Six pack abs seems to be a major pre-occupation on the internet.
I must admit that it has never been a problem to me. Having run for most of my life and done other exercise as well, six pack abs is something that I’ve never needed to try to achieve. I think that I am also genetically inclined towards being thin.
But I have taken an interest in the subject because there are ads splashed all over the internet on how to achieve six pack abs, yet it is something that I have had no difficulty with.
It boils down to two things as far as I can see.
You have to have the muscles in the first place
It is not really a simple exercise problem that most “Get six pack abs” adverts seem to imply otherwise everyone would do a few sit-ups and the problem would be solved
They have to be seen, not buried under a couple of inches of fat.
Like most things in the developed world, it comes down to too much fat. Your six pack abs could be the best in the world, the trouble is that there is a generous layer of fat covering them.
I recently started putting together a short guide to help people to start running. I’ll blog about that when I finish and publish it. When researching a short section on why running is good for you I found this article.
If you don’t want to read it now, basically it quotes results from an article in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, November 2008.
It seems that belly fat is a result of high insulin levels. You can reduce your insulin levels by making your body more sensitive to it, so reducing the amount that needs to be secreted to do the same job.
And you do that with intense exercise.
Running is not necessarily intense exercise. Generally the recommendation is to keep the pace down so you could hold a conversation.
This explains why you see runners with a bit of a belly.
It also explains why I don’t have a bit of a belly. I can’t run that slowly when I’m running alone, I always push myself to the maximum and return home panting for breath, covered in sweat and with aching muscles. I’ve always run that way, probably because my first experiences were interval training on the track.
If you look at this article I say interval training is not helping you to run faster because you are running too slowly and having too short an interval.
You are not training intensively enough. You are not fit enough to do long intervals with short rests at a high level of intensity.
So you need to do some more intense exercise.
How to get six pack abs while running
All of my advice about running faster is really telling you to run and do more high intensity training for a portion of your time. The six pack abs will come as a result of this.
You do not need to spend much or any extra time on this, just alter your habits.
For example, you could run a shorter distance and do a few sit-ups and push-ups when you get home. Or you could run the shorter distance as hard as you can.
Instead of running at a steady pace, do some fast stretches and slower intervals. For this to be really effective you need a short intense sprint and a longer, gentle jog to recover. If you go off again too early you will not have recovered enough and your sprint will get slower and slower and your resting jog faster and faster until you are running at the same speed (believe me, it does happen, I’ve seen and experienced it many times over the years). I would go as far as to say you should walk, not jog, between your sprints to overcome this problem.
Just to top it off, you will ache a little more because of this increased intensity in some of your running sessions, but keep at it and do not neglect your stretching.
So there you have it; how to run faster and get six pack abs in one easy lesson.