Fitness fundas to help you flaunt those eight packs too.
They work hard at their bodies, waking up at the crack of dawn to put in two grueling hours at the gym before heading for the studios to shoot for their respective soaps. No wonder then that these handsome, chiseled hunks take their shirts off any chance they get. But getting a six or eight pack like theirs isn’t child’s play. You need to be as dedicated as Mrunal, Karan, Vivian or Gautam. To help things along, Nykaa has cut through the misinformation and half-truths to compile six commandments on how you too can sport a six pack.
Lose that body fat
Everyone has an eight pack. Problem is, most of the time it’s hidden under layers of abdominal fat. Rule of thumb: you need to get down to at least 10% body fat for yours to become noticeable, and under 7% for them to ripple. So how are you going to achieve this? Follow a healthy 1500-1800 calories a day diet and high intensity cardio (think brisk walking, running, spinning and swimming) till you’re slim enough to start working on your abs. Unfortunately, abdominal and lower back fat is stubborn, and takes longer to disappear than other areas. This means you have to lose fat from other places before your abs start to appear.
Control your carb intake
This doesn’t mean you can’t look at rice again! Get your fill of fresh fruits and veggies, some nuts and seeds, low fat dairy, lean meats (chicken, fish, eggs or a protein supplement like Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Strawberry Banana - 2 lbs or Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Vanilla Shake - 4.3 lbs) and one-two servings of whole grains like brown rice, wheat or whole grain bread. Another effective trick is to give yourself a carb cut-off at 5 p.m. After that just consume lean proteins, soups and veggies.
Watch what you eat
You might stay within your daily caloric allowance but the quality of what you eat is equally important. Be aware that some foods are calorically denser with a higher glycemic index than other foods that can give you better satiety. For example, peanut butter, nuts, chips, biscuits, pizzas, ready-to-eat cereals, chocolate and ice creams have a low nutritive but high caloric value. You might want to have an occasional treat but remember it will pile on the calories without filling you up.
Hit the cardio hard
Combine short bursts of high intensity cardio with resistance training to up your heart rate followed by a period of active recovery wherein you allow yourself to slow down and recover while still doing some movement like walking. In the early days you could take a complete break between cardio stints till you build up your stamina. There are plenty of studies that prove the benefit of short, high intensity stints over long slow distance cardio while you’re trying to lose weight.
Work those abs
One can’t emphasize enough the importance of losing enough abdominal fat before your abs can show through. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t train your abs because when they’re well developed they will start showing earlier and will look far better than undeveloped ones. You could try two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetition ab crunches like Spiderman Plank Crunches, Cable Rotations, Bicycle Crunches and Cross Crunches to sculpt your stomach muscles. Generally speaking, full body exercises like squats and deadlifts, and tougher chin-ups and bench presses activate the abs as much as more direct ab exercises.
Do resistance training
Strictly speaking you don’t need to lift weights to get well defined abs but weights help create a more muscular, symmetrical body. Plus one loses weight faster because you tend to burn more calories at rest, speeding up your metabolism. Strength training also helps you maintain muscle mass while on a low calorie diet. Ask your trainer to customize your routine so that you lose weight faster. The more fat you lose, the quicker you can show off your six packs. Like Mrunal and Ashish.