We all crave having abs, however building them is not easy at all.
It’s probably the hardest muscle group to work on, because it’s basically the one covered with most fat.
That’s why the question “how to get abs?” is a little bit more complex than any other muscle group.
And getting your abs showing is actually a huge pain in the ass.
I know this since I’ve been there too: struggling to get them to show, even though my whole body started looking fit and strong, my abs were still hiding away.
I was basically a fit girl, crunching away after every workout and I was still not seeing results.
Well, this can happen for a few reasons and today I’m going to reveal them all.
The thing is, when it comes to getting them we all tend to make many mistakes mostly because there are many misconceptions and split opinions on how to get abs.
Even the fitness trainers can’t seem to share their opinions on how to train them right to eventually make six packs pop out.
That’s why, I decided to give my very best and fix a guide for you that’s going to help you overcome every one of the obstacles to lose belly fat fast and finally get those stubborn abs!
You’re probably committing one or more of these mistakes, so stay with me as we go through each and every one of them to finally learn how to get abs and what does it really take to achieve this.
Let’s get started!
You Have Too Much Body Fat Covering Your Abs
Strong abs aren’t the most important component of a visible six-pack – low body fat is.
If you have too much subcutaneous body fat covering your abdominal area, then no matter how many hours of crunches or leg raises you do, you won’t be able to see your six-pack.
The most effective action toward achieving those ripped abs is to clean up your diet.
When it comes to your abs, training can only get you so far.
Lose belly fat fast, and you’re half way to your dream abs.
And we do that by cleaning up the diet.
Your Diet Is Bad
You can exercise your abs as much as you want, as long as your diet is not right you won’t pop them out.
In my eating program “The Hungry Fit Girl” I explain how easy it is to make a wrong food choice nowadays, with so many sweeteners, fats and ingredients that are simply unnatural to the body yet they add them in almost every single product on the market.
I struggled to clean up my diet for so long, and I finally figured it out! The thing is, no matter how hard you try eating healthy and clean, as long as you are closing your eyes every now and then by eating things that are bad for you.
And this is not always our fault, because we are responsible for the cake we eat but we’re not responsible for having that low fat yogurt without knowing it’s basically junk food.
That’s why knowledge of healthy food is the first thing you need to do if you’re trying to pop out those abs, or lose weight in general.
And that’s exactly why I made my eating program – to make it all easier for you!
You’re Not Exercising Right
One common misconception is that you can “crunch away your abdominal fat”, when actually fat won’t vanish by doing abs exercises.
Here’s the thing: we cannot lose body fat in specific areas of our body by training that body part more often.
This means that you won’t lose the extra fat around your torso by doing crunches on daily basis.
The only way to strip the fat from your abs is by slowly and gradually burning it off from your entire body through cardio, nutrition, and resistance training.
You’ll also have to get serious and specific about full-body strength training, with a high quality exercising plan. You can’t just do a million sit-ups, crunches, and planks to get bigger abs.
Working on your body as a whole piece is the key point, and exercising your legs, back, chest, shoulders, arms and heart (with cardio workout) is the way to go.
The abs are usually the last one to come out, so focus on making your body the best home for your abs to move in, be patient and persistent and they’ll eventually show up.
You’re Doing The Same Exercises Over And Over Again
Your abs are a complex muscle group.
Your abdominal wall is built of the rectus abdominus (the six-pack), internal and external obliques that run along the sides of your rectus abdominus, and the transverse abdominus which lies beneath the internal oblique.
If you’re not including all of the exercises needed for them to get stronger in general, you’re not doing it right.
For example, if you only train them to flex by doing endless crunches, you won’t activate each of the muscles in ways in which they can grow and finally pop out.
Like any other muscle in the body, the abdominals need to be trained from various angles and dimensions so they can really pop!
So, vary your exercises and try different ones daily, to work each of the ways your abdominal wall functions.
Check out my Diamond ABS Guide to get some unique ab workouts
You Aren’t Training Heavy Enough
Lately, there has been this hype that your abs need to be trained with a ridiculously high amounts of reps. Some people even do 300 reps of crunches in their training sessions.
As tempting as this sounds, if you really want to train getting them to grow and show, you should seriously consider repping them down.
To get your abs to grow, you need to stimulate them just like any other muscle group in your body. Would you perform 500 reps of biceps curls in one workout for maximum growth? Probably not. Start training your abs with some weight so they can develop like your other muscle groups, and vary the rep ranges each time you train them.”
So, instead on doing 300 reps of crunches, try breaking them into few sets with 15-20 reps.
You’re Not Giving Them Enough Time
Usually the abs fat is the last bit to come off and the first to come back.
This makes it so hard for you to make them show out, and keep them.
And I know that this makes dieting and exercise so discouraging, but giving up won’t speed it up.
In the end, Rome wasn’t built in one day, so don’t even try to lose belly fat fast because there are no shortcuts.
If you’re doing everything right, you’ll eventually get there, the only key here is consistency.
It may take months or even years to uncover your abs, but if you stick to being smart in the kitchen and effective in the gym, you’ll eventually see results.
You Train Your Abs Daily
This is a touchy subject indeed.
Especially when we see many fitness athletes are training their abs daily at the end of their workouts.
However, different approaches work for everyone, especially when it comes to professionals. They’ve been building their abs for years and usually what works for them may not always be the best approach for you.
The thing is, we activate our abs when performing many other exercises like squats, deadlifts, push ups, so it’s probably for the best to give your core a break, and do abdominal training 2-3 times per week.
As time passes by and your abs get stronger, you can shorten the duration of your abs workout and include them in your workouts every other day.
You’re not performing the exercises right
This usually happens when you’re rushing through the exercises to nail more reps, instead of focusing on your form.
For example, pulling your neck while doing crunches and not keeping a straight body posture while doing plank.
When you focus on your form rather than focusing on making a dozen reps, you’ll make sure to get the most out of every single rep.
In the end, it’s not about quantity, but quality instead.
It’s Not Only The Food You Eat That Matters, But The Liquid Too
As I explain in my eating program:
What works even better in ruining your six pack goals other than food is liquid!
Drinks that are bad for your health are the worst thing you can do to your body.
And you know why? Because they’re basically just EMPTY CALORIES!
And here, I’m not talking about the usual junk drinks like juices and cokes, but alcohol and energy drinks too.
They’re your worst enemies!
You have to want a six-pack more than you want happy hour cocktails, more than you want boozy brunch, and more than you like red wine with your dinner every now and then.
Oh, priorities, priorities…
You have extra skin in your core
Please note that this is the worst case scenario, and this usually happens when it comes to huge transformations, shredding up to 70+ pounds.
And this is a real bummer, because your lean body is probably hiding away underneath your loose skin.
That’s what happens when we put our body through so much bad choices for far too long before we start doing something about it.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for loose skin, and there’s no natural way of tightening the skin.
You Use Your Fitspo As An Example
We all follow a bunch of fit girls on Instagram, and that’s a good thing:
They motivate us and we use them as role models of what we want to look like.
Well, not so fast! This is wrong for many reasons and I’m about to show you why.
First of all, we are all different, so try to be realistic about your expectations and remember that each and every body is different.
You can’t expect to get the abs of some fitness model, since first of all you don’t have the exact same body as they do, and you can’t have it since we’re all different.
That’s the same with the popular “Brazilian butt” we all crave for. Even the reason it’s called “Brazilian” explains it all – we’re not all Brazilians, we all have different body types and shapes.
My point is, we all look different and we’re all beautiful in our own ways and we shouldn’t let Instagram or any other social media make us feel bad about ourselves!
You shouldn’t obsess with getting the abs of your fitspo – obsess with improving your own.
Second, sadly, we live in a world with beauty “standards” and lots of us feel the pressure to look like the people we see in magazines, WHEN EVEN THE PEOPLE IN THE MAGAZINE DON’T LOOK LIKE THEMSELVES!
The abs you see on your fitspo, are not their natural posture – in fact they’re made by flexing the muscles, shooting from the right angle with the right lightning and the right posture, and sometimes even spiced up with a little bit of Photoshop.
They don’t look like that naturally, they are posing!
So unfortunately as you can see, fitspo has become so unhealthy for us. Instead of being a motivation and inspiration, fitspo is usually a source of disappointment and discouragement, by promoting impossible to achieve goals and perpetuating fitness myths.
And last, some of the fitness models you follow or look up to probably use lots of supplements to get their body as lean and as shredded.
Starting from protein powders, to fat burners and different kinds of supplement that help you get energized and make the most out of your workouts, and increase the length of your training sessions, etc.
You can use them too, but remember, they are professionals and they probably have a whole team working on what they’ll eat and what they’ll take and when.
You Believe In “Magic Solutions”
We’ve all heard about these magic solutions and tricks to get six packs.
Well here’s what’s my trick:
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SECRET FORMULA that’s going to get you to your dream abs!
There’s no such thing as 5 minute ab workout to get you sexy abs!
There’s no such thing as getting six packs in 2 weeks!
And if you find somebody that’s telling you this “secret formula” “lose belly fat fast” and this “fast six pack solution” be aware that they’re not looking for your best interest and they’re not giving you the right advice.
They’re probably doing it to get more traffic and more money.
Because guess what: It takes time, it takes dedication, persistence, motivation and most important of all it takes discipline.
“It all starts with the right mentality. If you think that your dream six packs are waiting for you inside a bottle, then you need to get your head out of that bottle and back in reality. There is nothing you are going to do that doesn’t require a dedication to good, solid nutrition and hard training that is going to give you the results you want.”
“If you want to get abs you will first and foremost have to start with a sound nutrition plan. Notice, I didn’t say a restrictive eating plan. No, you don’t have to narrow down your food choices to peas and carrots in order to get ripped abs. You can choose from thousands of healthy meal options (many of which you wouldn’t even feel as if they were bland or typical healthy food) and still get abs. You can’t keep trying to find the elusive answer to why you fail though.”
In the end it all comes down to what you eat, do you respect your body enough and do you want it enough to make your nutrition a priority.
Here’s a short video by one of my look up nutritionists and trainers Jeff Cavaliere that will boost your motivation and make you realize you need to change something TODAY.
It’s so inspiring and helpful especially when it comes to your ABS so please, take a minute to watch it and learn what’s it all about.
I hope I helped you get closer to your goal, and made it easier to understand how to get abs and lose belly fat.