Stop Doing Crunches – Here’s how to get great ABS
If you want great abs or even anything that vaguely resembles a flat stomach, then performing endless sets of ab specific exercises such as crunches are ab-solutely (pun very much intended) useless.
Reveal those abs
In order to see the abs that you have (everybody does have them in some shape or form), you need to have low enough levels of body fat. If you have more of a keg than a six pack then you should concentrate on dropping your body fat with the correct nutrition and training first rather than waste precious time crunching away.
In order to see the abdominals men need to aim for around 10-12% body fat or less, whilst for females it’s around 14-16% or less. Given that we are all very individual, it will vary from person to person, but it’s a good ball park figure to aim for.
How much body fat can you lose per week? Again this is very individual, but most males can lose 1% of each week if everything is done correctly. That means training and nutrition being spot on week in week out. For females it is a little different and closer to 0.5-0.8% of body fat each week that can be dropped.
So how do you drop your body fat levels then?
Well for starters, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Calorie deficit you say? What’s that then? Well it’s a fancy way of saying you need to eat less and move more!
Everybody has a certain amount of calories they need to consume each day to maintain their current body weight. In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit, either by eating less calories, or by moving more and expending more energy. Find out how many calories you need to eat per day.
For instance, I am currently maintainng my weight on apporximately 3000 calories per day, whilst training 3-4 times per week, as well as having an active working life. If I wanted to create a calorie deficit I could reduce the amount I eat my 500 calories per day, I could add an extra training session in, or I could increase my low level activity such as walking, or I could use a combination of all three.
In order to see your abs, the first thing you need to focus on is being in a calorie deficit, so that you are gradually losing weight. In terms of training I would stop focussing on ab specific exercises and start working the whole body with compound resistance exercises and high intensity interval training.