Are you wasting hours in the gym training abs expecting this to tighten up your midsection and abdominal area? Well unfortunately you’re going about it the wrong way. It’s very important to have a strong core to achieve a well-balanced physique, but training abs every day is not what will get you to where you want to be.
The main factor of being able to see your abdominal muscles is of course to have a lower body fat percentage. Most people hold most of their body fat around this area and that’s why they believe that training the abdominal muscles will allow them to drop body fat around this area. I mean it seems logical really don’t you think? Train your abdominal muscles to get your abdominal muscles? Well the fact is we all have the abdominal muscles there, but you need to remove that layer of fat before you have any chance of seeing them and no matter how hard you train them you cannot spot reduce body fat. Unfortunately, it comes off evenly so therefore you need to consider other ways of getting to your end goal.
Diet is a very important factor for reducing body fat and being able to see your abs visually. I’m sure most of you have heard the term ‘abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym’ Well it’s very much true, you can’t out train a bad diet. Having a well-balanced nutrition plan that puts you into a calorie deficit but also allows you to perform well throughout the day and during your gym sessions is important. Don’t go to extremes with starvation, this will NOT get you to where you want to be due to lack of adherence over the long term. Strategically starving yourself over a long period of time with a small calorie deficit is going to create a longer and more sustainable body composition. It has probably taken you 10+ years to achieve your current body fat percentage, accept the fact that it will not take 12-16 weeks to lose it in a maintainable manner.
Training for me plays a huge factor in improving body composition. You cannot out train a bad diet but you can under train a good diet. Not only does resistance training have many benefits on your health but also allows you to partition nutrients better. Check out my blog on ‘5 reasons to lift weights’ for more information on this. When doing resistance training you will not only be burning calories during the workout but also post workout which will allow you to burn more calories overall. This is called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) also known as the after burn. This can play a vital role on shredding that body fat along with creating a strong and ‘toned’ body.
You must also consider what you do with the rest of your day, just by going to the gym an hour doesn’t mean you’re on track. Most people sleep around 8 hours and go gym for an hour so this leaves you with another 15 hours that need to be in check. I highly recommend using an activity tracker to make sure that you’re keeping active consistently. This is all accounts for your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure) and understanding this can be a game changer.
Better food choices - Focus on creating healthy eating habits which will allow you to have a day full of energy and also eating better food choices.
Consistency - Stay consistent with your plan, don’t go completely overboard if you go outside of plan and remember the quicker you get back to it the quicker you will see results.
Plan ahead - Get a training plan! This will give you a purpose and a goal when stepping into the gym. You will get to your goal a lot faster by having a plan and also you might actually enjoy the progression!
Train smart - Don’t focus on endless amount of sit ups and crunches. If you want to do something to help build a stronger core then use something like planks or abdominal roll outs to help strengthen core through stabilisation. Also engaging your core throughout exercises will help.
Be active – try to hit at least 10k steps a day, if you’re currently on 6k then work your way up to 8k and then to 10k.
Have fun and trust the process – It’s important to enjoy what you’re doing, choose exercises you enjoy, the workouts you love and the intensity that makes you feel best. Remember to trust the process, if you’re getting fitter, healthier, performing better and feeling better then you’re on the right track!
Any questions about anything or just wanting to learn a little more feel free to comment below or free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Hope this helps,