The Truth About Abs

 

By Laura des Cognets, CPT

 

What’s the secret? How do people get those rock hard abs? I once read that in her hay-day, Britney Spears did 1,000 crunches a night. Is that it? Just more crunches? You probably already know the answer to that question. Never-the-less, we’re coming up on swimsuit season and it’s on people’s minds.

We’ll jump right to it. People with six packs are two things:

1.       Genetically blessed

2.       Extremely disciplined

Think about it, what you look like—your eyes, your height, your skin tone—all of these things are heavily determined by good ole DNA. The good news is that we can do things to change the way our body looks. The bad news is that it’s not easy, and even when we do all the right things, we’re not all going to get swimsuit modeling jobs. Darn it.

So what can we do?

Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition.

You’ve heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen” and it is true. Here’s why:

For starters, “spot reduction” (a.k.a. targeting a specific area of body fat) is a gym-floor myth. A bull’s-eye focus on abs exercises isn’t the way to get rid of belly fat. That’s because fat is broken down and transported into the bloodstream, and when it’s used as fuel, it can come from anywhere in the body. So although a dozen crunches can make your abs feel like they’re on fire, fat may be burning elsewhere. (Sneaky, huh?!)

This being said, changing your diet to burn fat is key. Lots of protein (lean meats), good fats, smart carb choices (get those carbs from yummy fruits and veggies!) is a start!

Building a stronger core.

We don’t want you to think that core exercises are a waste of time. Like all exercises, there are great advantages to working your core even if they don’t produce overnight washboard abs. Things like improving your posture and preventing injuries. With a strong core, you improve almost every movement you make in the gym and in real life.

Don’t skimp on strength training! One way you can burn more fat and see more muscle definition (in your abs and legs and arms and back and you name it) is by strength training and hitting every large and small muscle group. Strength training helps you burn more calories for a longer period of time and in turn, gain muscle and lose fat. So get after it!

Keep it up and you’ll see progress! Hopefully you’ll start to lose that fat and see some definition in the abs!


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