Abs have become somewhat of a Holy Grail amongst fitness enthusiasts. Everyone is searching for the secret of the six-pack. In fact, the most frequently asked question I get is “What kind of workouts do you do to get your abs?”
The answer is simple, nothing. I don’t train my abs, specifically.
So, then, what’s the secret? TruthBomb: There isn’t one.
See, everyone has abs…EVERYONE!
They’re simply a group of muscles that, in part, make up the body’s “core”. They’re primarily responsible for helping support our back when we bend over and stand up, and they work with other core muscles to assist with posture…If we didn’t have them, we’d just flop over.
Despite the plethora of programs and products claiming to shred, shape, or otherwise build the abs, the truth is, there is no program, no exercise, no magic supplement that will give you the six-pack you desire.The key to making your abs pop is to reduce your body fat % enough for them to show (visible abdominals are nothing more than a sign of low body fat in the midsection). But, this is often much easier said than done, because there is no way to spot reduce fat. You have to focus on overall (total) body fat reduction, and that requires a multifaceted approach.
You have to focus on:
• Nutrition- Eat well and eat often. You have to make sure you’re fueling your body properly, not depriving it of the vital nutrients and energy it needs to function. Extreme Calorie/macronutrient restriction is never good, and will have an adverse effect on fat loss. You cannot starve your abs out.
• Hydration- Drink your water! The more hydrated you are, the less bloated you’ll be. Plus, water helps flush the body of toxins, helps boost the metabolism, aids in digestion, can help lessen cravings, improve satiety, helps the body absorb nutrients, regulates body temperature, and helps improve energy levels.
• Exercise- A combination of cardio and strength training is the key to any fat loss program. HIIT can be especially effective when fat loss is the ultimate goal. You can also do certain exercises to improve your core strength. This is very important for performing everyday tasks. Plus, strengthening the abs (and surrounding muscles) makes them look more toned and defined, once you’ve reduced enough body fat to see them, that is. But, remember, there’s is no specific workout program that will give you a washboard midsection. You have fo focus on ALL the aspects. Ultimately, it takes time, hard work, and patience.
Now, here are a few things I want you to remember:
• EveryBODY is different. No two individuals cut or are shaped the same. Everyone’s muscle structure looks different, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Your body is just right for you.
• Visible abs are NOT a sign of overall health or physical fitness.
• Genetics, body type, age, hormones, metabolism, and environment, all play a role, but are NOT deciding factors. Set goals and work towards achieving them. YOU are really the only thing that can hold yourself back.
• Above all, focus on your health and happiness. Don’t stress or obsess over your body. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Take things one day at a time. Have fun! The results will come.
When uncovering your abs is the ultimate goal, remember, you have to work on reducing your total body fat % through good nutritional choices and consistent exercise, BUT don’t get obsessed or overwhelmed. Life’s too short for that kinda stress.