While it's important to have strong abdominals, the MOST IMPORTANT determining factor of having nice washboard abs is having low body fat. Regardless of how many crunches you do daily, or how strong your abs are, if you have a thick layer of stomach fat, you will not be able to see your fantastic abs!
Unfortunately, many people do not realize this.
So, while it's important to train your abs, your main focus should be to reduce your body fat, and this can be achieved through a combination of good nutrition, entire body workouts, and high intensity cardio training. So, let's start off with the issue to getting rid of your body fat.
Burn off Body Fat to Get Washboard Abs
Notice in the title we wrote "burn off body fat" and not "burn off belly fat" - this important because of the simple fact that you cannot spot reduce. There is no way for you to somehow magically target the fat deposits in your stomach area and make it go away. The only way to get rid of fat around your mid section is to burn off overall body fat - you have to reduce fat on your entire body to be able to reduce the fat in your stomach area.
To have your abs to show, you need to get your body fat percentage low enough. For men, you need your body fat percent to be around 11% or less. If you can get it closer to 9% or less, your six pack will be very clearly visible. For women, because of naturally higher body fat, you need to get down to around 16% or less, and if you can get around 14% body fat, it's even better for showing off your abdominals.
So what's the best way to go about getting rid of body fat?
Start of by cleaning up your diet and eat a clean, healthy diet. You should aim to eat 4 to 6 small meals throughout the day instead of just 2 or 3 large meals. Your diet should be based on a balanced diet of lean proteins, carbohydrates, and good fats. See here for more details on diet to burn body fat.
Next, you need to have a good entire body workout program to help you promote lean mass growth and help you burn off body fat. Focus on multi-joint compound exercises such as dead-lifts, squats, bench press, etc. See our article here for the top 10 most effective ab exercises. You'll be surprised to find that only 4 of the 10 most effective ab exercises we listed actually directly target the abdominal muscles - the rest are mostly compound exercises that involve multiple muscle groups that will promote the most lean mass development and stimulate metabolism to help you burn off fat. Ladies, you do not need to worry about getting too "buff" or "built" or "big" from doing these exercises.
Finally combine the above with very high intensity, interval based cardio training sessions. There are two key points worth mentioning when it comes to doing cardio training sessions that work best to burn fat and reduce tummy fat:
- One of the best ways to burn fat off fast is to do morning cardio - perform your cardiovascular sessions first thing in the morning. You will not get better results at any other time of the day.
- Perform relatively short, very high intensity interval based cardio workouts, instead of long, slow pace cardio workouts. While the long cardio session will burn more calories, it is the short, intense session that will have the most benefits for fat loss.
I won't go into more details about cardio training here. You can read our guide on cardio training to reduce body fat here.
Did you know that stress makes you fat? Chronic stress is especially harmful to making you fat. Find ways to reduce and eliminate various stress in your life. See here for more about stress and belly fat.
Learn the Truth About Losing Your Abdominal Fat Permanently
Mike Geary is the "Abs Guru" that has the entire solution to getting rid of abdominal fat. All of the nutritional strategies, as well as training sequences, exercise combinations, and more have all been compiled in his Truth About Six Pack Abs Program. While his program effectively helps you get rid of abdominal fat, very small portion of the program is actually about abdominal exercises. The main point of this program is showing you the absolute most effective strategies for losing your stubborn abdominal fat, so you can get rid of that dangerous health risk, as well as get a flatter more defined midsection.
Following the guidelines set out in the Truth About Six Pack Abs, you WILL lose your abdominal fat that has been plaguing you for years. This is not guesswork... it is a proven system that works time and time again for all of his clients on every corner of the globe that actually apply these strategies. If you apply it, the results will come. It's really that simple.