Before I even start this blog about “ABS” let me say you need to be willing to give up a few things if you really want to see results. It comes down to how bad do you want it?
Every night you can turn on the T.V. and see another amazing ab machine or device than can get us a rock hard 6 pack in minutes….sometimes under 10 minutes a day. With no change to your diet/nutrition plan, just simply use these machines and devices and see the results in days.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is…….if this was the case everybody would have a ripped up flat sexy stomach, which as we know is not the case!
Let’s get into 3 lies and 3 truths to hopefully save you guys some time and effort in getting the stomach of your dreams.
Lie 1- Working your “Core” or “ABS” makes your stomach slimmer
Spot reduction is about as real as Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny! You can’t just work your stomach muscles then expect to have abs show up. Picture the gym and all the people with guts doing sit ups…..clearly it’s not working for them. Let me do you one better, if you are a man and you want bigger arms you will keep working your arms to make them grow right?
So, tell me how much sense does it make to do sit ups and crunches to make your stomach smaller? Work your arms to get them bigger and work your abs to get them smaller….sound crazy to you?
Your best choice besides just pushing junk food away from your mouth is to start cranking out total body movements to burn as many calories and as much fat as possible. I am talking about compound movements that get your whole body moving, push-ups, pull ups, deadlifts, burpees, lunges, squat to press and so on.
Lie #2- If you lose more weight you will see more “ABS”
We are talking about fat loss here people, not just weight loss…..and yes there is a major difference between the two. Your main goal is to create as much lean muscle on your body as possibly minimizing your body fat.
My best example if I weigh 197 lbs with 8% body fat and I drop 10 lbs so now I am 187 lbs and keep 8% body fat will I look any better in my mid-section? NO……..Now if I go from 8% to 5% body fat the difference is undeniable in the mirror, pictures, and in person.
Your 1# goal in getting to see that rock hard 6 pack is FAT LOSS not weight loss. There is a reason we don’t have people step on the scale at boot camp on a regular basis. They are counterproductive, so get over the scale numbers, I repeat get over the scale numbers.
Focus on the mirror that tells an up to date story of where you are at, also pictures from 30 days ago, 3 months ago, 6 months ago……your clothes and how they fit is an amazing indicator as well.
Lie #3- Sit Ups and Crunches are the best choice for Core training
Ever since I can remember I have been taught that sit ups and crunches are the best way to get rocking hard abs. So, like most of you I did my 100-200-300 sit ups and 300-400-500 crunches after each workout for months, and months, and months…….with NO RESULTS.
My abs would be sore and feel tight, but they never looked like the guys in the magazines I wanted to look like.
BJ Gaddour said this a few years back about sit ups and abs and I believe it to be 100% true…..
“All crunches and sit-ups do is work your superficial ab muscles (the 6-pack muscles, a.k.a. rectus abdominus) and promote excessive flexion of the lumbar spine which can result in serious spinal injuries like bulging or herniated discs.”
Do spinal injuries like bulging-herniated discs sound sexy? Not to me they don’t!
Sit ups and crunches are only working that very top layer of your abs –which unless your body fat for guys is under 10% and women under 14% (a good estimate) you’re never going to see them.
In short it’s more likely you will acquire some type of neck and spinal injury before your abs every start peaking through……doesn’t sound like a good risk vs. reward scenario here.
So next time you think about rocking out crunches and sit ups, try taking the new school approach and doing different plank variations, front, side, ground based rotational work, and upper body twists keeping that lumbar spine stable. Think stability when training your core not crunches and sit ups!
In short – eat well –train smart – and keep kickin’ ass each and every day – Jeremy