The Critical Basics Of Getting Abs
One of the biggest mistakes most people make is focusing too much on direct ab exercises, like crunches. Sure, you need to work your abs but not to the neglect of your overall fitness program.
No matter how many ab exercises you do, it won’t matter if the rest of your program doesn’t help you build muscle and burn away body fat.
You could have the strongest abs in your neighborhood but if they’re covered by an ugly layer of body fat, does it really matter?
If you want hard abs, you need to burn fat so those abs can be seen.
You MUST focus on your other muscles even if your goal is six pack abs. This will help you in numerous ways such as:
- Keeping your body in balance. This isn’t just about looks. An imbalanced physique is an injury waiting to happen.
For example, if you focus on getting those ripped abs by doing tons of ab exercises and neglecting your lower back, you’ll develop an imbalance between these two opposing muscle groups and before you know it you’ll be walking around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
By training your large muscle groups, you’ll burn more calories in your workout than you would just doing abs (where you’ll barely burn any calories).
Burning more calories helps burn fat. The less body fat, the better your abs will look.
Many other exercises also work the abs pretty hard since your core stabilizes you during exercises like:
* Heavy Tricep Pressdowns
* Shoulder Presses
* Mountain Climbers
* Push Ups
And others. Your abs work hard on all these exercises.
The most important key to ripped abs is shedding the flab. This means proper nutrition, and a properly designed metabolic conditioning program utilizing a specific resistance training and cardio protocol.
Six pack abs or a flat belly may be the number one goal of anyone who starts an exercise program with the goal of losing weight. The same six pack abs are probably the most elusive achievement for anyone who is trying to lose weight and get in shape.
So what ab exercises are the magic bullet when it comes to an abs workout?
Well, there’s the twist.
Abdominal exercises, while important, aren’t the key to getting great abs.
It drives me crazy every time I see an infomercial for some silly piece of “new” “breakthrough” ab exercise equipment.
Let me tell you right now. Squeezing your abs for a few minutes every day on some infomercial ab equipment is NOT going to get you six pack abs, help you lose weight, get rid of your love handles or give you a flat, sexy stomach. No way!
Endless crunches will not melt away the fat from your midsection.
It just doesn’t work that way. And despite the “burn” of high rep ab exercises, you barely burn any calories while doing those endless crunches.
Your fat burning time is best spent elsewhere on more effective training. You also don’t work the ab muscle intensely enough to develop it. So endless high rep crunches fail on both counts – poor muscle building and poor fat burning.
Two thumbs down as the cliche goes.
Proper ab exercise just doesn’t involve endless crunches or sit ups. At least not if you want the results that you are looking to achieve (and we’re just talking effectiveness here, not even taking into the consideration all the people that complain about neck and back pain from these exercises).
The truth about abs is that it takes a complete fitness program that involves proper nutrition, and a properly designed metabolic conditioning program utilizing a specific resistance training and cardio protocol.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do ab exercises.
It does mean that ab exercises shouldn’t be your focus and most definitely shouldn’t be the only exercise you do. In fact, you can get a flat stomach without doing any traditional abdominal exercises.
A lot of exercises (like the weight training exercises mentioned above) that people don’t think of as ab exercises work the abs very well. Exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, push ups (yes, really), etc.
I don’t recommend this, but not for the reason that you need to work your abs to get a flat stomach. It’s just not true.
You need to get your body fat down to a pretty low level to see your abs.
And getting your body fat down that low requires strict attention to your nutrition program, your weight training routine and your cardio program.
You should work you abs for overall health and fitness reasons, to be better able to do every day things, to be able to excel in sports or other activities that you may participate in, and to provide balance to your body so you can prevent injuries.
A lot of injuries occur because of body imbalances, like over developing the abs without exercising the lower back.
A lot of hamstring injuries that occur with professional athletes could very well be because they over develop their quad muscles relative to their hamstring muscles.
So if you want to get great abs, you need to incorporate a complete nutrition and fitness workout program into your life.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
If you want to be successful in your fitness goals, whether it’s dropping 10 pounds, getting six pack abs, or losing 80 pounds, you MUST follow a good nutrition program. Good nutrition OR a workout program isn’t going to cut it. You need both. As the saying goes, you can’t out train a bad diet.
A lot of people go on diets, don’t exercise and they lose some weight. But they just look like a smaller version of their out of shape bigger self. And they usually gain it all back because it’s almost impossible to lose weight and keep it off with nutrition alone.
Many people start exercising and think this gives them a license to eat whatever they want so their body never changes, or they even ADD more fat to it!
Take a look around your gym. How many regulars have really changed how they look? Is that what you want? I didn’t think so.
Below are some important nutrition secrets you need to follow in your quest for health and great abs.
You want to drop your body fat levels, produce quality lean muscle gains, be healthy and get fit, right? Then you must adhere to a good nutritional program. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. You need to feed your body the nutrients necessary to make and maintain those kinds of changes in your body.
When you adopt an exercise program your body needs even better nutrition to feed it. Working out is NOT a license for junk food (except on Treat Day, of course!)!