Did you ever see a man or woman on an infomercial with ripped abs and a long, lean stature? I think we all have.

Because I care about you, I’m going to make a request. Please don’t be naïve. They didn’t get that way from the gadget they are promoting. That’s a bunch of fluff.  They got that way from all the hard work they did off set.

The truth is, we all have abs. If we didn’t our upper bodies would fold in half like an accordion every time we got out of a chair. They are necessary for keeping us upright, making rotational movements, walking, running, riding a bike, sneezing, and a host of other daily activities.

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The big difference is, not everyone’s abs are visible because they are hidden behind a layer of fat. This doesn’t mean they’re not there.  You just can’t see them.

That being said, the best formula to actually see your abs involves multiple facets. If we go back to the ab gadget, one ab exercise repeated thousands of times a day is NOT the answer.

The first thing you need to do to get abs is clean up your diet.

This means no hot dogs, no doughnuts, no cheese fries, no candy bars and no sugary beverages.

Focus your nutritional intake on REAL food with little to zero contaminants in it, like lean meats, fish, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Drink water as your main beverage and stay away from that artificial, sugar-free junkiness. Those fake sweeteners do their best to stimulate hunger hormones and they are chemically processed.  You don’t need chemicals floating around in your body.

If you do in fact have some pounds to give up, then cut back on your daily intake. I wouldn’t go overboard though because you will be exercising and you’ll need quality calories for energy and recovery. A daily reduction of 250 calories should get you where you need to go.

Oh, and I before I forget, remember that weight is lost through the body as a whole unit. For the nine- thousandth time, there is no such thing as spot reduction! That’s why ab crunches alone are ineffective. They may tighten up your midsection, but you still need to lose the fat.

Ok, now let’s focus our eyeballs on the WAY you eat.

Give up the conventional wisdom of three meals a day. Think more in terms of a horse. He sits and runs and walks around all day, as happy as a lark. What else does he do? He eats every few hours, drinks a metric ton of water and displays a muscular body that looks like it was molded out of iron. No big deal really.

Follow the horse’s example. By grazing, you will keep your appetite and blood sugar levels under control, and also have an abundance of energy.   Specifically keeping your blood sugar stable will prevent spikes in insulin, which is a fat-storage hormone. Your metabolism will also experience a nice lift and you’ll be set!

Before we leave the kitchen table, make sure to balance each meal with a portion of protein, complex carbs and healthy fat.  Complex carbs get broken down slowly in the system, and protein and healthy fats slow them down even more.

Remember, you always want to keep your blood sugar in check. Eating balanced meals will guarantee this will happen.

I bet you didn’t know getting abs had so much to do with diet, did you?  Well a full formula would not be complete without it.

Now let’s shift to exercise.

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The main thing you want to do is build as much lean muscle mass as possible.  Muscle is metabolically active tissue that burns a lot of calories at rest like the sun burns skin.  Focus on targeting all of your major muscle groups with exercises like bench presses, military presses, pull-ups, squats and deadlifts.

These are compound exercises, which work multiple muscles at a time and give you more bang for your buck than single joint movements. They also cause you to contract your abs for force production so you get built-in abdominal work.

Integrating a healthy dose of cardio is your next assignment, but don’t waste time with long boring workouts.  Step on the gas and do high intensity interval training (HIIT). Yes, I’m sure you’ve probably heard of this by now.

Interval training is performed by alternating back and forth between bouts of really high effort and low effort.

Much like weight training, this boosts your metabolism through the roof and it also causes your body to naturally release growth hormone and testosterone, which are key to muscle building and preservation.  You also have to forcefully contract your abs when you are pushing hard through a high-intensity phase.

Are you starting to see the big picture now?

Lastly, we have ab exercises. Interestingly, they have less to do with the formula then all of the other components. If you do weight training and perform high-intensity cardio, your abs will get plenty of work already. Couple that with a clean diet and you’re off to the races.

But since you love ab work, focus on doing exercises that target all areas of your core. Crunches might make you happy, but they’re only working the upper rectus abdominis at the top of your stomach.

You also want to target your lower rectus abdominis, obliques, which are on your sides and lower back muscles. This will ensure that you will not develop imbalances.

To summarize this entire plan, follow a healthy, whole food diet, drink water as your main beverage, and balance your workouts with weight training, interval cardio and ab exercises.

A good system to follow is do three days of weight training, three days of cardio and three days of ab exercises performed right after your cardio. Perform your weight training and cardio on alternating days of each other.

There you have it.  This plan is a bit lengthy, but there really is no quick process involved with getting abs. Stay disciplined, keep your eye on the prize and execute patience through your entire journey.

If you follow THAT formula, watch how fast your body responds and be sure to thank me when you’re done!

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And they can do the same for you.

Expert:

Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!

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Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans