How many times have you seen people in the gym doing 1000 sit-ups every day and complain that their stomachs have not changed? Or is this you?
The reason this may be the case is because you are overtraining and not allowing the body to repair the muscle damage caused by crunches so the new lean muscle is not growing.
Also, everyone is born with abdominals believe it or not, the only reason you can’t see it is because of the fat stored around it. You need to reduce the fat around your mid-drift and strengthen your core before doing specific abdominal exercises.
This is because when you’re working your abs so much they will grow just like any other muscle so if you have not reduced the fat around your midriff your stomach will actually look bigger than when you first started.
The key to reducing fat around your midriff is mainly your diet. If your sides are bigger than your front then that’s down to bad food choices and sugar intake. If you’re bigger on your front than your sides that can be due to stress and unbalanced hormones. If you’re big all over then you should really speak to a professional as that can lead to major health implications.
In conclusion, cliche but abs are made in the kitchen if your overweight comes off the crunches and work on your core. Burn body fat via interval training then add the various crunches back into your routine to fine tune the six pack.
P.s – Hit abdominals from all angles and do this for no longer than 15mins 3-4 times a week
Tip 2- Nothing is going to CHANGE unless RESISTANCE is in the frame!
For those that want to burn body fat to reveal the toned arms, washboard abs, chiselled jawline or the perky bum by adding resistance to your routine it will be a much quicker process than just doing cardio alone.
Beyond major belief, a lot of people feel that you can only lose body fat by jumping on an elliptical machine for an hour or more….WRONG! Although they can help with weight loss, when trying to burn body fat you have to manipulate what you’re doing on the elliptical machines to work at an intensity where your body is burning fat, not just muscle.
Elliptical machines are very good at helping your endurance and reducing muscle mass which over time makes you lighter on the scales (muscle weighs more than fat) but in the mirror what you will see is a very untoned slim frame. By doing the opposite and adding more resistance training into your routine you may not be the weight that you wanted on the scales but you will see the physical difference in clothes and the mirror. Also, if you were overweight, to begin with by just doing cardio via the elliptical machines this can start to produce loose skin.
To burn body fat you need to work at an intensity that increases your metabolic ‘fat burning’ rate.
Short intensive bursts of body weight exercises would be good for cardio for roughly 5 sets of 30-1:30secs with a minute rest in-between. Weight training via cables, dumbells, barbells, resistance machines, medicine balls will help improve the look of your body by increasing your muscle mass.Increasing muscle mass speeds up your metabolic rate and allows you to burn fat even when your not training.
Now I know one or two women reading this are like No No No,when it comes to going into the weights area but you have nothing to worry about due to having different hormones from men. Men produce testosterone, women produce oestrogen. When men and women do weight training there bodies will build differently men will grow larger and bigger, women will only have a slight increase in size but will become more curvy. The common idea that if women do resistance training they will become bulky is not true unless they have a lot of testosterone within their system.
So from a training point of view add short intensive body weight exercises with weight training and see the fat melt. For this to work diet must be on-point as well. Go to your local gym and ask your fitness instructor or personal trainer what is the best resistance exercises you can do for your personal goals
Tip 3 - Train with someone that trains harder than you!
Ever wake up or come home from work and think I should go to the gym but I really can’t be bothered. Then later you wish there was someone there to tell you to get off your lazy a**……….you get my drift!
We have all had those days, I included but if you have a weight/fat loss goal to reach those extra rest days will be detrimental to your overall outcome.
If you don’t want to fork out money on a qualified personal trainer but you know you need the accountability then find someone who has similar goals to you that is a CONSISTENT gym goer that does not mind you training with them. This would be your best bet.
A training partner can give you that motivation to work harder and stop you making silly excuses. They can hold you accountable to get your workout done.
Remember the term, TRAINING PARTNER you are not their client your working out together and pushing each other to your limits. If you’re not doing that then you shouldn’t be training together as either of you will benefit so be careful in your selection.
Bare in mind, there training regime and eating habits may not be specific for you (that’s where an experienced PT/SLR Fitness comes into play…plugging lol) but it will get you exercising and moving more so than sitting in front of the TV exercising your fingers.
Tip 4 – Train Outdoors!
As the weather gets better another way to shock your body to speed up weight/fat loss is by doing exercise outdoors.
Outdoors is more prone to doing bodyweight exercises for resistance and cardio, for bodybuilders I wouldn’t suggest this unless it’s for fitness purposes. If you wanted to up the ante, you could use apparatus such as the TRX, resistance bands or tyres.
With running (interval sprints) you will feel a lot different as opposed to being on a treadmill. Your body will take the full force of the ground with each stride you make, which will work your muscles harder due to the shock on your feet.
Training outdoors, allows you to enjoy the local environment and takes away the pressure of being in a gym setting. It will freshen up your routine as after a while you may get bored or de-motivated doing the same thing over and over again in a gym.
It is a cost effective way if you have not got a gym membership or a personal trainer… Just find a local park which has training apparatus to start with and exercises for a minimum of 30mins a day. In a lot of major parks, they do training classes or boot camps (SLR Fitness Body Boom Bootcamp) being one of them. That could be something that may interest you after you have started yourself.
Tip 5 – Join a High-Intensity Class!
There’s nothing like competing with others that are trying to reach the same goals as you.
You may be someone that goes to gym classes such as Pilates, Zumba , yoga, body pump etc religiously which are all good classes to go to in their own right but a lot of the things are the same thing each week so if your body has come to a plateau( maintaining the same weight) then you need to up the ante and shock your body more by adding extra to your weekly routines.
Going to classes such as boxing, circuits , boot camps or independent classes would get your body working at that 70% intensity to burn body fat as it will work your body differently from what your use to by changing up the routines each session.