Instagram and Twitter are awash with Olympic athletes with flawless physiques and 12-pack abs. But how do you attain a fit core if working out isn’t your job? These five Boston fitness experts gave us advice on how to obtain the abs of your dreams.
“It is so important to keep your metabolism running efficiently. I recommend eating small meals 4-5 times per day (every 3 hours) and drinking tons of water. Breakfast is super important; if you eat first thing when you wake up you can increase your metabolism by roughly 20-30 percent which equals more calories burned per day. You will only see your abs if your body fat is low, so diet is key! I am a big believer in doing big compound movements that work your entire body (squats, pushups, deadlifts, burpees). You will burn way more calories than if you were to just do 1000 crunches every day. High Intensity cardio is the key to getting lean, but if you aren't working at your highest capacity and sweating your butt off it's not going to work. Abs are not easy to attain, you have to work really hard and smart for them.”
“How do you get Olympics-worthy abs? You actually already have them. Everyone does. The key to making them visible is nutrition. To achieve the leanness that makes abs ‘pop,’ follow a personalized nutrition plan and a solid custom training program designed for your unique body composition and history. Because no two people are the same, the training and nutrition required for visible abs must reflect the individual needs of each person. A good nutrition plan should include specific intake of calories, macro nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and timing in relation to the person's training, daily caloric output, goals, and health history. If prescribed correctly, the synergy of a good nutrition and training program will result in visible progress that will stick. Regardless of what you might read out there, there are no gimmicky ‘7-minute abs’ workouts that will get real results. I promise: the hard work and discipline are worth the reward and make it that much sweeter.”
“Often times my clients come to me confused because they work diligently on their abs but yet can't quite see the fruits of their labor. While genetics certainly play a part, proper nutrition is key. Belly fat can be one of the most stubborn areas to reduce and can also become very dangerous to our health if it is visceral fat. To obtain that coveted rock hard 6-pack, I recommend carb cycling within one's diet. Simply put, it's a way to fluctuate your carb intake based upon your level of activity on a given day so that your body will use other energy sources such as stored body fat (key!) versus carbohydrates that have been consumed within a 24 to 48 hour window.”
Ian Kilpatrick, Group Fitness Instructor at Equinox
“I wouldn't be doing my job as a trainer if I didn't say it takes more than the Best Abs Ever class to achieve the elusive ‘ultimate summer 6-pack’ as diet plays a huge role in the amount of body fat that settles above your abdominal muscles. BAE includes a fully body warm up to start, which makes a lot of sense since one of your abdominals main jobs is to connect your upper and lower body. Mobility is the ability to move comfortably in all the patterns our bodies were bio-mechanically meant to move. The core is the hub and focus point of all these movements, meaning the more we work on mobility the more our core is forced to work."
“Abs seem to be tricky or elusive to most. The main ingredient to Olympics-worthy abs is consistency. You must keep consistent stress on the abs forcing them to strengthen. But ab exercises alone won't get it. You must also have some form of daily cardio as well to keep fat from covering up the muscles you are building. That's the difference between looking lean or lazy.”