Six Packs
by Gregg Cerenzio
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Here are 4 of my personal tips to attain, and keep great abs.

1) PROPER DIET: This will be step one in ANY wrote I do for fitness. 80% of your body is you diet. There is an old saying, "You are what you eat". That saying is true. Building muscle will do you no good if you cover that muscle with fat. The key is to lose the fat within your muscle tissue, above and below your muscle tissue in order to bring the muscle to the surface. Proper diet does not mean the same thing for all people. Calorie counting and science eating isn't always necessary to do the trick. It's common sense. Here are 2 tips for eating.

A. Low fat, medium carbs, high protein: There it is, The "C" word. People have a fear of carbs, however carbs are a great source of energy. Having lots of energy keeps you going and gives you the motivation to train. If you have a fast metabolism, eat all the cards you want. Otherwise you wills imply starve your self and be out of gas to often. If you have a slow metabolism, go a little easier on the carbs and be more careful when you eat them. Avoid eating carbs late at night, especially before. Also avoid eating lots of carbs when you will be inactive for a long period of time. I also suggest that you eat something high in protein or drink a protein shake after every workout. Your body will use these calories to repair and build muscles.

B. Stop Counting: When you deciding how much protein, carb and fats to eat. Try to avoid counting calories. The more of a burden you make it, the less likely you are to eat right or stick your plans. Know that you need to eat protein regularly. Know that you need carbs before you work out and that fat should be kept to a minimum. Base what you eat on this concept while not focusing so much on counting calories or grams. If you mind what you eat and be sire to have more protein, les carbs and even less fat then you will naturally be able to have a fairly good balance of the three. A good trick is to eat a burger without the bun or serial with skim milk. Cutting little corners can go a long way.

C. Go ahead, eat it. Eat your favorite junk food. This is a double whammy. One of the things that I suggest about junk food is to not eat any. Sounds hard right? However, if you don't eat it at all, it is easier than eating some once in a while as the less you have it, the less you crave it. It works. However, here is the double edge sword. I do suggest that while you avoid junk food period, you eat your favorite. There will always be something that you love. No matter what, you always want it. It will only slow you down, and make you want more if you avoid it all together. When you have an urge, go ahead, eat a little. After all, you work really hard. You deserve a reward once in a while.

2) Ab Tricks: There are a few tricks available to stimulate the abs. Here is an example. This works great for tricep cable extensions; the exercise where you hold a small bar with two hands and push it downward. Take a step back, bend your knees and tighten you abs. You will feel an incredible burn keeping this position while doing your routine. You can apply this to other exercises as well. Experiment a little.

3) Crunches: Today everyone is always looking for the latest thing. The reality is that new programs and new exercises are not necessarily better than old ones.

Crunches are your best friend. They work, period. Get on your back with your knees up, cross your ankles if you're more comfortable that way. Then, with your arms crossed, bring your elbows up to your knees. There is no need to strain here. Bring yourself up by squeezing your ab muscles, not by pulling your neck. Squeeze your way up, and then LOWER yourself down. Do not drop yourself down. Use the muscle to lower yourself down. This will get you a work out both ways When you are really burning, bring your feet down; keeping your knees bent upwards a bit. At this point you will squeeze your way up a few more times, holding when you reach the top. Here is the grand finale, to get your lower abs, keep your feet down with your knees bent up and thrust your pelvis up and in. Do this be squeezing your lower abs up into your upper abs. A little practice and you'll understand. One you've got that done, continue squeezing upward with crunches and holding at the top. This will get you a great burn in your lower abs. NOTE: You will not get off the ground much with the legs down type of crunch, but the effects are great and you should feel the burn when you are doing it properly.

3) Stick to it: The best tip I can give you is: STICK TO IT. You cannot start over every time you work out. You need to build on it. Work out at least 3 times a week, 4 if possible. You're workout does not have to be long, make them 20-30 minuets each. There are many reasons for this. First off, stick to your workout. Talking and fooling around will only add extra time to your work out. Keeping them short also makes it easier to fit into your schedule. Do your exercise, wait 2 minuets and do the next. Do this intensely until you are done. When you're workout is over you should feel great. You will find that many people will be there before you, and be there after you but won't reach the results you do.

4) Variety: Mix it up a little. Don't burn yourself out. While I suggest that you stick to a regular series of exercise that you are comfortable with, trying something new often helps motivate you to work out and stimulates your muscles to react a little more than usual. It's a good idea to watch others and periodically look through magazines to learn any new techniques to spice up your workout a bit.

That wraps up my 4 tips. While there are countless things to learn about your body and developing great muscle tone, these 4 tips are a great way to get the abs you want and keep them that way.


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