Principle 1 – A Full 7-8 hours Sleep
The first principle may not exactly what you were thinking it would be however this is where we will start. A full 7-8 hours sleep is a must to any sort of healthy way of life and is something that every human being should strive to achieve. Sleep is so important to your health that some have even said that… “Sleep Is More Important Than Food” Don’t know if you agree on that?
Well, Here are some facts from the national sleep foundation around sleeping and your health. “ Studies have found a relationship between the quantity and quality of one’s sleep and many health problems. For example, insufficient sleep affects growth hormone secretion that is linked to obesity; as the amount of hormone secretion decreases, the chance for weight gain increases. Blood pressure usually falls during the sleep cycle, however, interrupted sleep can adversely affect this normal decline, leading to hypertension and cardiovascular problems.
Research has also shown that insufficient sleep impairs the body’s ability to use insulin, which can lead to the onset of diabetes. More and more scientific studies are showing correlations between poor and insufficient sleep and disease” Pretty sobering findings from these studies right? This is the reason we must start our 6 principles to a six pack abs book at this very part right here.
In this day and age it appears that the world is sleeping less and less what with the technological advancements of tv’s, computers, pads and smart phones. There is so much to distract us from sleep and divert our attention away from the body’s tiredness. Ever played games on your smart phone in bed? If you have you know what i’m talking about. But in order for you to put away your phone and sleep, you need to know the benefits of a good 7-8 hours of sleep. This again from the national sleep foundation “ Sleep helps us thrive by contributing to a healthy immune system, and can also balance our appetites by helping to regulate levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which play a role in our feelings of hunger and fullness.
So when we’re sleep deprived, we may feel the need to eat more, which can lead to weight gain” So what do you do? How do you get more sleep? It’s recommended that to get into a good sleeping pattern you must have a routine when going to sleep. For instance, drink a relaxing tea or hot milk, shower, brush your teeth and read 5 pages from a book (real book). By doing this routine over and over again your body will recognize this routine and prepare itself for sleep thus making it easier for your mind and body to relax and enter sleep and increase the actual time you are sleeping.
A tip to enjoying a good full sleep is keeping the room cool and dark. If you are feeling the slight bit hot, it affects the way you sleep and the length of your phases of sleep. So try and keep the room cool and dark at all times when you are sleeping. The reason for keeping it dark is when your body see’s that it is dark, it starts releasing melatonin which as researched and discussed here by the university of Maryland medical center “ Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour clock that plays a critical role in when we fall asleep and when we wake up. When it is dark, your body produces more melatonin; when it is light, the production of melatonin drops.
Being exposed to bright lights in the evening or too little light during the day can disrupt the body’ s normal melatonin cycles. For example, jet lag, shift work, and poor vision can disrupt melatonin cycles” Read more: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/melatonin000315.htm#ixzz21VDv4pu0 Exposure to any color other than the color RED – however dim, however brief – during the mid night trip to the bathroom or to check on the children. Any of this will interrupt the release of our melatonin and send a signal to our brain that it’s time to wake up – so our ability to go back to sleep can be affected.
So the secrets to a full good sleep are the temperature of the room and the amount of light in the room. Get these right and you are on your way to sleeping better and getting those six pack abs
Principle 2 – Hydration is a must
Why We Need Water Our bodies are estimated to be about 60 to 70% water. Blood is mostly water, and our muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Water is needed to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all our organs. Water also transports oxygen to our cells, removes waste, and protects our joints and organs.
When we exercise, we build up heat in working muscles causing our internal temperatures to rise. During hard exercise, your muscles can generate 20 times more heat than when you are at rest. We cool ourselves by perspiring. It is this evaporation of sweat from our skin that helps us maintain a lower core body temperature. When there is a lot of moisture in the air, evaporation isn’t an effective cooling means and we keep sweating and losing fluids in order to try and stay comfortable. If you did not sweat, you could cook yourself to death.
A body temperature higher than 106°F damages the cells. At 107.6°F, cell protein coagulates (like egg whites do when they cook), and the cell dies. This is one serious reason why you shouldn’t push yourself beyond your limits in very hot weather. As a result, we have to drink more water to replenish this fluid lost in the form of sweat. So why do experts suggest that we drink lots of water and why is it considered so essential to a healthy life?
Well first off it helps to avoid dehydration and it keeps the kidneys functioning well by assisting in the elimination of waste products plus it helps to increase your metabolism which helps you to lose weight. But aside from listening to what experts tell you, you should make it a priority to listen to your body first and foremost. When you are thirsty, then naturally you will drink water to replenish yourself.
Depending on the kind of work that you do, you should try to get into the habit of drinking water regularly or even better, keeping a water bottle handy, especially on really hot days since the heat causes you to sweat and your body loses water and thus you will need to replenish yourself. This is why water is so important in our lives. Not only is it zero calories, it is basically the best source for quenching your thirst AND the healthiest.
You may consider adding water to all of your meals over time and doing away with fruit drinks and sodas ultimately as it will help reduce your caloric intake and you’ll also feel much better without the added sugar that comes with the other drinks.
Signs of Dehydration We lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating. The water we lose through sweating comes from blood plasma. Plasma is the vehicle for red blood cells, which contain the oxygen that muscles need in order to perform. As you become dehydrated, your total blood volume is reduced, and the oxygen-carrying capability of your blood decreases. The first drawback to dehydration is diminished performance.
If you continue to exercise without proper fluid intake, you may experience a drop in blood pressure; feel faint, dizzy or nauseous. These are the symptoms of heat exhaustion. If you keep going, your body’s ability to dissipate heat is further impaired and you may suffer heat stroke. . Symptoms of mild dehydration include chronic pains in joints and muscles, lower back pain, headaches, and constipation. A strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color indicates that you are not getting enough water. How Much Water To Drink A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces of water per day that you need. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water per day.
If you exercise you should drink another 8ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active. If you drink coffee or alcohol, you should add at least an equal amount of water. Coffee and alcohol are diuretics and remove water from your system. These should not be counted towards total fluid consumption. When you are traveling on an airplane, it is good to have 8 ounces of water for every hour you are on board the plane.
If you live in an arid climate, you should add another 2 servings per day. As you can see, your daily need for water can add up to quite a lot. Drink a glass of water every fifteen minutes during your workout. This may sound like a lot, but it is necessary to keep you hydrated. If you can’t drink that much water at once, take smaller amounts every ten minutes. Seemingly tough at first, once you schedule it into your regular training routine, you will quickly adapt to having fluid in your stomach. In fact, the fuller your stomach is, the faster it will empty. Gastric emptying is greatly influenced by its volume.
Emptying rate decreases exponentially as fluid volume is depleted. Therefore, an effective way to speed up gastric emptying is by maintaining high fluid volumes in the stomach. When you consume fluids, the rate of gastric emptying is speedy in the first few minutes, and then steadily slows down. To prevent this, you should consume small amounts of fluids frequently throughout your workout. Large amounts of water ingested quickly (such as 600 ml) during exercise, often causes gastric and intestinal distress. Around 400 ml of water can be cleared in 15 minutes for use, so it would be best to have 200-400 ml of water every 15 minutes for ample hydration.
After exercise, drink water to quench your thirst, and then drink even more. If you weigh yourself before and after your workout, drink 16 ounces of water for every pound of weight you lose after exercise. By following the principle of keeping hydrated you will be well on your way to six pack abs
Principle 3 – Adequate Protein
Principle 3 is making sure you consume adequate protein during the day. The term protein is derived from the Greek word proteios, meaning “primary or of first importance” This is the foundation block for a healthy diet. Every tissue in your body is made from PROTEIN (ie; muscle, hair, skin, nails). Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue and cells. Without it, building muscle and burning fat efficiently would be impossible. Its importance is paramount. Protein also helps increase your metabolism every time you eat it by 20%! That is huge everyone.
If protein increases your metabolism, then to burn fat efficently it is imperative to be consuming an adequate amount of protein It also makes the carbohydrates timed released, so you get sustained energy throughout the day Nobody should consume more than 3kg of protein per lean body mass. For people who are not as active should consume aprox. 1.5kg to 1.8kg per lean muscle mass. Protein should be balanced out in correct ratio with the other nutrients to best suit your needs or goals in sport or weight loss.
How Much Protein Should I Consume?
At this point in time there will be lots of conjecture and differing thoughts when confronted with the question “How much protein should I consume. I remember one day asking a professional bodybuilder “how much protein do you consume on a normal day?”. And he replied “320grams per day, You’ve got to eat to grow and you’ve got to eat to diet. Protein is paramount in all seasons”.
He was consuming a ratio of 75% protein, 15% Carbs and 10% good fats Now when looking at this example this is not a normal person but a competitive bodybuilder, so although protein requirements are not that high the importance of protein to your diet can not be understated. So what is advocated for General Health and Weight Control is a ratio of Protein 40% Carbohydrates 40% and Fats 20% (good fats mostly) So how do I get this protein in? Try to get in 1 of the following servings of protein at each meal
Good Examples of Protein Are:
Eggs (1 yolk to every six eggs): 10 eggs
Chicken breast (cooked, skinless and boneless): 200grams
Turkey (cooked, skinless and boneless): 190grams
Lean (90% lean) red meats, rump or sirloin: 160grams
Tuna (canned or fresh): 185kg tin
100% Whey Concentrate or Isolate Protein Powder: 40g serve
Each serving size approximately equals 40 grams of protein. An added bonus to consuming adequate protein is that it keeps you fuller for longer and reduces the cravings to splurge out and eat bad food. In essence the need for protein in your daily dietary requirements is not only of upmost importance but is almost a must do if you want to lose the fat and reveal your six pack
Principle 4 – 20-30 mins cardio exercise every day
If you are serious about revealing your six pack abs it is imperative that you add in at least 20-30 mins cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine. The main reason your abs are not visible is there is a layer of fat covering them and the most effective way of burning that fat is to do some sort of cardiovascualr exercise combined with healthy eating. It is this importance that makes cardio exercise a principle to six pack abs Cardiovascular exercise is beneficial to you by developing the lungs to be stronger by boosting levels of oxygen to the body and the heart by helping it to use that oxygen more efficiently.
2 Main Styles Of Cardiovascular Exercise.
No matter what type of exercise you choose to do. There are 2 main styles that all cardio exercises come from. And that is AEROBIC and ANAEROBIC. The word aerobic translates to with oxygen, or with air. Exercise that is less intense and longer in duration is aerobic. With aerobic sessions, an athlete implements the same big muscle area in a steady motion for between fifteen and thirty. A maximum heart rate of about sixty to eighty % is the goal to maintain. Swimming, cycling, light running, and walking are some examples of aerobic exercises. These exercises should be able to be done without someone breathing hard. If you cannot carry on a short conversation while working out, you may be moving it up a level by anaerobically exercising.
Muscle groups get extra blood and oxygen from the body during an aerobic exercise session. Halting all of a sudden in the midst of an aerobic session is not a wise move. This can lead to dizziness and muscular cramping. After a fairly intense work out, a cool off session is usually a wise idea. Moving in place for a few minutes is a good idea if somebody gets too exhausted during a work out session. Anaerobic exercise is different from aerobic in that it is usually shorter in time span and greater in intensity.
With anaerobics or high intensity cardio, the body wears down faster and muscles build more quickly. Football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and weight lifting are sports considered anaerobic exercises. Sprinting or running is another example. Anaerobic exercise has been noted to be more effective in increasing the speed of your metabolim thus burning more throughout the day. It’s proven that high intensity cardio exercise has your metabolism burning calories hours after you have finished exercising
Which One Is Better?
Have you ever wondered which cardio exercises are best for burning off extra body fat? Is walking (low intensity) better or running (high intensity) better for burning body fat? Well, both low and high intensity exercises will help you burn off body fat. The question is which is more effective and burn more body fat. What is your fat burning zone? When scientists first reported that during intensive exercises, your body burn glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrates stored in your liver and muscles for energy and during low intensive exercises, your body burn body fat, everyone suddenly change their workout routines to perform low intensity exercises to burn body fat.
Does it work? Obviously it does not work because there are still so many fat people around although they are working out with low intensity exericies isn’t it? Why is that so? Well, the scientists were right when they said that our bodies burn more body fat during low intensity exercises like walking or a leisurely swim. But during a high intensity exercise like running, our bodies burn a lot more calories.
Even if some of the calories burnt are from glycogen, we will still burn many fat calories as well. To add icing to the cake, when your store of glycogen is low,the carbs from your meal you eat later gets converted into glycogen to fill up the store and will not be converted to body fat when left unused for energy. Furthermore, high intensity cardio exercises crank up your metabolism even after your workout is done.
This means that you body will continue to burn body fat hours after you have left the gym. This effect is almost non existent in low intensity cardio or aerobic workout. Accumulatively, your body burns up many many more calories during and after high intensity cardio exercises than lower intensive ones. You can inject high intensity exercises to your cardio workout by introducing some interval training. You can walk briskly for 5 minutes, then breaking into a jog for another 5 minutes.
Then walking briskly again until you caught your breath and then sprint for a minute before walking again for another minute. From this point, alternate between a sprint and a walk, a minute each and do this for the next 15 minutes and you are done. Do this for 5 days a week and before long, you will be steadily losing unwanted body fat and weight healthily and naturally This type exercise is without a doubt an essential part of getting six pack abs even though it may be a little hard at first.
A good body requires regular cardiovascular sessions and is a continuous process. People who have already achieved good cardiovascular condition can keep this by exercising a minimum of three times a week. Four to five intervals a week should be the intervals of people who are attempting to lose weight and elevate their level of health.
Principle 5 – Record Your Journey
Well we’ve reached the fifth principle out of our 6 principles to six pack abs. This principle is something that is not only imperative to incorporate immediately but is something that you should aim to do for the rest of your life and that is tracking your progress and recording your journey.
This principle right here is not anything to do with you achieving your six pack abs physically, However, One of the biggest factors in whether or not you will achieve this elusive thing is the belief and feeling of seeing the amazing changes you have made. Sometimes you may feel down or not motivated but when you see what is really happening with yourself and the changes you are making, it spurs you on and gives you more fuel to achieve your goal. Tracking this info isn’t meant to be a punishment, it is actually motivation!
If you track all of your physical activity you will be able to look back at all you have accomplished.
When you have those mornings where you feel like you just CAN’T exercise, check out your progress and take in all that you have done. It will get you out and active. If you have a calendar and you put a red X through everyday that you got enough physical activity, you will want to keep that streak alive. it seems like such an old fashioned tip, but our minds work like that. We will want to keep the streak of X’s going as long as possible.
You can also see the improvements. If you are working out with weights, keep track of how much weight you are lifting. It is a great feeling to watch those numbers climb. You can do the same with running, keep trying to outdistance yourself each day.
Keeping track of your workout progress could even help you diagnose problems. If you notice there are certain days that are danger areas for you, then you can figure out what happens on those days that throws you off.
Just figure out the things that only happen on those days, do you see any patterns? Tracking progress is a nice step for your nutrition too. one of the easiest ways to do that is using the calorie counting tip from the first lesson. If you are looking for something visual you can do something like the calendar trick but related to nutrition. Everyday you eat right you put an X. So to sum up, Tracking progress is a great step in any ab seeking venture.
It helps you visualize everything you have accomplished, makes it easier to diagnose negative patterns and motivates you to keep on track.
Principle 6 – Effective Ab Workouts
When it comes to the exercises, the number one rule is that you don’t need to spend money. Turn the infomercials off! All you need is a floor and your body. If you want to get an ab ball, that’s OK, but that’s it. The ab ball can actually help you target your abs really well, but you can do the same exercises on the floor. Crunches vs Sit-ups Some people advocate crunches to get really ripped abs and some say that sit-ups are better.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter what abdominal exercises you do. As long as you put some intensity into them, and you feel the burn, they will give you the rock hard abs you’re wanting. Reps/Sets When it comes to reps and sets, do as many as you feel is necessary. Remember when I said that your body speaks to you? It will let you know when it’s had enough. But make sure you push yourself and give it your all so that you’re not giving up before you actually get yourself working.
Remember that, in order to exercise your abdominals correctly, you have to exercise your side, upper and lower abdominals. You can do this by doing side bends, crunches, reverse crunches where you raise your butt in the air instead of your shoulders, etc. Those exercises right there will give you a great workout that will have your abs showing before you know it, as long as you change your lifestyle and follow the rest of my advice.
The goal of six pack abs mainly depends upon losing weight by completing exercises that focus on the muscles in the abdominal area. There are literally dozens of such exercises including many that are meant for other major muscle groups, but that can be modified to include a workout for your abdominal muscles. Here are just a few of the major abdominal emphasis exercises.
Crunches are done by lying on the floor either on a mat or not, with your arms crossed in front of your chest. Many people do crunches with the hands behind the head, but this can create lower back problems because of the pull on the head and neck.
A slightly different position has the finger tips placed behind the ears, rather than crossed on the chest. It is important not to pull on the neck or on the ears for assistance in rising off the floor. Instead, suck the abdomen back toward the spine and inhale through the nose at the same time. Raise the shoulders toward the knees using only the muscles in the abdomen.
The entire back should not be lifted from the floor, as this is likely to create back strain. No additional benefit to the abdomen is gained by raising the entire torso. The key part of the crunch is the initial flexing of the abdominal muscles as the shoulders are lifted off the floor. As the shoulders clear the floor, exhale through your mouth. Complete the exhalation with a gasp to expel the last of the air from the lungs as your shoulders stay clear of the floor.
Lower the shoulders back to the point where the shoulder blade touches the ground while inhaling. It is important to maintain the proper breathing control and muscle flexing to get maximum benefit from crunches.
Once again start in a position on the floor with your feet flat and your knees bent. The fingers should be placed behind the ears, or you can cross your arms on your chest. Slowly raise the entire back off the floor while inhaling deeply and exhale as you reverse the move. This exercise can be made more challenging in several ways. For instance, you can do sit ups from an incline with your head lower than your lower body.
You can then add weights on the chest to lift while you are sitting up. Weights can become heavier on an incline bench. The next difficult step can be attained by holding the feet off the ground while doing sit ups or making a bicycle peddling motion while doing sit ups with your legs. These exercises may not be easy, but are very beneficial to the abdominal area.
Leg lifts begin with the legs straight and the hands at your sides while lying on the floor. Lift both legs up at the same time without bending the knees until the legs are at a ninety degree angle or a close as possible.
Not everyone is flexible enough to reach the ninety degree angle. Lower the legs as close as possible to the floor without actually touching and repeat several times. Increase the challenge of this exercise by adding weights to the legs while lifting them.
Another challenging exercise for improving definition and musculature in the abdomen is to hang from a pull up bar while lifting both legs to a ninety-degree position. As with most other exercises, try to stay conscious of breathing while slowly doing the routines.
JACKKNIFE SIT UPS
This exercise begins by lying flat on the floor with the hands at your sides in order to provide better balance. At the same time you raise your knees, bring your torso up slowly till the face and knees meet.
Return slowly to the original positionwhile in full control of the movement. The jackknife name comes from the natural tendency of the legs to bend at the knee with the feet dropping to the hips presenting the shape of a jackknife.
The difficulty level of this position can be increased by holding a weight between the feet while performing the sit ups.
This exercise begins with you on your back on the floor with the arms extended over your head. Bring both legs and torso up at the same time without bending the knees or the arms. Keep the pace slow and steady and reach for your feet with your extended hands at the top of the arc.
If possible, try to touch your feet, but this move can be tricky until your level of flexibility increases. As with other exercises, adding weight between the feet increases the difficulty level.