re one of those people who starts your routine on the treadmill for an hour only to trudge through 20 min of uninspired dumbbell-work, you may want to rethink the order of your routine. The body will burn fat more efficiently while performing aerobic activity (cardio) after glycogen (fuel) stored in the muscles and liver have been depleted. Guess what type of exercise uses glycogen as fuel? Weight-lifting!
Diet: Great abs are a badge of honor reserved for the most disciplined. Your resolve will be put to the test every time you step a foot in the kitchen. Your sworn enemies will be sugar, refined carbs, and junkfood of any kind. Arm yourself with 5-6 meals of lean protein, whole grains, high fiber and you will win the war. There’s saying that “abs are made in the kitchen”, and if you think you’re going to get into that bikini without adhering to a meticulous diet, you might as well start looking for a one-piece.
Kohy Holmes is a Professional Gym Rat and “Transformation Model” for VPX Sports. He blogs as an advocate for weight-training, eating big, and smart-supplementation. For a glimpse into all things cool in the world of fitness, follow him @HDtrainingzone and KohyHD.com.