Ok, so 5 years ago when I first started training, my PT asked me what I wanted to achieve. “I want ripped abs” was my reply as I continued to mosey along on the cross trainer.
I don’t even know why I had decided that abs were the goal, but that’s what I wanted, in time for my holiday to Marbella in 12 days time no less. Ha!
“Hmm, ok. That’s a great goal” he says, “but you’re definitely NOT going to get abs on that cross trainer, and you’re not going to find them in time for Marbella.”
Oh thanks pal!
* Those that know me well will know that my PT back then was Gav, my now boyfriend who I’ve lived with for the last 3 years *
It turns out he was right…Probably the only thing he has ever been right about since 😉
How many times have you read a magazine that tells you you can get abs in a month, 14 days, a week, a day or 5 minutes?
Let me tell you now…
A solid set of abs takes time. Everyone has got them, but your body fat has to be low enough to see them.
Let’s look at my top 7 reasons your abs may still be in hiding:
- You’re eating the wrong foods
Diet is the quickest way to abs. You could do a million crunches per day, but if you’re consuming too many calories of the wrong food, then your six pack is going to stay in hiding under your belly fat.
Think more protein, more good fats, less processed carbohydrates and less alcohol to speed up your results.
- You’re doing too much cardio
I know, I know I bang on about this so often. However, the gym has been absolutely PACKED out since the start of January, and it’s not the weights room that has been busy. The cardio equipment has been overran with guys and girls doing endless amounts of steady state cardio. YUK!
Weight training isn’t for everyone. I get that. So switch up your long boring runs or cross trainer sessions for interval training. Work all out for 30 seconds, followed by 60 seconds at a steadier pace for recovery. Repeat this for 25 minutes. This will burn belly fat much faster than your half assed jog whilst flicking through a magazine.
- You’re not sleeping enough
Numerous studies have linked not getting enough sleep to weight gain, especially around the mid section. Sleep deprivation effects your blood sugar, your hormones and even the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. Aim for 7-8 hours per night to help you recover, have more energy, burn fat and protect your health.
- You’re rushing your workout
Unless you’re actually running a race, you shouldn’t rush your workout. It’s important when weight training to concentrate on slow, steady and controlled reps. The slower you go, the more muscle fibres are recruited making the exercise much more effective.
- You’re stressed
Stress causes the body to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol. This in turn can lead to weight gain, especially around your belly.
- You have sloppy form
I’m pretty sure my clients get sick of hearing me say “keep your core tight” in every single session, but it’s so important in any exercise, not just in an ab crunch. Think about your mid- section while doing any of the big compound movements; squat, bench, deadlift, military press, or pull ups to keep your posture correct and help your balance.
- You’re doing the wrong moves
Crunches. No thanks! These should be done as the icing on the cake ONLY. Do not spend thirty minutes training your abs in isolation or taking part in an abs class. It’s pointless.
Focus on weight training with big compound moves, HIIT and your diet instead of crunching your way to a neck strain.
As always, if you have any questions then feel free to email me, or hit me up on social media 🙂