For many years I was under the belief that doing as many reps of crunches or a multitude of other seemingly popular ab exercises would get me the results that I was after – rock hard abs. It is a fairly common misconception, shared by tens of thousands of people worldwide.
The reality, however, is that nothing could be further from the truth!
The vast majority of ab exercises such as sit-ups, leg lifts, and yes – even crunches, are what you do not want to be doing if you are trying to melt away the fat to show off your sexy 6-pack abs.
Why do you ask?
These types of exercises are isolation exercises.
They are great for building and toning the muscle in the isolated area that they are working.
Well, that should be a good thing right, isn’t that what we are after?
Unfortunately not, allow me to explain why.
I am going to assume that since you are reading this that your body fat percentage is over 10%, because if you currently have 10% or less body fat, then you would already have ripped abs and have no need for this article.
So for the rest of us with over ten percent body fat, you need to lower your body fat percentage in order to be able to see your abs.
The absolute best way to burn off body fat is compound exercises, not isolation exercises. Knowing the difference between the two can help make all the difference in the world on the speed with which you obtain results.
Allow me to give you a couple of examples:
If you do crunches, you will work the rectus abdominis muscle around the midsection of your body, if you do bicep curls you will work your bicep.
These are isolation exercises because they only work the target area to build and tone muscle.
Now let’s say you do a barbell deadlift instead.
You will work your thighs, lower back, legs, hamstrings, forearms, and your core muscles as well!
This is what you call a compound exercise because you are working so many different areas at once.
When you are able to target so many different areas at the same time, then you can bet that you will start to see results much faster than doing a single isolated exercise.
Your body will start to burn more calories which in turn means that more fat will be burned off.
I urge you to look around either this site or other places online and find a few different compound exercises that you think would be right for you!
I’ll list a few good ones here to help you get started:
-Kettlebells (My personal favorite! – almost any kind of kettlebell workouts will do)
These are just a few of the compound exercises that I recommend if you want to try to get 6-pack abs faster.
When you do these, you should aim for a weight that will allow you to get around 10-12 reps in. You should combine several different exercises and try to do three sets total.
Try to keep your rest time between exercises and sets to a minimal amount.
My suggestion would be to allow for 15-30 seconds of rest between exercises and around two minutes between each set.
The goal here is to complete the workout as quickly as you possibly can while maintaining good form during each exercise – an absolute must, injuring yourself will not help you get the body you are after!
The reason why you want to keep pushing through is that you need to try to keep the workout as intense as possible to allow the calories – and fats – burn! Keep your workout to around 45 minutes or so max.
Keep a journal and record the exercises, durations, and weights used (Trust me, this helps keep you motivated!).
Try and improve on each workout each time. Once you get where you feel that you can no longer improve upon your workout, increase the weights and start over.
You will want to change your workout routine around every 4-6 weeks or so, to keep your body guessing and to keep you from hitting the dreaded ‘plateau.’ You can also mix in some cardio with your resistance training. Whenever you change your routine or the weights, mark it in your journal.
On the days where you are not working with weights, cardio is great. Whether you decide to go for a swim, run, skipping, rowing and cycling are all great forms of cardio, some of the best types of cardio are running or skipping. The goal is to get your heart pumping and elevate your metabolic rate.
Getting these going well enough will cause an oxygen deficit which in turn will make your body a fat burning machine.
Even if you only do 30 minutes of rigorous cardio, you can cause your body to burn fat for several hours!
The journey to 6-pack abs isn’t an easy one, but damn if it’s not worth it!
Stay motivated; you can do it!
Try to always get the maximum benefit from your workouts, and you’ll see those washboard abs start to pop through, soon as you begin to see them you’ll become even more motivated!