The Biggest Lie in Fitness

Anyone that has followed me for any amount of time knows my stand on abs. I think I’ve blogged about it a dozen times and those blogs are always the most views posts of the month.

Yet, the lie continues on and on and on….

Crunches don’t give you abs. Flutter kicks don’t give you abs. Planks don’t give you abs. It’s a big lie. It’s a myth.

It drives me INSANE. Really, it drive me insane that so called “personal trainers”, fitness professions of all types and the glossy magazine are still pushing ab routines. It’s all a lie and it doesn’t work.

We all have abs. In a very basic sense if you were to strip away the fat and skin you will see “perfect abs” on everybody. This is that we all look like underneath:

The only different between having abs and not having abs is the amount of fat that sits on top. Definition is NOT created by building muscle underneath. Definition is developed when the body fat is lowered. This usually happens under 10% for men and under 15% for women. It varies but those are good targets to shoot for it you are looking to “get abs”.

So let’s back up. Why doesn’t a crunch help to give you abs?

Before I answers that let me show you MY abs and the abs of my wife. Check us out.

A couple of facts. First of all we DO NOT do crunches or flutter kicks or Russian twists of any isolation exercise. We do sit-ups from time to time but I assure you the sit-ups aren’t what is giving us these abs.

Crunches are basically an isolation exercise. We don’t isolation exercises at all because they aren’t functional and they don’t cause all that much metabolic enhancement.

When I say “metabolic enhancement” I am referring to jacking up the heart rate. The more muscles you are using for a given exercise the more your heart goes up, the more your heart rate goes up the more calories you burn, the more calories you burn the more fat you shed.

Shed fat, see abs. Period.

When your muscle is looking for fuel it doesn’t just go after the nearest fat that it can find. It’s much more complex then that.

Let’s look at it in another way.

At some point in your life let’s say you have an ideal body fat percentage. Your lifestyle changes and you start to add body fat. Your body (we are talking about genetics here) will add fat to various places on your body. Guys usually get a gut and ladies get the butt. It’s different in everybody and it’s largely genetics.

Does that make sense?

The question to ask is this: Do we get to program WHERE this fat is added? Do ladies get to say, “I know I have an extra 5 lbs of fat to add to my body so I want it in my boobs…” Right?

It doesn’t work that way. So why do people thing they get a say in where you take away fat? You don’t.

So why is this lie so prevalent still today despite the fact that the crunches give you abs myth has been so definitively debunked?

To be 100% honest I really don’t know and I really don’t care.

It probably has a lot to do with our “instant gratification” society. We want results now and we don’t want to be bothered with science and with actually working hard. The smart marketers / personal trainers with little ethics and less knowledge take advantage of people who want to be separated from their money.

It also has to do with vanity and sexuality. For a ladies the abs are smack dab between two sexual hot zones. North you have the breasts and south you will find… you know. You really can’t show the above and below so the abs are a sexual “draw in”, so to speak for the ladies. It’s very sexual. Same deal for the guys. The abs right there above the… you know.

Basically people feel sexy and sexual if they have abs. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that. It’s important to people to look and feel good and the abs are at the top of the list of places they want to look perfect to they can feel good about themselves.

Because people are motivated by vanity in a sexual way they tend to let their guard down a little bit and are likely to try the thing that seems the quickest and easier and, honestly, seems to make the most sense.

“My abs are sore from doing crunches so it must be working….”

If you don’t beleive me that’s perfectly fine. Most people don’t.

OK, enough negative. How do you get abs? Are you ready for your easy 5 minute pr day plan…. I’m joking. It’s hard and genetics are a friend or a foe here. Some people are going to have a harder time then others but we can all try, right?

How to get abs in 10 easy steps:

Step 1: Set your sites and visualize what want. Have a great attitude and be a postive person. This one is all about mindset. Be determined that you will get what you want and get after it. Refuse to accept anything less then amazing results and be determined to not quit.

Step 2: Eat clean… for the rest of your life. CLICK HERE if you want to learn exactly how to eat with meal plans and recipes and shopping lists. If you don’t do our program that is fine. Clean up your diet. Eat small meals often. Drink lots of water as well. Limit alcohol. If you drink soda or smoke then abs aren’t in your future. Clean it up and you are one step closer.

Step 3: Do a cleanse 2-3 times per year and take your supplements. I recommend for fat reduction the following 3 things on a consistent basis: Probiotic, Omega 3 fish oil, a multi-vitamin and a BCAA. Click on each to see what we recommend. If you buy somewhere else make sure that you buy all your products from the same company and don’t price shop. Why would you put your body up for the lowest bidder? Put quality into your body!

Step 4: Lift weights 4-5 days per week. Lift light with lots of repetition and lift heavy with less repetitions. You should workout 6-7 days per week. Do something heavy most days.

Step 5: Do compound exercises at the gym. Here are the best resistance based exercises: thrusters, squats, bench press, pull-ups/lat pull down. If you are moving more then one join at a time it is good. Don’t do isolation exercises. They are a waist of time. Be standing if at all possible. The more muscles you are using the better. If you are sweating and out of breath while you are working out then you win. Check out our YouTube channel for some examples of some awesome workouts.

Step 6: Intervals. Intervals. More intervals. 4-5 times per week you need to do workouts that involve intervals of 1-5 minutes with some rest in between. Running, rowing, burpees, bike, elliptical…it doesn’t matter. Just work your ass off for 1-5 minutes then rest and do it again. Combine with weights to speed up your results.

Step 7: Reduce stress. It’s been well proven that stress causes fat gain and decreased body function. Do things that you enjoy. Go for a walk. Try yoga. Read a book. Cut out the negative in your life. Do what you need to do to lower your stress level so your body will release the stubborn body fat.

Step 8: Sleep. This one also goes to the core of simply being healthy. We all require different amounts of sleep. If you aren’t getting enough then get more. Go to bed earlier. Take a nap. Do what you need to do to get enough sleep.

Step 9: Go for long walks. This will help you burn some calories but it will also help your stress level. It’s a double whammy! Do long walks 2-3 times per week IN ADDITION to working out HARD everyday at the gym.

Step 10: Start back at one. No matter what happens ALWAYS retool, readjust and refocus. This is hard, so very hard and it is NOT about “getting abs”. It’s about developing a healthy lifestyle and sticking to it no matter what,

There is your 7 step action plan. Easy? Nope. Worth it? YOU BET. The results will be a sexier body which is important. More important you will get fit from the inside out and you feel better. The lifestyle that you lead will show in the way that you look. You might as well live the fit life so you can look fit.

Hope that helps. PLEASE like, comment and share if you got value. THANK YOU.

Till we meet again.

Rick Copley 352-989-6795 rick@nolimitsfitness.me
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