Maintaining the motivation to achieve a defined rectus abdominis, otherwise known as a six pack, is a possible feat if you incorporate abdominal exercises into your habitual lifestyle. David Conroy, Professor of Kinesiology at Penn State, suggests that developing the habit of including exercise into a daily routine so it becomes automatic rather than bothersome may help individuals to achieve fitness goals over the long term; however, other methods also exist to sustain motivation levels.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Motivational visual reminders
Set realistic short-term and long-term goals. In doing so, following an ab routine that fits with your current schedule will be more feasible and motivation is likely to sustain or improve. An example might include scheduling a short, but intense, ab workout during your lunch break.
Measure your waistline every two weeks to track your progress. According to an illustration provided by the National Institutes of Health, muscle fiber cells are considerably smaller than fat cells and thus take up less space. Although the needle may not budge on the scale, measuring your waistline might demonstrate progress and offer a boost in motivation levels.
Incorporate a balance of strength and cardiovascular training at least three times each week. Focusing entirely on building muscle without losing the fat will stall progress and slowly diminish motivation. In addition to your regular abdominal routine, consider incorporating additional activities such as swimming or running. Remember to keep it enjoyable and realistic so as to maintain a level of consistency over a long period of time.
Experiment with various routines to find the one most agreeable to your lifestyle. Some individuals prefer solo workouts, while others are most motivated by exercising with friends. Discovering what works best for you will bring you a step closer to maintaining motivation and reaching your goal of having six-pack abs.
Place visual reminders throughout your space, whether it be at home or in the office, to help keep focus on the goal and inspire you on those difficult days when fitness feels like a chore. Visual reminders may include photos of six-pack abs or motivational quotes. Chris Freytag, American Council on Exercise board member, offers a number of motivational quotes to push you to the next level.
Reward yourself with each accomplishment. Knowing that you have a spa day with the girls or a special dish or beverage to look forward to at the end of the week may help maintain focus and motivation. By keeping goals realistic, you may reward yourself for completing an exercise routine each day for one week or by hitting a particular milestone, such as losing one inch off the belly.
Tips & Warnings
- In addition to following a fitness regimen, it is just as important to consider nutritional requirements when striving for six-pack abs. A nutritional diet should consist of a healthy balance of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats.
- American Council on Exercise: How Can I Get Rid of Belly Fat? Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYT
- Science Daily: Motivation to Exercise Affects Behavior
- National Institutes of Health: Muscle Cells vs. Fat Cells
- American Council on Exercise: I Can Easily Start an Exercise Program, But Lose Motivation Long-Term; Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYT
- Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images