Unlearn These 2 Myths and Uncover Your Best Abs
Abs are by far one of the toughest areas to whip into shape. This isn't because they are intrinsically stubborn, but because there seems to be loads conflicting information and misinformation about how to get your trimmest, tightest tummy. The result is that many of us struggle heroically and unnecessarily to unearth a healthy, sexy midsection.
Let’s do away with everything you thought you knew about abs and take solace in this one, refreshingly universal truth: anyone can have great abs. Yes, even if you have dug deep and never been able to excavate your best abs before.
And here's another truth: much of what you need to know about getting great abs boils down to unlearning certain ‘truths’: truths that are stopping you from enjoying the fruits of your labors in diet and exercise. (Truths that likely reveal that you’re actually laboring too hard in the diet and exercise department.)
Myth #1: You Have to Starve for Success
When it comes to eating for great abs, less is not more. Less food is less success. More food is what will enhance your results. That’s right: you have to eat to get your best abs — and you probably have to eat more than you think. All too often, we hear people describe their ‘ab diet’ as a painfully restrictive eating regime that would make Ghandi cringe.
If you want a toned, taut tummy, you absolutely must fuel your body so that it can build and maintain muscle. In other words, you need to eat. Obviously, you have to eat clean, focusing on whole foods, complex carbs, piles of protein and plenty of water, but this doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of anything. You can eat sugar and refined carbs sometimes and witness a waistline transformation.
Most of all, you never have to go hungry. In fact, you should never be truly hungry. If you are truly hungry, you eat. Make it a healthy choice even 8 times out of 10, and you will see undeniable, rockhard results.
Myth #2: You Have to Ab Train, All the Time
We’re not going to tell you ab training isn’t important, because it is. However, focused ab training alone isn’t going to score you that sweet, slim stomach. Your abdominals are only one part of your core. Your core is composed of many muscle groups, including your external and internal obliques, your spinae erector, your hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, transverse abdominis and abdominis recti. The abdominis recti — the ‘six pack’ — is what most people focus on when they train, doing sit ups and crunching until they are ready to barf. However, this will only get you so far — and it’s not going to be that far.
The best way to flatten your tummy with exercise is to increase your overall muscle mass by training your entire core. We’re talking static exercises like planks and reverse planks, and dynamic moves like burpees, squats, deadlifts and mountain climbers. Add resistance whenever possible. This will not only tone more of your midsection, but it will engage seriously massive muscle groups, including your gluteus maximus (your body’s largest muscle mass) and your quads. The more lean muscle mass you have in these powerhouses, the more fat you will burn from everywhere — including your abs.
We get it: it’s hard to ditch years of indoctrination, but we’re here to help. Our BodyRock community has been sculpting their stomachs and toning their tummies for years with the help of our on-demand workout and nutrition guides. This year is the year to uncover the best possible version of yourself, and the transformation begins on the inside with a mental shift. It’s time to unlearn all the misinformation that’s holding you back, and all it starts here.
The only way that I have been able to lose belly fat is a low carb, ketogenic diet. If you do HIIT along with this kind of diet, be sure to have a protein meal immediately after the exercise or your body will consume its own protein to rebuild its glycogen reserves.
You wrote: …“(the body’s largest muscle myths)”. I think you meant ‘mass’, not myths.
And thanks for this article – very helpful.