Thursday, March 1, 2012


When people ask me how to go about getting six-pack abs, they usually start talking about all of the crunches and other exercises they spend hours every week performing without seeing any tangible results. My first response is that they most likely already have a reasonably developed set of abdominals if they’ve been training for some time. Their abs are just covered by excess body fat. That is really what people are inadvertently asking me when they ask what they need to do to get visible abs; what they really need to focus on is reducing their body fat.
Granted, a certain level of muscular development of the abs is necessary to have a ripped “six pack” appearance, but ultimately your body fat % is what’s most important. Generally, men need to get below 10-11% body fat to really start to see the abs (they really pop out at 7-8%), and women need to get below 16-19% body fat to really bring out their abs. However, everyone will differ depending on his or her body fat distribution. Based on individual body fat distribution, some people may need to get even leaner than these percentages to be able to see their abs.
Men tend to accumulate more body fat in the abdominal area, whereas women tend to accumulate more body fat in the hips and thighs. If you want to figure out how much body fat you need to lose to get down to these levels or lower, you’ll need to have your body fat percentage measured. There are many methods available to do this, but the methods that will be most accessible to the majority of people are the skinfold caliper method, the bioelectrical impedance method, or estimates using girth measurements of various body part circumferences. If you’re a member at a gym, you can most likely have a trainer at the gym perform either the skinfold caliper method or the bioelectrical impedance method. Some of the calculations and tables for the girth measurement method can be found on-line or your trainer at your gym may be able to complete the calculations if they have the tables available.
While this manual will provide all of the information you need to know about developing your abdominals to the greatest extent possible given your genetics, the majority of this manual is going to focus on proven strategies and tips that will help you reduce your bodyfat to such levels that your abdominals are clearly visible.

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