I conducted a survey at my gym and an overwhelming 80% of people wanted nice flat abdominals, which means you are not alone. However many people have the idea that a well defined mid section is reserved for athletes, trainers, models or those who are "genetically gifted" but I'm here to say you too can develop a nice tight abs. Just like anything else in life, you must know what works and what doesn't.
It does not matter how much you weigh, or what your dress or pant size is, as a trainer, I know all I need to know about how well you train and take care of yourself by looking at your abs. Yet, it's mind boggling to see the number of ab gizmos that are constantly being advertised especially if you consider the fact that despite the latest and greatest abdominals gadgets, most peoples waistlines are expanding. The latest abdominal contraptions will reduce your wallet size and not your abs.
In the book "The Abs Diet - The Six-Week Plan To Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life (which I highly recommend) the author David Zinczenko says "Abs are the contemporary badge of fitness. They're the ultimate predictor of your health" Zinczenko knows like most fitness experts, when it comes to overall health, the tighter your abs, the more healthier you are.
The biggest lie about getting rid of your belly is so called "Spot reduction" which does not work. This is the myth that most advertisers play to. They deceive most consumers that if you just work on the abs, you will finally get your six pack of abs you've always wanted. Are you ready for some hard hitting truth? Constantly training or working out on your abs has really nothing to do with losing fat around your mid-section which means doing hundreds of crunches or using the latest gizmo to work on your abs will not burn the fat around your midsection. Actually, working out on your abs has really nothing to do with losing fat around your mid-section. Yes, abdominal training will develop the muscle but if you have lots of fat, it will be completely covered up. Losing fat comes from great nutrition, total body strength training and cardio.
The waist is the first place to pack on the weight and the last place to lose it. Unfortunately crunches and abs exercises will not work because there is fat around the abs that you need to burn.
When you efficiently begin to burn fat from your entire body, then the size of your waist will start to get smaller. Losing weight and burning fat is simple mathematics. This means, your body must burn more calories than you consume. Click here to access a calorie calculator and figure out your ideal weight, and how many calories you need to consume to lose weight.
As an additional resource, read one of my previous article available from the link http://www.healthcentral.com/diet-exercise/c/58426/17477/elmo-lose/ which will explain the best way to eat.
For exercise I recommend 3 days of cardio such as running, biking, fitness walking, running, etc and 3 days of strength training to build more muscle mass as this will enable your body to be an efficient fat burning machine. As for training your abs, you can train them no more than 3 days per week. You can do your ab workouts either on your cardio days or strength training days, but please don't spend a lot of time here. I get all the ab training I need in 10 minutes or less. I focus on variety and working my entire core which includes my lower back. If you have lots of fat to burn, your time is better spent on doing more cardio.
Published On: May 10, 2008