Lots of people crave an epic six pack. The idea of flashing your abs and showing those glorious little lumps is for sure appealing to men and women alike.
The thing is, most people tend to make this a goal throughout the summer. Maybe because gloriously sunny destinations call for more flesh to be on show than the snow does. But maintaining a six pack all year round doesn’t need to be a challenge.
Time and time again we are told to set goals and don’t get me wrong, goals are a good thing. The problem is for most people, once they achieve what they initially set out to do, that is the end of it. Working towards an awesome set of abs is no different.
Usually, people work and work to get shredded, really putting the effort in until they look the exact way they want for that trip to a tropical island. Then they allow themselves a break, which often turns from a pause to a complete stop. Allowing everything to return to how it was before.
Then guess what, the cycle starts all over again next spring.
But there is no reason why you can’t keep your ideal form throughout every season. Looking just as good in knitwear as swimwear! Read on for some top tips on how to stay looking good throughout the year.
Tip #1 – Don’t Work So Hard
I know, this sounds ridiculous, right? I’m writing an article about how to have a great six pack and yet I’m telling you not to work so hard. But bear with me….
Most people give it 110% when it comes to crunch time. When they have that deadline they want to meet the work as hard as they can. Cutting more and more calories by the week. Lifting heavier and heavier weights. Then they reach their goal and they’ve maxed out.
They need a break. But this is a slippery slope to letting that six pack slip away. So, rather than aiming for one goal and finishing, aim for maintenance
Try working at a level which you can maintain long-term. Don’t be a slave to your midsection left miserable. Because you’ve sickened yourself with abs, abs and more abs. Instead, take a more relaxed approach.
The kind where you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and you’re like:
‘Wow, check that six-pack’.
Tip #2 – Be Prepared When it Comes to Mealtimes
Know what is a great way to make sure you’re eating the right things to maintain a ripped physique? Prep, prep, prep.
You don’t always have time to cook a full meal. Life today can be hectic and sometimes your meal schedule needs to be kept short. In the summer it is often easier to grab a quick salad. But in the colder months, you want something warm and filling. One thing you can do though before turning to fast food is reheat something you made earlier.
One day a week plan out your meals for the next seven days. Then shop for the ingredients you need and only those ingredients. Lastly, cook big batches of food and break out the Tupperware.
This way you can have meals ready to quickly heat up making mealtimes less of a stress. It also means you know you are getting the right nutrition to keep your six pack showing. (Read: 3 Best, Worst Foods to Eat When You’re a Sporty Person)
Tip #3 – Make Healthy Snacking Your Habit
Usually, when someone is aiming for that great six pack, they cut the calories to a minimum. This is fine when you’re looking towards a short-term goal. However, as a long-term strategy hunger and cravings are not your friend.
Eating 4-5 small meals a day is much better for ongoing success. Try adding protein-packed snacks during the day to curb hunger pangs. It will also give your body the tools it needs to build more muscle through protein synthesis (1).
You can pre-make some snacks with your meals to keep in the fridge. Or even add a whey protein shake into your daily diet. Just get into the habit of having something healthy and filling at hand before hunger strikes.
Make Keeping Your Abs a Blessing not a Chore
If you’re killing yourself to achieve a great six pack, it isn’t much fun. Making life a little easier for yourself is going to give you the motivations to keep it going throughout the year.
Jenny Abouobaia is a certified personal trainer and founder of Jenny Abouobaia Fitness.
Jenny offers affordable online training programs for both men and women with her dedicated app, ensuring personal training is accessible to anyone, at any time on any budget.
She combined her love of fitness with her love of writing and has written thousands of articles for high authority sites in the health, fitness and nutrition niche.