By Tony Peralez (UTSA)
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So here we are in mid April with May just around the corner is fair weather and sunshine to turn us all to a nice healthy bronze. However, none of us are going to feel comfortable and confident unless we have some sick abs! And you’ll never get them sitting in the gym doing thousands of ab exercises! Instead of getting suckered by ocular peer pressure into filling your workout with useless ab exercises, here are a few practices to help meet your abdominal standards.
This is the number one contributing factor to those hard packed abdominals. There’s two ways to approach your goal when considering the word diet: making sure you’re not eating the wrong things, and making sure you’re consuming enough of the right things.
Take it easy on the carbs and up your protein level. If you’re working out regularly, which you should be if you want to achieve midsection perfection, your carbs and proteins should be balanced.
Try consuming your weight in protein converted to grams. I weight 195 pounds, so I should be having 190 to 200 grams of protein everyday. It’s roughly the same with carbs but make sure they are at appropriate times. Lay off of them by 6 pm. If you’re hungry and eating, replace breads, grains, and carbs with good fats and veggies with fiber.
Also try to have 4 or 5 small meals a day. Eat a hearty breakfast with the majority of your day’s carbs and sugars. Then the later in the day you eat, incorporate more fiber to keep you more full throughout the evening. That’s a great trick to keep you full through the night up until you hit the sack. If you’re hungry before bed, have a half a cup of yogurt or a couple of boiled eggs. Good protein, calcium, and fats that wouldn’t hurt you late at night.
I cannot over emphasize this enough. Drink it throughout your entire day. Sure we all love the alternatives to the life source of nature, but if you want those abs and defined muscles then take my word for it and stick to water.
Water will flush out all of the impurities and toxins you have in your body. While dieting like recommended above, your body will consume the things that are necessary for proper fuel and it disposes of the things that aren’t the best for it. By drinking water, you help flush out the negativity and replace it with all natural H2O.
Also, if your body is dehydrated it begins to retain water. You will look and feel bloated. Not only will you be uncomfortable, but by the time you get to the gym to work out you’ll be doing your body more harm than you are good.
You cannot cut extra pounds if you are stressed. It is a disease that attacks your finer Zen qualities and keeps your body from responding positively to the work you’re putting it through. Clear your mind of obligations, relationships, drama, work, anything that keeps you from being where you ideally want to be mentally. I am no guru or professional who can tell you how to wipe your mind but I know why you should. Not only will you feel better mentally but it will prepare you to be successful physically.
Lay off of it! Stay away from beer, wine, shots, and any other mixed drinks. I’m not telling you not to party, I’m only recommending alternatives to your current consumption staples. Try drinking vodka and tequila (not mixed together). The two are derivatives of natural grains and plants with no sugar added like rum or whiskey. Have these on the rocks, with water, or tonic, or soda, or just with a lime. You’ll get the same intoxicating result with less of the physical hassle the next day.
Your body has no more than 24 hours to process alcohol. The liver has to do all the work and what it doesn’t flush from your body, it converts it to sugar and stored fat. If you’re drinking things that are more natural for your body to get rid of, like vodka and tequila, then you have less of an equation that can potentially equal a beer belly. That goes for men and women because women can get it just as easily as men.
And finally, the WORKOUTS
You wont get the best out of your work outs until you achieve all of the above practiced scenarios. It’s all one equation with the answer at the end being toned abs.
NO MORE ABS IN THE GYM! Sure your core is important, but not that important to where you commit all too much of your time and energy focusing on abs. People seem to think if you do a thousand crunches everyday you’ll have sweet abs. The only way this works is if you already have abs and you’re trying to chisel them further. If you don’t, it only makes your waistline expand more with no visible result.
If you have fat over a muscle, and you isolate and work out that muscle, that muscle only expands under the fat. Today, this is your new approach: incorporate abs into the lifts you’re already doing by tightening your core. Also, work out your bigger muscle groups with more reps and incorporating different exercises. Focus on chest, legs, and back. These groups are great to do because they all promote a healthy core when done properly. This will promote more growth hormone production when you are resting which means more consumed calories. Do sprints and incorporate these bigger muscle groups into all of your workout days to burn more fat faster. It works, trust me.
So there you have it kids. It worked for me so hopefully it will work for you all just as well. Remember it is a recommendation and a guideline. I’m no expert but this column has all the right parts. All you have to do is add the right commitment to the equation and you’ll get those abs you want. If you have questions or comments please feel free to leave them here or facebook me. I’d be happy to help out further if any of you need it! Hopefully you’ll be ripped without anymore help and we’ll meet up at the pool. I’ll save you a beer.