Why your abs don’t show
1. You Have Too Much Body Fat Covering Your Abdominal Wall
Strong abs aren't the most crucial component of a visible six-pack; low body fat is. If you have too much body fat covering your abdominal area, then no matter how many hours of crunches or leg raises you do, you won't be able to see your six-pack.
The most effective way to get ripped abs is to clean up your diet. When it comes to your abs, training can only get you so far and do so much. You need a meal plan to lower your body fat percentage and uncover your abs; otherwise, all your hard work in the gym will mean nothing. So put down that piece of cake and those unhealthy chips away and make a healthier choice. ( don’t get me wrong, I love those things too, lol but you haven’t to want the abs more )
2. Your Abdominal Exercises Aren't Diverse
Most people see abs as the little hard boxes in the middle of their torso, but the abdominal muscle system is far more than that. Your abdominal wall is made up of the rectus abdominus (the six-pack), internal and external obliques that run along the sides of your rectus abdominus, and the transverse abdominus, which lies beneath the internal oblique. I also like to include the serratus anterior because you can't forget about it 🤷♂️.
These muscles help the torso flex, extend, and rotate. Most importantly, the muscles also help the torso stay stable against flexion, extension, and rotation. If you only train them to flex by doing endless crunches, you won't activate each of the muscles in ways in which they can grow. Like any other muscle in the body, the abdominals need to be trained from various angles and dimensions so they can pop!
To better address your midsection, vary your exercises, so you work each of the ways your abdominal wall functions. Try planks, suitcase deadlifts, and dead bugs.
3. You Aren't Training Heavy Enough
There is this thing that your abs need to work with ridiculously high amounts of reps. Some people go crazy and do 100 reps in a workout. If you are training your abs for a high-endurance, abdominal-specific sport, then rep away. To get your abs to grow, however, you need to stimulate them just like any other muscle group in your body. Would you perform 500 reps of biceps curls in one workout for maximum growth? Probably not.
Start training your abs with body weight exercises and some weight so they can develop like your other muscle groups, and vary the rep ranges each time you train them. For instance, in one workout, perform all bodyweight exercises with a rep range of 15-30; during your next abdominal training day, lower the rep range to 8-12 and use a heavier resistance by adding a plate to your floor-based moves or knocking out some cable crunches. Increase the difficulty as you progress.
4. You Try To Crunch Away The Fat
Let me be clear: You cannot lose body fat in specific areas of your body by training that body part more often. If someone ever tells you that you'll lose your gut by performing abdominal exercises ehhhhh wrong! It's impossible to control where body fat comes off your body. The only way to strip the fat from your abs is by slowly and gradually burning it off from your entire body through cardio, nutrition, and resistance training.
Unfortunately, abdominal fat is usually the last bit to come off and the first to come back. Abdominal fat wants to cling to your belly and can make dieting and exercise discouraging. The key is consistency. It may take months or even years to uncover your abs, but if you stick to being smart in the kitchen, and make it a lifestyle you'll eventually see results.
5. You Train Your Abs Every Day
This is a touchy subject because many athletes and physique athletes do train their abs every day at the end of their workouts. As for myself I train abs sometimes but it’s usually not my main focus for my workouts. But what works for other individuals may not always be the best approach for you.
Because you activate your abs doing many other exercises like squats, deadlifts, military presses, etc., it's best to give your core a break during the week. Even though you might not be directly training your abs, they still get stimulation during your compound lifts.
For best results, try to do direct abdominal training 2-3 times per week. As your abs evolve and get stronger, you can shorten the duration of your abs workout and include them in your workouts every other day.
6. You Frequently Change Your Diet
A lot of people go through crash diets and nutrition plans just to achieve a health goal for their abs to show. However, once they're done they start eating junk food, stop performing cardio, and say goodbye to their six-packs. Say goodbye to crash diets, "dirty bulking," and nutritional inconsistency instead. Consistency is the most crucial piece of the six-pack!!! You need to make fitness a lifestyle. If you consistently eat clean and stay working out continuously, then you'll have abs for much longer than a few weeks.
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