Is having a sick-pack one of your top goals for showing up at the gym? If so, then here’s what you need to know:
A six-pack is the result of years of clean eating! You’ve heard it before, abs are built in the kitchen. You can’t out-train a bad diet. Avoiding processed foods and sugar will help you achieve your goals faster.
Sit-ups and crunches don’t build six-packs. Yes, it’s true!! The best exercises for building a visible six-pack are compound movements that recruit the muscles in the upper and lower body simultaneously. Some examples are pull-ups, toes to bar, cleans, snatches and hollow hold. (Want a demo? Let me know!!)
If you’ve been eating clean and still don’t see your abs it’s possible that you are consuming too many starchy carbs. You don’t have to remove them entirely, but try cutting down your serving size of potatoes, rice, quinoa and legumes and replacing them with healthy fats such as avocado, nuts or olive oil. Your serving size of starchy carbs should be approximately the size of your closed fist.
Whether or not you have a six-pack, it’s completely normal to have a fold-over of skin when you are seated or bent forward!! When you are standing up this belly skin is on tension. And if you’ve had kids, you may have a little extra skin that your awesome badass body had to make while your belly was expanding! Remember to thank your body for an incredible job well done!
The visibility of your abs is highly dependent on your gut health. If you are bloated or are carrying a lot of inflammation in the gut due to food your body didn’t agree with, your abs will be less visible. If you suffer from bloating often, I would recommend keeping a food journal to help you pinpoint which foods are causing inflammation. We all have a different gut biome (healthy bacteria) and therefore our tolerance to certain foods is also unique to us.
Having defined abdominal muscles in not the only measure of fitness. Focusing on how you feel and staying consistent in your training is the key to lasting health and fitness.
Remember that you can't "out train" a poor diet. Avoiding processed foods and choosing whole foods instead will fuel your training and support your goals.