Ok Rockstar – #realtalk time. I have heard a lot of questions and comments lately about seeing your abs, and how to get fat to LEAVE your trouble areas. I’ve also heard a lot of discouragement from people who didn’t feel like they saw “enough” progress in the past month.
I know it’s enticing to do ab workouts every day, thinking that you’ll see your abs faster, but unfortunately doing workouts that target areas where you’re carrying extra body fat will not magically melt the fat off.
We cannot “spot reduce” fat – and I would caution you from taking any supplements that promise to do so, or use “cleanses” or other quick fixes like body wraps, as they are short-term strategies some of which can harm your hormones and will not give you real, long-lasting results.
You CAN get the fat off – and keep it off. Fat comes off our body systemically (which means all over our bodies), and in an order governed by our DNA.It will come off in the order it came on.
Here are the 4 steps to follow CONSISTENTLY to make it happen for you as fast as possible:
Resource for you: Here is the progress pictures guide, which I was talking about in the video.
1.Do Explosive Cardio
High-intensity interval training style workouts maximize overall fat loss during your workouts.
A couple great ways to incorporate HIIT are to:
a) straight up do HIIT circuits, like these here on my blog
b) try short, intense tabata style workouts
c) incorporate intense cardio or plyo moves into your weight training circuits. Here are a few ways I add it into my workouts:
- Super-setting power resistance/strength moves with explosive cardio intervals - think jump rope, jump squats, etc.
- Adding finishing circuits to a weight lifting workout
- Doing bodyweight circuits that combine strengthening moves with explosive cardio
2: Add in Resistance Training
The second way I target body fat is by adding in resistance or strength training.
Resistance (or strength) training helps to sculpt lean muscle, which makes you a more efficient fat burner and will change your body composition and shape.
Remember that the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more calories you can burn at rest. So be sure to balance your HIIT with some strength training to see amazing results - you are not going to get bulky just by adding heavier weights to your workouts.
As you add lean muscle, your body burns more calories at rest - so you’ll be burning more fat and adding muscle. I personally take a combined approach, doing the best workout for the situation I'm in, i.e. traveling I'll use my HIIT circuits and at home I'll cycle between home workouts and weight-training.
These 3 programs were designed to combine resistance training and explosive cardio:
- Lioness (GYM)
- 90 Day Challenge (HOME - #noequipment)
- Home Workout Domination (HOME - minimal equipment)
3. TRAIN YOUR CORE 360 DEGREES AROUND, not just your front abs.
Focus on training your ENTIRE core to see real ab definition.
That means workouts like this awesome yoga core sequence, where we targeted the abdominal wall from the inside out, and all the way around.
We were working on the front, side, AND back muscles that stabilize our core and aid us in all the movements we do, as well as targeting the deep core stabilizing muscles that help us with balance, as well as spinal and pelvic alignment.
The body is super smart and if you only focus on building muscle on one side of your body (like only doing a lot of crunches or leg lifts or sit ups) you will actually only go so far in the amount of muscle you're able to develop.
This is your body's natural way of protecting you, as too much muscle on one side will put undue stress on your underlying bones and pull you out of alignment (read Building a Balanced Physique and Protecting Your Joints).
You can't out-train a Bad Diet. Eat balanced meals that contain the nutrients your body needs for support.
One of the MOST important parts to uncovering your abdominal muscle (and really any area of your body you want to sculpt) is eating a balance of nutrients.
80% of Sculpting Your Body is a Direct Result of What's at the End of Your Fork.
Every time you eat, you're creating the foundation and tissue that make up the actual shape and structure of your body - and every time you exercise, you're simply putting the finishing touches on the beautiful physique you've sculpted with what you put in your mouth.
I know we talk a lot about the macronutrients - the carbs, protein and healthy fats you need - but you also need the MICROnutrients from greens and plants for essential body, brain and hormone functions.
So many people are walking around with nutrient deficiencies masquerading as CRAVINGS, that could be resolved by eating real foods and rotating their greens (read my 5-step food prep and recipes guide for a 3-day plan and recipes to try.)
Taking a multivitamin isn't a magic bullet to giving your body everything it needs. Supplements aren't always absorbed as easily as the nutrients in whole foods, and unless you've had blood testing done with a specific vitamin or mineral prescribed to you, you may be dosing yourself with too much of one, and too little of another.
For so many reasons, it is essential that you take your eating just as seriously as you take your workouts.
I know we have this tendency to make ourselves stick to our exercise plan more religiously than we stick to our eating - but there is no exercise plan in the world that can out-train poor nutrition.
Do yourself a huge favor and get the education and knowledge you deserve about what nutrients your body needs and how to get them in your system in a variety of ways - and MAKE TIME to get that good, nourishing food in your body.
That's all for now, rockstar!
Be sure to leave your comments and questions below!
PS - looking for a great plan to train your ABS (and booty?) Check out my 30-day Abs and Booty Challenge!