Everybody secretly wants them, yet so few people have them.
The honest reason? Very few people are aware of the 2 Golden Rules of abs, and even fewer people are following them.
But let me tell you straight.
If you abide by the 2 Golden Rules of abs – you will have a chiselled six pack.
Why? Well, building a six pack isn’t magic by any means.
It all comes down to basic science.
So, what are the 2 Golden Rules of abs? I hear you say.
- You need low body fat levels
- You need big abdominal muscles
Now this is where it gets a tad tricky…
To lower your body fat levels, you need to lose weight, i.e. be in a calorie deficit.
To build your abdominal muscles, you need to gain weight, i.e. be in a calorie surplus.
In other words, it’s pretty much impossible to lower your body fat levels whilst building your abdominal muscles at the same time.
So, you need to focus on only 1 rule at a time.
Now, depending on which rule you’re following, carbs can either be your best friend or your worst enemy.
They can make fat loss really difficult, yet can do wonders for building muscle.
To put it another way, carbs can be terrible for abs or they can be a massive help, depending on whether you’re wanting to lower your body fat, or build big abdominal muscles.
Reasons Why Carbs Are Bad For Abs
This part of the article is for those who need to lower their body fat levels. If you need to lower your body fat levels, then I’d restrict carbs as much as possible.
The reasons below will explain why.
1. Carbs spike Insulin the most
Let’s quickly begin this point with insulin’s role in fat metabolism.
When we eat food, insulin is secreted from your pancreas. This signals your body to store any excess energy from the food as fat.
From an evolutionary point of view, this was crucial for survival – humans would often go days without food, so would need to rely on stored energy, i.e. fat, to meet their caloric needs.
But if fat loss is your goal? Then insulin is your worst nightmare.
So, if you want to lower your body fat for those ripped abs, then it’s a good idea to keep insulin levels on the low side.
The most natural way to do this is to restrict foods which boost insulin the most.
Q: Which foods boost Insulin the most?
A: Carbs. (Source)
2. Carbs drive hunger
As we’ve just covered, carbs are responsible for boosting your insulin levels the highest out of all 3 macro-nutrients.
This is because carbs increase blood sugar levels the most, and high blood sugar levels are toxic.
(Just check out the complications of Type 2 Diabetes if you don’t believe me…)
When blood sugar levels drop due to the insulin spike, guess what happens?
You get hungry again.
This hunger leads to even more eating which results in higher insulin levels and more calories consumed.
Both of which are detrimental to your desired abs (if you’re trying to lower body fat.)
So that you can validate this point for yourself, I want you to do a little experiment…
Tomorrow, I want you to have the following for Breakfast:
- 2 slices of Toast
- 1 bowl of Cereal
- A glass of Orange Juice
3 hours after later, I want you to make a note of how you feel. Do you feel satisfied? Do you have lots of energy? Do you feel full?
The following day, I want you to have this for Breakfast:
- 4 Eggs scrambled in Butter
- 2 Bacon rashers
- A glass of water
Likewise, make a note of how you feel 3 hours later, and then compare this to how you felt with your carb-heavy breakfast.
3. Carbs are easy to overeat
How would you feel after eating 2 chicken breasts?
Full. Satisfied. Disinterested in food.
How would you feel after eating 6 Oreo biscuits?
Let me grab just one more.
Which leads to another… and then another… and then before you know it, you’ve eaten 10 Oreo biscuits!
The reason I’ve mentioned specific amounts is that there are roughly the same number of calories in 2 chicken breasts as there are in 6 Oreo biscuits.
The chances of you finishing 2 chicken breasts and thinking you know what… I could really do with another one… are pretty slim.
The chances of you finishing 6 Oreos and reaching out for another 2 or 3 are very likely.
The point I’m getting at here is it’s much easier to binge on Carbs then it is to overeat fat or protein.
By overeating carbs, you’ll have higher insulin levels and a higher calorie intake, which will derail your desired low body fat levels.
Reasons Why Carbs Are Good For Abs
This section of the article is for those who already have low body fat levels. If you’re looking to build your abdominal muscles, then consuming carbs can be a massive help.
Let’s find out why.
1. Carbs replenish Glycogen
Glycogen is basically stored carbs.
It’s stored in both your liver and your muscles.
Liver glycogen is broken down into glucose and released into the bloodstream when you haven’t ingested carbs for around 12 hours, so it serves as a back-up fuel source.
Muscle glycogen is reserved for high-intensity exercise.
It can be broken down into glucose rapidly to support your muscles when the going gets tough, which makes it super useful when working out.
In fact, studies have shown that fatigue occurs earlier when subjects consume a low carb diet, compared with a higher carb diet, which is likely due to the lower glycogen levels.
So, by keeping your muscle glycogen reserves topped up, you’ll be able to squeeze an extra rep or 2 out which will make a big difference when looking to build abdominal muscles.
2. Carbs are used by ripped Bodybuilders
My job here is to break down all of the jargon-filled science into simple terms, so everyday people can use and benefit from the information.
For this purpose, I think (hope?) I do a reasonable job.
But sometimes it’s useful to go straight to the source of information.
In other words, if you wanna know about ripped abs, then you’ll learn a heck of a lot from interviews/podcasts of Bodybuilders.
Most of the ripped Bodybuilders I’ve researched have a high-carb intake when building muscle, so if you aspire to look like them, then just copy what they do.
It’s really that simple.
Wrapping things up, carbs can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to sculpting a six pack.
If you need to focus on lowering your body fat? Then I’d avoid them like the plague.
If you need to add muscle onto your skinny frame? Then they can help massively.
That’s all I have for today guys, so fire any questions in the comments below and I’ll get back to you fairly swiftly.