So you really, realllly want ab muscles. You even got a personal trainer to help you get them. He’s prescribed a strict ab routine for you, and you’ve been making good on the 500 crunches a day, for 6 months straight….and still nothing; not an ab in sight.
Sadly, this is the case for so many people. Most trainers out there today are well-meaning but misinformed. Doing ab exercises will not “spot tone” your stomach flab, nor will it make the ab muscles show through the layers of body fat. Read and digest the five points below and you will begin to understand why your ab muscles are non-existant.
- High Body Fat Percentage – No matter what anyone tells you, no matter how many crunches you do, you will not have abs if you have a slab of body fat hiding them. The key to exposing the muscle underneath is to lose the body fat. You need to burn the fat…and unfortunately we can’t just burn the fat off our stomach. It has to be a slow-going, total body process.
- High Caloric Intake – Simply put, you eat too much. If you eat more calories than you burn, the body stores the excess as fat across your body. To burn off that layer of body fat hiding your abs, you need to burn more calories than you take in.
- Not Enough Cardio – Lifting weights are great, but to maximize fat loss, you must do cardio. Focus your energy on doing cardio, as opposed to doing a ton of ab work for the time being.
- High on Sugar (and simple carbs) – Sugar is bad for our abs for a couple of reasons. First off, sugar is digested very fast and floats through our system as energy. If we don’t use this energy, it is turned to fat. Sugar, as well as simple carbs, also increase insulin production in our body after ingestion. Insulin promotes fat retention. Very easy to see that sugar and other simple carbs (white bread, white rice, white potatoes, etc.) lead to fat retention. Opt for wheat foods.
- Large Meals – Eating very large meals will bombard your body with a ton of calories at one time, leading to excess calories converting to fat. In addition, a few large meals a day will not do much for keeping an elevated metabolism. Try to have 5-6 smaller meals a day, to keep a heightened metabolism all day.
Don’t listen to the people who tell you, you need to do more ab exercises. Getting a hard 6-pack really isn’t rocket science. Sure, it may require some committment on your part, but the formula for achieving it, is straight forward. If you follow these five simple rules, and start to work in crunches, etc. when the fat starts to burn off, you will have a 6-pack. Simple as that.