How to Build a Ripped Midsection
Frustrated? Tired? Upset? Ready for change? If you’re answering all of these questions with a loud YES from your living room, then you are in good company. And that’s why I keep writing these pieces, honestly — there’s a lot of frustration going on.
I look down at a body in progress and I think about everyone else doing the same. Are we on track? Are we falling off the mark? It just depends on your goals. But if you’re dreaming of abs, dreaming of a nicely sculpted body from top to bottom, then you need this guide too.
I know that it’s time to think differently about the way we work out, but in order to start down that path, you have to know what you’re up against.
Dozens of Myths
There are a lot of myths about sculpting your abs, and I find them all ridiculous. Unfortunately, just because I find them silly doesn’t mean that other people aren’t thinking that they are the best ideas ever.
You can even see it when you go into the gym — the guys that are just doing ab exercises, hoping that they will finally be able to strut down the beach in style. That’s just not the case, and you will need to make sure that you are thinking carefully about everything you need to get done and then some if you want to meet your goals.
I’m not saying this is going to be easy. If anything, that’s the grandfather of all of these common myths. We have become a community of easy, of convenience over all things, and of shortcuts. These three things are cheating you and everyone else out of the body you REALLY deserve.
Smash Through the Myths
So, how to smash through the myths and claim the body you want? I’m glad you asked. The biggest myth, that shortcuts exist, can be pushed aside by truths. You can sculpt out great abs by going back to the same basics that bodybuilders use.
Feed Your Body
If you want to build an amazing body, you’re going to have to feed an amazing body. And you don’t feed an amazing body by accident. You feed it by using solid nutritional principles. This means that if you’re not tracking what goes into your mouth, you definitely need to.
You definitely need to make sure that you keep a food journal. This way if you hit a plateau you can immediately see what foods are bothering you and which ones aren’t bothering you. That’s the only way that you’re going to be able to handle this scientifically.
This is also a good way to catch food intolerance that may be keeping some unwanted body weight hanging around.
Forget About Spot Reducing
The other great myth is that spot reducing is the answer — which is why people think all of those crunches and cable lifts are going to give you the rock hard abs that you desired from the beginning.
That’s not true either. If you ultimately want a better body, then you need to exercise with the whole body in mind. If you only try to go with shortcuts, then shorted results are all you’re going to get.
For whole body workouts, we really like the compound lifts. If you look at elite bodybuilders, you’ll find that they still do a lot of deadlifts, squats, presses, flyes, extensions and more. Being able to use heavy weights will allow you to give your muscles a workout, breaking them down and allowing the hormones of your body to handle the rest.
Research Your Supplements
Is there a place for supplements? Certainly — but you need to make sure that you do the research and keep track of what you’re taking. Some people may just need a really good multivitamin. Other people will want to start looking at more than just that.
If you are restarting after a LONG time of not working out, do yourself a favor and talk to the doctor. Buying a bottle of weight loss pills at the store is not your magic solution. In fact, weight loss supplements can often set you back.
Take it Slow
I cannot tell you how many people have come to me wanting to get sculpted abs like the guys on late night TV, only to find that they’ve pulled serious muscles that are going to take weeks to heal.
There’s no sense in working abs every day, or performing 20 sets of abs at each workout. As will all of your muscle groups, abs need time to heal.
For some exercise ideas, check out my list of the top 5 best abs exercises.
Your body is precious — you only get one and you don’t want to damage the only one you have. There’s nothing like taking things slowly to get to your goals. Remember that, and the rest will truly fall into place — I promise!