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  • How To Get The Ultimate Set of Abs

    How To Get The Ultimate Set of Abs

    For many of us, the air is turning warmer by the day, the days are longer, the nights are shorter, and the sun is becoming more and more powerful. This can only mean one thing – summer is right around the corner once again. Whilst summer is generally a very pleasant time of year, for some people, summer isn’t quite as enjoyable, especially if their summer body is, well, stuck in winter bulking mode. As the weather is much warmer during the summer, we obviously wear less, and if you’re looking to really reveal the ultimate summer beach body this year, you will want a set of killer abs to help you do just that. Contrary to popular belief, getting a six pack is not as simple as magazines and so-called “experts” would have you believe. It is a long, arduous, and tough process, but boy will it be worth it in the end. Here’s a look at how to get the ultimate set of six pack abs for this summer.

    Cardio – When it comes to revealing a set of six pack abs, the trick is to get your body fat as low as you possibly can. Generally, the abdominal muscles will become visible when an individual reaches around 13% body fat, or below. Getting down to those types of numbers however, is no easy feat. You will need to really obliterate as much body fat as possible, so cardio is absolutely essential. You can try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) steady state cardio, walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or any other form of cardio. Cardio helps to burn off body fat reserves, and as it is fat you need to burn off to reveal the abdominal muscles hiding underneath, you will need to perform cardio several times per week.

    Eat clean and healthy – As mentioned, in order to reveal the abs, you need to burn off as much abdominal body fat covering them as you possibly can. This means you need to cut out junk food, and eat fresh, clean, healthy, and natural foods packed full of nutrients. Look for lean protein sources, complex carbohydrates, limited amounts of healthy fats, and plenty of fresh veggies. These foods will help you to burn off excess body fat, whilst keeping your body fuelled in the process.

    Train your core – This is where people often go wrong. The abs are muscles just like any other muscle, and because of this, they need training in order for them to grow. The simple fact is that, even if you do drop down into single digit body fat percentages, if you haven’t trained your abs, they simply won’t be visible. You do NOT need to perform 1000 sit ups per day in order to reveal your abs, as experts have revealed that two or three core exercises consisting of 3 sets of 30 – 40 reps, performed two or three times per week, is more than enough to get those abs popping. You should also mix up your core training, so one week you may wish to focus on crunches, whereas the next you could perform planks, mountain climbers, or leg raises.

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  • Cardio vs. Weights: The Pro’s and Con’s

    Cardio vs. Weights: The Pro’s and Con’s

    More cardio, less weights…. More weights, less cardio…. Which is truly the best combination for you?  Depending upon your past injuries, body composition, and overall goals, the answer is different for everyone!  Read below the Pros and Cons of each, and decide which is best for you! :)

    Cardio Pros

    • Decrease in overall body weight
    • Increase in VO2 Max or volume of oxygen uptake
    • Increase in blood circulation
    • Decrease in bodyfat when performed on an empty stomach or during HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
    • Increase in overall energy
    • Increase in endorphins--feel good hormones known to increase happiness
    • Increase in EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption), or increased rate of oxygen intake, allowing your body to burn more calories per hour after exercise (especially high intense interval training)

    Cardio Cons

    • Possible decrease in muscle and bone tissue from too much cardio (also subject to proper diet, total calories, and meal timing)
    • Increase in risk for injury subject to exercise form, volume of training, and stress placed on joints (especially the knee)--Always opt for cardio that places less stress on joints
    • Increase in heart health risk if breathing through upper chest rather than diaghram
    • Increase in cortisol (stress hormone) levels
    • Possible decrease in overall muscle size--Type II Large Fast Twitch muscles may convert to Type I Small Slow Twitch Muscles

    Weight Training Pros

    • Increase in muscle tone and definition
    • Decrease in bodyfat (subject to proper diet, total calories, and meal timing)
    • Increase in BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)--ability to burn more calories per hour at rest
    • Increase in overall energy
    • Increase in heart health (given proper diet and nutrition)
    • Increase in endorphins--feel good hormones known to increase happiness
    • Increase in EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption), or increased rate of oxygen intake, allowing your body to burn more calories per hour after exercise
    • Increase in blood circulation
    • Increase in testosterone and decrease in estrogen, both affecting overall body composition
    • Increase in bone density and strength, thus preventing injury and prospective osteoporosis and osteopenia

    Weight Training Cons

    • Increase in risk for injury subject to exercise form, volume of training, and stress placed on joints
    • Hormone imbalance in females especially, missed periods from too low of estrogen levels, inability to reproduce
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