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Hello there Faultless readers!

I have decided to knock this article together while I work my weekend shift as I have been asked a particular question ALOT today. When I come to think of it I answer this question a lot and it’s been bugging me more and more. The question is normally something along the following lines,

“I want to get my tummy flat; can you show me some abs exercises to help with that?”

No. No I cannot!

Think it through, how many times each year do you think to yourself “I could do with a more defined stomach” and then proceed to start knocking out hundreds if not thousands of sit ups over the following weeks to absolutely no avail? Or better yet, how many of you are gym veterans who the 6 pack has eluded for many a year despite your 3 times a week hardcore abdominal circuit with bin liners wrapped around your midsection and 6 layers of hoodies? Yes, Thats right! Spot fat reduction is a myth!

Fear not. You are not the first or the last to make this mistake. I myself have fallen victim to these absurd theories, they quite often result in painful D.O.M.S. (which we all love) and bad backs (not so much loved).

First up I would like to explain why assaulting the abs is no way to get yourself ripped and defined or even just flatter for that matter (ha! that totally rhymes). We store body fat mainly because we are existing in a calorie excess, or more specifically an energy excess. Basic nutrition principles are common knowledge amongst most semi serious gym users these days, yet, I so often talk to people who have a diet that consists of almost no fat and bucket loads of sugars and complex carbs. Carbohydrates are taken into the body then broken down to glucose which is a fuel for the body. If you do not use this fuel, you store it on your body. These are your body fat reserves.

Carbohydrates are used by the one body for ONE SINGLE purpose. Fuel. You wouldn’t fill your cars petrol tank until it overflowed so don’t do the same to your body, or your stomach will overflow over your waistband! Limit your carb intake to what you need and really on foods with healthy fats (fish, nuts, oils) to provide the last little bit of energy. Dietry fats also have functions with organ and brain repair so which is really better for you?

So, you already know this huh? You do monitor your carbs intake and you still don’t have the definition of Leonidas? So let’s examine your training.

Everyone has a different routine. As I touched on last time if more people trained for sports or measurable fitness goals we would have better odds of achieving that body of Adonis we all strive for but I digress. Some people will swear by long distance cardio (steady state) as the fat burning exercise, and they have a point, but it will work over long times of training and this process is slow and let’s face it, boring. You burn just as many calories in an hour of heavy weight training as you do with an hour of steady state cardio but the weight training has advantages when it comes to after your training. When we train with weights the idea is to cause small damage to muscle tissue, forcing the body to repair the damage and increase the size of the tissue to accommodate for the challenge we have set upon it. This process of repair (hypertrophy) comes at an energy cost and burns additional calories. Long distance running is not particular strenuous on the muscular system, its focus is on the cardiovascular system, which becomes stronger through better oxidisation of blood rather than tissue repair.

I am going to suggest a two pronged approach to helping you burn body fat down. Step one is stop eating like a fatty (and stop drinking “just one glass of wine a night” if you’re one of those people).

Two, I am publishing in this article a basic template of a Conditioning Session that I have used to great effect with clients. Remember this isn’t adapted to your goals, this is generic, it will help to guide you but it is not set in stone.

While I’m talking training, I would like to go back to the core exercises that I have been slating. If you want a strong core, there is no harm is some accessory work on the abs, but that’s all it is. Accessory work.  You want to test and strengthen your core with full body exercises. If you’re training with body weight this means press ups, dips, pull ups, box jumps and the sort. When weight training make sure you are using compound lifts. Squat, bench, dead lift, overhead press, bent over row. All these exercises will strengthen your core (make sure you’re performing a full range of motion, half squats are about as effective as swimming in sand). Get these compound movements into your training if they’re not there already.

One last work on all of this; genetics. I HATE the excuse “I come from a big family”. However, it does hold some water here. Some people are born bigger, this is not an valid reason to sit on your ass eating tubs of Ben & Jerry’s after each meal (except on Sundays!). Where your body stores its body fat is genetic. In men it is a predictable pattern in that it tends to go to the stomach first and foremost then other areas will develop storage later. Women have a raw deal here, it can go pretty much anywhere; legs, bum, tum, boobs and hips are all problem areas. But remember, where it goes on first is where it will come off last. So if you have made great progress but fighting to get that last little bit on your tummy. Don’t get suckered into performing billions of stomach crunches. Up your intensity in your weight training sessions or hit up a conditioning set once a week. It will come off! I promise!

It WILL!

Aaron Moody

 

Conditioning

10 minute warm up (raise heart rate, perform warm up sets of press ups and body weight squats)

20 reps – 15 seconds sprints (outdoors or cardio machine) followed by 1 min walking break.

Sprint means shifting it like a trainee possessed, not jogging, or running, I mean SPRINTING!

Box jump – Medium height box (for you) 3 reps followed by 20 second rest. Repeat for 10 minutes

Standing Broad Jump. Perform same as box jump

20 reps – 15 seconds sprints (outdoors or cardio machine) followed by 1 min walking break.

Sprint means shifting it like a trainee possessed, not jogging, or running, I mean SPRINTING!

10 minute cool down

 

You’re welcome 😉

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