Find your hidden abs

This is not your typical how to get six-pack abs article.

Instead of trying to convince you that the newest exercise fad is the ultimate solution for developing a six-pack, I plan to bring it back to the basics.

The most important thing to take away from this article is the that abs are made in the kitchen. That is because nothing is more important than your diet.

In order to have visible abs, you need to have no more than 10 percent body fat. You can do all the workout routines you read in magazines or see online, but if you do not have 10 percent body fat or less, you will not have a visible six-pack period.

With that said, exercise obviously has a role in the development of your abs. It boils down to two things. First, to facilitate your dietary efforts, fat-burning exercises will help take away the fat that is hiding your abs.

Second, to accentuate the appearance of your six-pack, you can perform resistance exercises in order to amplify your abs.

In order to burn fat, you should do anaerobic workouts, also known as cardio. A fat-burning cardio workout is defined as any workout that increases your heart rate to 50 to 80 percent of its max and lasts for over 12 minutes, according to Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. Therefore, the fat-burning heart rate range for a 20-year-old is 100 to 160 beats per minute.

Resistance workouts for your abs require that you load the muscle with a heavier weight than it is accustomed to. For instance, doing sit ups on a declined bench is a good exercise to start with. Note that resistance workouts should consist of a few sets with no more than six to 12 reps per set.

If your goal is six-pack abs, exercise can definitely help, but nothing will serve you better than adopting a healthy diet.

Kevin Pelletier is a second-year medical student at UVMs College of Medicine. His background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology from McGill University.