Abs. Everyone wants them, but only some of us get them. Very few things say “Toned and Fit” quite like a well-defined six pack, so it’s no surprise so many people are trying to get them. If you’re finding yourself struggling to get those abs you’ve always wanted, consider this a guide on how to finally make some progress.
Like with any muscle, the best way to work on your abs is to exercise your abdominal muscles. There are, however, a couple of mistakes people make in this regard. One of the biggest of those mistakes is believing that just doing nothing but crunches is going help you get a shredded six pack. It doesn’t. There’s no way you can lose fat in just one part of your body, so you’ll have to work at gradually losing fat all over your body in order to actually make progress. Also, if you’re doing nothing but crunches, you’ll see practically no muscle gain. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, like with any muscle, if you’re just doing the same exercise over and over, your muscles will get used to it, leading to less muscle gain. You should try to do a variety of abdominal exercises, in order to keep your muscles from becoming complacent. Secondly, your abs need to rest after a workout just like any other muscle, otherwise they can’t recover. Focusing on nothing but your abs also takes away from your other muscle groups which won’t be doing you any favours.
Another mistake people make when it comes to getting that six pack is thinking that doing lots of cardio would help. These people are half right, as cardio does help you burn fat. However, doing almost nothing but cardio can be pretty detrimental to your muscle growth. Don’t believe me? Try comparing the muscle mass of long distance runners with that of sprinters. Notice how the long-distance runners are lean and have little to no muscle mass on them. This is because long distance running encourages your body to start breaking down muscle tissue for fuel. Sprinters, on the other hand, run in short, fast bursts, so their bodies don’t have to resort to breaking down muscle for fuel. So if you’re really serious about getting abs, maybe you should stay away from long distance running for a while.
Of course, while having a good workout program is definitely important, it doesn’t really mean much if you’re not eating right. After all, there’s no way anyone’s going to see your abs if their hidden behind a layer of fat. I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase “Abs are made in the kitchen”. What this means is that one of the most important aspects of building abs (or any muscle for that matter) is a proper diet. In order for you to effectively lose fat, you’ll have to be in what’s called a caloric deficit. This means burning more calories than you’re taking in (if you need help figuring out your caloric deficit, check out this calorie deficit calculator HERE). Taking a fat burner supplement can also help you lose that fat quicker, if you’re pairing it with a good diet. As YouTuber Brandon Carter put it “Abs aren’t made in the kitchen Abs are made by being in the kitchen LESS”.