I am going to keep things super simple here, you could literally follow the best training guide in the world (Tone & Sculpt app obviously) but if your diet is rubbish, your abs will be rubbish too. It may sound harsh but it’s a reality.
You could literally run for an hour a day but if you are stuffing your face with pizza and cookies all night, every night then unless you are some mythical creature with a metabolism as fast as the speed of light then the likelihood is you will not have abs.
This is not meant to be discouraging in anyway at all, in fact I am here to give you guidance to help you achieve a six pack (or at least semi pack) of your very own. So here are my 7 top tips to help get you on the right path:
1. Prioritise your protein. For some reason a high percentage of women have the opinion that if they consume too much protein they will ‘look like a man’. I can assure you that protein will not give you adam's apple or make you develop any other manly ‘parts’ so rest assured you are safe there. Protein can actually increase your metabolism. Of all the macronutrients it has the highest thermogenic effect as it requires more energy to help your body digest it. The Tone & Sculpt app gives you a perfectly balanced diet designed by our very own in house nutritionist. If however, you decide to go at it alone, firstly work out your protein intake and then develop the rest of your plan around that.
2. Give yourself enough time. Abs do not just come overnight. I don’t care what that magic pill or diet tea tells you, it isn’t going to happen. Trust me if it was possible it would be the first thing on my Christmas list. Be patient, it can take 3-6 months to start seeing changes so don’t be disheartened if your six pack doesn’t come in the first two weeks. Progress pictures every 2-4 weeks are a great way to track your development.
3. Don’t restrict your diet too much. Ok we want to be sensible here. I can’t honestly tell you that you can eat whatever you want and you will see results, you won’t. I’m sorry but it’s the truth. Well depending obviously what it is that you crave but if you’re anything like me it’s anything super sweet and anything super salty, so basically all things high in sugar and largely processed. My advice? Ironically, avoid foods that are high in artificial sugars and...yes, you guessed it, highly processed food. Micronutrients are key so a diet with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals from natural sources will go a long way in helping you achieve your six pack goals. That being said if you over restrict the foods you love too much it can lead to bingeing, the ultimate ab killer. So try to just eat in moderation and when you do feel like having something ‘off plan’ try to stick to the serving suggestion, you will be surprised how different this is to the amount we actually eat.
4. Skip the sit ups. Countless crunches will not give you the definition you are looking for. So if you’re there doing 1,000 sit ups a day, please stop wasting your time. A combination of compound movements and isolation specific exercises is much more effective in engaging your core, as well as promoting fat loss. These can be done at home or at the gym. Exercises such as chin ups and hanging leg raises are great for working those abs. The Tone & Sculpt app has some amazing ab workouts as well as some ab challenges for you to try.
5. Consistency really is key. I know you have probably heard this a thousand times by now but hear me out. You work hard Monday through Thursday, eating healthy and training hard. Friday comes and well it’s the weekend so it doesn’t really count right? Only it does, Saturday and Sunday too. That actually counts for 3 out of 7 days, just under half of the week. So half of the week you are absolutely smashing your goals, then the weekend comes and you simply just wave them all goodbye. Seems pretty pointless to me, just being completely honest. But don’t worry I’m not out to completely kill your weekend vibes. Enjoy your weekend by all means but again, in moderation. The idea is not to be restrictive but to have balance, and consistently enough so that over time you can gain your desired results. It really is that simple. If you find it hard to stay consistent over the weekend, why not find an accountability partner on the Tone & Sculpt community page and do the 30 day ab challenge from the Tone & Sculpt app together?
6. Crush your cardio. Your abs are there, they are just hiding behind a layer of fat, and by the way not all fat is bad, it actually serves a purpose in protecting our bodies. However, excess fat in the abdominal area is usually the most dangerous kind. So an effective way off getting rid of the excess fat? High intensity workouts. We have some amazing HIIT workouts under the cardio section in the Tone & Sculpt app as well as a huge range of circuits for you to choose from. Not only are these workouts extremely valuable for fat loss they are also time friendly, taking between 10-30 minutes on average to complete, bonus! So you can even add them on to the end of your regular workout split. Try to incorporate a high intensity workout into your weekly routine 2- 4 times per week, please ensure you are getting enough rest though between each one as they are intense. You got this!
7. Try some pilates based movements. Pilates is amazing at strengthening your entire core, this is great for improving your other workouts including your compound movements, and is also fantastic for improving your posture. Give these pilates inspired ab workouts a try from our very own Tone & Sculpt app:
Scissors: Lay on your back and hold your arms out above you, inline with your shoulders with both legs straight and flat on the floor. Raise one leg up keeping it nice and straight, until your leg reaches your arms. As you lower one leg, you simultaneously begin to lift the other leg in the same way you did with the first. Be sure to keep your core engaged and try not to swing your legs to lead the movement. If you can, keep your heels off the floor when you lower your legs to really work your core.
In and Outs: Sit on the floor up right with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hands by your side, slightly behind you with your fingers facing forward. Raise your legs off the floor keeping them straight, then bend them in and towards your chest, keep your core nice and tight. To repeat simply extend your legs back out into the straight position and then bring your knees back in towards your chest. If you want to advance on this, raise your supporting hands and have them either out straight by your sides or hold them close to your chest.
So there we have it, a simple and realistic strategy on how to get that sexy sculpted stomach you have always wanted. I just want to add here that having abs is a great achievement and if that is your ultimate goal, you should go for it! However, abs do not define you as a person, you are not more than or less than because of the shape of your stomach. As long as you are happy and you are healthy, that is the ultimate goal.
Either way we are rooting for you! If you give these workouts a try be sure to tag myself and the Tone & Sculpt team in, we’d love to see and share! @toneandsculptapp @leanne.jacklin