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I recently got a really interesting question from one of our readers and thought its worth a whole article. Getting a six pack, a really nice, visible, like an ice tray is not easy and there is a few things you need to get right, but before anything you need to know that it will take time, so be ready to put work into it for a long period of time.
Bruce Lee is rumored to have done over 1,000 ab workout repetitions per day. Everything from sit-ups, to leg raises and leaning twists. Based on this picture, there is no doubt Bruce’s core strength rivaled that of a great sequoia. But there’s much more to acquiring razor sharp calisthenic abs than just sit-ups.
1. Core Focused
Abdominals are only one of 4 muscles that make up your core. You have your right and left obliques, and your lower back muscles. Together, this group of muscles forms a sleeve around your midsection, and is imperative to preventing injury during exercise. When trying to strengthen one muscle group, it’s equally important to strengthen the surrounding and antagonist muscles. The muscles in your body are all dependent on each other and your body likes to keep things proportionate. Having massive quads is hard to do without building your hamstrings. Same with abdominals, if you truly want a strong core, you need to work all the above mentioned muscle groups. Here are a few exercises that will help:
- Swiss Ball Jackknife. 3x12
Image source: totalworkout.fitness/en/exercise/10512
- Bosu Crunch 3x10
Image source: quartoknows.com/blog/quartolives/bosu-ball-crunch-for-upper-abs
- Side plank 30 seconds (each side), 3X
Apart from those Leg Raises Progression Its a killer abs workout. You can use this basic leg raises progression from Convict Conditioning which is depicted here, or an extended one which I am using. There is actually a lot of really good and really advanced ab exercises like which you can check in our progression spreadsheet like Hanging V Raise Windshield Wipers
Now that we’re sure you’re doing [tweet_box design=”box_03″]the proper exercise to get those ice tray calisthenics abs[/tweet_box], I’m going to let you in on a secret: well-defined abdominal muscles have little to do with exercise, and everything to do with body fat percentage. For those of you who workout regularly, chances are you already have a rockin 6-pack hidden under a thin layer of belly fat. The models who flash their stomachs on the covers of Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines have body fat percentages in the low single digits.
How do you get that layer of belly fat to dissipate?
Through diet, particularly a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet. Your daily intake of macronutrients should be broken down as follows:
- Limit carbohydrates to 100 grams per day
- 1-1.5 grams of protein for guys, per pound of bodyweight, per day / 0.7 grams of protein for girls,per pound of bodyweight, per day
- The rest of your calories should come from healthy fat.
- Nuts, nut butters
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Butter from grass-fed cows
- Get enough green vegetables. Make a green smoothie making sure you are getting enough nutrients
To get more direction on a diet read this article on a Lean Mean Calisthenics Diet, but keep in mind, the diet is what will make it work.
The unfair truth is that genetics play a huge role in how much fat your body stores. Dropping down to 4%-5% body fat is not sustainable for most of us, even those magazine cover models who spend weeks cutting down to that size. There are the select few whose bodies are more comfortable with little body fat, but they’re the exception.
Having a 6-pack along with a well-defined muscular body; typically has more to do with being skinny than anything else. Remember Brad Pitt in fight club? While he had some serious muscle tone, he’s wasn’t that muscular, what made him look so cut-up was an extremely low body fat percentage. 80% of body composition is diet, so even though exercising plays an important role, what you eat is the ultimate determining factor.
If you really want a six pack you ve got to focus.
If you are looking for a complete guide on what to eat while training calisthenics to get your abs ripped, Renegade Diet is the place to go. Check it out.
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