The core is the centerpiece to any physique. A toned and flat tummy only shows as a result of discipline in diet and training. There are so many different ab workouts and programs that promise a six-pack, but what does it actually take to attain one? And, what does it take to keep a set of lean, flat abs all year?
To get some advice on this topic, I sought out Stephanie Sequeira for her secrets to a flat tummy. Stephanie is an IFBB Bikini Pro, personal trainer and coach from Tampa, Florida. She has an amazing set of abs that she maintains both on IFBB stage and in her off-season. Stephanie was kind enough to share her tips with FitnessRx so we can all get a head start on our New Year’s resolutions!
Stephanie’s Six Pack Secrets
1. Do each exercise with a PURPOSE. “Focus on really stretching and contracting the core muscles to have them activated the whole entire time.”
2. Mix up your ab exercises so that your body does not get used to the stress that it is being put under.
3. Work out your abs three to four times a week.
Stephanie’s Favorite Ab Workout
Do each ab exercise below for 45 seconds and go as fast as you can. After completing the circuit, rest for 30 seconds, and then start again. Complete three sets.
2. Reverse crunches
Six-Pack Diet Tips
1. Eat clean year-round. “I believe that a happy body is fueled by the healthiest options. I choose foods that are not processed, fried or with added chemicals,” said Stephanie, whose diet mainly consists of organic and whole-food choices, such as chicken, turkey, fish, jasmine rice, fruits, sweet potatoes, salads, nuts and lots of vegetables.
2. Follow correct macros. “I have found that if you set your percentages correctly, you can keep your abs year-round.”
3. Keep your sodium low and drink lots of water (at least 1 gallon a day).
Peak Week Tips (to get your abs to pop)
Manipulate your carbs and water for a week leading up to the event:
1. Begin the week with drinking lots of water (close to 2 gallons) and decreasing it slowly to about a half gallon or less.
2. With the carbs, begin by eating a good amount and slowly increasing to a surplus.
3. This combo will get the abs really tight to the skin (water manipulation) and the core muscles to be inflated (carb manipulation).
“Work hard and you will get what you want,” said Stephanie. “If you really want a six-pack and to be fit, begin by creating a plan that will get you closer to your goals. Set yourself up for success by following a plan that is realistic and can be achieved in a set given time. Have a training and nutrition plan that will help you get there. Every action that you make can help improve them in the future. Only excuses hold us back from our full potential. I think it is important for individuals to realize that if they don’t need to start tomorrow, or Monday, or at the beginning of the year to reach their goals. Do the things today that you said you would do tomorrow.”
For more of Stephanie’s flat ab tips, check out her YouTube video and also her Vlog series!