Over the course of the past 5 years, I have learned many, many things about health and nutrition. One of the main things I have learned is how to get great abs. Quickly, though, understand that I was that person who always blamed genetics for the reason why I couldn’t get great abs. I would work my tail off in the gym every day, do countless sit-ups, but nothing seemed to work, so I just figured that my body wouldn’t allow me to get them. I was wrong. In this post I’m going to share with you my secret in how to get defined abs. Oh and by the way, those are my abs in the picture above!
You want to know the secret in how to get great abs? The secret lies in your DIET! Yeah, that’s right, it has to do with what you eat. That was the secret ingredient that I was missing, and once I corrected my diet, the abs started to come. However, that’s the main part of it, but not all of it. Exercise plays an important role in the equation as well, just not as important as the diet. In fact, I tell all the people that I coach (I’m a Beachbody Coach) that 80% of results come from diet and 20% from exercise. How do I know this? Back in 2008 I decided to commit to P90X, a 90 day home workout program. When the program came in the mail, I noticed there was a Nutrition Guide and decided that if I was going to do the program, I was going to do it right, which meant following BOTH the diet and workouts. And that’s exactly what I did. With 90 days of 100% commitment to the workouts and diet, I FINALLY got the defined abs I wanted and literally got into the best shape of my entire life.
(1) Take in the right amount of calories. Most people don’t understand that in order to get great abs, you have to lose the fat around the abs, and the way to do that is by burning more calories than you consume throughout the day. However, you have to be careful because if you drop too low, your body will go into “starvation mode,” where your body holds on to the fat because it believes you’re malnourished. You have to eat enough calories to where you feel comfortable at the end of the day. For me, at 5’7″, that was right around 1,800 – 1,900 calories per day when I first started P90X. As you get into better shape, though, and start to build a lot of muscle, you’re body will require more calories.
(2) Eat the right foods. This is a key in how to get great abs. When I say take in a certain amount of calories, they need to be HEALTHY calories! If you take in 1,800 calories of crap, chances are you’re not going to see those abs. Stick with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats (chicken, fish), and stay away from sugary foods, processed foods, white breads, and foods high in fat.
(3) Must take in proper ratio of fat/carbs/protein. There is another part in this whole equation in how to get great abs, and that’s HOW MUCH of each category you should be consuming. If 95% of your diet comes from carbs, which gives you energy, the unused energy will be turned into fat. The P90X Nutrition Guide actually breaks down each category, and it changes each month for the entire 3 months. In the first month, you’re supposed to take in a fat/carbs/protein ratio of 20/30/50 (percentage of calories). In the second month 20/40/40 and in the third month 20/50/30. Now you’re probably asking yourself how the heck you keep track of all this. It’s simple. Use My Fitness Pal or their iPhone app, which I think is better anyways. With both the website and the app, you will log everything that you eat, and at the end of the day you can find out where you were in terms of your total ratios.
(4) Do the right ab exercises. If you want to know how to get defined abs, you need to make sure you’re doing the proper ab exercises. Doing 30 regular sit-ups and calling it quits isn’t going to cut it. You need a good ab routine. Of course I recommend P90X Ab Ripper X, a 15 minute long vigorous ab routine that will learn to love but hate at the same time. It’s very tough, but so effective because it works not just the lower abs, but also the upper and obliques as well.
(5) Have the proper amount of rest. Your abs are just like every other muscle group, and should have 48 hours rest before working again. It takes muscles 48 hours to heal properly. It IS NOT beneficial for you to do ab exercises every day! If you want to know how to get great abs, you’ve got to listen to me on this one.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding on how to get great abs. Remember, getting great abs has a LOT to do with your diet! If you’re diet isn’t good, then forget about getting those defined abs.