I believe, by now, we are all done with crunches. We all know that crunches are not too safe for our back and they don’t really help with getting a six pack. But how about other Ab exercises? Every day I see advertisements about the products or exercises that promise you to get a six pack in no time. Let’s ask ourselves, if this was a fact, wouldn’t we all walk around with sculpted Abs? The fact is that spot training is not really effective. What do I mean by spot training? Spot training is when we focus on only one muscle group and work them out every single day.
A study followed a group of men and women between ages 18-40, who were asked to do Ab exercises 5 days a week for 6 weeks. At the end of 6 weeks no significant change in body weight, body fat percentage or abdominal circumference was seen. Why spot training does not work?
- Doing spot training, we don’t burn enough calories in order to lose weight. Spot training has to be extremely intense in order to see weight loss.
- We cannot spot reduce fat. It is true that the body uses fat as fuel during exercise, but our body does not care which part of your body this fuel comes from and does not always take the fuel from fat cells adjacent to the muscle group that you are working on.
You might disagree with me and say, I have been doing Ab work outs for several days and my Ab muscles are sore and I feel a change. You are right. You are building nice, strong and big muscles, but unfortunately they are hidden beneath a layer of subcutaneous fats (fat under the skin) and you will not see them unless you burn that layer.
So how can you get rid of your stubborn subcutaneous fats? Here is a four step solution:
- Train your entire body, by doing whole body exercises at moderate to high intensity 3-5 times a week for 20-30 minutes each day.
- Add in exercises that promote building muscles, like weight training. The more muscle you have in your body, the higher your metabolism.
- Fix your diet. You have probably heard the saying, “Abs are made in kitchen”. This one is not a myth. Get rid of processed foods. Eat more Whole Foods, protein, fiber and healthy fats. Yes, you heard me right fats, if consumed from the right sources, will help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
- And be patient and persistent. We don’t gain fat overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight. Also keep in mind that it is much easier to gain fat, than to lose it. So be realistic
There you have it. Another myth busted. Please feel free to leave me comments below if you have any question or feedback.
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