Have you ever noticed how most athletes have such awesome abs? Have you ever wondered what it takes to look like that? It’s not quite as daunting as you might think. Actually, it’s quite simple. Not easy, but simple. We all want that elusive, sexy six-pack that athletes seem inherently destined to have. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the biggest common denominators that allow athletes to get lean and see those abs.
WARNING! DON’T CHASE THE QUICK FIX UNICORN. INVEST IN YOURSELF.
- First things first. Athletes have a coach and so should you. A coach is a person on your team who has a game plan and knows how to correct you when you deviate from your plan. A coach is also a mentor, a teacher, and most importantly, your biggest fan. Invest in yourself and find someone who will keep you accountable to your goal and has proven they know how to get results!
- Mindset. Athletes are always working towards having a goal-oriented mindset. For this goal, remember, you didn’t gain the weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight. Give yourself a fair timeline like 6-12 weeks to achieve your goal. Also, the bigger your goal, the longer you will need to accomplish that goal.
EXPECT AN AVERAGE LOSS OF 1-2 POUNDS OF FAT PER WEEK
You might lose more weight, but rarely do we lose more fat. Remember, we want fat loss, not just weight loss. Weight includes water, glycogen, muscle, stomach content, while fat means just fat.
- Testing. Every athlete has some sort of Combine, or athletic testing they need to do to gauge their performance abilities. Okay, so now we are going to employ some tech to help us out. We also need to get some kind of quantitative data to record our starting point and record our progress along the way. Take some measurements, weigh yourself, pinch some skin folds or take some photos. Record your numbers. Store your pics on your top-secret hard drive, or better yet, share them on social for some positive pressure. Update these numbers and pictures every 2-4 weeks and see if what you are doing is working, or if you need to tweak your eating habits or training.
- Use technology. Take your mobile device and record your food in an app like MYFITNESSPAL. The great part about this strategy is that it automatically forces you to make better eating choices. The longer you do this, the better you will eat. Just stay committed. You only need a week or two of this habit, but it will help you stay honest about what you are eating, drinking and snacking on.
- Athletes train hard, smart and consistently. I’m not going to say it doesn’t matter how you train, but what matters most is being consistent with your training. Find a training program that is balanced using resistance training, cardio and flexibility and keep your training sessions to about an hour each, 3-5 days per week.
ATHLETES TRAIN THEIR CORE 360 DEGREES.
- Athletes need to be able to react and move explosively in an instant and a strong and versatile core allows them to do just that. Train your core using a multitude of methods and try to train on your feet. Use cables, bands, body weight and free weights to get the most bang for your buck. This will allow you to move with your entire body, while training your abs more functionally. A great example could be to train the midsection ‘movers’ on Monday (crunches, low back extension, wood choppers) and then the ‘stabilizers’ on Tuesday (plank, side plank, ab roll outs.)
- Recovery is an essential part of a training program. Recovery can include everything from nutrition, sleep, supplements, massage therapy and even yoga. Your training days are considered catabolic, in that the work being done is breaking the body down. The food we eat, the quality of sleep we get, the massage therapy and restoration we allow, all work synergistically to help our body become anabolic, or a growth phase. I would advise resting a muscle group 48-72 hours before training it again.
Use this guide that athletes have been using for decades and you will be sure to start to see those ab muscles. Implementing these into your health and fitness program will help you looking and feeling your best all year long.
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