These 3 things will likely change the way you proceed with your ab training, making “seeing abs” so much more achievable. I’ll help us sort through marketing hype, gimmicks and myths so we can train effectively to see those ab results.
Let me start from square one quickly…
By now many of you know the slightly embarrassing but real start to my fitness journey. It began in high school when I jumped on the family computer, went to google, and typed in “how to get abs.” Back then, I thought I could get an easy answer, follow it and see that six pack I was dying to have.
5 years after that google search, those abs weren’t anywhere in sight and you better believe I was trying. I was reading every fitness magazine, getting help from personal trainers and working my abs every. single. day. Yet, they were nowhere in sight.
Since implementing my changes, I was able to see ab definition and… here’s the key… maintain it for nearly 4 years!
Now, abs are by not meant the end all. You won’t see abs and instantly, all your problems go away. You’re beautiful and amazing now… with or without abs. Still, I know more than anyone, when you set a goal for yourself, it means a lot to achieve it, especially if it’s feasible. It is, so don’t give up if it’s one of your goals.
Allow me to be your girlfriend on this journey. I’ll share all that I learned about what really works and what really doesn’t to save you time and frustration.
3 THINGS YOUR TRAINER ISN’T TELLING YOU ABOUT ABS
Let me just clarify, this is not a knock on trainers. It’s simply what I, in my 10 year of fitness experience, never heard from fitness professionals but wish I would have.
1. It’s NOT About Quantity
This is the first trap many of us hit (coming from the girl who used to do 30 minutes of ab work every day). Seeing abdominal definition doesn’t simply come from working your core muscles any which way. It’s not just about doing abs so many days per week. It’s not working those muscles for so many minutes or a particular number of reps. It’s not about quantity.
I’ve found that ab training is about quality. Compare my daily 30 min ab workouts from my high school days to the two 10 min ab workouts I do nowadays and the difference in quantity couldn’t be more obvious.
However, when you look at the quality, you’ll see that’s where my new training takes off by leaps and bounds. I don’t focus on 50 bicycle crunches at a quick pace. I’ll do 20 and go slowly through each rep, keeping my core engaged the entire time, focusing on pushing my belly button into my spine and closing my eyes to feel those abdominal muscles engaged.
Like with most things, abdominal training is quality > quantity. Instead of training abs just because your trainer tells you to or because you know you should, do your ab work on a day you can commit to quality. For this reason, I like to actually begin a workout with abs to keep quality the priority.
2. The Fat Curtain
Here’s the blunt truth I wish someone would have told me years ago… your abdominal muscles will be very hard to see with a stubborn layer of fat covering them. Peel back the fat curtain and you’ll be looking at those gorgeous abs.
Okay, let’s clear this up too… You are not fat. You have body fat. We all do. There’s a big difference.
Still, the more fat on our bodies, the more difficult it is to see those abs. So, we can set a goal of “seeing abs” but the process of getting there is not just simply doing ab exercises. We must work to reduce overall body fat in order to achieve visible abs.
Speaking of decreasing overall body fat… that is a systemic process. We cannot pick and choose where we lose fat. Think about it – do you pick where your fat is stored?! I wish… right to the chest and booty for me, please lol. But NO! Of course we don’t and we don’t pick where we lose it. This is a myth known as spot targeting, so just know doing ab exercises won’t cause you to lose abdominal fat.
How can we reduce overall body fat and open up that fat curtain?! I’ve found the most effective way is a combination of 1) tradititonal weight training 2) cardio 3) ab exercises 4) eating portioned and balanced meals 5) self worth (because we cannot forget we are amazing with or without visible abs!)
I just wish I would have known that focusing on the entire body… building overall strength through weight training, getting in occasional cardio and really prioritizing what I was eating would get me to my goals quicker than just simply doing 30 minutes of crunches.
Opening up the fat curtain to reveal the abs is about focusing on the bigger picture: the entire body as a healthy system.
3. Food > Fitness
Ah, this is the not so fun one to talk about, but I’ll do it anyways. Seeing abdominal definition will come much more effectively through changes in our diet more so than changes in our training.
I say this is the not fun or popular one because for most of us, nutrition poses the greater challenge as compared to fitness. I can easily get to the gym for a 45 minute workout, but sticking to my healthy eating habits consistently is something that requires more dedication for me personally.
If you want to see abdominal definition, you’re going to have to prioritize healthy eating and eating “enough without the excess.” Something I discuss in the LG Meal Plan and a piece I found particularly important in my core goals.
Does this mean training abs is useless?
Oh my gosh, ABSolutely not hehe. Abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle group on our body. Think to when you first began your fitness journey and when to flex your bicep in a mirror. I remember my flexed arm and non-flexed arm looked pretty much the same. Only when I developed my bicep muscles through training did they become noticeably visible. You know what I mean?! It’s the same with abs.
When we develop our abdominal muscles through exercise. This training will eventaully help them peek through and give you those ab results you’re looking for. The quality and quantity of what we eat plays a huge role in the process of opening up that fat curtains so those abdominal muscles can pop.
^^this photo was actually one of the first taken from when I seriously implemented all my training and food changes to reach my ab goals (~4 years ago)
Since first releasing the Premium Ab Plan (6 week ab plan + 5 follow along ab workout videos), you girls have constantly asked about another ab plan. This year’s ConfidenceKini Fitness Challenge will include a Premium Ab Plan 2.0 as part of the Premium Challenge Pack!