**Today’s contributing writer: Eric Richard Allen. Eric is the Founder & Head Strength Coach of ERA Fit, offering customized, analytics driven, professional, results based Personal Training in Miami. He has trained celebrities, bikini competitors, stay at home moms, competitive athletes and the general population in Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.**
How to get the perfectly sculpted abs seems to be the obsession of our age.
Go to any grocery store and as you check out you will be bombarded with dozens of magazines telling you to twist, turn, run, balance, lift your legs, stand on your head or do a somersault in order to obtain the midsection you desire.
The problem with this advice is, is that it’s all WRONG. What’s worse, is that when you tell people the truth, they don’t want to hear it.
Case in point: one day I had a gym patron approach me during a rest interval and ask, “Eric, how did you get your abs? I never see you doing crunches.”
I replied, “Well it’s a combination of things – Olympic lifting, deadlifts, squats, pull ups, sprints, sleeping for AT LEAST 7 hours a night (at the same time every night), proper supplementation and being VERY specific about when (and how many) carbs I’m consuming.”
She stood there for a moment and tried to digest what I said with a incredulous expression and replied, “That doesn’t sound right”.
She immediately turned to another trainer and asked the same question “how do you get abs”.
I laughed, shook my head, and continued with my workout.
Here’s the thing, what you need to do to get abs (or a flat belly) is SIMPLE.
Sticking to those simple for a prolonged period of time is what’s difficult.
So, without further adieu, here is your quick guide to getting a ripped (or toned…ladies) core.
By the way, THESE ARE IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE.
Go To Sleep
Get at least 7-8 hours a night; preferably at the same if possible. This will…
1. Regulate your cortisol production (stress hormone)
2. Increase your testosterone (Gents)
3. Increase growth hormone levels (anti-aging)
4. Reduce inflammation
5. Regulate your appetite
This doesn’t need to be complicated.
Men: Eat at least your weight in grams of protein each day.
Women: Eat .6 – .8 grams of protein per lb. of body weight each day.
There is in inverse relationship between body fat and carbohydrate consumption. So, in general, the leaner you are, the more carbs you can eat.
Guidelines for carb consumption in relation to your body fat:
– Men @ 30% + /Women with 35% + | 0 – 20g carbs/ day
– Men @ 23% – 30%/ Women between 27% – 35%| 30 – 50g carbs/ day
– Men @ 15% – 20%/ Women between 21% – 26%| 30 – 80g carbs/ day
– Men @ 12% – 14%/ Women between 17% – 20%| 50 – 150g carbs/ day
– Men @ 8% – 11%/Women between 13% – 16% | 100 – 400g carbs/day
Again, point being, the leaner you are the more you can indulge.
I give ranges because I’ve seen different clients do well at different levels. You need to set a certain level and see what if it’s working for you.
Try to eat smaller meals through out the day instead of one or two big meals. Shoot for 4-6. Or, if you’re smitten with the idea of Intermittent Fasting, see how it does for you and evaluate.
Over the years with my clients (in general) I’ve seen better results with eating smaller meals throughout the day.
Put your bosu ball and TRX bands in storage and start LIFTING.
Your workouts should be focused on sprinting, squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, and pull ups.
You could, literally, build the body of your dreams with JUST those lifts.
If you are properly engaging your core during these movements it is ALL YOU NEED.
You should be lifting at least 3 – 4 days a week for an hour with a goal of reaching 30 – 40 sets in an hour.
Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 2-3 times per week.
This could be:
If want the best bang for your buck, go with sprints. Here’s an easy protocol.
Beginner: 6 – 8 sets 20-second sprint 3 minute rest in-between
Intermediate: 8 – 10 sets 30-second sprint 2 minute rest in-between
Advanced: 4 – 5 sets 400M sprint with 5 – 6 minutes in-between.
You could follow this protocol for any of the movements listed above.
Supplementing your diet with the right products that directly affect belly fat is the last step gaining the abs you want. Here is what I recommend.
1. Fish oil (2-4 grams/ day)
2. A multi-vitamin
3. Magnesium (200-400mgs/ day). Post workout and/ or in the evening
Again, it’s that simple!
Don’t make it more difficult than it is.
If you need some more ideas about meal planning, workouts, fat loss, muscle building, or healthy lifestyle advice visit www.erafit.com
… and you can apply to train with us in Miami, or, train ANYWHERE in the world with our online coaching.
Best of luck!