Are you trying to build your abdominal muscles and dreaming of the famous six-pack?
Getting abs isn’t something that just happens without doing anything, let alone seeing them. There are some things you can do and some things you can’t do to achieve your goal. There are some ab myths that live on and you shouldn’t fall for them. We’ll go over what works to help you see things more clearly and better manage your abs plan.
1. I have a belly: is it genetics, or are abs just a matter of birth?
Genetics may have some bearing on your ability to gain muscle. But abs are not affected, your belly can be flat even if your parents’ belly is not. So don’t tell yourself there’s nothing you can do about it. At worst, if you have a tendency to get fat, like to eat or don’t exercise enough, you can correct this defect. Even if it may take a little more effort than the average person. Note, however, that women and men do not have the same genetics.
Women store more on their buttocks and thighs than on their waist
This does not mean that it will be easier for them to have abs because their percentage of fat is higher. Babies are not born with a flat and muscular stomach either, they are often chubby, the first months of their life. But their abdominal muscles develop as they progress physically. When they walk and move around, their bulges melt away, thanks to their fast metabolism.
2. Just take a fat burner to get rid of the fat
Fat burner formulas are powerful and their ingredients combine to help you reduce your body fat. They either work by activating your metabolism or by speeding up elimination. This does not mean that they will specifically target belly fat. No burner, no matter how advanced, is capable of attacking fat in a specific location. To lose belly fat, you need to start by losing weight across the board. For this, fat burners are a good complement to help you achieve this goal. But this should not exempt you from a good sports program and a diet. Food supplements are a plus for motivation and acceleration of results, not a substitute for all your efforts.
3. You need to do sit-ups every day
If you train them every day, you might think that they will get strong. Yes, but they will also get worn out, because like all muscles they need rest. Excessive crunches are not a guarantee of results to make your abs visible. A more or less thin layer of fat can prevent them from showing under the skin. And hundreds of crunches can do nothing about that. You have to reduce your calories in order to have defined abs.
For abs, as for other muscles, it is better to train them every other day. Vary the types of exercises to work the entire abdominal muscles, as well as the stabilizing muscles and not just certain targeted abs.
4. Don’t eat carbohydrates
It’s true that excess carbohydrates lead to fat storage, especially around the waist, and as such, they can compromise the possibility of seeing your abs. But cutting out all carbs is not the right solution, because there are carbs and carbs. Sugars, like proteins provide 4kcal per gram and give you energy. It is therefore not necessary to eliminate them completely. Fast sugars: cakes, sodas, sweets should be banned. Complex sugars such as pasta or rice should be avoided or replaced by whole grains, legumes, dried beans. And you should temporarily reduce fruit rations or reserve them for the morning snack, and the same goes for cereal rations: preferably at noon rather than in the evening
5. You can count on ab machines and accessories
Don’t spend all your time on machines that bring your upper and lower body together. You won’t get any benefits for your abs. Doing crunches is great, but doing them only on machines limits the engagement of other muscles. Sheathing exercises are particularly effective because they involve other muscles that hold the back and stomach together, like a natural girdle. The abs are also engaged in most weight training exercises involving large muscle groups.
There’s no need to believe the TV shopping shows that show us beautiful men and women with slim waists and shapely abs, as if buying a machine would suddenly make their abs grow like magic… The story doesn’t mention the hours spent at the gym and the calorie restrictions that go with it.
6. Cardio is to die for
Just because you’re doing cardio doesn’t mean you have to cut back on calories. When you do an hour of cardio, you can burn about 300 to 600 kcal. That’s both a lot and a little if you think about how much you can make up in a single meal or if you have a sweet tooth.
We recently realized that it was not useful to do hours and hours of cardio to lose weight, but that a few tens of minutes a day were enough to melt the fat, provided that you do high intensity exercise (HIT).
The truth: diet first
It is true that some young people have natural abs without ever exercising them, but they can lose them in a few months or even a few years as an adult, so it is not simply a question of birth abs or genetics, but that a deplorable diet can wipe out everything. Put a teenager on a hamburger-soda-fries-and-sweets diet and you’ll see how his abs turn into a gelatinous ball…
It’s not the fact that you train them hard that will suddenly make them appear. Most of us have them, despite the fact that we don’t train them much. What makes them visible or not is that they are covered by a layer of fat under the skin. Your workout should therefore train your abs, but not more than the other muscles.
It is what you actually eat that will determine your ability to have visible abs or not. It is necessary to reduce calories to reduce the percentage of fat and very often it is at this level, the abdomen, that the extra kilos or centimeters will go away last and you will first have to resolve to lose a little volume in other parts of the body before seeing the layer of skin reduce and hope to dry out the abs.