Start workouts now for a summertime 6-pack

Start workouts now for a summertime 6-pack

by Kelsey Taylor

Contrary to what late night infomercials say, you cannot get the abs you desire “in just minutes a day.” Summer is fast approaching, and now’s the time I begin reminding Angie’s List employees that it can take several months to get the six-pack abs to look good poolside.

To tackle the abdominal monster, begin with a well-balanced diet. Cut out the sugars and refined flours, and replace them with lean cuts of protein, high quality grains and fresh produce. Changing your diet will help you gain lean muscle that will fuel your body during workouts and help you reach your goal.

Doing just sit-ups isn’t going to give you a well-sculpted midsection. Instead, work on overall body construction. The more lean muscle gained, the higher your metabolism is raised, which increases your body’s ability to burn stored fat. This is achieved through resistance or strength training by lifting free weights or using machines to work muscles in the legs, back, chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps.

After completing 30 to 40 minutes of resistance training, let your cardiovascular system do the work. Interval training — which involves bursts of high intensity work, such as walking for three minutes and then sprinting for one minute and repeating until you’ve completed a 30-minute session — is an excellent way to burn unwanted fat and break up the monotony of cardio workouts.

Change your workouts and training every three to four weeks to make your muscles work differently to burn fat, and if you need help along the way, consider using a personal trainer who can keep you on track.

Kelsey Taylor is a certified personal trainer with the International Fitness Professionals Association, a sports nutritionist and a strength training instructor with more than 11 years of experience. For the past three years, she’s worked at Angie’s List as a wellness director/personal trainer for 400-plus employees.

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