Ab Workouts Are Not Working…
You’ve been browsing the internet looking for “Ab Workouts”. Thinking to yourself, “Why are my abs not showing?” You have probably been reading articles telling you to do 15 minute ab workouts to target the fat around the waist. You got down on the ground and started putting effort every day, doing the ab workouts. However, you haven’t seen any results. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest misconceptions in the fitness industry. You cannot target a single body part to specifically lose fat there. It is one of the biggest misconceptions in fitness. It is a way for trainers to sell a quick fix to people. Many programs have been sold this way, an example ten years ago was Six Pack Shortcuts with Mike Chang! It was the top fitness content on YouTube for many years! Ab workouts will help build muscle there, but not reduce the fat! Then, Frank, how do we get our abs to show? You must be in the proper body fat percentage range to have visible abs. This is typically between 10-14% for men and 16-24% for women. There is quite some slack in the range because everyone holds fat at different places. Personally, I need to be leaner since I hold fat in my hips and chest but little on my limbs. Sometimes it is the other way around, and people can look ripped with higher body fat. Another thing that determines what body fat percentage you can see in your abs is how big your abdominal muscles are. This is what ab workouts are actually helpful with!
Ab Workouts Help With Muscle:
Weightlifting is for building muscle or preserving it, not cutting fat. Cutting fat happens by being in a caloric deficit which is better achieved by cardio and eating less. I’m not saying that weightlifting doesn’t burn any fat. It does burn calories which helps you lose fat. However, it is not the most efficient way to do it. Cardio burns more calories in a shorter amount of time. To be in a caloric deficit, you must eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain weight. You can find out how many calories your body needs by using a calorie calculator online. You type in a few details, like your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level, and it gives you a number.
Shredded Ab Weight Loss Plan:
I recommend starting at a calorie deficit of 200 calories. If your maintenance is 2,500, you should eat roughly 2,300 calories. As the weeks go by and you lose weight, don’t forget to type in your numbers again to readjust. The more you weigh, the more calories you need; the opposite is true. This tapering process is what is effective in helping you beat plateaus. As you lose weight, you must also increase the caloric deficit slightly by eating less or doing more cardio. An extra 25-50 calories in your daily deficit every 2-3 weeks is excellent. It would look something like this:
|Week:||Daily Caloric Deficit:||Weekly Cardio (Hours):|
However, keep in mind that there is a point where decreasing calories is not productive. Eventually, you won’t be able to decrease calories further without feeling lethargic, low energy, and unmotivated. Don’t go beyond a daily caloric deficit of 500-600 calories. Instead, increase your cardio and eat enough to give you fuel and energy.
Abs & Cardio: Stay In Your Deficit
Since we are increasing cardio, you can keep eating the same number of calories throughout the process. The increase in cardio increases the number of calories you burn, which increases your deficit without you having to eat less! This is important because as the cut goes longer you start to have more cravings and get hungrier. The cardio allows you to eat more to satisfy this! How many calories you burn in your cardio can vary widely. Steady-state cardio is where your heart rate is around 55-70% of your max heart rate (220 – your age). This is what I usually do, I range from 50 to 100 calories on the elliptical in 10 minutes. I prefer steady state cardio because it is what I enjoy. I can put on my headphones or watch a show to pass time. Many other people prefer high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT has many other benefits besides the immediate calorie burn from the activity. It can burn calories and build muscle long after you’ve finished your workout. I do a HIIT workout every once a while out of enjoyment, sprints, boxing, or swimming. Here is an article from NASM that can shine more light on this topic for you! How many calories you burn while doing cardio depends on the intensity, type of cardio, and fitness level.
I Want My Ab Now!
Why not just starve yourself for a few weeks to lose weight faster? If you can honestly tell me that you don’t do this without relapsing, then do it. I doubt 99% of you have not relapsed into old habits with this method. However, if this is what works for you, then do it. This does not work because your body quickly adapts to the low number of calories you eat and will try to hold on to fat since it goes into starvation mode. When you eat this little, your hormones become unbalanced, and you experience lethargy, low energy, low sex drive, and trouble sleeping—all of which cause more problems. Furthermore, since you are already eating low calories with this method, you can’t taper calories any further. The only other option is to do more cardio. Doing 30 minutes of cardio daily with only 1,500 calories in your body is an Olympian feat. This is what elite bodybuilders do, and they are the best for a reason. It takes a twisted person to endure this for weeks on end. I know you just want to look good, not get competition ready, so doing that is unnecessary.
How Long on My Ab Order?
This process takes time! It took me about six months to go from 22% body fat to 10-11%. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to fitness.
Why do I expressly state a 200-300 calorie deficit? It’s because the rate of fat loss I recommend is .5 – 1% of your body fat per week. If you weigh 170 lbs., this means losing between 0.85 – 1.75 lbs. per week. As you start to lose weight, you will begin to lose less weight per week, but that’s not bad. 1 lb. of fat is worth 3,500 calories. If you are at a daily caloric deficit of 300 calories, this equates to .6 lbs. of fat per week.
To wrap up, make sure you are in a caloric deficit, stay consistent with your diet, and give yourself enough time to reach your goal! Most people give up because they don’t see results fast enough. If you plant the seeds, you will watch your trees grow!