A decade ago when I was working out and eating “wrong” I was probably like you when I went to the gym: lifted some weights, spent time on a cardio machine and then walked myself to the back of the gym with all the mats and squeezed my way in between everyone else and started doing various types of crunches.
One thing I didn’t think of back then, that I’m kicking myself for now, is if the same people were in the back of the gym week after week doing crunches, how come their bellies weren’t getting flatter?
Several years later, I’m much wiser with my workouts and I now know that crunches won’t help your stomach get flatter. I even authored an ebook called Abs Uncrunched which talked all about this. See in the picture below how smart I became? lol
So is there anytime you SHOULD do crunches? Well, not traditional ones. At least that’s my belief.
You see, the first step in getting your abs nice and defined is to get your body fat low enough so you can start feeling them and seeing them.
How do you do this? Well by following a lot of strategies I’ve talked about:
- Eating unprocessed foods (this means limiting foods from boxes and bags and eating whole, real nutrient rich foods – think spinach and eggs and not Twinkies)
- Tracking your sugar grams each day (about 20-25 grams daily should be your target).
- Doing weight based interval training workouts (this means weight workouts in a circuit format so you can get some cardio benefits)
- Running sprints or some other form of high intensity interval training.
There’s a bit more to it, but you get the idea. If you want the structured program to follow, just check out my Fit For Photos program.
Once you do this for a period of time, your body fat will decrease to the point where your stomach is flat and you can start feeling your ab muscles. Once you get to this point, you can start adding weighted ab exercises so you can sculpt and define your ab muscles so they pop, making everyone at your pool parties very very envious.
This is exactly how Amanda did it. She just finished my Fit For Photos program and check out her results!
What do I mean by weighted ab exercises? Something like a Medicine Ball Decline Crunch <— Click to see a demo.
Now it’s important to remember that exercises like the medicine ball decline crunch won’t help you lose fat. If you have excess body fat, especially in the stomach area, and you start doing weighted abs exercises like the one above, you’ll just be building muscle under the layer of fat, causing your stomach to look bigger.
So don’t do these types of exercises until your body fat is low enough.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed out to run some sprints!
Have any questions or comments? Please leave them below.
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Amanda’s pictures were taken by Dark Photography Designs.