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Abs classes will never get you abs

I am asked all of the time how people can get better, flatter, and more visible abs. It’s the #1 area people want to improve. Go into any gym and you’ll see thousands of crunches, situps, ab machine whatevers, and so on. Do those people have visible abs?  Usually not. Usually you only end up with back pain (but that’s another topic… PLEASE STOP DOING SIT UPS!)

Abs classes are prevalent in almost any commercial gym, and members flock in search of the six pack that will never be. You see, getting abs comes from OVERALL reduction in body fat. You already have abs – you just need to lose the fat on top of them to see them!

While fun, abs classes are a farce…no matter how much it burns.

So then how do you get great abs? Here are the secrets:

  • Nutrition first. That’s right. You’re thinking wah-wahhhh, but it’s true. Visible abs require a fairly low body fat percentage. Eat unprocessed foods. Minimal sugar, minimal unnecessary starches. Tons of protein, lots of healthy fats, and of course, veggies and fruits. Give your body what it needs and leave out the things that it doesn’t. It’s simple, but not easy.
  • The right exercises.  I have found that heavy lifts – including squats, deadlifts, pullups, and all kinds of plank variations work best. Why? Because they require stability and power, and that’s what your abs are for. When you lie on your back, no stability is required, and while sit ups and crunches can make you ‘feel the burn’ they will never get you a visible 6 pack (they’ll likely give you back problems though).

It’s not unusual for our members to request more ab work because they do not realize that the majority of exercises (even things like pushups!) are working their abs way more than a situp ever could. You may not feel the burn as much, but I promise it’s working.

To summarize, to get abs you need to lose overall body fat. You can’t spot-reduce fat, which is why situps will never lead to visible abs if your nutrition isn’t in a place where you are able to drop body fat. Get your nutrition right, lift heavy properly, work core stability drills, and voila!  Abs!

To Your Success,