Jan 132014
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This may seem like I’ve gone crazy but…

Ab training is overrated.

I’m serious, if you ask any of my training partners how often I directly train my abs – they’d tell you every once in a awhile, maybe.

Whenever I walk into a gym, I have an urge to grab all the ab training machines and throw them out.  Or even better yet, make a sign saying “This will not get you a six pack.”

ab rotator machine

Please keep off

In most gyms, you’ll see people spending more time on their abs than anything else they do.  I’ve seen a guy, let’s name him Mr. AbTrainer, work on his abs for almost an hour.  I know, everyone is entitled to do what they want, but if you are someone who has been on the search for a flatter stomach or six pack then please pay attention to this post.

I can’t blame Mr. AbTrainer.  I blame the fitness industry.  The fitness industry puts out DVDs and new trendy routines specifically for abs.  Just abs.  Even the athletes I’ve trained in the past felt like a workout wasn’t complete without a bit of ab work.

They probably just wanted to feel their abs burning so it would seem as if they actually had a six pack.

Now let’s be honest, at one point in your life or probably even now you wanted a flat stomach and maybe even some shredded abs.  So shredded you could hear Vanilla Ice rap, “Slice like a ninja, cut like a razor blade.”

Not to be too blunt but the problem is that we are too fat.

No matter how much crunches, planks, ab circuits, or whatever other trendy core stuff out there you do, you have your abs and you have the fat which covers your abs.  As long as you have fat that covers your abs, they will not see the light of day.  

Rob Sulaver at Bandana Training said it the best:

It doesn’t matter how perfect your ab development is if they’re always covered by fat. It’s like spending hours on your ’65 Mustang GT but never taking it out the garage. What the hell is the point??

muscle car mustang

Who doesn’t like Ford Mustangs?

It’s very simple - abdominal work does develop your abs, but they DO NOT reveal them.

There are three main things that will make your 6-pack pop and sing, “I’m coming out!”

1.  Nutrition

2.  Sweat and Intense Resistance Training

3.  Rest and Recovery

Bad Nutrition = No Results

Nutrition is the foundation of getting lean.  Some think there are shortcuts to getting a flatter stomach.  Sorry, there is none.

So if you are looking to shedding the fat and getting your six pack out in time for the summer, then it’ll be a good time to get a hold of your nutrition and adopting healthier eating habits.  

You can check out earlier posts that I wrote about nutrition and healthy eating by clicking , HERE

No One Ever Drowned in Sweat

Every heard that quote before by Lou Holtz? Well, that’s what it takes.  Hard, challenging, and sweaty resistance training that creates a large metabolic disturbance and raises your EPOC levels.

These types of workouts have you burning a boat load of calories for hours after the training sesion and has the possibility of building muscle mass (if you have a good nutrition plan.) Looking for some solid training ideas? Check out this post: 9 Fat Burning Workouts.

Get Some Rest

Sleep, rest, and recovery are very important.  It is known that lack of sleep makes it harder to concentrate and work.  If you are constantly exercising, not getting the right amount of rest, and have a horrible sleep schedule then  there is a good chance your cortisol levels are going to increase because of the amount of stress your body is going through.

In the book Engineering the Alpha, by John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein, they wrote:

When your sleep quality is poor, your metabolic rate decreases, making it easier for you to pack on pounds faster than you can say, “McDonald’s.”  A bad night of rest also limits your ability to recover from workouts, meaning it becomes hard to become stronger and build more muscle.

Limit ability to recover? Harder to get stronger? Can’t build muscle?

Get to bed!

Keep it Simple

Before you start to over think or jump on to the diet pill/fat burner truck, start off with these three things I mentioned and have patience.  If you are in the mindset that you want to see results NOW, you are only setting yourself up for frustration and failure.

It’s really important that you take things slowly and follow the steps.  There’s no need to try and skip over the basics.

Now if you want to try an ab workout that is actually effective and efficient try these 5 Most Effective Ab Exercises.