These Common Ab Myths Are Standing Between You and a Six-Pack

The following is an excerpt from the new Men’s Health training guide 90 Day Transformation Challenge: Abs. In one volume, you’ll get all the tools you need (information, a nutrition and exercise guide) to build your abs in just 3 months.

Before we go any further, there are a handful of notions about your core training that you need to get rid of right away. If any of these sound familiar to you, don’t worry. You have probably heard of thousands of techniques to build abs, and it is not an easy task to analyze all that information in search of the truth. The important thing is to understand what abdominal results are possible through consistent training. This will save you five weeks in this program during those times when you are wondering if you should continue. You’ll remember what the process is, why it works, and why you really have to record that day’s sets.

I can’t stress this enough: the abs shouldn’t be treated any differently than other muscles in the body. A muscle is a muscle, and that means three things: muscles don’t work independently, muscles adapt to resistance training, and muscles need proper recovery to build.

Unfortunately, when you have a topic like abs, which are arguably the most searched and Googled body part, you will get a wide variety of opinions on how to approach training. The approach I want you to take with me as your coach is science-based. We are not going to live in the anecdotal world of “my only friend did this and got great results”. When it comes to exercise, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some proven facts that we’ve learned over the years through science and research. These are the key principles I share with my clients when it comes to debunking misinformation about abs.

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Myth 1: More is better

I’m not sure when this myth started, but for some reason people are under the impression that the abs are unique and different from other muscles in that they can be trained every day. That is absolutely not true.

Overuse of any muscle actually leads to atrophy (deterioration) of the muscle, which is the exact opposite of what you want when trying to build your abs. When it comes to core training and core conditioning, it’s most effective to have a combination of higher and lower intensity days, as you’ll see later in the program.

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Going all out is an outdated approach to training. You can’t just go full throttle every day and expect to stay focused throughout the entire program. There are a handful of people in the world who can do just that, and that’s amazing. But we cannot create a training plan based on outliers. It should be based on general results. So, to get adequate recovery time, challenge your muscles in different ways, and ensure continued success, it’s best to navigate between different intensity days.

Myth 2: Working your abs burns belly fat

There is no such thing as spot reduction.

Direct ab work isn’t going to burn off that layer of fat above your abs the way you’d hope. Fat burning is much better targeted through nutrition, strength training, and cardio. The best approach is a holistic one, like the one I’ve laid out for you in this plan.

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  कड़कड़ाती ठंड में गर्माहट का एहसास दिलाते हैं ये सूप, इनमें छिपा है सेहत का खज़ाना

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How you develop your core in this program will change the way you look at training in the future. By mixing exercises and taking a step-by-step approach to building a strong core, you’ll see changes in everything from the way you look to the way you feel to the way you move throughout the day. These 90 days will build you from the inside out into the strongest version of yourself.

Myth 3: Aesthetic and functional training are mutually exclusive

Believe it or not, they can be the same. That is the basis of this program: combining ability with visibility.

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Men’s Health 90-Day Transformation Challenge: Abs – Men’s Health Shop

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$24.95

You shouldn’t feel condemned to endless days of sit-ups wondering why your results aren’t coming. Variety and emphasis will be big determining factors of your training. With the right combination, you can get the look you want with the function you need.

Myth 4: Everyone has a six pack under their belly fat.

Have you ever noticed two people with differently shaped abs? Perhaps one person’s abs are deeper, more symmetrical, and more defined than her friend’s. I mean, Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for having four visible abs, no matter how ripped they are. Why is that?

Portrait of three male male cross trainers in gym

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Well, that’s something you’re born with. Thick cords of fibrous tissue extend along the abdominal wall. The main connective tissue that runs down the center of the abdomen is called the linea alba. That line can be straight or slightly sloping, depending on your genetics, and determines how symmetrical your abs appear to be. The number of crossed tendon fibers you have (which can be three or more) determines what type of pack you can get, whether it’s a six-pack, an eight-pack, or even a 10-pack.

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