Abs are made in the gym. They’re not made in the kitchen unless your kitchen just happened to double up as a gym!
Yes, you’re only going to be able to see your abs when your body fat is low enough; below 10-12% for most men, and below about 15-17% for women. But the abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle group, they need resistance and progressive overload in order to grow. In the case of your abs however, rather than growing and making your waste thicker, they have the tendency to just become harder, tighter and more deeply etched. This is good news for those of us that want to maintain a small waist size.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE KITCHEN STAYS IN THE KITCHEN
Whatever fat loss diet you’re on it’s a simple formula; you need to create a caloric deficit by burning more calories than you eat on a daily basis. So either burn a little more with exercise or eat a little less. Counting your proteins, fats, carbs aside, the most important factor is calories IN versus calories OUT. The results are inevitable here, stick to a slight caloric deficit and at some point you’ll be lean enough to have a few lines showing around your mid-section.
You won’t however have those deeply etched lines and clear definition of someone that’s also trained their abs using progressive resistance.
Back to the point; Abs are carved and cut up in the kitchen, but they’re made in the gym!!
THE BIGGEST AB TRAINING MISTAKE YOU MAKING RIGHT NOW
You’re not challenging or loading your abs enough! Why is it that you’re focused on your deadlift numbers going up, yet you’re still doing the same bodyweight resistance abs exercises you were doing years ago?! Same sets, same reps, same everything! That’s the definition of insanity! Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!!
Your abs NEED progressive overload. They need to be forced to adapt by you introducing small increments of resistance or complexity in to your abdominal routine. Here’s a few examples…
- A crunch becomes a crunch holding a Dumbbell in your hands, or adding any other resistance you can think of. For example
- An isometric core exercise like a plank or a deadbug can be made harder also by using some external resistance, such as a band.
- For leg and knee raises why not put a med ball between your feet for more difficulty? For example
- An Ab wheel roll-out can turn in to a band resisted Roll-out, or wearing a weighted vest.
The list can go on and on, but hopefully you get the idea.
The next time you want to increase the effectiveness of your abs training just consider how you might progress your routine, just like the simple examples above.
Cut or burn a few extra calories to help unveil your abs, but remember; abs are built with hard work and progression.