Last Updated on December 1, 2017 by Jeff
But what does it take to make it happen?
Do you need to do 1000 crunches every day to get the flat and toned look you’re after?
Thankfully, the answer is no.
Getting abs is pretty simple. Which is not the same as easy. It’s definitely not easy.
It is simple in the sense there’s really only ONE thing you need to worry about when you’re striving to get a flat stomach or visible abs.
The ONLY Thing You Need To Have A Flat Stomach
Having a flat stomach or visible abs really comes down to just one thing…
You need to have low body fat.
If you’re carrying too much fat, no matter how many crunches you do – or anything else you try – you will never be able to see your abs until you lose the excess body fat.
People say that “abs are made in the kitchen”, which is kind of true.
What they mean is that abs are made by having low body fat, and the biggest thing you can control in order to get low bodyfat, is regulating your calories; mostly through controlling the food that you eat.
Losing body fat is what will give you a flat stomach and six pack abs, and should be the sole thing you worry about.
How Do We Lose Body Fat?
To lose body fat you need to create a calorie deficit. That means expending more calories than you take in and doing it on a consistent basis over time.
You can exercise more, but really how much more exercise are you going to do?
A training session might burn 300-400 calories; while you’re eating 2000-3000 calories every single day.
You can eat less, which has a much bigger scope for manipulating your overall calorie balance. Of course, training more generally doesn’t hurt, but diet has more impact.
So you get on a good diet plan, into a solid exercise routine, and you keep working until you’ve got your bodyfat down low enough to see abs. Depending on where you are starting, it will probably take quite a long time.
It’s consistency of doing the right things until you’re lean enough to see them, that brings out visible abs.
So few people walk around with a stunning six pack because it is hard. It takes a long time and a lot of commitment. Most people are simply not consistent enough, for long enough, to achieve it.
Do Abs Exercises Matter?
When you can’t see your abs, because they’re covered with a layer of fat, you need to lose the fat. No amount of training your abs will make any difference at all.
You can’t spot reduce fat by training that area. Body fat is burnt all around the body equally. You just need to get leaner overall. That will be impacted more by a balanced training plan that incorporates all the different muscle groups and challenges the system as a whole.
You should still train your abs, to build up strength, but as part of a balanced workout program. You don’t need to do crunches every day.
Once you are lean enough to see your abs, then the specific training will be much more beneficial, because you’re working to shape them. Now they’re actually visible, that will make a difference.
So What Kind of Workouts Should I Do?
A balanced workout plan that focuses on using all of the muscle groups, and getting progressively stronger over time.
Bigger exercises that use lots of different muscle groups will be the most effective for creating an impact on a systemic level, which kicks your metabolism into gear and really gets the body burning off more energy on a daily basis.
Weight training is better than cardio because it creates more long-term adaptations. Your body uses energy to rebuild and regrow stronger, in addition to replacing what you expend while actually working out.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do cardio. It still has a lot of benefits; for health, mentally, as well as burning some extra calories.
Will I Ever Get Abs?
If getting a flat stomach or visible abs is a good goal for you to aim at depends on where you are now, and how committed you are.
It’s certainly possible for anyone to achieve, but it might take a long time and some pretty significant changes to your lifestyle if you’re not already close to achieving it.
Is it worth it?
That’s totally up to you…