Doing ab crunches and planks WON’T give you visible abs

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’m sure we’ve all been there or at least witnessed someone at some point do this; the standard ‘gym routine’ of walk in the gym, 30 minutes on the cross trainer, wonder around the weights machines aimlessly for 20 minutes doing a few bits here and there and then finishing off with the all important abs work to get you a new flat stomach for the summer.


For me it was going to the gym, doing chest and arms (because obviously the chicks dig a guy with big arms and chest haha!) and hoping I would look like a cover model – that didn’t work out great for me either…


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, unless you get rid of your fat over the top, you wont see your abs, like… Ever! Now don’t get me wrong, direct ab work has its place (for people with a weak core, postural imbalances and bodybuilders who need bigger abs) but getting you lean isn’t one of them!


When it comes to fat loss, the aim is to expend as much energy as possible within your training session. Your abs are tiny muscles, they will not be burning many calories when you train them directly. You could be using your time so much more efficiently because we’re all super busy, right?


I know what you’re thinking, “so what should I be doing?” Weight training is the solution to your problems. If burning more calories, using your time more efficiently and shaping your ideal body sounds good to you, I suggest you start picking up the weights!


Big compound movements (multi-joint and multi-muscle) such as the squat, deadlift, pull-up, bench press should form the base of your workouts. These are HUGE calorie burners; they will help to add lean muscle mass on to your frame. Ladies, don’t freak out, this is a good thing. You will look SMALLER by adding on lean mass, NOT bigger.


Increasing your muscle mass will help with the following:


  • Make you look leaner so that you feel amazing
  • Increase your metabolic efficiency (burn more calories without doing anything? Sign me up!)
  • Improve insulin sensitivity so that your body handles carbohydrates more efficiently
  • Reduce risk of injury
  • Improve you strength, endurance and stability
  • Increase your energy levels so that you FEEL better every day


I bet you now wish you had known about the benefits of weight training years ago don’t you? Its not too late, get started, go to the gym, change your normal, boring, inefficient training routine into a KILLER weights session that will have you looking and FEELING so much better about yourself in a shorter space of time.

Let’s not forget though, no matter how kick ass your new weights sessions are now going to be, if you don’t get your nutrition on point, you still won’t see your abs any time soon! As the age old saying goes….”you can’t out train a bad diet”. More on this soon!


Take home points


  • Unless you have visible abs or postural issues, you don’t ‘need’ to include direct abdominal training – saving you some valuable time.
  • Weight training STILL works your core, so when your fat is down, you will have great abs
  • Get your nutrition on point, or you will never see your abs!
  • Everyone has Abs, we just need to take the layer of fat from off of the top of them so they can become visible



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