abs_dvdHaving “six pack abs” is something that many people strive for.  Other people, may not be striving for a “six pack” but just a slimmer, leaner mid section. Unfortunately, many people have problems achieving these fitness goals.  You may be asking….what is the best way to a six pack or a leaner middle?  Can it be as simple as hitting the gym?  What about just dropping down to the floor and doing some good ol fashioned sit ups?  How about just throwing in an ab exercise DVD?  All of these may seem like good ideas, but are most likely not going to get you “six pack” or lean mid section.  At least not by themselves.  However, I will say that a good ab exercise DVD, combined with a solid exercise program will give you the best chance for success.  Especially when combined with a healthy diet.

I’m going to give you some overly simplistic “tips on how to get the most from you ab exercise DVDs, which you have hopefully combined with a workout program.

1. Start eating right! Just eat healthy.  You can also speed up your results to a six pack by using a calorie deficit.  Find out how many calories you should be eating to maintain your ideal weight, and subtract an additional 300-500 calories.  Check out my article on How to Get In Shape for more on this.  To get a six pack or a lean midsection, you must lose the layer of fat hiding your abs.  Eating right is important. And eat every 2-3 hours, 5-6 smaller meals a day.

2. Exercise. Contrary to popular belief, you can not work your abs, and lose weight in your “gut”.  I wish it were that easy.  As you lose weight, you will lose weight everywhere at the same time.  We all have our trouble areas.  The “spare tire”, our hips, and butt are the most common.  These areas are usually the last to go.  Which is ironic, because it’s usually these areas that have motivated us to begin working out in the first place.

There are no magic pills or machines that will get you a six pack over night.

So find an exercise plan, one that includes weights and cardio.  Lifting weights, helps you to add muscle.  By adding muscle, you burn more fat.  It takes your body more calories to maintain the muscle in your body, than the fat in your body.  So add muscle, and your metabolism automatically kicks in and starts to burn more calories!  Then your cardio workouts will burn fat as well.  Then add in your ab exercise DVD, to start working on your abs.  As you lose fat, add muscle, and work your abs….guess what?  A six pack, and/or a lean midsection!  But it takes some time and consistency.  If you’re a woman and think adding muscle will make you “bulk up” or look too masculine, read this article. Chalean Extreme, Building Muscles Isn’t Just for Boys.

3.  Consistency. If you only follow the ab exercise DVD or workout program a handful of times and then never use them again, it will not work. Consistency is the key to getting great looking abs and you need to be prepared to work at it. Typically, you should work your abs 2-3 times a week, or every other day.  Like any other muscle, you don’t want to work them every day.  Give your exercise program a chance to work.  Don’t expect overnight results.  I think a good healthy goal of 1-3 lbs a week is excellent progress when you are trying to lose weight and get lean.

4.  Get Support. Have a support plan.  Whether it be a work out partner, an accountability coach, a fitness forum, family members.  Whatever you decide, have a way to get support when you are losing motivation, need encouragement, or need a helping hand.

I’ve tried many ways to get in shape… gyms, martial arts, home workouts, you name it.  I found that Beachbody programs and their online support tools, were the keys to my success.  I’m very fond of Power 90 (I lost 30 lbs with this program), and then P90XPower 90 was an entry level program, that got me in shape and eating right, taught me the basics of nutrition, and exercise.  Then P90X got me in the absolute best shape of my life.  Both of these programs have a great ab exercise DVD.  If you’re like me, struggling with gym workouts, not sure what to do, when to do it, try a program designed to get results.  As always, I’m here to help.  Feel free to contact me anytime!