This article will strictly be about achieving abdominal awesomeness for both men and women. No gimmicks, no lies, and it probably won’t be what you want to hear. Get ready for this ride of truth, validity, and reality.
Females, you all usually say: “I want a flat stomach! I want to “tone” up my core! How do I get sexy abs like Jaime Eason?
Guys, usually state: I want to bulk up and have a shredded 6 pack. I don’t want to lose any weight I just want to get rid of my gut. I’m skinny why don’t I have a 6 pack?
- Crunches or any isolation abdominal exercises don’t give you abs
- Fat can’t be turned into muscle
- If you do happen to achieve your 6 pack goal, you still have to work hard to “maintain or improve” it.
Now let’s clear up a little bit more advanced misconceptions:
- You may never achieve the abs the models have on the cover of the magazine unless you get to an extremely low “competition” body fat % and have been consistent after years upon years of proper training and nutrition.
- If you don’t have a good overall muscle base to start, you will have to work even harder to achieve an great core for display.
- If you’re a guy and your just skinny with abs, 99% of girls will back me on this and say it doesn’t count.
- Having a “pudgy” belly is different than bloating, but that’s another topic for further discussion.
Guys: Check Your Ego
For you bigger more muscular guys out there without abs, you know deep down that you should lose some body fat. You’re just scared to do it because you are afraid you will lose strength and waste away all of your precious muscle. Let go! In order to see your abs you most likely have already built up, one of my sayings is, “bulking up just won’t cut it”. No pun intended. You can read more about this debate in my article The Overfat Mistake Here!
Ask any bodybuilder including myself why we are not scared to lose 30 lbs come contest time. You won’t waste away and you will look better and actually benefit greatly in the long run. Once you lower your body fat you will look better, increase insulin sensitivity, and if wanted you can handle more cheat meals and calories while staying lean.
On the other hand for you skinny males with a flat stomach, you can’t wait until someone asks you to lift up your shirt like Mike “The situation” Sorrentino.
Admit it skinny folks you love your abs, but I can almost guarantee you are not happy in a T shirt, or with your chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs or all other areas. You are just the opposite of the “muscle bound men” explained above. Saying this, you cannot be afraid to put on some size.Taking in the extra calories you need will most likely make your abs fade a little in the short run, but eating what you need to support the muscle growth you desire in other places will be worth it. In the long run if you decide to come down a little bit to show off your core, you will look a lot better than before.
For skinny guys without abs, you need to gain some lean muscle mass and then follow the same rules as the other “smaller” framed males above. It really is that simple. It’s a long process that takes a lot of work but hey, what doesn’t?
Justin you only talked about guys. I’m a girl, what do you have to say about us ladies?
It actually easier and takes less time for most women to achieve the stomach of their dreams as compared to a guy. Why is this you ask? I’m not saying it doesn’t take hard work, discipline, and proper knowledge, but MOST females don’t want “bumpy abs”. Therefore they don’t have to spend year after year building up an incredible muscle foundation for the abdomen so it “pop” out. A flatter stomach is easier to achieve than a muscular one. Again, for a female to achieve a nice stomach it usually just takes fat loss, where with a guy trying to achieve a shredded 6 pack takes muscle building and fat loss.
On the other hand, girls wanting that shredded abdominal look need to take the same steps as males. That means they must build up a great muscle foundation first, and then get lean to put their core they have ‘structured” on display.
Two Simple Steps to get you on your way to abdominal stardom. (Both genders)
1.) Compound lifts should be the majority of your training program:
(Learn from the best above)
Enough of the 100 crunch nonsense. I bet you have noticed it doesn’t work by now anyways. Squat, hinge, press, push, pull and carry. Look at your average gym population. Have they changed at all since the first time you have seen them in there? Answer is most likely no unless they are a competitive bodybuilder or athlete who focuses on multi-joint compound exercises like deadlifts, squats, and other basic human movement patterns.
Everyone else takes the easy way out and does crunches and machines, and they usually have nothing to show for it. I’m not against those tools because they do have their place, but not as the main portion of your workout.
2.) Drop your body fat %
This is no doubt the only way you will “see” the abs you either have or don’t have, and its what will bring a belly you don’t want out of the picture.
I’m not going to get into how to eat, but the saying is true. Abs are made in the kitchen. I’ve said this before but you can’t out train a bad diet. Even if you think you do or can, too many hormones come into to play when you eat crappy foods. THIS IS holding you back and keeping you away from the TRUE potential abs and or physique of your dreams.
I mentioned briefly how to train in step #1, but what I didn’t mention is that cardio should be used as a tool for fat burning most of the time. Don’t go crazy with it until you need it. Unless your using specific energy systems training or conditioning for cardiovasuclar gains or for sport it doesn’t HAVE to be done. Traditional cardio should be used mostly when you hit a fat loss plateau. Like I said, I would never recommend this for a specific need like conditioning purposes, but to get an awesome physique, I find this works with most of my fat loss clients. Think of your goal then decide. If your goal is strictly fat loss that doesn’t count.
Side Note: Don’t say you don’t have fat anywhere else except your stomach. You are only lying to yourself!
If that were true you would have rock hard abs or that flat stomach you desire, because of such a low body fat %. If you have a flabby belly and some fat in other areas of your body, you’re body fat % is too high in comparison to your goal. To an extent everybody does carry more fat in certain areas, but 99% of people take this way out of proportion by saying I have no fat anywhere but my stomach. That’s not true.
With an extra layer of body fat around your midsection, or anywhere else for that matter, you won’t be seeing those abdominals anytime soon.
“Magazine Cover” or Competition Abs:
This is for another day. To get that extremely dry, thin skinned shredded look, you need to take your body to unseen body fat levels. This usually takes a lot of nutrient manipulation, and you cannot live in this fashion very long. The people on the covers on the magazines do not live like that year around, nor do any bodybuilders or figure competitors with that crazy core.
This is just a standard guideline, but it should get you started and on your way to the abs of your dreams. I understand this may change your outlook on things but don’t get too upset;) Also, I’m excluding the 1% of genetic freaks out there with the ripped abs accompanied by a stunning physique naturally. For 99% of the population all the statements above apply.
Remember, you should adjust doing what you’re doing if it’s not getting you to where you want to be. Don’t let those crazy myths and misconceptions get to you.