Many people out there seem to think that doing countless sit-up and crunches all day will result in toned 6 pack abs. This is a great misconception and nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that everyone, no matter how big their belly is, has 6 pack abs underneath that extra layer of fat. The key is to get rid of this fat layer and as a result expose those abs. Sit-ups and crunches will only assist in the actual muscle building of the abs themselves, but without losing that fat layer you won't be seeing any abs at all.
One of the most efficient ways to lose fat (aside from eating correctly) is performing cardio exercise. This could be swimming, running, cycling or even fast-paced walking.
- Perform Fasted Cardio
A very useful tip is to perform your cardio on an empty stomach when trying to achieve those 6 pack abs. I recommend doing your cardio first thing in the morning before breakfast. When we wake up in the morning our body is in a catabolic state. Catabolism means 'the breaking down' of body tissue, this is the optimum time to perform your fat burning exercises as your body is literally in fat burning mode. In addition to this, because you haven't eaten any food before the exercise your body will break down mostly fat in order to fuel your exercise session rather than food in your system. The idea is to leave our body no choice but to burn mostly fat.
- Maintain Your Optimum Fat Burning Heart Rate
When performing any exercise our body decides what resources to use for fuel based on how intensive the exercise is. It all comes down to our heart rate during the exercise. Research shows that our body tends to burn fat optimally at a specific heart rate. This heart is roughly 63% of our maximum heart rate. One is able to maintain this heart rate by slow jogging, fast-paced walking or other similar low intensive activity. One wouldn't think so but this low intensive style exercise is optimal for fat burning! See the end of the article for a resource link which explains exactly how to calculate 63% of your max heart rate.
- Perform HIIT To Your Boost Metabolism
Aside from low intensive cardio, it's also a good idea to throw in some high intensive interval training (HIIT). This basically involves performing short bursts of intensive activity. An example would be sprinting (running) as fast as you can for half a minute, and then jogging for half a minute, then sprinting for half a minute, then jogging again and simply repeating this process. Although HIIT will not burn as much fat as low intensive cardio during the exercise itself, it is able to boost one's metabolism even after you are have finished the exercise. For the next few hours after the exercise your metabolism will be a lot higher than it was before performing the exercise. This means that by doing HIIT you are literally turning your body into a fat-burning machine for the remainder of the day.
It's important that you apply a combination of the above points. There is so much misleading information out there that can simply lead to fat gain and bad health, so be very cautious about what you read.
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