We all want it- A toned stomach is one of the most desirable physical features out there and a goal that is almost always set by new clients of mine. Unfortunately, this desire has led to a number of incorrect myths circulating when it comes to stomach toning or 6 pack building advice. Below I am going to address some of the main stomach toning myths and help to uncover the truth behind them.
Myth 1 – You Can Spot Reduce Stomach Fat
One of the biggest stomach toning myths around is that you can aim your fat loss efforts solely at just your stomach- and by doing lots of core exercises, you can blast away the body fat from your midsection. While it would be great if this were the truth, unfortunately it’s not that simple.
If you want to lose stomach fat and make your abs “pop”, then you need to focus on lowering your overall body fat percentage. To do this, make sure you’re sticking to a calorie controlled meal plan that’s rich in natural, unprocessed foods and make sure you’re exercising a minimum of three times per week with a combination of cardiovascular training and resistance training. If you do this consistently, your body fat levels will naturally drop, your muscle tone will improve and your stomach will look and feel flatter and tighter.
Myth 2 – You Can Exercise Your Way To Abs
Another popular stomach toning myth is that you can eat what you like as long as you follow a solid, intense workout program. While working out certainly does help you burn body fat, you can’t out exercise a poor diet.
So if you’re mainly eating high calorie, processed junk food, start making some changes today and ensure that your diet is clean, low in calories and high in nutrition. Doing this will kick start the fat burning process and provide you with a solid nutritional foundation on which you can base your workouts. To make following a clean and balanced diet simple check out our Monthly Meal Plans!
Myth 3 – You Can Train Your Abs Daily
Many people are incorrectly taught that the abdominal muscles respond differently to training than the rest of the muscles in their body and that instead of training them once or twice per week, they need to train them daily. Not only is this myth true but training your abs this frequently can actually limit your progress, increase your injury risk and prevent you from getting the six pack abs you desire.
So instead of training your abs on a daily basis, treat them like any other muscle group in your body and train them 3-4 per week. Doing this will strengthen your core and give your stomach a strong, well defined appearance without you risking overtraining or injury.
Myth 4 – Performing High Rep Ab Exercises is Best
A similar myth to the one above is that your core muscles also respond differently to volume training than the rest of the muscles in your body and that instead of limiting your ab exercise sets to 8-12 repetitions with added resistance, you should perform as many repetitions as possible with no added resistance. While high rep exercises with no added resistance do have their benefits, if you’re only performing these types of exercises when training your core, you’re not going to optimal results.
To get the most out of your ab training, make sure your ab routine includes a combination of high rep – no resistance exercises and lower rep – added resistance, or weighted, exercises. This powerful combination will tone up and flatten your abs while also adding the strength and definition that’s required to build a strong, sexy stomach.
Myth 5 – You Can Get Six Pack Abs With The Right Products
One final myth that many people fall victim to is that they can magically get six pack abs by investing in the right product. They’re taught that ab belts or fat burning gels are all that’s needed to melt away the stomach fat and that they don’t need to focus on eating the right foods and sticking to a consistent workout program. The truth is that very few of these products work at all and even the ones that do work, give you very limited results and aren’t worth the typically high cost.
So instead of investing your money in these stomach toning gimmicks and gadgets, invest your time in developing a solid diet and exercise plan. This will give you the toned stomach you’re after without the heavy financial investment in worthless products. For a proper exercise and nutrition routine that will get you well on your way to that toned mid-section check out our Three Phase Program!
So remember, to achieve lean abs, you need to be combining a range of fat burning exercises and muscle sculpting exercises with a solid fat burning diet. Don’t fall victim to any myths or ineffective gimmicks.