To get eight-pack abs fast requires two things: Muscular abs to maximize visibility and very low body fat levels to reveal your chiseled mid-section.
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Losing fat fast requires a multi-faceted approach: a caloric deficit to trigger fat loss, cardiovascular training and resistance training. Like a recipe, no meal is complete without all the component parts. To maximize your training and get eight-pack abs fast, keep your pedal to the metal, train hard and stick to your fat loss diet. While training your abs directly is important, these other strategies are also key to getting eight-pack abs fast.
Losing Body Fat
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how strong and muscular your abs are if there is body fat covering them up. To burn body fat, caloric intake must be reduced. Use a tool like LiveStrong MyPlate and set a weight-loss goal of between 1 and 2 pounds per week. Record the foods and drinks you’re consuming and begin your diet by eliminating processed snack foods, sweets and high-calorie drinks like soda and alcohol To stay full, focus on eating lean protein like chicken and fish and lots of vegetables throughout the day.
If the scale isn’t dropping in your favor, decrease calories by 250 per week until you begin losing weight. This isn't an end-all be-all to fat loss, as Harvard Health Publications suggests women eat at least 1,200 calories daily and men 1,500 calories a day unless supervised by their doctor. If your calories are near this limit, increase exercise rather than decrease calories to stimulate fat loss.
Read More: The Best Foods for Abs for Men
The more lean muscle you have the more calories you’ll burn at rest. According to this study in the National Council on Strength and Fitness, each pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories per day, meaning the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolism. Therefore, it’s important to preserve as much muscle as possible even when you’re dieting to prevent muscle loss.
Lift weights two or three times per week, focusing on major muscles of the body -- including the back, chest, abs, legs, arms, shoulders, and hips. Exercises that work the most muscle mass create the greatest caloric expenditure and preserve lean muscle when dieting. Use exercises like bench presses, squats, deadlifts, lunges and rows for two or three sets of six to 12 reps.
Read More: Strength Training for Losing Weight
To maximize the visibility of your abs you’ll need to train them directly. Use exercises like planks, side planks and even push-ups to strengthen your core. Then, add in exercises that require you flex your abs like reverse crunches, ab wheel rollouts and bicycle crunches to build lean muscle. Perform two sets of four to five exercises for as many reps as possible with perfect form.
Cardiovascular training during a fat loss diet burns body fat. And while you can’t spot reduce and only lose fat on your abs, cardio will improve total body leanness and cardiovascular health. Perform intervals by using a blend of high-intensity exercises that make you out of breath, such as running or biking, and rest. For example, work for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds for fifteen to twenty minutes twice per week.
Add in one or two low-intensity cardio activities per week like walking, biking or hiking for 45-60 minutes. For exercise to be low intensity, you should be able to carry on a conversation with a person next to you without gasping for air. This simple test, known as the talk test, will help you differentiate between high intensity and low-intensity exercise.