A toned, lean stomach is the ultimate sign of a fitness plan that's working.
It's also one of the hardest things to achieve.
It's time that you forget everything you've heard about how to sculpt your abs. The truth is that crunches simply won't give you a six-pack. Ever.
Maybe you've given up on your abs after doing thousands of crunches only to see zero results. Doing crunches with the hope that it will turn your midsection into a washboard is to operate under the most widely held fitness myth. I'm talking about the spot reducing myth. Here's the truth: training one area of your body will not specifically burn fat from that area.
Even those who have heard that spot reducing is a myth often still train as if it is true. So here's the hard truth that you need to face: Doing crunches will not magically make your tummy shrink, it will not cause your muffin top to melt away, and it will not give you washboard abs.
Only a reduction in body fat will do that for you.
So want the secret to great abs? The secret to great abs is a combination of fat burning cardio, resistance training, and clean eating.
It is very possible for you to dramatically shape up your waistline before the holidays arrive. Yes, I'm talking to Y-O-U. Weight loss is not reserved only for the people you see on the Biggest Loser or on exercise equipment infomercials. You can do it too.
So is your current routine getting you closer to that six-pack, or have you simply been burning time? Answer the following two questions to find out...
How many times per week do you exercise? If you answered with anything less than 4 times a week then that's the first thing getting between you and streamline abs. What is a fat burning workout? A routine that incorporates intense cardiovascular training with challenging resistance training. Does this describe what you do?
I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you, but walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace isn't a fat blasting routine. Neither is a leisurely, not-a-drop-of-sweat 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. The truth is that exercising smart allows you to dramatically increase your results while spending less time in the gym.
Cardio exercise is most beneficial when done at an effective level of intensity. This doesn't mean that you should be out gasping for air. It does mean that you need to dig down and push yourself. Every time.
Resistance training is the second vital part to a workout that burns fat. This means working your major muscle groups against resistance in a way that challenges you and stimulates your metabolism. The key here is to find the right intensity and to keep each muscle group guessing.
Do you eat clean?Diet is the number one reason that most people don't have great abs. If your diet is out of control then your abs will be too. To trim your waist, start by trimming the junk out of your diet, regardless of how hard you exercise.
- Don't eat too much. Do you know approximately how many calories you eat each day? The best way to find out is to record every single thing that you eat for a few days. Take those numbers and do an evaluation—feel free to recruit me to help out with this part. Together we'll come up with improvements for your diet and adjust your calories for maximum results.
- Cut out the junk. While this may seem obvious, your definition of "junk food" may need to be updated. Start with anything that contains sugar. Refined sugar is one of the biggest ingredients in the junk food world—it is found in soft drinks, blended coffee drinks, cookies, cakes, packaged snacks, and other sinfully sweet treats. Processed fat is another monster to avoid. As a rule of thumb, view all processed or refined items as junk food, and kick them to the curb.
- Eat when hungry. You've been told to never let your metabolism "crash" by going hours without eating, but it turns out that all-day snacking may be counter-productive. Instead of trying to schedule meals and snacks for certain times throughout your day go with how your body feels. If you are hungry then have a small, protein-based snack. If you aren't hungry then don't force a snack on yourself in the name of fueling your metabolism.
Now you know why simply doing crunches will not get you the abs of your dreams. While it is important to exercise your abs a couple of times a week, don't expect fat to fall of that area after thousands of crunches.
If you seriously want to flatten and sculpt your waist in time for the holidays then all you have to do is decide that you really want it. Commit to yourself. You deserve it.