Part of why people start new exercise programs -- aside from getting fit and feeling great -- is the desire to have show stopping, incredible abs. Can you blame them? A rock-hard mid-section is an impressive looking feat. But because of this, there is so much misinformation floating around. Everywhere you look, someone is pushing a quick fix to flat abs or a shortcut to a six pack.
There is no quick fix or shortcut. That isn't to say that getting the abs of your dreams is impossible. It is possible, but it there isn't an overnight solution.
It is time to tackle the myths that have been standing in your way. Let's set the record straight and get you moving in the right direction!
Ab Exercises Will Target Belly Fat
Unfortunately, you can not spot reduce your belly. You can do crunches all day long and it will do little for your belly fat. The only way to tackle this fat is through a clean diet and a consistent, overall exercise. Try a combination of cardio and resistance or strength training. Once you've cut your fat levels, you will be amazed at how easy it becomes to make your abs pop.
All Abs Look The Same
We know it is hard, but you cannot train with the goal of looking like anyone else. It is fine to have your fitspiration ideals but it is important to remember that no two people are genetically the same. No matter how hard you try, you will never look like anyone else. Try to make YOUR body the best body it can be. Take progress pictures on your journey. If you do, you can compare your progress to you and you alone!
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Diet Pills or Fat Burners Will Help You Get Abs
Just like flat ab diets, people think they can take a shortcut by using diet pills or fat burners. No matter what claims are made on the bottle, there is no pill out there that will 'cut fat.' Most of these pills are made with caffeine that temporarily speed up your metabolism. For some, this can work to supplement their efforts and make them work harder during their workout but it won't actually cut fat. Again, the only way to lose fat is through a clean diet and a solid exercise regimen.
Say Goodbye To Carbs
While most people know that "abs are made in the kitchen," the first thing they think they must do is cut carbs completely. In actuality, cutting carbs completely may get in the way of your fat burning process because your body needs them to function properly. If you eat the right types of carbs, you will have more energy and feel full! Just remember to stay away from white and highly refined carbs. These carbs are digested quickly and can spike your blood sugar. Try to stick to carbs like quinoa, brown rice and whole grains.
Crunches are The Best Ab Exercises
While crunches are good, they aren't everything. They only target the outer abdominal muscle. Your abs are so much more than that. Try to mix up your workouts by adding exercises that also target the obliques (your sides), and the transverse abdominus (the deep muscle that supports your lower back and torso). And don't forget that your abs are still being worked when you do exercises that aren't necessarily considered "ab" exercises. Think push ups, commandos, burpees, lunges and squats. And don't forget the power of the plank!
It’s Impossible For Your Body Type
It is easy to look around the gym, and think "I wish I could do that." But don't forget, not everyone is going to look the same. Know that while you may not look like the woman beside you, being strong, toned and lean is achievable for you. Don't stand in your own way. Believe in yourself. It sounds cheesy but when you do, anything is possible. It will take work and dedication but as long as you keep yourself looking at realistic goals for your body, you will be able to hit them.
If you've bought into any of these myths, you aren't alone. Many people have fallen into the same trap. But, it is time to stop standing in your own way. Drop these false beliefs! If you eat right, work out on the regular, set reasonable goals and believe in yourself, you can get there!
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