A client signs up for my services and tells me that they ONLY want to do core workouts because they only care about getting great abs.
A client signs up for my services to ask how to get to a point where they can perform 800 sit ups a day, every day. When I ask what on earth for, they reply that they read online that this is the only way to get a six pack.
Let me just take a moment to face palm and collect my thoughts….
Okay, I’m back.
If anyone tells you that you can only get a six pack of abs from exclusively performing core exercises, or from doing 800 sit ups each day, please do me a favor and slap them for me.
This is nothing more than lying and spreading misinformation.
Please, please, please! Do not listen to these people. The human body is an amazing system that is highly adaptable and resilient, yet there are some feats that are outside its capabilities.
Why, you ask? Because you already have a six pack! Honest. It is just buried under a layer of fat. Everyone has a sexy set of abdominal and oblique muscles. I just need to give you the tools to be able to see them.
Your core muscles are amazingly strong. They have to be. They are responsible for every bend, twist and breath you take. Yes, you heard right, your abdominal muscles assist you with breathing. These powerhouse muscles also help you with balance and stability. From walking down the street, to getting in and out of chairs.
However, as I mentioned earlier, these muscles are located under a nice layer of fat. And depending on your current body composition, that might be a little or a lot. People like me tend to store fat in our core (you’ve heard of us referred to as an “apple” body shape), so some people might have a harder time revealing those abs with proper diet and exercise.
But all is not lost. The only two things you need to do are eat a healthy diet and exercise your entire body.
I say this because we want to burn off all of that fat over your muscles to let their tone and definition shine through. And it is impossible to burn fat from just a single, targeted area. The body is pretty all or nothing on this. You either get slimmer overall, or not at all.
As I mentioned, every body composition is different, so your specific needs might differ, but science has shown that the abs are revealed at certain body fat percentages for both men and women. These ab-exposing percentages are between 15% – 20% for healthy adult males and 20% – 25% for healthy adult females.
So how to we get to the body fat percentages that will reveal our abs? Well, we need to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly. Both of which sound pretty darn easy.
For food you should try to consume 300-500 less calories a day than you burn. So if you burn 2,000 a day, then try reducing your calorie intake to between 1,500-1,700 calories a day. This calorie deficit will cause the body to burn off any excess fat you might have over time.Losing weight gradually causes less shock to your body, and will ease you into lifestyle changes that you are more likely to keep- so you can kiss those yo-yo diets goodbye.
Try to eat between 1 gram – 1.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This will fuel your muscles and body with enough protein to repair and grow muscles. Also, you can eat as much as you want of fresh vegetables. Some personal trainers might disagree with me on this, but I have yet to encounter a client who actually eats enough vegetables on a regular basis, so increasing your veggie intake is only going to give your body more micro-nutrients that it needs for growth and repair.
Additionally, you should really try to reduce your intake of sweets, alcohol, processed or fast foods and sodas. This one is hard for most people, but it is a necessary sacrifice for those killer abs.
Lastly, you need to hit the gym. A bare minimum workout routine would be two weight lifting days and two cardio days. Your goal is to shed excess fat, but building extra muscle has the added benefit of burning more calories every day whether you are active or not (because muscles need a lot more calories to sustain themselves than fat), so if you have extra lean muscle mass then you are going to increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories.
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