Well we are in a complex good news bad news situation here. The bad news is that you can not escape cardio if you want to see your abs ever. The good news is that the cardio workout duration can be as short as 4 minutes and as long as 20 minutes at the maximum which is not bad at all.
It is still a little bit torture but it is an essential one.
Most people fear cardio because it is hard. You get tired and you are left breathless. When you are really exerting at cardio exercises it is no fun at all. However, the worst part is that cardio gets effective only when it is at its most tiring.
Best Cardio for Best Abs
If you want to get your abs, the first thing that you may like to note is that you will have to forget about the slow and steady type of cardio you have been used to all your life. You might also have seen many videos of bodybuilders and YouTube fitness experts which claim that their only cardio is brisk walking in the morning or in the evening and that is enough.
However, what they mostly hide is that they are taking performance enhancing drugs which are very harmful to the body. All they need is building muscle mass and when they have more calories, they can burn more calories. And over a long period, it becomes easier for their bodies to burn fat stores. And apart from that they also are very strict about their diet.
However, an average person like you and me eats whatever comes his way without giving any serious thoughts to the consequences of eating it. Result is more weight and an out of shape body. And getting from flab to abs is not an easy thing to achieve at all.
High intensity interval training
So if you want to achieve abs, then the best cardio for abs is high intensity interval training (HIIT). Fast cardio with short rest periods in between.
When you do cardio really hard, you are gasping for air which leads to a situation in the body called post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The name is quite long but what it does can be described easily. EPOC puts your body in post exercise fat burning mode for up to 12 afters after you have completed your cardio.
When you do a slow 45 minutes cardio, you will burn calories only during this time window. But 15 minutes of hard interval training will not only burn calories when you are doing the session, but it will also turn body into a calorie burning machine for many hours after you have already finished your cardio for abs.
So what it really means is that you can burn more fat in a fewer minutes. And also instead of toiling away on the treadmill for 45 minutes, you can complete your cardio for abs in 15 minutes. It sure sounds fantastic.
However, do not feel as happy yet because these 15 to 20 minutes of cardio will be totally agonizing.
Another cardio workout is called Tabata protocol. You need to do this for only 4 minutes but it has been shown to be extremely useful at shredding fat.
In Tabata workout you will do 8 sets with each set comprising of 20 minutes of workout and the ten second rest between different sets. All these 8 sets are done back to back for a duration of 4 minutes and your cardio for abs is done.
This is an extremely intense workout and despite its short duration of 4 minutes, it gives a huge boost to metabolic rate and your body will remain in fat burning mode for many hours to follow.
So the best cardio for getting abs is short intense cardio with shorter rest periods between sets. You may do full body workouts with weights or sprints is another good option. The choice is yours. If you do this with weights, ensure that your reps are really fast and you can maintain good form. Avoid using very heavy weights.
The aim here is not to lift the heaviest of the weights. The purpose is to keep it exhausting and challenging.
Do 3 HIIT workouts a week. This should be enough for the week. If you do it too much, it will have effect on your nervous system and you might hit a weight loss plateau. Thrice a week cardio is enough. However, at the same time ensure to eat a clean diet and within a matter of a few months, you will see your abs.
Always remember that when it comes to cardio, less is more. You will see any animal running for hours. It is always fast and short bursts of energy and then rest. And you would not have seen a fat cheetah or a lion.
Exactly. Hard but short cardio is all the way to the best abs.