As a personal trainer, one of the most frequent questions that I get asked is “can you show me certain moves to work my abs and how to tone them?”
A calorie deficit is the most important and is the correct answer you’re looking for. Without a controlled, healthy, nutritious diet you won’t see your abs no matter how many sit-ups you attempt! You could plank for two hours a day but if you’re eating into a big calorie surplus (consuming more calories than you’re burning off) then you’re shooting yourself in the foot!
If you aren’t losing weight or can’t see any physical changes in the mirror, then you’ll need to do one of two things. Either decrease your calorie intake or increase the amount of exercise you’re doing. Both will aid towards pushing your overall calorie intake down slightly.
Make small changes. With exercise, introduce a little more cardio at the end of your workouts so that your calorie output for the week increases. With weight loss, try and consume good wholesome and nutritious foods rather than relying on processed foods. You need to be aiming for a loss of 1-2lbs a week to make it both realistic and maintainable.
I want to make it clear that everyone has abs. EVERYONE. You just have to work hard in order to see them! Like anything, be patient! It won’t happen overnight! Getting to the required level of body fat to be able to see your abdominal muscles will take numerous things. Consistency in nutrition and training, patience, dedication, good willpower and to some degree your genetic potential. Some people will be genetically gifted with a strong solid six pack. Everyone is different.
The abdominals are a muscle, like any other muscle. So, spending an hour every single day performing ab exercises will be somewhat pointless. They need rest, time to recover just like all muscles do! I suggest 3 maybe 4 times a week for about 10-15 minutes with a lot of variation of exercises. Even though this won’t help in terms of revealing your abs, it will certainly help make them stronger and give them more shape when you do eventually reach a low enough body fat percentage.
There are no magic pills, no special protein shakes and no special fat burners. Supplements can aid your journey and contribute, but they are not the full answer. They are there to supplement alongside an already well-balanced nutrition plan.
The answer is not removing all your carbs, nor is the answer avoiding eating anything fatty! Just high-quality nutrition, which is well managed. Remember, you can’t out-train a bad diet. Until your nutrition is of a high standard, you will not see your abdominal muscles. Abs are 100% made in the kitchen!