You are here

The Great Abs Mistake - Crunches And Situps And Still No Abs

Average: 4.7 (81 votes)
4.7 5 81
Want great abs? Desperate for a six pack? Tom Venuto shares his ab secrets, and provides workouts and nutritional guidance.

Tom VenutoAfter 18 years in the fitness business, “How do I get great abs” is still BY FAR the most frequently asked question I receive out of the 30,000+ emails that come into my office every month. No doubt, it's because abs are the one body part that most people are the most frustrated with. Although their questions are often phrased differently and each person’s situation seems unique, my answer to “how do I get great abs” is almost always the same… and you’re about to hear it...

"1,000 Sit-Ups And Crunches A Day and Still No Abs!"

One question I received recently REALLY got my attention because a young guy told me he was doing 1,000 crunches and sit ups a day and said he still couldn’t see his abdominals. He wrote:

“Tom: I have been working out for around a year now and I cannot get my lower abs into any type of shape. I'm starting to see my upper abs a little bit, which is great, but despite doing 900 various crunches, ab roller, and 100 sit-ups four days a week, along with my regular workout on the weights, I still have a tire around my waist. What else can I do?”

What did I tell him? Well, I gave him the same answer I’ve given thousands of people over the years, which is the only true “Secret” to great abs...

It takes training to increase strength, build endurance and DEVELOP the abdominals, but to SEE the definition in your abdominals - or any other muscle group for that matter - is almost entirely the result of low body fat levels.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but if you can't see your abs, it's not an issue of “muscle development” at all. You simply have too much body fat covering up the ab muscles. The lower abdominal area also happens to be the one place that most people - especially men - store the body fat first.

There's a Scientific Reason Why Your Lower Ab Flab Is The Last Place To Go: Belly Fat - A Big Problem

Most people don't have their fat distributed evenly throughout their bodies. Each of us inherits a genetically determined and hormonally-influenced pattern of fat storage just as we inherit our eye or hair color. In other words, the fat seems to "stick" to certain areas more than others.

There's a scientific reason for this. Your fat cells are not just inert "storage tanks" for excess fuel. They are actually endocrine glands which send and receive signals from the rest of the body. You could say that your fat cells "talk to your body" and your body "talks to your fat cells." This occurs through a hormone and receptor system.

For body fat loss to occur, you must first get the fat cell (adipocyte) to release the fat into the bloodstream. THEN, the free fatty acids must be delivered to the working muscles where they are burned for energy.

For fat to be released, the hormone adrenaline (epinephrine) must be secreted and send a signal to your fat cells. Your fat cells receive this hormonal signal via adrenaline receptors called adrenoreceptors.

Fat cells have Beta 1 (B1) and Alpha 2 (A2) receptors. B1 receptors are the good guys. They activate hormone sensitive lipase, the enzyme that breaks down the fat and allows it to be released into the bloodstream to be burned. A2 receptors are the bad guys. They block the fat-releasing enzymes in the fat cell and encourage body fat formation.

Abs Low Body Fat

How Body Fat Storage Patterns Affect You And Keep Your Abs From Showing

What's the point of all the physiology? Well, it turns out that in men, the lower abdominal region has a higher concentration of A2 receptors, so this gives us one possible explanation of why the lower abdominal region is often the first place the fat goes when you gain it, and the last place it comes off when you're losing it. (Incidentally, the fat in women's hips and thighs is also higher in A2 receptors). This situation is dictated by genetics and by the hormonal and enzymatic pathways we discussed.

Think of ab fat like the deep end of the swimming pool. No matter how much you protest, there is no way you can drain the deep end before the shallow end. However, don't let this discourage you. Lower ab fat WILL come off, it will simply be the last place to come off. First place on - Last place off.

This helps to explain why abdominal exercises have little impact on body fat loss. It's a huge mistake to think that hundreds or thousands of reps of ab exercises will remove lower abdominal fat, except to the degree that it burns calories and contributes to the calorie deficit. What removes the fat - all over your body - is a calorie deficit and that comes from decreasing food intake, increasing activity, or a combination of both.

What I suggested to this young man was cutting back the ab training, spending the time he was wasting on excess ab exercises for more intense, calorie-burning cardio and weight training for the rest of the body. I also suggested he do an accounting of his food intake, get his nutrition in order and decrease his calories slightly if necessary.

As it turned out, his diet was a mess, and as nutrition experts like to say, "You can’t out-train a lousy diet."

It's a monumental error to think that 1,000 reps of ab work a day will make your abs finally "pop" when your diet is a disaster and that's leading to fat storage. It’s not that ab exercises aren’t important. But all the ab exercises in the world won't help as long as you still have body fat covering the muscles. You can't "spot reduce" with abdominal exercise and YOU CAN'T SEE YOUR ABS THROUGH A LAYER OF BODY FAT!

My Championship-Winning Ab Workout Routine

Personally, I only do about 15 minutes of ab work two times per week, with anywhere from two to four exercises for about 10-25 reps per exercise. Forget about thousands of reps of sit ups – it’s a waste of time. The reason my abs look the way they do is not from endless repetitions, but because I get my body fat down into the single digits with a highly specialized fat-burning diet program.

Here’s a recent ab routine that I've used (for bodybuilding/ ab-development purposes). I do this routine only twice a week and I change the exercises approximately every month so my body doesn't adapt. I prefer slightly higher rep range than other muscle groups, but as you can see, it is far from doing a thousand reps a day.

Lousy DietWorkout A1

Superset to:

  • A2 Hanging knee ups (bent-knee leg raises)
  • 3 sets, 15-20 reps
  • (no rest between supersetted exercises A1 & A2, 60 sec between supersets)

Workout B1

Superset to:

  • B2 Incline Bench Reverse crunches
  • 3 sets, 15-20 reps
  • (no rest between supersetted exercises B1 & B2, 60 sec between supersets)

How To Use Cardio For MAXIMUM Fat-Burning

Times have changed since the Aerobics revolution of the 1970's and 1980's. For years, aerobics was the darling of the fitness world. Then scientists began to acknowledge the benefits of weight training - for everyone, not just for bodybuilders.

Recently, the pendulum has swung the other direction and we've actually started hearing fitness "experts" suggesting that cardio should be kept to a minimum or even avoided completely. That's the way things tend to go in the fitness world - they swing back and forth in trends, from one extreme to another. Lots of cardio or no cardio.

I suggest you avoid trend-hopping and pay close attention to what actually works, by people who know what they are talking about (such as bodybuilders, who are the leanest muscular athletes in the world). Doing nothing but cardio is a mistake. But cutting our cardio completely is also a mistake. The truth lies in the middle. Maximum fat burning occurs when you combine cardio training and weight training together.

Those who are genetically gifted with above average metabolisms will find that a slight drop in food intake and just a few days a week of cardio will usually do the trick. However, most people who are struggling with fat loss (sometimes referred to as "endomorph" body type) are simply NOT burning enough calories to get the results they want. The answer for them is more activity to burn more calories.

For health and weight maintenance, I would suggest 3 short cardio workouts per week, about 20-30 minutes per session. But for maximum fat loss, I recommend 4-7 days per week of cardio or other physical activity for 30-45 minutes (based on results), at a moderate pace. You can mix up the type of cardio you do, or choose the type you enjoy the most - stationary cycling, stairclimbing, elliptical machines, aerobic classes and other continuous activities are all excellent fat burners (it doesn't have to be indoors or on a cardio machine).

If time efficiency is a concern for you, you could do 2-3 of those cardio workouts as high intensity interval training and you'll achieve very good results even with briefer workouts. Even as little as 20-25 minutes per session can get great results IF your intensity level is high enough. Remember, seeing your abs is about low body fat. Low body fat is about burning calories and creating a calorie deficit. The calorie deficit is created by increasing the number of calories you burn and or decreasing the amount of calories you take in from food. Increasing intensity is one way to burn more calories in less time.

NOTE: To reach the "ripped" 3.7% body fat level you see in my photos, I do cardio 7 days a week for 30-45 minutes per session, in addition to my 4 weight training workouts per week.

Woman performing crunches

7 Nutrition Secrets For Great Abs

That leads us to nutrition. Many people say that "abdominals are made in the kitchen, not in the gym," and there's a lot of truth to that. You can do thousands of reps of ab work every week, but if your nutrition is not in order, you can forget about getting a great set of 6-pack abs.

  1. Eat about 15-20% below your calorie maintenance level. If you use a more aggressive calorie deficit of 25-30%, then do not keep calories too low for too long; increase calories to maintenance or maintenance +10-15% 1-2 days per week.
  2. Spread your calories into 5-6 smaller meals instead of 2-3 big ones. Be very conscious of portion size. If you eat too much of anything (even "healthy" food), you can say goodbye to your abs. Period.
  3. Eat a source of complete, high quality lean protein with each meal (egg whites, lean meat, fish, protein powder, etc)
  4. Choose natural, complex carbs such as vegetables, oatmeal, yams, potatoes, beans, brown rice and whole grains. Start with aprox. 50% of your calories from natural carbs and reduce carbs slightly (esp. late in the day) if you are not losing fat.
  5. Avoid refined, simple carbs that contain white flour or white sugar.
  6. Keep total fats low and saturated fats low. Aim for 20% of your total calories from fat (and no more than 30%). A little bit of "good fat" like flax oil, fish fat, nuts & seeds, etc is better than a no fat diet. Essential fatty acids actually assist the fat burning process.
  7. Drink plenty of water - a gallon is a good ballpark to shoot for if you are physically active.

1000+ reps of daily ab work is an amazing feat of endurance, but that’s not how you get visible, 6-pack abs! If you were to do 1,000 reps of ab exercises every day, you would have outstanding development in your abdominal muscles and you would definitely have great muscular endurance. Unfortunately, if your abs are covered up with a layer of fat, you will never see them even if you do 10,000 reps a day!

You Condition and Strengthen Your Abs With Specific Ab Exercises...But The Secret To Seeing Your Abs Is Reducing Your Body Fat!

I once saw a photo of a man who broke one of the Guiness World Records for sit ups. It was the most paradoxical thing, but this man did not have any abdominal muscle definition. He was not obese or overweight at all, mind you, but he had a small enough layer of body fat that the muscular defintion did not show through. I've never seen a better real life example which demonstrates the basic principle discussed in this article:

You get great abs from reducing your body fat, and you reduce your body fat by creating a caloric deficit through nutrition and metabolism-stimulating and calorie-burning exercise.

I've spent my entire career - through more than 18 years and 28 bodybuilding competitions - studying the science and practicing the art of body fat reduction. I speak from experience and I walk my talk as you can see from my pictures.

Related Articles View all Nutrition Articles

  • Share This Article
  • Rate & Share
    Average: 4.7 (81 votes)
  • About The Author
    Tom has been involved with fitness since 1989. His book "Burn the fat, feed the muscle" and articles have been featured in many large online sites.
Related Supplements View all Top Supplements
Cardio Igniter

Support Your Best Performance and Get Ripped While Doing It!*

4.65
Average: 4.7 (16 votes)
Iron Whey

22 Grams Of The Highest Quality MicroFiltered Whey Protein!

5
Average: 5 (2 votes)

Comments (126)

Add a comment

No Profile Pic
BRUIN
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 11:48

Great article!! Tom your truly inspiring, and extremely knowledgeable! Ive been struggling to gain good definition in my abs even at about 8-9% BF. Thank you for your guidance!!

  • 37
  • 18
No Profile Pic
Carl
Posted Fri, 07/08/2011 - 17:43

Hey new to building etc.
I have been told that if I build my abs while having bodyfat I could end up with a hard stomach with no abs.
Is this true do I need to burn the fat before I try to build the abs ???
Or can I do crunches etc while doing cardio to burn aswell ?

  • 33
  • 25
No Profile Pic
Nick
Posted Tue, 06/08/2010 - 11:38

So you can do cardio on the same day as your ab's/weight training days? Thanks
I want to build muscle but at the same time get great ab's and keep my cardio up for the Army in a couple of months.

  • 19
  • 18
No Profile Pic
Teresa
Posted Tue, 06/08/2010 - 14:45

I have been telling people this for years in my personal training sessions! Hoorah for your article! I will now give them a double whammy by directing them to this article! Thanks Tom!

  • 19
  • 16
No Profile Pic
Nick
Posted Wed, 06/09/2010 - 17:27

I am doing a workout at the moment which involves me taking in 3000-3500 kcal per day, I am looking to build muscle and reveal my ab's at the same time by reducing my body fat %, but how can I do this when I am on a high kcal diet?
My diet does limit in the Ab's food chart area. Thnaks

  • 16
  • 16
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Wed, 06/09/2010 - 17:32

Hi Nick...

You can't lose fat and reveal your abs on a high calorie diet. You would need a cutting diet and a calorie deficit to reveal your abs.

  • 22
  • 15
No Profile Pic
bob
Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 13:54

then how are you supost to build muscle for the rest of your body

  • 17
  • 14
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 15:42

You don't. It is virtually impossible to gain muscle mass while cutting fat at the same time. You need to decide which goal is most important and focus on that.

Bodybuilders gain muscle in the off season, and lose fat as they approach contest time. They don't remain in contest shape all year round.

  • 28
  • 13
No Profile Pic
tony
Posted Thu, 08/02/2012 - 00:43

hey i just wanted to say thank you steve.I just found this web page cuz im 32 a father of three and married and i used to be into working out huge in high school and my early twentys but suporting a growing family took me from the weight bench to the work bench trading my barbells in for a pen and clip board.I slowly lossed intrest and ambition only thing only thing i didnt loose was weight.But hating what i seen in the mirror and the reaction i would get from people i havnt seen in a wile started to realy gave me a bitter dose of self contiousness even sucking my stomach in I still recieved that same reaction.But now im back in the game.The point that im trying to make is Its refreshing to see some one that takes the time to answer questions thoughrally for people trying to better there health and for that I say thank you.I was looking for answers for ab training and i read a response for some one with the same question as i had you gave him a link to an article that i checked out putting every thing in perspective thank you

  • 24
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Nick
Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 15:57

so you can't have a good six pack or eight and have a big \lean body?

  • 17
  • 10
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 19:04

No one's saying you can't have muscle mass and a six pack.

The point that's I'm attempting to convey is that you can't gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Bodybuilders have off seasons where they add weight and eat more, and cutting seasons where they shred down to a six pack. They don't stay 3% bodyfat ripped while trying to add muscle.

  • 20
  • 25
No Profile Pic
Brian
Posted Thu, 06/24/2010 - 01:27

So I have an athletic type build, i'm 20 years old and my goal is to get big. I want to have big arms and a big chest instead of just being cut. I've heard through the grape vine that stacking supplements and protein shakes to put on size becomes counter productive when cardio is introduced. I can feel how strong my abs are but still do not get much definition most likely for the reason stated in this article. I recently completely changed my diet, i have a normally high metabolism anyways. I just want to know how much cardio should i be doing to get to my goal of having a much larger upper body and arms while also cutting down my body fat % and getting my abs to be defined? Would you recommend jogs daily or maybe high intensity cardio a few times weekly such as wind sprints on my 3 off days? Thanks again you've been exttremely helpful in answering my questions in the past!

  • 19
  • 18
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 06/24/2010 - 08:19

Hi Brain,

It is virtually impossible to gain muscle while shedding fat. Adding muscle is a building process that requires more calories then normal. Losing fat requires eating less.

  • 19
  • 16
No Profile Pic
Chris
Posted Wed, 05/11/2011 - 14:59

I think it's absurd to say you can't build muscle and lose weight at the same time. I think it's more accurate to say it's difficult to build significant amount of muscle and lose a significant amount of fat at the same time. If you are eating a small Calorie excess and doing high intensity cardio and strength training, the excess calories will help in building muscle, not fat and the Calories you are burning during exercise will result in a deficit burning fat in the process.

  • 19
  • 18
No Profile Pic
andrew
Posted Mon, 12/31/2012 - 01:50

he didnt say weight, he said fat. you cant build muscle and lose fat.

  • 15
  • 10
No Profile Pic
Tony E.
Posted Thu, 06/24/2010 - 14:06

I eat 6 small meals a day, usually consisting of whole foods, protein powders/drinks & bars. Is there a balance as to how much of one I should be having more than the other- ie: Are whole foods more beneficial to my diet than meal replacement drinks/bars?

  • 15
  • 14
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 14:46

Hi Tony,

I generally recommend at least 3 whole food meals per day. You can use shakes and bars in between meals as snacks to get you by, to save money, and to save you some time cooking in the kitchen.

Whole protein foods are great as long as you are eating a variety. Protein supplements provide a more even amino acid profile. So it's a good idea to use both.

  • 13
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Lozy
Posted Mon, 07/05/2010 - 18:48

Hi Tom,
I have been on a bulk for the around about the last 12 weeks and I am now starting a cut. However I am really nervous about losing the lean muscle mass I have put on while trying to strip off the excess water and fat in my cut. I am 17 years old and have gone from 9st 3lbs to 10st 6lbs while on my bulk, the majority of which was mucsle as my body fat percentage has only increased fractionally. In creating a calorie deficit I am nervous about losing the muscle I have put on. I know a high protein diet is needed in order to prevent muscle breakdown but I am still nervous approaching my cut. I was wondering if you could provide me with a sample diet that would help me too cut but also maintain the muscle I put on in my bulk.

Many thanks, Lawrence

  • 14
  • 15
No Profile Pic
Craig
Posted Thu, 07/15/2010 - 04:49

Hi,
Could you please give a list of good foods for a week, for breakfast to dinner. That is good to eat for a cutting ab difining diet for a week that i could aim towards. iam 86 kg 6 foot tall.

cheers

Craig

  • 13
  • 18
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 07/15/2010 - 09:04

Hi Craig,

I would recommend posting your question of the forum. You will get some great suggestions.

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/

  • 15
  • 9
No Profile Pic
Louis
Posted Thu, 07/15/2010 - 18:27

Hi Steve,
It's me again! I just saw the link that you sent here, and I would just like to ask about this method as I have received some confusing and contradicting advice on the internet. Will the large amount of CV training still allow the training from your muscles to build? I was under the impression that in order for muscles to build you would need a caloric surplus whereas burning fat requires a caloric deficit. Or, would you only undergo this abdominal routine once you have built the muscles you want?
Sorry for the many questions but thank you so much for your patience!
Louis

  • 15
  • 11
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 10:52

Building muscle is all about eating enough to gain weight. If you perform cardio, you simply need to add in more daily calories. with that said, it's not a great idea to perform 90 minutes of cardio each day if you're trying to add muscle mass. Your body will expend quite a bit of resources simply trying to recover from the cardio.

It generally is beneficial to learn how to build muscle before you try to strip fat and see abs. This will help you when trying to cut fat, because you will have a grasp of how to eat and train like a bodybuilder. Most guys that try to cut fat end up losing muscle and fat, and end up thin and flabby with no abs because they haven't mastered the building process yet.

  • 19
  • 12
No Profile Pic
Jake
Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 14:13

I do weight traning 1 day and the next I do 2 sets of cardio, would the weight traning help me shed fat?

  • 17
  • 15
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 16:48

Hi Jake,

Body fat loss is primarily about having a properly structured cutting diet.

  • 13
  • 16
No Profile Pic
Jake
Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 20:28

I understand that you must have a good diet in order for maximum fat loss. So cardio would be the best solution for fat loss? And I also do a cardio circuit that does lower, upper and abs. Would that help as well?

  • 15
  • 13
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 20:48

Hi Jake,

Cardio will help some, for sure. Weight training is ultimately the best option while losing fat. Cardio and weight training work perfect side by side with one another.

  • 14
  • 11
No Profile Pic
Jacob
Posted Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:47

I have a pretty slim built body and my eating habits are pretty bad. I find myself getting distracted and not eating very much at all. What advice and examples of food could you give me to eat. And how many calories should I be gaining every day

  • 16
  • 10
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sat, 07/17/2010 - 09:40

Hi Jacob,

Here is an article that will help get you started:

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-d...

  • 15
  • 14
No Profile Pic
dan
Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 18:55

Hi Tom, would animal cuts help me reveal my six pack and cut me up if i have a proper diet and cardio workouts and should have protein shakes aswel as animal cuts??thanks Tom

  • 12
  • 13
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 19:32

Hi Dan,

Animal Cuts is a very good fat burner. It will definitely help your metabolism while cutting.

  • 15
  • 13
No Profile Pic
baba
Posted Wed, 07/27/2011 - 09:10

Steve

is there any side effects of taking animal cuts?
I have built enough muscle, just want to kick out the few inches around my waist ...
I am following - calorie diet, balancing with 5 scoops of whey protein spread through out the day though
5 days weight training with 30 mins mild cardio.
Am i going on the righ track? Should I add animal cuts or is there any else that you would recommend?

  • 14
  • 14
No Profile Pic
Dwayne
Posted Fri, 07/23/2010 - 18:53

I was wondering If i were to do the cutting for my abs can I still gain strenght through the lifting? not trying to sound dumb im new to the working out stuff. I just want to be cut and be able to get stronger also(not necessaraly bigger just stronger)

  • 17
  • 8
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Fri, 07/23/2010 - 19:36

Hi Dwayne,

Many lifters can gain strength while cutting, especially it they don't use an overly aggressive diet.

  • 12
  • 17
No Profile Pic
Jim
Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 01:26

Could the nutrition part be different for, lets say an 18 year old with a high metabolism?

  • 13
  • 10
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 08:56

Hi Jim,

An 18 year old with a high metabolism will have a harder time eating enough, so they will tend to be naturally leaner and may have abs because of this.

  • 19
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Jim
Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:08

Alright, thank you very much.

  • 12
  • 17
No Profile Pic
Jerry Mata
Posted Tue, 08/03/2010 - 02:37

Hey Steve,

When is the best time to do cardio? Before or after weight training? I usually like to do it before to get it out of the way and it also pumps me up before hitting the weights. I see a lot of people do afterwards, but before works better for me..

  • 18
  • 14
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 08/03/2010 - 09:17

Hi Jerry,

This topic can stir up a lot of heated debates. My opinion is to do cardio when it is most convenient for you. You can perform it first thing in the morning, on off days, or post-workout. If muscle gains or muscle retention while cutting as a primary goal, never perform it before lifting. You want 100% of your energy for resistance training. You can perform a very light 5-10 minute cardio session prior to lifting simply for warmup purposes, but never intense cardio.

  • 26
  • 15
No Profile Pic
nick
Posted Wed, 08/11/2010 - 22:58

This is very true I am very skinny i have hardly in body cat and i have a six pack and i have not worked out in 2yrs {starting again now}

  • 18
  • 8
No Profile Pic
Jake
Posted Fri, 08/13/2010 - 11:26

Is it nessesary to weight train and run or do cardio to get abs? And yes I diet.

  • 16
  • 14
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Fri, 08/13/2010 - 14:22

Hi Jake,

You can certainly get abs without weight training, but weight training helps you to retain muscle while cutting, making you look better after the cut is finished.

  • 15
  • 16
No Profile Pic
Jake
Posted Sat, 08/14/2010 - 19:01

One more question how do people show thier bieceps or any other muscle without flexing and how do the veins pop out?

  • 13
  • 20
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 08/16/2010 - 12:17

Hi Jake,

That comes from a low bodyfat, which is achieved with a bodybuilding-style cutting diet.

  • 14
  • 11
No Profile Pic
jack
Posted Wed, 08/18/2010 - 02:05

Hi Steve
appretiate the time givin to answering emails.ok so im 18yo 6'2 180.im currently weight lifting 4 days a week.not trying to become a body builder but simply get some more size and definition.i stay at my maintnance cal intake eating 6 meals a day.i also do post-workout cardio and night jogs.questions.is there any way i could continue my muscle gain and get some fat off my stomach with the use of heavy cardio and your workouts.i dont need to be sculpted just a little definition

  • 14
  • 14
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/19/2010 - 09:09

Hi Jack,

It can be very difficult to add muscle while losing fat. With that said, you are on the right track. You know how much you're eating, and have cardio in the equation. If the fat isn't coming off your stomach with this approach, you might need to drop your daily calories by about 500 per day until the extra weight is off. Extra cardio helps, but diet is almost always the key factor in the solution.

  • 14
  • 11
No Profile Pic
Brad
Posted Tue, 08/31/2010 - 08:53

Hi Steve
I guess i'm in the same boat as the 1000 situp guy. i'm not doing a that many of course 4 sets 15-20 reps of basic crunches, reverse crunch and oblique crunchs and 3 sets of 70-90 seconds of the hover/plank (apologies if these aren't the correct names still a bit new to everything) i spend about 20 mins on the bike and somedays i'll do about 80mins of walking involvig some steep steps and hill climbs this does me good for weight loss. i'm starting to see some of a 6 pack at the top, now just a bit of history i'm 6ft and i was 127kg up until about 4 months ago now i'm about 89kg and like everyone else the stomach area is proving the most difficult, should i just continue what i'm doing or concentrate on more weight loss? diet is good but really have to be carefull even the slightest bit too much of healthy food and it can cancel out the days cardio workout.

  • 12
  • 12
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 08/31/2010 - 14:32

Hi Brad,

It depends on your goals. If you want muscle, but also to lose the fat, I would recommend cutting the fat first while training hard. For overall health, I would strip the excess fat if you can.

How much protein are you eating per day, if you don't mind me asking?

  • 12
  • 12
No Profile Pic
Brad
Posted Tue, 08/31/2010 - 16:47

Hi Steve,
I really want the pot belly gone, so basically i want it flat and the 6 pack look, its not so much that i want to body build etc just want to look good and be happy with it. at the moment my stomach measures around 106cm. so i guess i need to get that down and then build muscle. I work at nights so how/when i eat is a little different from most people and can be a little difficult to keep a normal diet so to speak. As far as protein, to be honest Steve the whole protein, carbs, fat etc. is something i'm yet to fully grasp. My main goal originally was to lose weight and has been difficult to discover a diet that suited the goals but i eat a LOT less than i used to. A standard day of eating would include some oats about 35g with water not milk, then while i'm at work every 3 hrs 1 lot of mixed fruit/nuts 200ml haven't weighed all this maybe 100-150g(cashews, macadamia, almonds, sultanas, cranberries, apricot, pine nuts, sunflower seeds)either say about a cup and a half of ether spaghetti bolognase or satay/curry/chilli chicken vegetables mushrooms. if not that then 95g of canned tuna or a carrot with some cottage cheese, or 2, 3 or 4 peices of wholegrain seeded bread usually with the can of tuna, say about a handfull of pistachios. an apple or about 100g of mixed fruit pairs peaches pineapple grapes. this may not be everything but fairly close if that helps. thanks steve.

  • 13
  • 11
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 09/02/2010 - 13:54

Hi Brad,

One of the issues with trying for a 6 pack is that is you don't train and eat like a bodybuilder while doing so, you tend to lose muscle and fat, which often leaves you thin but still flabby.

Don't sweat the diet too much. Keep it simple. here is an article that will help. let me know if you have questions. To get the look you are after, you must master the food that goes into your body.

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/your-go-to-guide-for-cutting-f...

As far as training, you won't be adding much, if any muscle while trying to drop fat. But you still have to push hard or you will lose muscle. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

Also keep in mind that abs are a muscle, and without training hard and building muscle, they remain small and will therefore he harder to see when you cut.

  • 12
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Brad
Posted Thu, 09/02/2010 - 17:35

Hi Steve,
Thanks for your replies its been a great help. i guess as far as protein fat and carbs i'm close just have to check on how much of each. if i continue with the weight loss i'm concerned that i might lose weight from other areas as well as the stomach area will this be the case? should i continue with the crunches? and obviously i continue with the weights. i really only have dumbells at the moment but am looking to get a bench.

  • 15
  • 12

Pages

Add new comment