Home Featured Who Wants Abs? 5 Ways To Get The Core That You Desire

Who Wants Abs? 5 Ways To Get The Core That You Desire

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What’s up everyone? First, thanks to the team at SBM for the opportunity to talk to you. Second, I’m now your Personal Trainer. I’m here to help you with answers to health and fitness questions/concerns. Finally, before this turns into an emo podium speech…If you read, then you believe there is ALWAYS room to improve yourself and Be The Better™…you!

WHO WANTS ABS?!

My first question to prospective clients: “What are your TOP 3 fitness goals?”

97.7% of the time, one of those 3 goals is…

Take This…

And MAKE IT THIS!!!

Cool -_- not a problem…

Here is the “BETTER” way to getting that abdominal transformation:

Full Body Movements/Resistance Training

You will not see your abs if you have a high percentage of Body Fat. PERIOD. You can decrease your Body Fat Percentage by Resistance Training. Therefore, Resistance Training will lead to visible abs… Makes sense don’t it?

A. You need to perform the right exercises (with the right amount of weight) which will engage your core as well. Light weights will not do the trick and neither will overbearing injury causing loads. Everyone is different and thus will require personally assessed weight thresholds.

B. Compound movements/exercises like Squats, Deadlifts, Push-ups, and Pull-ups ARE GREAT FOR YOUR CORE! Don’t believe me? Get someone to palpate your stomach in the middle of a push-up. If your core isn’t engaged, I’ll give you a $1.

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Core Stabilizing Movements

Exercises such as Forward Planks, Side Planks, Paloff Presses, Ab wheel, and others, are true to the nature (SAFE) of your abs, which is to STABILIZE. Building a strong-looking core starts here.

Dietary Adjustments

There is no way you’ll get that core you desire if you are not making any adjustments to your food/drink (yes including ALCOHOL) intake. Eat healthy and cut out the unnecessary/excessive calories. PERIOD.

Interval Training

Just about any form of  “cardio” training can be turned into Interval Training (Running, Swimming, Cycling, Jumping Rope, etc). For example, instead of running at a steady state/pace for 60mins, break that into a mixed ratio of Sprinting & Jogging for an allotted time (15-30mins for beginners, generally) and see that body fat start to decrease, and those abs start to peak.

PATIENCE

How long has it been since you’ve had a six pack? 1, 2, maybe even 5 yrs? So what makes you think you can get back to where you were in only P90 days?!? (#Shots). Do it the safe way, not an INSANE way (#MORESHOTS). Stay consistent and PATIENT. You will get there! Remember just about anything that is worth it takes time.

At this moment, you might ask “But B…where are SIT-UPs, Crunches, Side Bends, and those holding the weight in one hand and leaning towards that side thingy’s?!”

NO! NO! NO! These aren’t great go-to exercises for the core you want for a couple of reasons:

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Spot Training  (specifically picking areas where you want to lose fat) DOES NOT WORK! You can do 1,000 CRUNCHES/SIDE-BENDS for the love handles or 1,000 SIT-UPS  a day, and you still might not get a six-pack. If you have a high percentage of body fat, your abs will still be covered with (you guessed it) fat!

Hypothetically speaking, lets say Sit-UPS work. However, you’ve always heard DON’T bend your lower back when lifting something because  you can hurt yourself (FACT). So why would you bend your lower back to do a sit up? The top of a sit-up puts a severe amount of stress on your spine, and surrounding nerves at it’s weakest point.

I use this analogy: Yeah you can get to the other side by running across the highway…but its your call to weigh the risk vs the reward.

Until next time band… #BeTheBetter

 -Mr. Be The Better™

www.BarringtonBFit.com

Twitter: @BarringtonBfit

Comment(58)

  1. *is secretely cheesing mad hard at Slim at the sudden spark* Inspired much?

    anywho.

    Core stabilizing movements = most effective for me. They're hard for me to do. Probably one of the most difficult things for me in terms of physicality but they work soooo well. They're also good to do for anything that requires having a form because in order to hold something like a plank you really have to have a good form and it makes you aware of slight movements in your muscles so, it's good for body awareness in terms of *feeling* if your form is correct.

    Interval training = yes.When I'm doing my workouts it's more than likely done on interval which really keeps me motivated and keeps things upbeat and fun for me and plus the constant activity and change of activity — the variety. It's really good for helping the body burn fat.

    1. Spot training = awesome for just that. SPOTS. Once you can isolate a target area then it develops that area, even though spot training won't target/develop something in it's entirety, it really is more like a series of spot training if you REALLY wanna be thorough but yeah. You have to do full workouts to get full results. I am notorious for taking risks. Maybe not…yeah still when safety is concerned. smh. It pays off for me though. But…I'm on that patience tip/do it safely thing now cuz I can't even look at a weight without my body laughing at me and daring me to try it. 'lmao, na. I'll collapse on you so quick.' So, I definietely agree with the whole take it easy notion.

  2. Just a few quick things 1. I will make an effort to respond to each and every comment, whats awareness/info without discourse 2. Please post or send me topics you want to know more about/have questions about and 3. I am now your* not you're Personal Trainer…yeah it was bugging me and I can't even blame auto-correct!

  3. As another personal trainer, I cosign this entire post. And if you've never done Pallof presses, they are the truth! You don't even have to do the actual pressing part, just hold the handle in front of you with your arms straight for 30 seconds. Trust me, you'll feel it in your core much more than doing situps.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmcH0UsXRVw

  4. Laughing Out Loud! An awesome and informative post by BarringtonBFit on using diet, resistance training, intervals and stablization exercises to tone your core, and the banner places an ad for that useless flex belt!

  5. Great post! I co-sign everythingggg. Once upon a time I used to barely be able to do 10 push-ups and would be muerto by the end of one set. A friend that is a personal trainer told me if I was not engaging and strengthening my core that increasing my reps would be futile. Anyweh though…I can testify to how much push-ups can and will help strengthen your core. Needless to say my reps have increased several times over…you don't need to know by how much though…nosy! 😛

    Also–Ladies…weights are our friend!

    1. "Also–Ladies…weights are our friend"

      You ain't lying… *glancesatmykettlebells* they work!!!

      Muscle burns MORE fat.

  6. this is such a timely post as it's vaca season and i want a six pack. i've dubbed my summer fitness plan Operation Booty Tooch With a Side of Six Pack. lol. i'm on the thin side, but i want a six pack!

    *thows my p90 dreams away sadly* 🙁

  7. Thank you for posting this and making me feel like the "nothing" that I do in the area of exercise is completely inadequate, LOL! I foresee a love/hate relationship with your posts…

    Welcome! 🙂

  8. Good Post my dude. LOL @ The BeachBody shots.

    For the SBM community, if you have any topics on fitness you want to be addressed, feel free to Facebook, Twitter, or contact us using the form above! Im sure BFit will be happy to oblige!
    My recent post #BeTheBetter Fitness Log: Entry 6

  9. Great post, I found insanity CD at Ross picked it up. CRAAAAAAAAAAAAZY. I do not do sit ups anymore, my backing was killing me. Planks work. I can testify.

  10. Good stuff.

    I'm on the cusp of 30 and my metabolism is finally slowing down. I've found of all the muscles the six-pack is the most difficult to maintain (and calf muscles…yo, calf muscles…like WTF, bro!). It has definitely taken a newly dedicated focus in the later years. I'm also thinking of giving up sodas (which will SUCK) to help with my overall goals. My diet is ok but like everyone I could always do better. I'll be using some of the tips here and that link Uncle Hugh dropped above.

    My recent post Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

      1. Real talk, I keep hearing about juice being "bad." What kind of juice are we talking about? ALL juices? Like Welch's 100% Grape? ….say it aint so! Or are we talking about 'grape drank' because I don't drink the grape drink or apple drink stuff, which is nothing more than sugar water and food coloring. Really the only juices I drink are orange, lemonade, Welchs, and those V8 mixes.

        I really wanna know.

        1. It's very important to read your labels. Most fruit juices have added sugar in them in the form of high fructose or any other types of sugar. Some juices now are 100%, but I would make sure they don't have any form of added sugar in them.

        2. "ALL juices? Like Welch's 100% Grape? ….say it aint so!"

          Yep, you can't go too crazy with the 100% fruit juice. It's all fructose (natural fruit sugar), and unlike eating the fruit, there's no fiber to slow that fructose down. Obviously there are worse things to drink, but I wouldn't drink a quart of grape juice a day thinking I'm being healthy.

  11. Great Post! But whenever (and it never fails like clockwork) i do ab exercises, i cramp up severly. I can barely get through 2 sets. I've tried stretching, increasing water intake yet nothing seems to work. What am i doing wrong?

    1. Could be several things: dehydrated, low potassium, etc. You could also have a muscle imbalance. If you train your abs all the time, but don't train your lower back or your glutes, it could cause tightness in your abs. When working on your core, you have to think of all the muscles that attach to your pelvis.

      And it's unlikely, but you could possibly have an abdominal strain or hernia, but it doesn't sound like that by the way you described it.

  12. Hmm so there's another Vee I see, gotta fix my name then. I was wondering, you said doing crunches can hurt your lower back, but what if you do it "the right way", meaning I was taught that you only raise your shoulder blades and make that crunch without bending your back. Is that dangerous too?

    1. Vee1: "I was wondering, you said doing crunches can hurt your lower back, but what if you do it "the right way…""

      It depends, and it is a contentious issue in the fitness industry.

      Ideally, I'd recommend NOT doing too many flexion exercises (ab exercises where you are bending your spine). By repeatedly doing flexion exercises, especially weighted, you are placing significant stress on your vertebrae. The caveat is plenty of people have done hundreds or thousands of full situps a day with no adverse affects. But many have experienced back and neck problems by doing crunches.

      If you do a few crunches, I suppose it won't kill you depending on how healthy your spine is to begin with. But the more important fact is you don't need to do flexion exercises at all. As Barrington said, "Forward Planks, Side Planks, Paloff Presses, Ab wheel, and others" will do the job while keeping your spine in a safe position. I tell people if you can't do a plank with absolutely perfect form for 60 seconds, you have no business doing flexion exercises anyway.

  13. Great advice! I've seen folks claiming to be fitness pros tell folks they gotta do 300 crunches/day if they want abs…um no! Full body exercises & workouts is where it's at!
    Looking forward to more fitness posts! (and I like the new site design)
    My recent post For World Sickle Cell Day

  14. I love that you stay true to being better as not only a fitness mantra but a lifestyle goal. Continue to fuse those together and you'll keep changing lives. Mine is changing… 😉 Great post. XI.

  15. need some motivation to re-engage my long day and even longer nights of work & life…its so hard to make time..keep the post coming. thank you

  16. lol @ those p90x shots.

    EYE am getting results from p90x, but i can understand the… frustration people can have with it. it's so easy to fall behind and QUIT. Dedication is key with that thing.

    Loving this site more and more though. Following Streetz on twitter already has me throwing #BeTheBetter in my tweets! Good stuff fellas.

  17. 49 weeks late, but I came across this and wanted to leave my mark:

    What are these? Tips for ants?

    True enough, the diet and cardio advice is on point to cut your bodyfat percentage… but if all you do are planks and squats and other full body exercises, you're just gonna have little girly abs. Which is fine if you're a girl.

    But if you want MAN abs (this is singleblackmale afterall) that pop out menacingly and can double as a washboard, you have to do more better. The rectus abdominus is one big long muscle built for endurance. So if you want to make it look like you just ate 6-8 large hamsters, you have to stress it to failure. Which means heavy weights.

    But 12Point, how do I lift heavy weights with my abs? Easy– search youtube for "weighted leg lifts", and "weighted decline crunches".

    But thats not all– your diet needs to not just be about cutting fat. To build muscle, you need dat protein. So you might actually really need to eat 6-8 hamsters. Every day. If you cant find that many hamsters, you can settle for 6-8 eggs. And I'm not even exaggerating here. Eat the yolk too, dont be scurred, dietary cholesterol doesn't stick to your arteries, and the yellow contains 50% of the protein. Throw in a few protein shakes a day for good measure.

    Also, once a week do some weighted obllique bends to get that "V" that makes the pannies moist. Don't overdo obliques tho or you'll start to look blocky.

    Follow this advice and your abs will start to expand and swell.

    cats be like "i got a six pack" and all they really have is a 4 pack and some ribs. If you want muscle, you have to build it up.

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