Real World Tips For Washboard Abs
Originally published May 30, 2006
I’m trying to get one of those coveted “6-packs” before I hit the beach. Can you tell me the fastest way to get a washboard? -Eufe, Los Angeles
Remember, if it were easy, everyone would do it.
Let me be as clear as possible: exercise isn’t enough. To get a washboard in the shortest time possible, you need to really focus on your diet. And when I say focus, I mean with “laser-like” intention. If you really want a washboard, that means absolutely NO cheating and little, if any, room for error.
You’ll need to consume less high glycemic carbs, and follow something similar to the South Beach Diet. This is a great, doctor-approved diet which will help you shift your fat loss into high gear. Depending on your condition and level of dedication, you may want to stay in Phase 1 (the strictest portion) of the South Beach Diet for several weeks. From my experience, the South Beach Diet and similar ketogenic diets are far superior in rapid fat loss. The South Beach diet will get you rolling, but you should also follow these eight tips:
- Get at least three liters of water per day (100 oz)
- Eat roughly 1500-2000 calories per day
- Get five servings of low-glycemic vegetables per day
- Plan your last meal of the day two hours before bedtime. This is critical. Your final meal of the day should be very low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
- No fried foods or cheese
- No processed sugar (e.g., sodas, cookies, candy)
- No fatty red meat (only super-lean red meat)
- 30-45 minutes/day of vigorous activity like running, stair climbing, spinning or cardio kickboxing 5 times per week.
I recommend that you focus on stability training with your abdominals. This means using core equipment, like half-balls or the Swiss Ball to engage your entire abdominal area. To develop the deep grooves alongside and inside the abdominal walls, you’ll need to do weighted crunches (on either a crunch machine, or with plates). These weighted movements may also add more thickness and girth to the abdominal muscles, so be cautious if using heavy weights. When you work your abs, you deliberately need to crunch down on your abdominal muscles for at least a second on each repetition.
Supplementation may speed things up. A good fat metabolizer is the amino acid L Carnitine, which I’d recommend. Fat burners such as Hydroxycuts are popular in bodybuilding circles. They’re a stimulant, but could also be effective. You should definitely consider chromium, which helps to regulate blood glucose levels. Before using any supplement, use caution and make sure you ask your doctor first. And don’t forget to drink lots (and lots) of water.
Finally, remember that the fat around your stomach is the first to go on when you over-eat, so it will also be the last to go when you exercise. It won’t be easy, but stay the course, and send me pics of your washboard, and I’ll post them.
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