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Why most ABS workouts don’t work

Updated on November 18, 2015

Lately there has been a booming trend in 30 day challenges. People are striving to lose weight, get healthy and improve their lives. One of such challenges is the abs workout challenge. If followed through it should be possible to make 135 sit-ups by day 30. People tend to think that doing as many repeats as possible is the right way to reach their goal. But is it truly so?

One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make is trying to make abs “visible”. Truth is, abdominals being visible depends on person’s body fat percentage. You can pump them as much as you like and with different exercises and still won’t get a result you are after.

Myths about abs

  1. Exercising will get your dream abs. Not true at all. For 95% of people, exercising by doing crunches or using machines will not bring any result. The truth is everybody have abdominals, without them our body just simply wouldn’t stay in one piece.
  2. 10 minutes a day is enough to get good looking abs. So not true. To get the abs you want you need to lose weight.
  3. Removing fat just from your belly. Nope, doesn’t work that way. Sorry.
  4. You need these great gadgets from TV shop to get abs. Trust me, these will not help. Sitting in front of TV and pushing the ab machine will only make it worse.
  5. Hard and long workout are required to get the abs of your dream. Again, this is not the way to go. It is not the amount of repeats, but the quality that matters.

Body fat

Here are some facts – for a male body to display abdominals body fat ratio should be under 9% and for women – under 15%. These numbers are, however, very subjective and differ from one person to the other. Important is to remember that it is the body fat ratio and not the amount of exercises that have a deciding role.

Muscle and fat are very different in their nature. One cannot be transformed into the other. You can grow muscle in one part of your body but fat can’t be burned the same way. When you burn fat, it burns everywhere in your body, not just in the abs area.

By training abdominals it is possible to grow their muscle but impossible to lower fat level. If your goal is to show a six-pack, different exercises will help. However, like with other muscle groups, the exercises need to be correctly chosen and in the right proportion. This means that adding more of them will not necessarily bring better results.

Body fat rating

Competition shape
Very poor

So what to do?

Well, in order to work out more effectively a training plan needs to be compiled. Exercises should be for all muscle groups. Golden rule is – ABS will only be visible if body fat level will decrease. To decrease the fat level, energy consumption needs to be lowered. Shortly - eat less, move more!

Here are a few more tips:

- Consider changing you lifestyle

- More water should be consumed

- Try to eat less calories, especially carbs

- Breakfast is important, so make sure it is healthy

- Decrease sugar consumption

- Black coffee is recommended before working out

- Try to reduce your calorie intakes gradually

- Increase your meals to 5-6 per day

- Vegetables and fibres


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    • ciutysmant profile image

      Mantas 3 years ago from Dublin

      Soo true. Unfortunately, not many people understand that...