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I am doing a quick post, because of demand, about abs! I’m pretty sure this topic has been beaten to death, so if you aren’t one of the people that emailed or messaged me then feel free to ignore this post. It won’t hurt my feelings.
Also, this post is aimed at females, because they are the ones that emailed and messaged me about this, however it does transfer over to males as well…. Or men can just enjoy the pics of stunning women I am using as examples. 😉
If you are someone that messaged me then you requested this post because you want abs!!! I will summarize how to go about getting the abs of your dreams in 3 easy steps… Wait, no, that’s a lie. There are no easy steps or fast fixes. Well, luckily the time passes anyway so you may as well work on it!
1) Genetics…. Did you win the lottery?
This isn’t to say that you can’t have a fabulous ripped core. Genetics do play a role though. Take a look at Annie Thorisdottir (My girl crush):
And Camille Leblanc Bazinet:
And Michelle Letendre:
All are incredibly jacked (and stunning) Crossfitters. They probably work out with the same intensity and volume, yet they all look a bit different.
This is just to demonstrate that genetics, unfortunately, play a huge role in what you look like under the layer of fat.
Genetics also play a huge role because of where you store fat and how you lose fat. If you store fat around your belly you may have to work much harder to lose the belly fat then someone who does not store fat there.
2) How you lose fat… Where are your trouble areas?
I had a client email me a picture recently of her abs. She was SOOO proud because, as she put it, she “has a 4 pack”. Her next question was “when will my bottom abs lean out?” Like I said above, how you lean out has a lot to do with genetics and a lot to do with your sex. If you are female then chances are you lean out from top to bottom. That means you will have to strip your face,shoulders, chest (good bye boobs), and upper abs of fat before your body will start to take the fat from your lower abs and hips. This means that you have to stay on track with your solid fitness plan and nutrition before you will see the fruits of your labour. This will, unless you are naturally very lean, take TIME. I say this over and over to the same people (which is fine, I don’t mind repeating myself) but I feel like sometimes they feel like I will give a different answer.
There is research coming out stating that endless crunches and rounding of the spine can cause spinal degeneration and increased risk of bulging disks. If you want me to send you the research let me know and I can send it off. Essentially what research is saying is that our spine can only take so much rounding and bending before you start to wear down the disc walls. As someone that used to do endless crunches and eventually ended up with a bulging disc, I can’t help but think about the correlation.
Also, think about it like this:
Normally people want to SEE their abs. If you want to get rid of your flapping arm do you complete 200 tricep kickbacks a day? I would hope not. Why do we not extend the same logic to our core? Doing core work develops the MUSCLES, it will not target your fat. Stop doing crunches to get rid of belly fat.
4) What do you want them to look like?
What do you want your physique to look like? Very few people think of this and follow through with a proper plan.
Do you want abs like:
You get the point. There are different physiques and different looks that you can go for when creating your core. Like any other physique changes you need to have a properly laid out plan for the look you want. If you haphazardly start doing a bunch of exercises you may land on the look you want, but chances are you will not.
If you just want a flat stomach, like Kate Moss for example, I don’t suggest doing heavy Olympic lifts and heavy back squats. She is skinny and most likely used nutrition and cardio to get that tiny (and genetics, again). If you want to look like Erin Stern, you will need to lift heavy, keep the development of the oblique’s to a minimum (to avoid a boxy look) and obviously keep the nutrition 100% tight.
You get the idea. Train for the look you want.
5) Abs are made in the kitchen… With a well thought out nutrition plan.
This point explains itself. If you want to see your hard work then you have to be 100% on point with nutrition. Spot reducing DOES NOT EXIST so you will have to be patient while your body loses the weight from other places first.
5) To develop the muscle do I need to gain weight?
Here is the question I get all the time. Please see my post regarding nutrition, titled Why you aren’t reaching your goals. I don’t want to go over nutrition in depth here as well. The answer is a little bit, sure. You need to be eating in a caloric surplus to get muscle. If you want definition and muscle in your core then yes, you have to eat above maintenance otherwise your core will likely look flat and have no definition whatsoever once you are lean (Think Kate Moss.
Nothing against her, I am just using her as an example.).
When people then complain about liking how they look and not wanting to gain weight I reply with 2 things:
a) You clearly don’t like how you look that much or you wouldn’t be asking me how to change your body.
b) Do you want to keep the exact same look forever or do you want to work on your physique?
Leaning out will always be there. You can lean out again. If you want a defined look then WORK FOR IT and EAT LIKE IT.
6) Leaning out to see your core
Some people have to work much harder than others to see their core and some people have to be at a body fat percentage that may be hard to maintain. This doesn’t mean you can’t have abs and it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work hard to get the look you want, but that’s just it: it is HARD WORK. For most people it won’t come easy and it won’t be kept easy. You want your cake and pizza, great, eat it, but you could very well be missing out on the abs you want. Either is fine, it’s all about what makes you happy and is a priority to you!
So those are my tips for getting the core you want. To summarize: Know what you want to look like so you can eat and train for your goals. Oh, and great genetics don’t hurt either.
These are a selection of MY favourite ab exercises. This doesn’t mean they are ones that fit your goals.
a. Heavy squats. Not 45 pounds. Heavy ass squats.
b. Heavy deadlifts. I use powerlifting programs for my squats and deadlifts.
c. Weightlifing (Snatches and clean & jerks)
d. Hanging leg raises.
e. Toe to bars
f. Bird dog and plank for the stabilizers in your core.
Now work hard then go enjoy your bikini body!