BodyRock Fitness Coaches share how they got their super strong cores.
Who isn’t interested in building a strong core? If part of your fitness and body transformation goals include sculpting a lean, flat and toned stomach, you are in the right place. The good news is that you are born with the muscles that make up a strong core - you’ve already got the foundation - surprised? Most people’s ‘six pack’ muscles are hidden below a layer of totally healthy, completely normal body fat.
Diet, exercise and certain genetic factors are all factors that come into play when it comes to achieving visible six packs, or having visible tone and definition on your stomach. Many trainers believe that diet and following a fat-loss focused meal plan is the most important factor in achieving a flat, toned stomach.
That said, it’s important to understand that even the most visible abs do not automatically equal health, strength, agility, much less confidence or a healthy body image. You can’t conflate having visible abs with personal happiness, emotional stability, or happiness. Over the last 10 years, I’ve personally produced or directed thousands of workout videos, which have amassed over 2 Billion views and hundreds of millions of engagements. I’ve worked with talented trainers and coaches from all over the world, many of them having made their starts on BodyRock. I’ve worked with some of the fittest bodies on the planet, and I can tell you that having a six-pack does not shield people from insecurities, self-doubt or body image issues. Having a strong core does however empower your mobility, your agility and your capacity for strong movements. A strong core brings with it a lot of benefits, but you don’t need to have visible abs to access these benefits. A strong core will support your overall fitness and weight loss efforts, but you don’t need to have rippling muscles on your stomach to get there.
I always tell people to aim for lean muscle definition, which looks like a flat, toned core. A strong, flat stomach is a 100% achievable goal for most people to take on. It’s also achievable without getting into hyper restrictive eating, which is often unhealthy and completely unsustainable. Our coaches follow our BodyRock Meal Plans, which have been designed to optimize fat loss, support their workouts and training, and make eating, meal prepping and grocery shopping easy, enjoyable and delicious. All of that said, we asked our coaches and trainers to share some of their best tips and advice when it comes to achieving strong cores and lean, flat stomachs.
Jessie P. 40 years old, mother of 3 kids, all under 10 years old. Jessie coaches Intro to Strength (a program designed to help beginners learn to strength train), the Kick Start beginner program, and she co-hosted all 4 seasons of the Tone & Torch Bootcamp - all available to stream on BodyRockPlus.com). Jessie follows the BodyRock Meal Plan supplemented by the Plant Based Plan. and currently leads new workouts each week for the BodyRock community.
“Realizing that I wasn’t getting nearly enough lean protein in my diet was a huge turning point for me. A lot of women shy away from protein, or simply just don’t include the right amount of protein in their meals. Following the meal plan helped me to correct for this, and now I’m getting the right amount of protein to support my training and body composition goals. It’s not easy - even for trainers who do this stuff for a living, to make sure that they are getting the right amounts of protein and other nutrients onto your plate in a consistent way. Protein is critical for fat loss, helps me feel full longer, and helps me build and maintain lean, strong, athletic muscle mass - especially as I get into my 40’s and beyond”.
Follow a plan. “I’m crazy busy most of the time with my three daughters, my husband and family life, work and helping to run a household. As a fitness professional that has diet and exercise on their mind almost 24/7, I couldn’t maintain my fitness without having a meal plan in place that provides guidance, support and structure. It took me a lot of years to realize that I couldn’t just wing it meal by meal - especially with 3 kids. It’s about being organized and set up for success”, Jessie adds. “The meal plan does a lot of the work for me - think grocery lists, easy to make recipes for meals, snacks and desserts - there's just no way that I would have the time in my day with everything else that is going on to figure this stuff out on my own. Because the plan is based around clean eating and healthy, whole food ingredients, it works for my whole family, and my girls are learning to enjoy and appreciate a lifestyle that includes whole foods and a healthy relationship with food. Next to working out at home so that my kids see their mom as a positive fitness role model, helping them establish healthy eating habits from a young age is one of the most important gifts that I can give them as an active parent”.
Lisa D. 29 years old. Lisa teaches weekly workouts for the BodyRockPlus.com community and has hosted low impact resistance band workouts, and has appeared in multiple series. Lisa follows the BodyRock Meal Plan.
“I think one of the most important changes that I took on recently was cutting back on processed foods and added sugar. As you start to move out of your 20’s, there just isn’t the same room to get away with eating highly processed food, and it’s just not good for you. I follow our meal plan, and supplement it with the plant based meal plan for days when I don’t feel like eating meat. With the plan, I can kind of go on autopilot and not worry about falling into the added sugar trap, because the recipes and meal prep is balanced. What people don’t realize about processed foods and added sugar is that most of the fat that it tends to generate ends up on your stomach and love handle area, and when it starts to layer there it can be extremely stubborn unless you are prepared to change your eating habits and get into a consistent workout routine that includes HIIT and strength training”.
Sean L. 43 years old. Sean is one of the original BodyRock trainers, and has hosted thousands of workouts for the BodyRockPlus.com community. Sean follows the Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan, and hosts ‘The Fasted and Furiously Fit’ workout series which is currently in season 7.
Think full body workouts. People can get really focused down on wanting to improve what they think of as a ‘trouble area’, and the stomach area is usually at the top of that list”, Sean says. “When people first start to improve their core, they typically want to do endless crunches and sit up variations, which can be quite limiting and inefficient. When you train to strengthen your whole body, you will get a much better burn and achieve your core specific results even faster. There are a lot of exercises that are great for targeting your stomach that don’t look like (or sometimes feel like) core moves. Squats and pushups are great examples of exercises that can shed your core and help flatten your stomach, but don’t look like obvious core moves. Follow workouts that aim to build strength and muscle tone across the whole body - your core included”. Sean continues, “I would also encourage people to try intermittent fasting if they are struggling with more traditional diet approaches. I’ve seen incredible transformations within the community, and for some people, changing the focus from what you are eating to when you are eating just seems to work better. Our fasting meal plan includes a plan for men, and a separate plan for women - make sure that you line up with the right plan, there are some important differences in the plan for women which will help you get the best results possible, plus I’m always around to help if you have any questions“.
Sylvie D. Sylvie is 33 years old, and has most recently hosted the ‘BootyFul’ workout series among others. She currently teaches a weekly class for the BodyRockPlus.com community remotely from her home base in Paris, France. Sylvie follows the BodyRock Plant Based Vegan meal plan.
Workout consistently, but don’t over do it. “A solid 30 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training), mixed with strength training exercises will get your heart rate up while building metabolism boosting lean muscle mass that will help burn fat stores off of your stomach. You don’t need to workout for hours each day to make a difference, but you do need to be consistent. I always tell my people to get on a program where your trainer shows up for you every day, Monday to Friday, with a fresh new challenge and the energy and attitude to make it worthwhile. That’s what we do here at BodyRock, and that’s what I do every class that I teach. If I am there and ready for you, it will help to keep you motivated and focused and on track so that you can be consistent. It’s the combination of effort and consistency that will change your body and your life” Sylvie says.
David K. 34 years old. David is a personal trainer and leads the ‘Sculpt and Burn’ workout series (currently in season 3). David also leads a weekly workout for the BodyRockPlus.com community. David follows the BodyRock Meal Plan.
Build lean muscle. “Having lean muscle on your body is like wearing a power suit that burns calories and fat 24/7. Increasing the lean muscle on your frame is a completely different experience of fitness, that you have to experience first hand to believe. Lean muscle burns away body fat while you sleep or watch tv - it makes everything happen that much faster and easier” David explains. “I spend a lot of time coaching people on how building lean muscle is an absolute game changer. There is the hard, slow way of changing your body - you see this when people just do cardio, or spend all their time on treadmills or bikes - and the fast, sure way, which is following a plan that delivers enough protein and the right healthy carbs and nutrients, and then following that up with the perfect blend of HIIT and strength training. That’s what I’ve always done, and that’s what we do here at BodyRock. Train smart - don’t take the long way to your goals, life is too short”.
Tammy M. Tammy is a 40 year old personal trainer and mother of 2 kids under 10. Tammy co-hosted seasons 1-4 of the ‘Tone & Torch Bootcamp’ along with her real world best friend Jessie P. Tammy follows the BodyRock Meal Plan.
Leave the cardio-partyo’. I spent a lot of time in my 20’s and 30’s as a self confessed cardio bunny. I worked hard, it’s not that I didn’t put in some serious effort on that stair climber and elliptical machine, the sweat would be literally dripping down, but I didn’t see the real transformation until after I found the courage to start strength training. Strength training was something that was new to me, and like a lot of people, trying something new can be intimidating. But as soon as I started adding resistance and strength training to my routine it was like whoa, everything changed. It wasn’t just my body that got leaner, I actually liked how dynamic my workouts had become, I wasn’t bored, and I started to really enjoy training on a whole new level which meant that I didn’t struggle as frequently with motivation”. Tammy says that “I found my groove, and I was able to bounce my body back after having my kids. Whatever workout that I’m doing - I always add hands free resistance by wearing my weighted vest and ankle weights. Adding wearable weights to your workout will optimize every movement that your body makes with added resistance, which will give you a bigger burn, and help build lean muscle definition. If strength training makes you nervous, or if you have never done it before and need a workout that teaches you how to get started, the ‘Intro to Strength’ with my bestie Jessie is a great place to start. There is also the ‘Beginner Bootcamp’, which combines HIIT and strength training in a way that is totally accessible to beginners. Once you get started, it’s really easy to get hooked”.
It’s clear from listening to our coaches that aligning your diet and exercise plans are the best ways to achieve a strong core and visible muscle tone. If you are curious how long it might take you to start to see visible muscle definition on your stomach, we provide a general timeline here.
Our BodyRock trainers show up each day from the heart to deliver a workout that will help to get you in the best shape of your life. If you like our vibe, why not come and train with us? If you are looking to get started exercising again, we have an amazing 30 day program called the Beginner Bootcamp, that was specifically designed to help people that haven’t exercised in a while get up and moving again in a way that is challenging, but is achievable - meaning that you will actually be able to complete each day’s workout. Our workouts combine HIIT and Strength Training, which is the most efficient way to build lean muscle tone and shed excess body fat - including on your stomach and core. You can get a full year of unlimited access to BodyRockPlus.com for just $69 with code NY22. We’d love to welcome you to our community.