19 Nov Everyone has Abs
**NOTE**: This article and video were done two years ago. I have DRAMATICALLY changed my stance on abs and crunches since writing this blog and recording this video. Please check out my back pain article HERE as well as my newer AB article HERE to understand how and I why I made these changes.
**NOTE**: This article and video were done almost two years ago. I have DRAMATICALLY changed my stance regarding crunches and training since writing this blog and recording this segment. Please check out my back pain article HERE as well as my newer AB article HERE to understand how and I why I made these changes.
Everyone has Abs
It is true! EVERYONE has them. The challenge is that most people’s abs are hidden under layers (and LAYERS) of fat. It IS possible for ANYONE to achieve abdominal definition and shed that excess body fat off. It is not metabolism, youth or genetics. It is hard work, commitment and dedication. The metabolism, genetics and youth will make it easier for some of course but it can still be done no matter where the starting point, what the excuse or any circumstance.
Do you want to throw something at me? Before you do, hear me out. I DO HAVE ABS that are visible always. Here are my “could have been excuses” : I am 40, I have had a child, I did gain 50 lbs when pregnant, I do work full time, I am a single mom, I DO have an un-fixable back injury that causes pain when I workout and I do not have hours a day to workout. I also do not have unlimited funds for expensive food and I am a Celiac! Those could all be my excuses as to why I would NOT have abs but I chose to use those as fuel to prove that anything can be accomplished excuses or not.
This is how I got my Abs and maintain them:
FOOD 90% of your visible results come from your EATING HABITS. You are a result of what you eat and a layer of fat over defined muscle is going to HIDE muscle and as I mentioned earlier, everyone has abs they are just hiding. So, regardless of how many crunches, sit ups, leg ups you do, if you don’t watch your caloric intake and keep the fats, carbs and proteins in balance you will NOT see definition. Diet needs to consist of primarily vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Yes we need carbohydrates and fats, but the right kind of carbohydrates and fats. Yes there is a place for pizza, donuts and saturated fats but not if you want definition. How bad do you want definition?
REPETITION– So many trains of thought on this but for ME it is a matter of repetitions. I find that you need to fatigue and pump the muscle. I believe in a lot of reps and I believe in frequency when it comes to ab development. I train abs at least 5 days a week and I do a minimum of 200 crunches. 200!? Yep- I meant 200. I do 25-50 at a time in-between sets. So no, this does not take hours. I replace my “rest” between sets with crunches. * SEE NOTE AT BEGINNING OF ARTICLE AS I HAVE CHANGED MY ENTIRE STANCE ON CRUNCHES SINCE WRITING THIS ARTICLE NEARLY TWO YEARS AGO.
CORE- A strong core is the first step in achieving abdominal definition. I engage my core during every exercise I do. Butt is always clenched, stomach is always pulled in, back and shoulders are always straight not rounded. I do not sacrifice form to lift heavier weights. A tight core is the main focus.
FORM is critical. When doing abdominal workouts, it is not about the amount of weight you are using or how unique the exercise is. More importantly, are you engaging and working the area you are concentrating on? Are you USING Your abdominals to drive the exercise or are you using momentum from other areas to drive the crunch (this would NOT be the way to do it!)
CARDIO is important. Just like my first statement with diet, if there is a layer of fat on top of your muscle, you will not see the definition. High intensity cardio is another important variable in achieving definition… BONUS for running where you are using your arms and engaging your core and working the abs even more… You need to do intense cardio to the point where you are sweating, breathing hard and pushing yourself if you want to burn that excess fat. Not long, slow drawn out cardio. Everyone has abs and you will too…