14 Jul Biggest Myths About Getting Abs
Summer is here and people are scrambling to put the last minute touches on their physique. With plenty of vacations, trips to the beach, and parties at the pool, many people want to put their best foot forward. One of the biggest questions I get asked about, is how to get shredded abs. There are so many articles, supplements, teas, and Instagram trainers that claim they have the holy grail of ab routines. I just want to take this time to shed some light on some myths out there about revealing that 6 pack stomach.
1) Abs Are Made In The Kitchen – This is the most common piece of advice that is quite misleading. Yes to have a nice looking 6 pack, you need a certain level of bodyfat percentage and the only way to do this is through proper diet. However, what gets made in the kitchen is a flat stomach, not abs. So if your goal is to reduce bellyfat only, then you can get away with just focusing on the diet. If you want a nice set of abs that really stands out, they are made in the gym, not the kitchen. Abs are a muscle group that needs to be trained like any other to look it’s best. Just eating clean is not stimulating the abdominal muscles at all, which means if you lose the bellyfat, you’ll have a flat, underdeveloped set of abs. Definitely get your diet right first, but make sure you are training your abs 2-3 times a week utilizing resistance and bodyweight movements to make them look their best!
2) If You Lift Heavy You Don’t Need To Train Abs – This is actually a myth I fell into the trap of believing (shame on me, right?). I’ll admit I hate training abs more than any other muscle group. Since lifting heavy weights does stimulate the core quite a bit, I told myself this was my core training. What happened was my abs looked like they weren’t being trained. I’m not saying I had a beer belly or dad bod, but there was not good definition or separation in my abs which didn’t sit well with me. I bit the bullet and went back to giving abs it’s own day twice a week and in a few weeks they were looking photo shoot ready. You may be wondering, “if training heavy activates the core so well, why didn’t it result in your abs looking better”? The reason why is when you’re lifting heavy in bench, squat, or deadlift, your core is in an isometric contraction. An isometric contraction is where your muscle is contracted but it’s not moving. An example of this would be a plank hold. For muscles to be truly developed they need to go through all 3 contractions, concentric, eccentric, and isometric. This is the same for abs. One thing that has worked really well for me is eccentric focused core movements. An example of this would be when performing sit-ups, you sit-up fast but lower yourself very slowly (usually 4 seconds). These type of movements have been a game changer with my core training. Moral of the story even if you’re lifting heavy, you still shouldn’t skip your core work.
3) You Can Squeeze The Fat Away – The gimmicks in this industry are comical. It seems like every few months there’s some new gadget that will get you “instant results with no work.” The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary, so run from these gadgets as fast as possible. The most popular one is the waist trainer! This accessory is terrible and has people thinking that this is an easy way to get their bellyfat down. All waist trainers do is squeeze the fat and compresses it down. There is not fat burning element here and after you take it off the stomach will go back to it’s regular state. I love the instant before and after photos, they make me laugh. Of course if compress your stomach really tight then take a picture right afterwards it will appear smaller, you just smashed your belly fat and internal organs. You didn’t magically lose any belly fat or any weight instantly. There is no way around putting in the work if you want to lose belly fat. If you want to lose the fat, you must eat right and train your core. There’s no getting around it. Take the waist trainer and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.
I hope after reading these you realize what it really takes to get a 6 pack stomach. It’s really simple! The right diet combined with proper core training are what will get you a stomach ready for the beach. There’s no secret, gadget, or tea that will make this happen. It takes hard work and consistent effort, just like everything worth having in life.
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