Lifestyle Developing a 6 Pack “Core” (Slow Twitch & Fast Twitch Muscle fibers)

Developing a 6 Pack

The abdomen (Abs) are muscles all the same to the rest of your body. They are derived from both slow twitch muscle fibers, which stimulate better to low weight high reps, and fast twitch muscle fibers, which stimulate better to heavy weight and low reps. You can think of it in an effort standpoint. Fast twitch fibers are explosive and need a high rate of effort level of motor units to power through an exercise. Slow twitch muscle fibers are conditioned derived and take little effort to perform but can do so for longer periods.

There is no difference between men and women when trying to achieve the core you desire. Spot Reduction is a myth; Training abs for an entire hour isn’t going to get the job done. Even the professional relayed saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” dieting alone won’t get you the process is all the same with a mix of nutrition, conditioning, and consistent strength training. Abs can be seen at a reduction in body fat and strengthen through training. Below you can see the general body fat percentage for both men and women.

Body Fat Percentage:

Bodybuilders, men’s physique, bikini, and figure competitors tend to drop below these body fat levels for competition purposes. But they rarely maintain such levels for the long term for health reasons.

No matter the end goal, the body needs a certain level of essential fats (more in a future post), which exist within your internal organs and throughout your body between joints and even your spinal column. They regulate your body temp and directs vitamin absorption. Also, are the prime source of your “fight or flight response” residing in your adipose tissue. The average number needed for men is 3 percent and 13 for women, anything below that you’d be endangering yourself.

**Most men need to achieve a body fat percentage of six to nine percent.
**Women need to reach 16 to 19 percent body fat.

Be mindful that achieving this depends on your gender and genetics, achieving body fat percentage varies from person to person. A woman’s body fat percentage is typically higher due to childbearing (during pregnancy and breastfeeding).


Conditioning the body is vital to achieving a chiseled core. Several studies have shown increasing cardio can reduce total body fat percentage and weight loss. The key to conditioning the body is keeping it guessing by increasing the intensity levels daily and weekly. Once the body is no longer confused it learns how to save energy. It stores what’s needed which puts you in a position of ‘plateau’.

Ways to increase intensity: longer distances, higher inputs of effort, faster times, increasing goal by 10% weekly.

Types of cardio: Sports, biking, swimming, static cardio, resistive cardio, HITT, etc.

Try completing cardio 20-40 mins of moderate-vigorous levels of intensity 3-5 days a week.

One of My Favorite Cardio routines:

Grab a medicine ball and hold it directly over your head (10-20 lbs recommended). Walk on the stair master straight for 4-5 mins at a moderate speed (5-8).

Low Fat and metabolism raising foods:

Eating protein-rich foods that are lean in fat content such as fish, eggs, chicken breast, turkey, lean beef, nuts, and seeds, could help increase your metabolism for a few hrs. These foods require more energy to digest.

The energy of digestion is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). The TEF refers to the number of calories it takes your body to digest, and entirely process the nutrients in your meals.

Protein-rich foods tend to increase TEF the most. They, for example, can increase your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats.

Below is a continued list of types of foods you should eat:

Iron, zinc and selenium-rich foods (can also raise intake with supplements)

Spicy foods like peppers and seasonings


Tea (black, green, etc)

Spices (cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, ginger, and grains of paradise)


When doing training core, remember abs are equally made up of both fast twitch and slow twitch fibers. The theory that abs are solely endurance muscles and can recover quicker from exercise but considering their fiber makeup they aren’t endurance an endurance muscle after all. Therefore you should balance your training split to regain and recover.

Most workouts indirectly involve the abdomen to complete the exercise. Generating power, stabilize, support the spine, and maintain balance. The recovery of these key abs muscles (rectus abdominis, external obliques, and the transverse abdominis) are important for your overall performance and aesthetic growth.

Training Examples:

**Low Rep, High Weight

Reps of 10-12 reps with sets from 3-4

**High Rep, Low weight

Reps of 15-100 with sets from 1-6

Exercises: plank variation (reach through, traditional, up-downs), mountain climbers, leg raises, crunches, ab wheel rollout, arms high partial sit-up, Russian twist (barbell, dumbbell, dumbbell, body weight), dip raise combo, front squat, ball slam, wood-chop, and more.

*Be sure to check out my upcoming E-Books for more detailed guidance on building size, lifting form, techniques, and general health and fitness topics.

Book me today for any of your fitness needs!

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