Six packs constitute the main target of virtually every guy who goes to the gym or undergoes a regular training session of home. No other part of the body receives so much attention but, at the same time, nothing is more difficult to sculpt than the abs. Whether you are trying to get rid of the extra fat around your stomach or you are attempting to increase your muscle mass in that area, transforming your abs into a six pack is NOT a walk in the park. In addition to the innate intricacy of the process, some of us are also encountering seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Let’s find out ten potential explanations to why your abs training sessions are not paying off.
1. A decreased muscle tone in your abdominal area
Sub-optimal muscle tone in your abdominals is the classic and most frequently encountered reason why, no matter how much you try, the six pack refuses to show. In other words, every person has a different level of abs development. Some have too much, others have too little. The dimensions of the abdominal muscles will determine whether or not they are actually visible through the belly fat, making your stomach appear “ripped”. If this is indeed your problem, then intensive weight exercises for the abs including reclined sit-ups represent the perfect solution.
2. It could be genetically impossible to develop a six pack
Genetics play a major role in your ability to enlarge your abs and grow the notorious six pack. To put it simply, certain individuals have a propensity towards a higher level of abdominal fat tissue, which means that in spite of their success in toning the arms, legs and upper back, the abs refuse to show. Keep in mind that genes influence the overall appearance – and functionality for that matter – of our body a great deal, so in this particular situation trying to sport a six pack is a losing battle.
3. You are forgetting about the importance of proper hydration
Nowadays due to the standard diet that consists primarily of intensively processed food, your body is very prone to retain water. Particularly when your meals include high levels of sodium and you do not drink the recommended quantity of water, your organism will develop a lot more fat and, as a consequence, your abdominal muscles will not show. What you can do is limit the salt intake and start drinking about ten 8-ounce glasses of water per day. You should be able to notice the effects of proper hydration in less than a week.
4. Perhaps you aren’t getting your regular “beauty sleep”
What is the connection between getting enough sleep and boasting an enviable six pack? Simple, the body of an individual who constantly sleeps for less than the recommended period or who has chaotic sleep patterns will tend to secrete more cortisol. This little hormone is a directly responsible factor in promoting the development of fat in the stomach area. Therefore, try to hit the sack earlier, because the advantages don’t only include a stagnation in the cortisol secretion, but also elevated energy levels throughout the day, allowing you to engage in higher intensity workouts.
5. Your diet is too low on carbohydrates
There is a misconception in the world of fitness that suggests cutting down carb-rich foods from your diet can help you lose the abdominal fat quickly, therefore making your abs more visible. True, the main role of low carb diet plan consists of downgrading your levels of fat but, at the same time, this is not the right way to go if you want ripped abs. The reason for this is that a very low carb intake will also reduce the effectiveness of your anti-fat hormones, effectively causing the metabolism to decelerate up to a full stop. As of such, you will end up at the point where your organism is no longer consuming calories or creating muscle tissue. Bummer!
6. Your training emphasizes too much on the abdominal muscles
You might believe that a routine focused mainly on your abs is the road to success, but unfortunately that is false. Instead, if you construct your workout in a manner that exercises all groups of muscle – compound movement – then you will definitely increase the number of calories burned by roughly ten times and sculpt the abdominal muscles in the process. After all, you want your body to appear uniformly ripped, don’t you?
7. Your abs training ends when you exit the gym door
Since the abdominals are so difficult to shape by default, you have to pay more attention to them, at all times. What this rule entails is that you cannot stop training the abs once your workout is complete, not that you should go against rule no. 6. In other words, throughout the entire day, you should educated yourself to tighten and pull the abs until this becomes a habit.
8. You regularly have one too many at the pub
Nobody says that you can’t enjoy a few beers on Friday with your buddies, but you must learn how to refrain from frequently indulging in excessive alcohol consumption if you plan to rip your abs. Alcohol is a real obstacle in terms of trimming the fat – especially in your stomach area – so in turn that means your abs will not show. In addition, the associated painful sensations in that region that come the next morning will prevent you from exercising properly.
9. Your stress levels are through the roof
Stress, like the lack of sleep, is one of the factors that boost the cortisol secretion of the body. However, studies show that stress is also involved in the decrease of lean muscles. In essence, the combination of these two effects deems stress as the absolute abs-killer.
10. Binge eating
Binge eating is almost exclusively related to a very low caloric/carb intake throughout the day, but some of us also tend to snack under stress. Therefore, in order to eliminate this unhealthy habit from your routine the best thing you can do is to adjust your carb/caloric intake to your body’s dimensions and of course, activity levels.