Suddenly it’s June and everyone’s scrambling to get beach-ready with their shredded six pack. Never fear. We have you covered with three simple get-shredded tips to kick-start your summer (or anytime) six pack plan.
Top Three Ways to Get a Six Pack for Summer (In Reverse Order)
3. Exercise: Get Out of Your Rut
From CrossFit to bodybuilding to sports-specific training, we know everyone’s fitness goals are different. The key to a successful exercise program is staying consistent and getting out of your rut.
- Hit the weights. Did you know that one pound of muscle burns between 10-20 calories a day while a pound of fat burns only five? Don’t shy away from the heavy weights. The more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the number of calories your body burns at rest.
- Less sitting. More moving. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy we expend for anything when we’re not sleeping or exercising (read: “non-exercise”). Finding sneaky ways to fit in movement throughout the day will keep your metabolism rev’d up. So, the next time you’re on a phone call, stand up and walk around. Watching TV, get up every commercial to stretch.
- Shake things up. Your body adapts to any kind of exercise over time. Hitting the same routine over and over will make your body uber efficient…leading to a plateau. Change your workout to help your body recruit more muscle fibers. Those six pack abs will thank you in Summer.
- Stop waiting around. Someone using the equipment you want? Don’t just stand there. Do a different exercise or hey, throw in some burpees while you wait!
- Don’t believe the hype. Working at 55-65% of your maximum heart rate (the “fat burning zone”) can be misleading. While long, low intensity is good for recovery days, don’t be afraid to HIIT some shorter duration, higher intensity training (80-90%) to stoke your fat-burning fire.
- Give your muscles some love. A tough training session can leave your body feeling stiff and sore, which can affect your next workout. Use a foam roller or lacrosse ball to target soft tissue and relieve the tension so you’re primed and ready to go for the next workout.
2. Recovery: Burn Fat in Your Sleep
Working out 365 days a year won’t help you reach your fitness goals. You need quality recovery to allow your muscles to build back stronger. Work hard. Recover hard.
- Get horizontal. If you’re logging less than 8 hours of sleep a night, you’re missing out on a big piece of the abs puzzle. Chronically undersleeping can whack out your hormones, raise cortisol and slow metabolism.
- Give yourself a break. Rest days are important to prevent overtraining injuries, help your body build more muscle and get your nervous system back to an optimal state.
- Stress less. Emotional health can affect your physical recovery. The more you’re stressed, the more cortisol your body will retain, which encourages your body to hold on to fat. So, take a deep breath and decompress.
- Turn off the smartphone. Browsing the internet can directly impact your sleep. The blue light tricks your mind (and melatonin) into thinking it’s still daytime making it harder to fall asleep. Turn electronics off an hour before sleeping to wind-down properly.
- Establish a routine. When it comes to sleep, routine is a good thing. Establish a time to shut off your phone and start a different wind-down activity like stretching, reading a good book or meditating.
1. Nutrition: A Six Pack is Really Made in the Kitchen
If you want a six pack and reduce body fat, cleaning up your diet is a must. You simply can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
- Stay hydrated. If your body is dehydrated, you may confuse it with hunger. Staying hydrated also helps to keep your belly full and flush out excess sodium to prevent bloating.
- Eat breakfast. Studies show that eating an egg-based breakfast may enhance weight loss efforts. A protein-rich breakfast sets a healthy tone for the day, preventing dips that can lead to mindless snacking later in the day.
- Add berries to your workout smoothie. A report by Washington State University states that the resveratrol in berries like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries can help you lean up by turning flabby white fat into calorie-torching beige fat.
- Avoid “dirty words” on the menu. Fried, refried, loaded, covered, alfredo, breaded, crispy, smothered; stay away from all of them.
- (C)Lean up your menu. Steamed, grilled, baked, roasted; choose those instead.
- Focus. Don’t let anything distract you while you’re eating. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doing something else while you eat like working or watching a show, can cause you to eat up to 50% more.
- Get YOLKED®. Not only has YOLKED® been clinically shown to increase muscle mass, size and strength, YOLKED has also scientifically been shown to enhance muscle recovery and maintain a healthy weight!
Want the Ultimate Six Pack? It’s Time to Get YOLKED® for Summer!
Keep in mind, everyone responds differently. We all have our own obstacles that weigh us down, so experiment with what works best for you. Keep a record of your exercise, sleep and nutrition habits and remember to take pictures along the way so you can monitor your progress.
Getting a shredded six pack may not be easy, but that beach body is worth it! Keep your eyes on the prize, it’s time to show off all the hard work you’ve been putting in the gym… and the kitchen!