The Truth About 5 Six-Pack Lies Athletes Tell Again and Again
“Which abdominal training is most effective if I want a flat belly or even a six-pack?” In this article, I will debunk the 5 most common six-pack lies you hear almost every day.
A flat tummy and defined abs are synonymous with “I’m fit.”
That’s why many of my clients measure the success of their change by the appearance of their midsection.
Getting there can be incredibly motivating and fun with the proper support and convey a body awareness many of us haven’t experienced since childhood.
The solution is more straightforward than many think because we already have the six-pack!
So the question is not how we train it but how we make it visible.
In fitness coaching, I am regularly asked about abdominal exercises and how often should be trained to get it flatter or to develop the six-pack further.
Many of us are unaware that a six-pack and flat belly primarily question body fat percentage!
Behind the question of the right abdominal muscle training are invisible scripts that are simply wrong.
As long as we take these fallacies for real, we waste a lot of time and energy on unnecessary training.
The time that we should better invest in effective measures that bring us closer to our goal.
Today, we’ll take the five biggest six-pack lies about ab training and debunk them once and for all.
Six-Pack Lies #1 – Crunches melt belly fat
Can you specifically reduce belly fat with abdominal exercises? No! This assumption cannot be dismissed.
And I regularly see how even experienced fitness athletes in my studio train their abs for 20-30 minutes at a time (!) in the hope of melting the layer of fat over their six-pack abs.
The simple truth, however, is that our abs are one of the smaller muscle groups — and when we target them, we don’t burn much energy or get our circulation going.
In any case, we don’t get our bodies to melt fat significantly.
Instead, complex basic exercises such as squats or pull-ups are much more effective.
We involve many muscles in these basic exercises and use energy accordingly.
The next time you do one of these exercises, pay attention to your abs – your abs are tight, and you’re working them with them.
Incidentally, the same applies to your kettlebell workout.
Six-Pack Lies #2 – The more reps, the better.
Are you bored? Don’t know what to do with all that wasted time?
Okay, before you sit in front of the TV (or while you’re at it, for that matter), 1,000 sit-ups a day might be an exciting pastime.
If time is a scarce commodity for you, save yourself the trouble.
Do 1,000 crunches a day make your abs stronger? Yes, of course.
Does it get you closer to your goal of getting a flat belly or a six-pack?
Not really, at least not to this extent.
If you want to strengthen your biceps and back, you don’t do 1,000 pull-ups a day, do you?
I recommend every advanced fitness athlete to train with free weights.
Because the trunk is also involved in stabilization in the vast majority of exercises.
That’s enough for a six-pack.
If you would like to train your stomach in isolation, then 1-2 abdominal exercises with 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions each are sufficient.
Six-Pack Lies #3: You should be doing abs every day.
There are worse ways to kill time than daily ab training (see above).
However, you can invest your time more wisely if you perform complex exercises with free weights or your body weight.
What do these exercises have in common?
That’s right, and you can only do them correctly and cleanly if your core stays tense.
The same investment of time, more muscles trained, more energy burned!
Six-Pack Lies #4: Strong abs make your belly look fat.
Unless you’re a pro bodybuilder and train your abs in isolation in the muscle-building area and with many repetitions (see point 2), you don’t need to worry about monster abs.
Abdominal muscles have their place in a balanced training plan, as do biceps and triceps training. The large muscle groups (chest, back, legs) take up the lion’s share.
What can then increase your waist circumference is not the training but the wrong diet.
Six-Pack Lies #5: Do dumbbell side bends.
Imagine biting into a freshly cut lemon.
Exactly. And that’s the face I make when I see someone working their obliques with side bends.
Three reasons why you can confidently throw this exercise out of your training plan:
- Shear forces and one-sided stress on your spine, which you can quickly put into a predicament with this exercise.
- Can you think of a strength exercise with which you can make yourself a clown even better? Then write a comment.
- Side bends are simply ineffective and often practiced by those who either don’t have a training plan or don’t want to put in the effort when training. If you have 60-90 minutes to exercise and want to shed fat, don’t invest a valuable 10 minutes in a fruitless exercise like the lateral torso bend.
So don’t be one of those who sees you in the mirror flexing your torso left and right.
In other words:
Don’t be that guy!