Thursday, March 10, 2011

Building Washboard Abs in 30 Days - Can it be done?

somewhere close to ryan reynolds
- minus the photoshop and makeup
This starts from me having lost 6 kgs in 30 days. then dropped 4 more kgs and built 4 kgs of muscle mass again. Given that comes the first prerequisite necessary for this challenge - a fit body and a reasonably developed core. What this one month will be dedicated to is chiselling definition into that 6 pack and make them absolute washboard abs.
Honestly, if you are fit, you already have a 6-pack. just that it is covered with layers of fat that make it difficult to view. Drop that last layers of fat (and water) from underneath your skin, and the abs will be visible.

WHY GET WASHBOARD ABS? well, just like that! :) and anyways my sister always keeps saying that i've never had washboard abs. coz personally i quite detest them - they are show off muscles - whenever you pursue real strength, its very unlikely you'll have body fat low enough to show off complete washboard abs. But just this once, to prove a point, i'm chasing em.
note: don't chase what you see in magazines and media - most of that is steroids, photoshop, makeup, lighting, after touching etc etc etc.

There are 3 things to remember -

1. RUN FAT BOY RUN: no matter how much of this crap you've heard, but there is no such thing as natural specific part fat loss - so when you are chiselling off the fat, you're gonna be losing fat all over - so jump start your metabolism with cardio workouts every alternate day and for 10 mins post every weight training workout. Remember to not make the cardio workout repetitive. if you run one day, cycle the next, and row after that and cycle after that. change it every other day. run-cycle-row-alternator-skip-repeat.

2. WEIGHT TRAIN: Keep doing your workouts for the whole body - as there is no such thing as spot specific fat loss. You need to workout heavy to cause more muscle trauma to increase your BMR to burn fat even when your body is idle. That is what will take off the fat so that your abs are revealed. And the more well hypertrophied your abs are, the better they will look. So don't just do cardio that will cause muscle loss and make your abs vanish.
Where comes in my fav workout quote: "you are only truly as strong as your core". It's true.
Focus  on structural movements like weighted squats and dead lifts and clean and jerks - as they put immense pressure on your core structural muscles which causes the highest amount of micro muscle trauma.
Additionally, you can do ab crunches, oblique crunches and wood-choppers on cardio days. (remember to not over train or the muscle will not develop and an injury will ruin 2-3 weeks of your workout - or more)

3. DIET: THIS is the GOD of all routines - the true secret behind all those fab bodies you see - but even more so for building washboard abs. Why? Coz the only way to reduce fat, is to burn it and avoid formation of new fat - without losing your very precious and awesome muscle mass. That means regulating your diet.
Switch to being a total carnivore - eat meats, whole eggs and protein rich foods and protein shakes. If that's not possible and you are vegetarian, load up on the whey proteins. Skip ALL the carbs possible except one green leafy vegetable salad a day. no carbs = no fruits or fruit juices, no breads and rice, no veggies, and no milk and sugar.
FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY, CARBOHYDRATE IS. Especially the high glycemic index carbs.
A bodybuilding ketogenic diet will give you the best results:

note: using a good combination of thermogenic and non thermogenic fatburners from a trusted nutrition brand (ideally among the top 5 in the world) could help you shred those last bits of fat away. But be wary of sleepless nights when on fatburners. AND DO NOT FALL FOR DIET PILLS - they are a farce.

must note again: while you do all of this its important to do weights for the entire body too. do not ignore all other body parts coz the more muscle you build, the faster you'll burn fat even when you are not exercising! :) Plus, it will give your abs and core the break they need to rebuild, recover and relax.

and no... this won't work. seriously.

It's good to space out your workout in such a way that you maximize cardio and abs workouts and alternate those days with other body part workouts.
Figure out how tired you get and which muscles interfere with your workout the other day and make a plan accordingly.

day 1: Legs
day 2: cardio
day3: back + rear delt + bicep
day4: abs + cardio  (in that order - coz once you have fatigued, you can't put high effort into your muscles)
day5: chest + shoulder + tricep
day 6: abs+ cardio  (in that order)
day 7: REST

NOTE: REST is important. don't skip it or your body will suffer. Bodybuilding is a tripod of training, nutrition and rest & recovery. if any one leg fails, the tripod falls.

enjoy your abs!

- Pushkaraj Shirke

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