Tag: Diet

RIPPED Six Pack Abs

RIPPED

How to Get Six Pack Abs—Fast!

Of course, we all want to build a pair of sexy six-pack abs. The problem is, that it is not easy! It takes hard work, dedication and time. But if you can stay focused, then you, just like anyone else, can get ripped! You just have to lose that belly fat and get those ab muscles bulging! This article will teach you how to do it best! Then you can get those ab muscles bulging in time to show off your summer beach body!

First: Get our FREE Bodyweight Strength Training Guide! >>

Ripped six pack abs

We all want those nice-looking, six-pack abs that everyone stares at. However, few people know how to get them. There are just too many ab myths around to sort through for people to really the truth of how to get a nice pair of abdominals.

Some people say it’s all diet, while others say diet doesn’t matter. And too many people believe that if you just do a bunch of abdominal exercises you will get those abs popping. While others say you don’t need to train them at all.

A lot of people also believe it is all about genetics, and how fit your parents were.

So with all these beliefs, which one is it? How do we get those nice looking six-pack abs? How do we get ripped?

The truth is, most of those beliefs are true. However, doing only one of those things will not give you those nice looking six-pack abs we all want. It takes a lot of things added together to get yourself a pair of ripped abdominals that really show. 

It takes a lot of things added together to get yourself a pair of abdominals that really show.


Ab Workout for Women

Exercise for Six Pack Abs

First and foremost, many people believe that weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise. This is absolutely NOT TRUE.

How can it be? Diet only adds in calories while exercise takes away calories. Plus, exercise gives you long-lasting benefits, including metabolic effects that can continue burning off calories long after your workout ends. Read more on this here! >>

Therefore, the main piece to any weight loss, or transformation plan MUST BE EXERCISE.

With that said, you need to exercise at least 5 days per week, if not every day. And remember, walking is NOT exercise!

By exercising often, especially on a daily basis, you are constantly burning off calories and gaining the muscular benefits of exercise. And, when training that frequently (5+ days per week), you should do moderate-intensity exercise.

Moderate Intensity Exercise

The minimum amount you need to do is 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily. Also, make sure to keep your heart rate up to where it is difficult to breathe the entire time. Examples are running, cycling or a circuit at the gym with minimal rest periods.

You can also do bodyweight exercises or any other form of exercise that keeps you moving the whole time. But focus on keeping your heart rate up.

Try this Bodyweight Circuit Routine! >>

High-Intensity Interval Training

High-Intensity Interval Training burns the most belly fat the fastest!

If you have a lot of belly fat to remove in order to see your developed abdominals, you should consider doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) 2-3 days per week.

High-intensity training done 2-3 days per week, in the form of sprinting, burns the most belly fat the fastest. And, therefore, is the fastest way to get RIPPED six-pack abs! The problem is, most people are unwilling to put in that kind of work.

It is best to do sprints, but you can also do other forms of high-intensity cardio training such as cycling or jump roping. But, with any exercise you do, it MUST BE INTENSE.

An example is sprinting for 20-30 seconds, then resting for up to a minute. You can also do shorter and longer rest periods, but a 1:2 work to rest ratio works well with high-intensity exercise.

Again, this should only be done 2-3 days per week. And it replaces your moderate-intensity exercise for that day.

However you choose to do your daily exercise, just remember that it is the main piece to any weight loss, transformation or six-pack abs plan. However, there is still more to it.

Diet for RIPPED Six Pack Abs

You simply cannot eat your way to a six pack.

The next important piece to getting ripped is diet. Your diet is important and plays a major role in fat loss. But, it is not the main piece.

You cannot eat your way to a 6-pack from a high body fat state, without the use of exercise. Again, diet can only add in calories, it does not take them away.

Also, there is nothing magic about your diet that is going to suddenly make you lose fat or weight. It is as simple as calories in, versus calories out. If you eat more calories than you lose from exercise, you will gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you use daily, you will lose weight.

However, when you lose this weight, you are more likely to lose muscle than fat. That is unless you give your body a reason to maintain the muscle mass you have.

This is because muscle is hard for your body to maintain. So your body tries to get rid of any extra muscle mass that is not important for survival. That is why it is important to do some amount of strength training, or resistance exercise, while on your diet. This will give your body a reason to maintain muscle mass and just burn off fat.

Strength Training for Six Pack Abs

The strength training you do does not need to be highly intense. And can be done as part of your training circuit at the gym.

If you choose to do that, do 10-15 repetitions per exercise on compound (multi-joint) exercises that use multiple muscle groups, for the greatest results. Things like squats, deadlifts, and presses.

Strength training should be utilized 3-6 days per week and be added to your other exercise activities; which are done afterward.

Create Your Own Workout! >>

Strength Training Programs! >>

More on Diet

Also, our diet should not consist of high-density foods with a lot of calories. For example, ice cream, cheesecake or other high-calorie desserts.

Also, avoid added sugars, because these change your hormones to where you will end up retaining, if not gaining, more body fat.

You can have some treats, but limit yourself to one day per week that you have something very sugary.

Also, avoid drinking your calories in things such as juices or alcohol. These add up calories quickly.

Try to eat a good combination of healthy, nutrient-dense foods, such as meat (white and dark), fruit, and vegetables.

Also, try not to overindulge in too many fruits or nuts all day, as those add up calories quickly as well.

Eat a wide variety of healthy foods, and just keep track of your overall caloric intake.

Review our Diet and Nutrition Principles! >>

More on Diet and How To Cut Calories. >>

Bodybuilding Six Pack Abs for men

Six Pack Genetics

A third and smaller piece to the puzzle is Genetics. Diet and exercise are the main pieces that take up most of the efforts. But you also need to think of other factors.

Genetics is an important factor. Some people are more predisposed to have less muscle growth and more abdominal fat. While, some people have very clean cut looking abs, almost naturally while others may not ever see them.

The genetics we have effect our metabolism to some degree and also shape how our abs look. So genetics is mentionable as a factor.

How To Train Your Abs

Train your abs for size, not endurance!

Also, you should train your abdominals for hypertrophy (size), if you want them to stick out more. If you train them for endurance, you are more likely to make them shrink than stand out.

They need to be built, not just worked!

Even through layers of fat, large abdominal muscles can give you some base look of a six-pack. So train your abdominals. Not so much with high repetitions like a cardio session, but more like other muscle groups; such as the biceps.

Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions of abdominal exercises that are difficult for you, 3-4 days per week.

It’s best to do weighted exercises such as weighted crunches or hanging leg raises. See more six-pack abs exercises and their descriptions here >> Ab and Core Exercises

Get our FREE Bodyweight Strength Training Guide! >>

Sleep More to get RIPPED

Sleep is very important for not only recovery from exercise, but also to regulate your hormones and rid you of unnecessary stress.

The final extra piece that needs to be mentioned is sleep.

Sleep is very important for not only recovery from exercise, but also to regulate your hormones and rid you of unnecessary stress. Stress leads to increased abdominal fat. And sleep alone can help greatly in decreasing your stress levels.

So make sure you are getting an absolute minimum of 7 hours of sleep daily. However, 8-9 hours per day is best.

How much Sleep do you actually need? >>


6 Pack Abs for women

Final Notes

Of course, there are many other small factors that can be added into your ripped six-pack plan, but these are the main ones:

  1. Exercise
  2. Diet
  3. Genetics
  4. Sleep

So there you have it! Your very own guide on how to obtain those sought after ripped six-pack abs. Now all you have to do is apply it!

You have to choose to go out and exercise on a daily basis. You have to choose to make a change in your diet and eat only what will help you reach your goals. Then you have to choose to put all the pieces together, such as getting to sleep on time every day. And you have to choose to go after the goals you set and achieve them.

Just remember, to work towards your goals every day, and you will soon reach the mountain top. Then be ready to look for the next one! Now, go change your world!

Keep getting stronger my friends!

Get our FREE Bodyweight Strength Training Guide! >>

Read more articles from the Strength Blog! >>

Related Articles:

6 Steps to Fat Loss Forever! >>

JACKED – How to get BIG and Strong! >>

SHREDDED –  How to get Lean and Cut! >>


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Diet and Exercise Made Simple

Diet and Exercise Made Simple

We all know diet and exercise are important. However, it doesn’t have to be hard! So many people make it out to be much harder than it really is. If you just do a little planning and put in the effort, your health and weight loss goals can be accomplished. 


Which is more important…diet OR exercise?

We all want to know! What is it?! What is more important for getting leaner, stronger, and for me to reach my health and fitness goals fastest? Do I need to focus more on diet OR exercise?

Answer: Neither!

Neither diet nor exercise trump the other. They are BOTH important if you want to reach your strength, health and fitness goals! They both work together to help create a healthy body. If you do one or the other well with little regard towards the other, you will not get near the results as if you worked both together. 

“Your diet helps to amplify the effects of exercise…”

Have you ever heard something like, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet”? Well, though exercise is highly valuable, and burns a ton of calories, it’s too easy for us to eat more calories than we can burn off. Also, if you have a bad diet, you likely will not have the energy to exercise enough to maintain a healthy body.


Have A Good Diet

Your diet helps to amplify the effects of exercise and gives you the energy to perform at your best. So, in order to perform your best, YOU NEED A GOOD DIET!

That doesn’t mean you should be stuck eating bland foods like chicken and broccoli every day, but you should put more thought into it than “oh look, ice cream has 2g of protein in it!”.

Your calories and their sources matter. Have a reasonable amount of fats, carbs, and protein if you want to perform your best and get the most out of your workouts.

DO NOT make one nutrient out to be “bad” and another the only thing you concern yourself with. Find an equal balance that fits your lifestyle and stick to it with little variation.


Do Real Exercise

“If you want to create change, you have to do things that are harder than walking your dog.”

If you don’t exercise you aren’t going to change much of anything. You can’t diet your way to a 6-pack while just sitting around or going through everyday activities. You need some amount of exercise no matter how clean your diet is.

Exercise not only burns calories, but it also creates numerous changes in your body, including hormonal, that changes how your diet affects you. If you want to look like you are fit and workout, then guess what? You’re gonna have to exercise, and exercise enough to create change.

WALKING DOES NOT COUNT!

Walking Is NOT Exercise!

If you want to create change, you have to do things that are harder than walking your dog! Even if you walk your dog uphill, that is still not considered exercise.

Do some strength training, go for a run, do calisthenics at home, cycle, or anything you enjoy. Do it multiple times per week and put in some strong effort so you can get some great results. This will amplify your results as your diet and exercise routine work together to create the most amount of change within your body. 


Make Progress Every Day

“You can do 1 push-up or squat today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.”

Your diet and exercise routine doesn’t have to be complex. Let it be simple.

Let go of the excuses, we all can make them, and get started today. Right now is the time to make a change. Tomorrow is too late!

Get up and do SOMETHING! Anything! Just move and work towards becoming stronger!

Start easy and progress forward by doing just a little more each day. You can do 1 push-up or squat today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.

You can run for 1 minute today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.

The Daily 30 is also a great choice and it was made specifically for beginners!

Whatever you do, continue to improve daily. Doing the same thing over and over will give you little results, plus it’s boring. Do something every day and work towards your goals!


Make Small Diet and Exercise Changes

“Most of us overeat at night due to under-eating throughout the day.”

When it comes to diet and exercise, keep it simple! Start with a simple diet change, like taking a multivitamin or drinking an extra glass of water every morning. Then you can move onto adding in a healthy snack during the day. Such as some fruit, vegetables or some nuts.

YES, I did say “add in” a meal before I said to take anything away. This is because most of us overeat at night due to under-eating throughout the day. If you add in a healthy snack/meal during the day when you need the energy, you will tend to eat less as night, which will make a big difference in itself!

For exercise, start with doing some push-ups, planks, squats, jogging, the Daily 30 or something! You MUST EXERCISE if you want to create change! This tends to be the hardest part for everyone, but it is extremely important! Diet and exercise go together.

Take it slow, but make a change! Your world starts to change the moment you start changing it! So let’s get to it!

Your world starts to change the moment you start changing it!”

Keep getting stronger my friends!

Strength to you,

Ryan J. Mathias

Owner and Creator of MathiasMethod.com

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Hydration for Athletes and Lifters

Hydration for Athletes and Lifters

What is Hydration?

First, hydration is a balance of fluids in the body or having adequate fluids within the body tissues. There are many factors which affect the balance of fluids within the body as our systems are constantly functioning and changing. Your fluid balance will change depending upon activity, temperature, electrolyte balance, fluids consumed and many other factors. So make sure to follow good hydration practices for optimal performance and health.

Good Hydration Practices:

  • Always carry fluids with you.
  • Consume water regularly throughout the day.
  • Drink 1 Liter of water within one hour of first waking up.
  • Drink at least 0.7oz X Bodyweight of water during active days.
  • Consume 1/2 Liter of a 6% saturated (60g per 1 Liter) solution of carbohydrates in sodium water (400-500mg per Liter) for each hour of your training.
  • Consume an extra 1 Liter of water, or more, when exposed to hot conditions.

Effects of Dehydration

Hydration is important because even a slightly dehydrated fluid balance can have negative effects on your body’s systems, health, and overall performance.

The effects of dehydration affect all tissues within the body. The blood is the smallest fluid compartment in the body and regulates the fluid within the surrounding cells. So fluid loss affects the cardiac system the most. This is due to a decrease in blood plasma volume, which holds a large amount of oxygen and allows for normal cardiac output.

This loss also decreases the blood flow to the skin. This mechanism is used to cool the blood and decreases sweat rate, therefore, decreasing core temperature. An increase in core temperature increases the likelihood of heat exhaustion and other dangerous heat-related illness.

Effects on Performance

The effects of dehydration can also have a great effect on athletic performance.

1A fluid loss of even 2-3% (% of body weight) can decrease your VO2 Max (aerobic performance/ the amount of oxygen the body can use) by 5% and fluid loss of 5% can decrease work capacity by 30% (fluid loss % based upon body weight). Those are major effects occurring after only slight dehydration.

The effects of dehydration are a major concern for endurance athletes that compete continuously for over 1 hour, but there is also a concern for athletes performing high-intensity exercise. 1It has been found that a fluid loss of only 2.5%, prior to exercise, can decrease the capacity for high-intensity exercises, such as sprinting or powerlifting, by 45%. That is nearly half of the athlete’s work capacity decreased just by not staying hydrated before performing.

Even for non-active individuals, hydration is important for proper body function. A constant state of dehydration leads to:

  • frequent headaches or migraines
  • rough skin
  • decreased muscular function
  • decreased joint function
  • joint pain
  • decreased kidney function
  • and multiple health problems

Many health and performance concerns can be alleviated by simply staying hydrated daily.


How to Stay Hydrated

Luckily, our bodies are smart and they do not give up fluid easily. So normal hydration is not difficult to maintain.

The kidneys filter your blood, removing waste, and maintain proper fluid balance within the body. There is a constant battle between the pull of fluids inside the body versus the pull of fluids out of the body. The side which has the most pull will take most of the fluids. If the pull is too great in one direction or the other, there is an imbalance that will have negative effects.

To be in fluid balance, the pull of fluids out of the body should be equal, or slightly greater, than the pull of fluids inside the body. If the pull of fluids is shifted towards a pull inside the body, then you are in a state of dehydration. This pull allows the body to maintain a constant blood plasma volume. Which then brings fluids to all other cells within the body.

The pull of fluids out of the body is based on the number of waste products that need to be removed through the urine. If there is a greater pull of fluids out of the body through urine then you are either hydrated or there is a major amount of waste product that needs to be removed. This waste can be excess sodium, or other electrolytes, proteins and nitrogen from broken down cells, or toxins within the body. 

Your body wants to get rid of these particles but needs water as a transport. So the more you workout and break down tissue, the more fluid you need to get rid of the waste.

Salt, Water, and Sugar

In the kidneys, Sodium, Water and Glucose are filtered together and move together. One of the major functions of sodium, an electrolyte [Na+], is to help maintain fluid balance within the body’s cells.

In the body, water follows sodium in order to maintain a constant concentration gradient (or fluid balance). This is from comparing particles in and out of the cells.

Also, for every gram of carbohydrates in the body, in the form of glycogen, there are 2.7g of water attached to it. This gives sugary sports drinks an advantage for hydration. If there are sodium and carbohydrates within a water-based drink, such as sports drinks, then there is a large pull towards fluids inside the body during absorption and filtration. This is why it is important to utilize appropriately concentrated sports drinks during long-duration exercise to stay hydrated.

However, that does not mean you always need a sports drink to stay hydrated. You have to earn it! If you are not doing intense exercise for at least one hour, then all you need is water for hydration. Only excessive and exhausting exercise requires more.

The most optimal concentration of carbohydrates in water for hydration is 6% concentration. That is 6g per 100mL or 60g of carbohydrates per Liter of water. The amount of sodium needed within the solution varies depending upon the individual, but it is also an important part of replenishment. The standard sodium content should be enough to taste like Ocean water or about 400-500mg per Liter of water.

It was also found that cold fluids moved through the stomach faster allowing for faster absorption in the intestines. So keep fluids cool during exercise, when possible.

The Perfect Hydrating Drink

To stay hydrated during exercise sessions exceeding one hour, continuous or not, drink ½ Liter of cool water with about 30g of fast digesting carbohydrates, in the form of sugar, for every hour of activity.

Throughout the day manage fluid intake by consuming water. You should consume the same amount of water that you lose throughout the day so that fluid in equal fluids out. This will help to maintain a state of hydration while allowing for urine production to remove waste products.

For individuals with a high activity level, drink a minimum of 0.7oz per pound of bodyweight to stay hydrated while removing the waste product from excessive muscle contractions.

During hot days, consume at least one extra Liter of water to account for the excess fluid loss from skin dissipation or sweat.


Final Thoughts

Overall, staying hydrated is not difficult but if neglected it can have major negative effects on your body’s ability to perform and function properly.

The first step to hydration is being prepared. If you are going to be away from a water source for a long period then carry enough fluids with you. Think ahead and know what you need to consume for the activity you are doing.

Also, learn to enjoy water. You should not constantly be craving water, as that is a sign of dehydration. However, you should not dread every drink you take. Water should make up a majority of the fluid you drink so have no complaints about the taste.

It takes some dedication to consume a large amount of fluid daily for active individuals. However, it takes the same dedication to be fit and healthy. By neglecting to stay hydrated you are neglecting to maintain a healthy functioning body. Just be consistent and you will find it is not as hard as you may think.

Stay strong, stay healthy, and stay hydrated.


Credits:

1 = Gleeson, M. Ph.D., Jeukendrup, A. Ph.D. (2010) Sports Nutrition, Second Edition. Excerpt.

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/dehydration-and-its-effects-on-performance

For more on hydration, watch this video!

Fat Loss Forever

6 Steps To Fat Loss Forever

Losing fat is hard when you don’t know what you are doing. Luckily, these simple 6 Steps To Fat Loss Forever, make it easy to lose weight and keep it off for good! Get ready to start burning fat and losing weight, like never before!


Step #1: Take a multivitamin and drink more water!

First, start by simply taking a multivitamin every day and drinking more water. This may seem simple, but it can greatly improve how you feel. Plus, vitamins, minerals, and water all help with fat loss by regulating your metabolism and helping you feel full. 

Choose a good multivitamin that has about 50% Daily Value for most vitamins and minerals, and try to work your way up to drinking 0.7 oz x Bodyweight (lbs) in water each day.

Do this for 1-2 weeks before continuing to step 2.

Learn more about vitamins and minerals or staying hydrated.


Step #2: Exercise More!

Next, you absolutely need to exercise if you want to lose fat. Your diet is important, but exercise is much more valuable, as it affects how your body reacts to food.

However, it is vital that you maintain a regular diet as you increase your activity level. If you start out by increasing your daily activity and cutting calories at the same time, then your body will not have the energy to exercise. Eat clean, but eat enough to be full and energized for your workouts.

You should do 90 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days per week OR 30 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise 3 days per week OR a combination of these two.

Do this for 0-4 weeks before continuing on to step 3.

Learn more about these Exercise Guidelines.


Step #3: Improve Your Diet!

Before we cut out calories, we need to make sure that you can maintain a proper diet to fuel your increased activity levels. By improving your diet you will begin to improve your body composition, even if you maintain the same bodyweight.

Maintain this improved diet for at least 4 weeks before moving to the next step.

Learn more about how to improve your diet.


Step #4: Build Muscle!

In order to maintain your valuable muscle, it is important that you do a good amount of strength training while trying to lose fat. If you don’t, then you will lose that valuable muscle and have to work even harder to get it back.

Also, if you do some strength training, you do not need to do nearly as much cardio exercise.

Do this until you have built a solid base of muscle and strength before moving onto step 5.

Recommended Fat Loss Workout Programs:


Step #5: Cut Calories

If you are exercising regularly while maintaining a regular nutrient dense diet and have stopped losing weight, then you should start to cut out calories. NOT BEFORE!

Again, you need the energy to fuel your increased activity, then you can cut back when it stops working. 

I recommend you only cut out 200-500 calories from your daily intake and stick with that until it stops working. Then repeat. For most of us that is just cutting out one snack or part of a meal.

Learn more about modifying your caloric intake with these articles:


Step #6: Be Patient!

Unfortunately, fat loss just takes time. If you have built up many bad habits over the years, it is likely going to take a year or more to correct them.

Progress may seem slow, but any progress should be viewed as a success. This is not easy! So, be proud of yourself every day for taking on the challenge!


Other Fat Loss Articles:


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Death of the Diet

Death of the Diet

Diets are dying. Not because they do not work. In fact, many of them work very well.

The problem has always been what comes after the diet ends.

Just by stating that you are “on a diet” implies that there will be some end to your current eating habits.

This does not mean that you will break the guidelines of your diet for a short period of time but rather that at some point you will either adopt a new set of dietary guidelines or have none at all.

This confuses your body as it has to get used to a whole new set of parameters everytime you change your diet, or you will just lose all your progress by having no guidelines at all.

Not only that, but many diets can be dangerous and even harmful. Though they may have great short-term results, they can ruin your long-term health.

Diets are only temporary and dieting needs to end!

A better, more long-lasting way of staying healthy through dietary means is to stick to a set of principles that become a way of life.

These principles need to look out for your body’s long-term health while improving performance. For that reason, we created our own set of Principles with your health in mind.

Learn more about our Diet and Nutrition Principles Here!

Our Diet and Nutrition Principles will look out for your body’s health no matter what diet plan you follow!

Use them to improve your physical performance while maintaining a healthy body for years to come!

Also, check out some of our Nutrition Articles:


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