Six pack abs are the crowning glory of any impressive physique but getting that shredded look on your midsection isn’t always easy.

That said, everyone has abs so why not get them looking sharp?

Article by Ben Kenyon

If you have put in the hard work to get your abdominals looking defined, don’t then make the classic mistake that we all do and lose them. You can keep your physique ticking over all year round with just a few essential steps from the experts at Fitness First

It’s not all about hitting 1,000 sit-ups every day, however. Of course abdominal exercises will make your abs pop but you need a holistic strategy that will keep you lean, your fat burning furnace on high and your diet on track.

Follow the key steps below and you can expect a razor sharp six pack on that holiday in Ibiza right the way through to Christmas with the family.


CRUNCHES: This basic abs exercise is a staple of any six pack plan. You can perform dozens of reps to exhaust the muscle and start to add in resistance with weights when your abs get used to it.

High intensity workouts

High intensity workouts are brilliant for fat loss. You can run slow and steady for miles and miles, but your fat loss won’t be as effective as the short, sharp shock from HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training).

Doing short bursts of super high intensity work, whether sprinting, on a bike or hitting exercises like burpees or tuck jumps, can increase your metabolism for more than 24 hours after training.

This means it creates a calorie ‘afterburn’ effect long after you’ve finished your workout.

Sprinting is among the best HIIT workout you can do to keep your six pack as it’s an all-over movement that will work your abs, glutes, quads, arms and chest.

But you can also do four-minute Tabata intervals (eights sets of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest) or any other type of cardio interval that pushes you to the limit in short bursts.

Doing as little as two short and intense HIIT sessions per week will increase your metabolism and keep your body burning its fat stores.

Drink water

Not only does water aid your concentration, brainpower, give you better skin and feed your muscles, but it will help keep you shredded.

Why? Because drinking water can actually speed up your metabolism by 30 per cent. It will also keep you feeling fuller and stave off those hunger cravings that can make you reach for biscuits, cakes and sugary snacks.

Drinking six to eight pints of water a day is optimal. If you’re bad at remembering, fill up a 5 litre bottle and try and power through it at work.

Or even set alarms on your phone to remind you to down a pint (of water) every few hours.


MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS: This exercise is great for attacking your abs – but they can be done super fast so they’re brilliant to add into fat burning HIIT circuits. Try to perform max reps in one minute – it will sen your heart rate soaring and leave your shoulders, chest, quads and abs burning.

Lift heavy weights

If you want to keep your body melting off fat for year-round abs, then lifting heavy weights is a must.

Just like HIIT training, heavy weight training is an incredible metabolism booster.

You can see an increase in your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after a heavy session on the weights, according to research.

Hitting big compound exercises like squats and deadlifts will get you most bang for your buck in terms of metabolic effect.

You will also be simultaneously hitting so many different muscles doing big compound lifts including your core.

Eat whole foods

“Abs are made in the kitchen”. You’ve probably heard that saying a million times, but it’s totally true.

What you put in your mouth on a daily basis has a huge bearing on your body composition. While you can treat yourself from time to time, you’re going to get the best results from whole foods.

‘Whole foods’ are basically sources of food that unprocessed and as close to their natural state as possible.

Whole foods are nutrient rich and your body takes longer to break them down than processed junk, so you’ll absorb a higher portion of those nutrients.

Protein is key to building muscle, and more muscle means a faster metabolism.

You need to be eating at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight from lean sources like chicken, turkey and fish to preserve that muscle.

Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel and are key after a workout to help spike insulin. But only good, clean, slow-burning sources of carbs will help you keep cravings at bay.

Sweet potatoes, brown rice and quinoa are your best sources.

Green vegetables are rich in fibre and should be on your plate at every meal. Fibre is key in weight loss – stabilising blood sugar, slowing down digestion and making you feel fuller for longer, so fill up on everything from Brussels sprouts and broccoli to spinach and cauliflower.

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