We all know those guys who do endless crunches and planks because they assume that’s how you get a six-pack. While it’s true that they do target your abs, doing them mindlessly without a strategy isn’t going to get you results. Neither is investing in those gimmicky products you see in late night infomercials that tell you just to use it three times a week in order to get that chiseled, rock hard, mid-section of your dreams.
So save your money and stop doing crunches because there are way more effective ways of getting the abs you truly want. From anecdotal experience I’ve noticed 3 major things which always seem to stop men from uncovering their abs. Let’s explore them.
1. Your body fat is too high
It goes without a doubt to say that no matter how much you workout your abs they will never be visible if you have too much body fat. You can hit them from every angle possible with a million special exercises, but unless you’ve gotten rid of all the flab surrounding your mid-section they will never be visible. For most men, your abs won’t be visible till you are around 10% bodyfat. It can really vary from person to person but that’s just a rule of thumb to go by.
So right now the best thing you can do is to find out exactly what body fat percentage you are at. Then get a well-thought out diet plan that will allow you to get to around the 10% bodyfat range to show off your abs.
2. You eat too much junk
So you want to lose fat. You might be wondering what’s the easiest way to do it. Simply cut out all the junk you eat and focus on healthier option like vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and foods with healthy fats. Now it’s not a necessity to completely eliminate junk food, but it makes losing fat so much easier.
Most junk food is high in calories by default. If you want to lose fat and reveal your abs then you simply have to eat less calories then your body uses and you’ll burn fat. So it makes sense to focus on eating foods that are less calorie dense like like lean protein and veggies. They will keep you full much longer than sugary snacks and will allow you to achieve a calorie deficit much easier.
They say “Abs are made in the kitchen”, which mean you have to do ab workouts in the kitchen. Just kidding, but what people mean by that is that no matter how good your ab workouts are, your diet is going to be what allows you to reveal them to the world. So focus on eating less junk food and eat more “real” food if you really want to see your abs.
3. Your abs are under-developed
So you let’s imagine that you finally got to the 10% bodyfat range with whatever method. But for some reason, you still can’t see any abs. What gives? Well as was mentioned at the beginning of the article, most people instinctively believe that millions of crunches will give them abs. However, they need more than that.
Abs are just like any other muscle. Meaning you need to give them a reason to grow and get bigger. You give them that reason by training them with weight to help them progress and to grow. So doing that 100-rep ab workout might burn for a while but it’s still not going to cause your abdominals to grow.
Focus on exercises that you can add resistance to. For example, weighted ab-crunches or weighted-knee raises in the 10-15 rep range. Doing this will help add some size to your abdominals and allow them to actually be big enough to be noticed.