Defined abs in one week? Is it even possible?
That depends on your starting point. If you’re at 25% body fat or more, it is going to be an uphill climb. If you are relatively lean or fit, your 6 pack might be 7 days down the road.
‘Abs’ that you would see on someone is actually one large muscle which is defined when the surface fat on the belly is minimal, exposing it. The “pack” we see when describing the 4, 6 or 8 rock hard squares is really a division in the rectus abdominus muscle caused by the linea alba. That is a tendon which runs down the centre and across the abs, causing the shapes to appear.
So when we want abs, the key is combining these two into ideal conditions for a defined, delicious, sexy, rippling core! Here is how to get abs in a week:
Nutrition – What Diet Should I Follow?
Starting with cutting down the belly fat… There are a lot of ways to rapidly burn off fat. The best ways will be the most efficient- the quickest way to do the most damage. Cutting down your carb intake is going to be huge. To compliment this and to not starve, you’ll have to increase your fat and protein intake tremendously if you don’t already.
Don’t be deceived by ancient myths about fat loss. Fatty foods do not cause your body to gain fat. It is sugar and processed foods and excessive grain consumption which does that. Increase your egg, meat, fish, and poultry intake and stop all grains. No more rice, oatmeal, pastas, burger buns, sandwiches, corn, pastries, or junk foods. Also avoid legumes for the week and roots which are high in carbs. That includes all beans and peanuts, as well as potatoes, peas and carrots.
Though it may seem extreme this is what it takes to get results in one week. What you can do is increase your fat and protein with different types of meats, as well as increase your vegetable intake. Think of more sweet peppers, radishes, mushrooms, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, varieties of lettuce and more. With fats, you’ll be replacing the energy source filled by carbs with avocado, flaxseed, coconut oil, olive oil, and butter.
Implementing these alterations to your diet shouldn’t be considered a diet but a way of life. Not only will you cut down but you will also be improving your health.
To aid your fat loss and increase the definition of the abs, you’ll need to assist your diet with some serious exercise. You also will want to check out my article on 3 Unique Veggies That Fight Abdominal Fat
The objective of your workouts will be twofold. First, you want to aid with over all fat loss, and second, to improve the ripples of the abs.
A classic myth is to use crunches and sit ups to do both of these. Unfortunately, it is just not that simple. Exclusively abdominal exercises are great to help with the definition, but they won’t give you that pack you are really looking for.
Therefore, in addition to the new nutrition plan and your classic isolated exercises, you’ll need to do full body, high intensity interval training. This is also known as HIIT.
HIIT for Abs
This is the most effective way of burning the maximum amount of calories per session. The difference is doing the same amount of work in 20 minutes as you would in 60 minutes or more of standard exercise format.
HIIT can be made up of any exercises you choose, and can include and mix together resistance and cardiovascular training. These are two examples of HIIT training sessions:
HIIT A: Cardio/ Aerobic
-2 minute jog
-30 second sprint
Repeat 10 rounds
HIIT B: Mix
-20 push ups
-15 seconds rest
Repeat 5 rounds
With HIIT, all training will be very fatiguing and very challenging. These are general sessions which will help with fat burning. However, since your goal is to burn fat and get defined abdominals in a week, it would be a good idea to make the sessions even more specific.
Here is what your training could look like for how to get abs in a week:
Option A: At the gym
-Treadmill run at top speed for 4 minutes: find a speed which is challenging yet safely manageable.
- 10 overhead squats (with loaded barbell): take a very wide grip on a barbell, set the feet with toes pointed slightly outward. Set the back and core before beginning a descent into a deep squat. Keep the barbell slightly behind the head and over the spine at all times. Dip as low as possible and stand back up.
-1 minute plank hold: using a mat if necessary, lie face down, propping yourself up on both elbows/ forearms. Lift the entire torso and legs off the floor, into a straight, rigid “plank” position. Use the forearms and toes to support your body. Contract the abs without letting the hips sag or tent up.
- 20 weighted overhead sit ups: place a 10 to 25lb weight in hand, starting in the sit up position. Drop both knees to the side, with the soles of the feet facing together. Lock the arms with knuckles facing the ceiling and perform a sit up, keeping the weight overhead.
- Repeat 4 rounds
Option B: From home or the park
- 20 Burpees: start from standing, jump down into the plank, perform a push up, then jump feet back to position, and finish with a vertical jump.
- 20 V-sit ups: From the sit up position, keep the legs straight and bring them up towards the ceiling. Reach with the hands at the same time to touch the toes at the top. Stay in control and do not let the feet drop to the ground. Do not let the heels touch the floor for the duration of the set, if possible.
- 10 Hanging leg raises/ toes to bar: hanging from a pull up bar or monkey bars, bring the knees up to the chest, or the toes all the way to the bar overhead (depending on your level).
- Repeat 5 rounds
Doing the exercises and following the diet laid out in this article will give you the body you are looking for however something you need to take note of is that this is a lifestyle change. You can’t go all out to get all abs one week and then move back to the junk food.
Make sure you stick around and read more articles.
Your fat loss strategy works and you’ve reached a low enough percentage to see your core muscles. Great! But, now what? Through smart food intake you can maintain your glorious abs, but you can’t shred them with calories alone. This article is for folks who are ready to really sculpt and tailor their core without doing any conventional ab work. We’re going to go over 10 free-weight inspired compound exercises you can do faithfully at any gym. Here’s a few tips:
- Tip: Weight should vary depending on your overall goals. To pack on lean mass, increase weight and shoot for “sets to failure” with plenty of rest periods in between.
- Tip: To fine-tune your musculature and maintain rather than focusing on hypertrophy, choose a moderate weight and “shoot for burn” with more reps and the least amount of rest possible.
10 Super-Shredder Exercises to Sculpt Your Core
As you’ll see, none of these exercises are core-specific but they’re challenging and get quick results. We sculpt the entire body from the core outward, the way a flower blooms in spring. Go full-body, full-throttle but with your attention placed on your abs.
#1: Barbell Roll-out, Deadlift into Press
Take a traditional Olympic barbell and throw on some 25s, 35s or 45 lb. plates. You start out on the ground on your knees with the barbell in front of you.
- Your first action is to roll the barbell as far as out as possible in a smooth fashion. For advanced folks, start on your feet and try to roll out until you’re completely suspended on your toes and nothing else.
- When you bring the barbell back in keep it coming and transition into traditional deadlift form. Do a deadlift but hold it at the top.
- To finish the sequence pop the bar up to your shoulders and press it, hold, and then bring it down to either go into the next one or take a 10 second breather. If you want to add something, add a frontal barbell squat.
#2: Half Chin-ups with Knee-ins
Hold a chin-up at about 90%. By that I mean your chin should stay at the bar or just below/above it. Once you’re up there you need to completely still your body. Once you’re still and the body is ready, start rocking some knee-ins. Bring your knees into your chest without losing form. Shoot for at least 15. Try to get a little pump into your bicep though as you do the knee-ins and you’ll find that along with being a body sculptor, this exercise can demolish your biceps.
#3: Dumbbell Burpee w/ Deadlift
These are absolute crushers once you get used to them. Grab a pair of moderate weight dumbbells, something heavy enough to make deadlifts burn! Combine dumbbell burpees (with pushups at the bottom) and deadlifts into one motion. You pop down and do the burpee with a pushup, then tuck in the knees to get on your feet. Power up and then go straight back down into another dumbbell burpee. Fast, but controlled! Focus on the core as you transition into the deadlift. These can be dangerous exercises for untrained people. Start slow, show the muscles and the core what they need to do and then try and pump out 20 without resting.
#4: From Ground to Air Planks
Right, so this is about combining traditional floor-based planks with planks you do while hanging in the air from a pull-up bar. Start on the ground and do 15-90 seconds and then without resting pop-up, hold the pull-up at the top, and then either tuck in your knees or extend your legs out and hold! Try to go as long as you can without a rest period. Switch up the pose of your planks on the ground from side to side or middle.
#5: Cable Squat Rows
These are amazing sculptors for the entire body, but as you do them SQUEEZE those abs and protect the lower spine. Head over to a cable machine with adjustable arms and make it so you can use both handles. Choose heavier weight, but not so heavy you cannot do some rows. Ok, so as you push up into the squat, you should be far enough away from the cable machine that the weight you choose comes up with you. At the top do some rows. It’s best to go with heavier weight and use both hands, but some folks add extra tension in the core by doing one at a time.
#6: Around the World Lower-Body Leg Lifts
Lay down somewhere that you can grab onto something with your hands to completely stabilize and solidify your upper body. Instead of just going up and down with your leg lifts, go all over the place! Move your legs around in a big wide circle as smoothly and as slowly as possible. Again, protect the spine by internally engaging protective core muscles.
#7: Reverse Overhead Barbell Lunges
Grab a moderate weight smaller-sized barbell (or single dumbbell), hold it above your head with both arms and successfully perform some controlled reverse lunges. These can be challenging enough for the core without the weight suspended above its center of gravity. These take practice. As you get better and stronger, do them on platforms with one leg on and one leg off.
#8: Variety Intervals with Dumbbells Sets
People might look at you funny, but grab a set up dumbbells and bring them to the cardio area. Now, most gyms have a variety of options. Stair climbers, rowers, elliptical trainers, upright and recumbent bikes, treadmills etc. You’re going to choose 3 of them and do 3 minutes of intense exercise on each with a dumbbell set in the middle. It’s a circuit. Here’s an example:
- 3 minutes of sprinting on the treadmill followed by a set of dumbbell burpees with shoulder presses at the top.
- 3 minutes of intense full-body exercise on the elliptical trainer followed by a set of dumbbell pushups with rows.
- 3 minutes on the stair climber followed by a set of dumbbell squat presses.
#9: Decline Medicine Ball Passes
Use the decline bench that people love to do crunches on, but have someone tossing you a moderate weight medicine ball as you do them. You should catch the ball just as you start going down, then power back up. Start with an easy toss, but as you get stronger and more capable at some controlled heat!
#10: Hanging Toe Touches w/ Burpee
Hang from the chin-up bar with complete full-body extension and then bring your toes up to you hands. Drop down do a burpee and then pop up and do another toe touch. Shoot for a set of 20 of these without resting.
Flaunting six-pack abs is the ultimate goal of many a fitness enthusiast. Inspired by the sculpted looks of models featured on magazine covers, several people flock to the gym or chart out their own fitness routines to realize their six-pack abs dream. While it is very much possible to achieve the intended results using different approaches, it is important for aspirants to steer clear of common myths about six pack abs to avoid wasting time and effort on techniques that simply do not work.
Let’s quickly check out a few such myths about six pack abs to make sure we’re heading the right way.
Crunches and Sit-Ups are the Best Techniques to Get the Ripped Look
No! Endless number of crunches or sit-ups is not going to really make any visible difference, for abdominal exercises help to strengthen the muscles internally, but may not do anything to make them more prominent. In fact, getting used to a set of regular exercises is simply going to make it easier for the body to go through the perfected routine without posing any further challenges.
A Low-Carbohydrate Diet Speeds Up The Process
The right amount of carbohydrates is required for the normal functioning of the body. Cutting down on the carbohydrate intake may not work well for everybody. While going low on carbohydrates can help counter obesity and make exercise routines more effective in shedding excess fat, avoiding carbohydrates can, in fact, work against the system by slowing down the normal metabolism of the body. A healthy dose of good carbohydrates is a must.
High Cardio and Resistance Training Help Achieve Results
High-intensity interval training, as well as training for strength, definitely works to strengthen abdominal muscles in the very same way they tone up other muscles of the body. They also help burn excess fat, but there is no real need for intensive cardio or resistance workouts on a daily basis. Repetitive sets, cardio and strength training when taken up thrice a week are often found to be beneficial, especially when combined with a suitable dietary plan.
A Ripped Look Means Strong Abs
One of the common myths about six pack abs is that a sculpted look is necessarily strong. This need not always be the case. It is quite possible to shed a lot of fat to make the abdominal muscles look prominent, even when not specifically strengthened or toned.
Once Sculpted, Six-Pack Abs are Easy to Maintain
This, in fact, is the most difficult part of the process. Contrary to popular belief, it is quite difficult to maintain the low levels of fat and carbohydrates, as well as stick to a strict diet plan over a period of time. The trick, however, is to periodically shock the body from its healthy setting with a moderate change in diet, and then work towards regaining the form.
Having gotten familiar with some of the myths about six pack abs, it is now time to move on to the hard truths.
The Quickest Way to Get Abs
The hard truth here is that there are no shortcuts. So, the quickest way to get abs is definitely challenging, and is not the same for everyone. There is no single killer routine or spot reduction technique that shaves excess fat off the abdomen. The process of achieving ripped abs is all about building a strong set of abdominal muscles and then shedding enough fat to flaunt them.
Models Cannot Be Mimicked
Athletes, body builders and fit models can definitely serve as inspirations, but their abdominal structures cannot be mimicked as the musculature of each human body is genetically different.
Six-Pack Abs Elude the Female Form
By their genetic pre-disposition, females tend to have more fat to fuel their body functions, making the task even more challenging than their male counterparts. Despite best efforts, six-pack abs on the female form aren’t that chiseled, when compared to ripped abs on males.
The best or the quickest way to get abs is to combine cardio and resistance training to burn fat and strengthen the core, while focusing on exercises that best help tone abdominal and also adopt a healthy diet plan to aid this effort.
Exercises that Help Strengthen and Tone Abdominal Muscles
There are several direct and indirect ways to work out the abdominal muscles. It is, however, important to choose the right set of exercises, without, of course, overworking the abs at any point during the routine. Intense workouts, when taken up without professional supervision, may lead to back pain.
Abdominal workouts such as planks, side planks, walking planks, hanging leg raises, cable crunches have been observed to be quite effective. Select exercises when performed using weights or stability balls serve to make the routines more challenging. Squats, presses and push-ups also help to add an interesting variation to the routine, while indirectly working the abs.
The key to making the abdominal workouts more effective is to opt for progressively challenging variations, as the body begins to get comfortable with a set of exercises. Increasing the number of repetitions, cutting down on rest between reps, increasing the resistance, extending the time of static exercises, etc. tend to test the limits of the muscles. Very similar to ramping up the pace of the reps, gradually slowing them down is also a powerful technique that needs judicious use.
Going on a diet or simply tiring the body with an intensive workout routine are in no way helpful to achieve six-pack abs; eating healthy is the key.
• Protein-rich foods help build muscle and boost body metabolism, effectively burning excess fat.
• Loading up of healthy carbohydrates such as whole wheat and leafy vegetables provide enough nutrition for the daily functioning of the body. Carbohydrate levels can, in fact, be adjusted to suit the energy needs on a daily basis, for it takes energy even to exercise!
• Limited amounts of saturated fats from olive or coconut oil, fatty fish, or even nuts replenish the body with enough fat to keep the system lubricated.
An interesting low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-sugar diet along with eggs, dairy products and veggies is bound to help trim excess body fat to reveal a sculpted six-pack abs.