ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN trainer tip #8 4.18.17
Trainer Tip Tuesday is all about the ABS! I get asked almost daily, "what exercises can I do to get abs?" And my answer is always the same...you already have abs. Yes you read that right, we all have abdominal muscles. What is actually being asked is how do I expose them, make them visible, and have definition. The fact is, for most women, visible abdominal muscles is a challenge and a matter of a very low overall body fat percentage. Hence the saying "abs are made in the kitchen." To lower your body fat you have to eat at a caloric deficit. You cannot spot burn fat, so doing daily ab workouts and doing 100s of crunches will not do it for you. You can strengthen the muscles underneath with focused exercises, but also with general strength training, proper posture, alignment and form, your core/abs will get stronger. I share the picture of me at an extremely low BF% (peak week before a competition) and my abs now at a higher BF% and about 15lbs heavier than the before...mine are still pretty visible now only because my body type is such that I am leaner on top than on the bottom, but you can totally see the difference in definition from super lean to less lean and still flexing. Now that I am in a "cutting" phase, my diet will change, my calories will be at a 300-500 calorie deficit of my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure= base caloric needs or BMR + daily activity including exercise) and I will burn more fat and get leaner. I do some core work throughout the week, but only to enhance and improve my overall strength, balance and to maintain my posture. (see my core workout video below) Moral of the story...you can't spot burn fat with particular exercises off any specific part of the body that you choose...it burns off proportionally from all over. If you carry more fat in your belly, that will be the last place you see get lean. To have visible abdominal definition you must lower your overall body fat %. Finally, for some that % may be unhealthily low...you have to decide what is more important...your overall health or aesthetics? Sure visible abs are a nice goal to have but they don't mean you are stronger, faster, or more advanced than anyone else...those six-pack abs look nice, but all they really DO is flex the spine. Focus on strengthening the deep core (transverse abdominus) for total strength. My advice...don't make having visible abs a goal because you are still strong and beautiful...with or without a chiseled center...STRENGTH should be your goal, the aesthetics are just a bonus.