“Show Me What I Need to Do for My Abs”
Stop eating crap and start eating healthier. Seriously. That’s where it begins and ends.
In the middle, however, is exercise, but not necessarily the exercises you might think.
Crunches? Um, no. Planks? Great exercise, good for office-workers who sit all day long, but still no.
So, what exercises are the “right” ones?
One way to look at it is this way: the ones that burn the most fat are the right ones. So, what are they?
4. Pressing motions like Pushups or Bench Press
5. Pulling motions like Lat Pulldowns or Bent Rows
NOT crunches. Nope. Why not?
“Toning” Is About Putting On Muscle, and Shedding Fat
The fact of the matter is you don’t actually necessarily need to do abdominal work, if your core is already strong. If your core is solid AND if you’re exercising regularly doing what are known as “compound” movements, your abs are worked as you do other exercises. The 5 listed above are “compound” exercises, in that they require several different muscles to work in tandem to complete the movement. Some people decide to exercise to simply get a slim waist but some people may need more help than others, which is ok. It’s simply about finding the right routine for you and results will come.
A squat, for example, versus a seated leg extension. The squat requires glutes, quads and hamstrings (along with a pile of other muscles), and also forces you to work your core A LOT: a squat done without a tight core results in a back injury pretty darned quick.
I rarely do abdominal exercises in isolation. I get the core work I need from my larger compound lifts.
The leg extension, by comparison, versus the squat, really only works the quadriceps. It requires little assistance from any other muscle group, including the core.
So, you use more muscles to squat, burn more calories, and theoretically shed more fat. Therefore squats will get you abs quicker than crunches will, because crunches only work the abs, and the abs are a relatively small muscle group. Because of this, working them burns relatively few calories. Get it?
Want abs? Squat more. Seriously.
Now any good trainer won’t let you squat until your core is strong enough. And your “core” also needs to be balanced out by a strong “Posterior Chain.” If you don’t know what that is, and if you don’t know how to (a) assess your core strength, and (b) strengthen it in a balanced fashion with a properly periodized program, you need to hire a trainer.
I write fitness training programs for people that are designed to help them “tone up.” I’m good at what I do. I’ve been involved in health and fitness here in Mississauga for 10 years now, and I love finding the right formula that works for each individual.
One thing I’ve learned is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution that works for everyone. I wish there was, because it’d make my job easier, but regardless, if we strength and nutrition coaches are honest, we know that it’s more complicated than that.
It’s Not Really About Exercise, Anyhow
So you started to read this blog most likely because you wanted to know what exercises to do in order to accelerate fat loss. I’ve answered that question, BUT the answer I gave is both right and wrong.
No, it still has nothing to do with crunches. Honest. I didn’t lie there ?.
Here’s the problem. Weight loss is about what you eat. Fat does not come off unless you eat in such a way as to make it happen. Your body is a concoction of systems – many driven by hormones – that are designed to keep weight on you. You need to, purposefully, change several things that cause your hormone balance to change to levels that make weight loss favourable.
Insulin. Glucagon. Leptin. Adiponectin. Ghrelin…and a host of others. All need to be in the right balance in order to guarantee long-term success in your program.
You can change the balance by eating right. It’s often that simple. Barring any metabolic or health complications that might get in the way, simply changing how you eat is often the game-changer.
So really, you don’t need any exercise at all in order to lose weight. You just need to change how you eat. Am I recommending you don’t exercise? No. A Penn State University study showed that people who did no exercise, yet ate the same calorie-reduced diet as people who did resistance training,shed muscle mass, while those who did the resistance training did not. Both groups lost about 21 lbs, but the ones who did no resistance training lost 6 lbs of muscle and 15 lbs of fat. Not good.
You need to lift weights when you’re losing weight. To maintain muscle mass, NOT to speed the process along. LADIES, LISTEN UP…not just cardio, ok? I know you don’t like the weight. Ok, fine, so use bands, Styrofoam implements in the pool, something…but don’t just do cardio. You need to maintain muscle mass AND keep your bones healthy and strong!
Eat For Weight Loss, Exercise For Health
So, change how you eat to lose your weight. Don’t rely on exercise to do it, because it won’t work. It’s a strategy that’s proven to fail. I’ve watched dozens exercise their way in to obesity. Besides, exercising to burn off excess calories is purging, just the same as self-induced vomiting (after eating too much) is purging. The thinking behind each is the same, and it’s not healthy thinking.
In my upcoming book “Where Winners Lose & Losers Win: PERMANENT Weight Loss Made Simple,” I offer an in-depth analysis of why exercise doesn’t work for weight loss. I also show you what does. Watch for it: it’s coming soon!
Need a food plan that works? I’ve got one for you, and it’s free. Attached to it is also a recipe book and a meal prep guide: everything you need in order to lose your weight! You just need to send me an e-mail to email@example.com and request it.
You may also want to sign up for my awesome weekly e-newsletter, the “Master Fat Blaster.” You’ll learn tricks and tools for weight loss, how to stay motivated, and you’ll get a free recipe each week from Tony Vassallo’s “Weight Loss Never Tasted So Good Cookbook.” All free!
If you’d like more information about how I might be able to help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone/text at 647-677-6025, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.
Until then, stay healthy!