How to make your abs POP!

How to get a ripped core is one of the most popular questions I get asked, and I'm not surprised. You must have all seen the adverts, the lean people on the beaches, the cover models, all having a ripped torso. Yes, it looks great, but it also functions as a support for your back (having a big gut can cause you back problems - having a strong core causes you no such problems).

In a sentence - to achieve a ripped core, you have to train hard (for both muscle gain and fat burning) and eat a strict diet. Saying and doing those are two completely different things. The diet is the hardest part. Performing exercises such as squats, lunges, leg raises, weighted Russian twists, planks, all work the core, building it stronger. However, to show the muscle you have to have a low body fat percentage. You could have a solid core, but if you have too much body fat covering it, you will never see those abs pop.

There are a handful of people who I follow and trust with their approach to fitness. They have different ways of targeting the abs - some don't target the abs specifically and rely on moves such as squats to build core strength, whereas the others train their abs religiously to get the definition they are after. All of the people who I follow have superb physiques, some bigger than others, some a little leaner than others, but all are very good in their own right. That shows that not just one approach works, it depends on the individual.

One thing's for sure, and that is you have to be strict with your diet. It will take some time to figure out how many carbs you can eat before you start to gain the unwanted stomach fat. Once you find out the amount that is right for you, you will be able to maximise your training while keeping your body fat low in order to show your abdominal muscles. Play around with your nutrient intake, varying the level of carbohydrates, until you find what works best for you. You want to enough enough so you can maximise your training, but not too much that you are covering your abs with body fat.

Experimenting with your diet can seem tedious, but trust me, it's very beneficial. You need to learn what your body responds to in order to maximise your conditioning. Make no mistake, having a ripped torso is very hard to achieve - if it was easy, everyone would have washboard abs! It takes a lot of hard work and discipline.

Lee Gregory Fitness

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