I’ve decided that each Thursday is going to be Top 10 Thursday. Why? Because I want to and it will be fun… I promise.
To kick off the first Top 10 post, I want to go over the number one question I hear from my clients, my friends, and random people that find out I am a trainer…
“How can I get rid of this (while pointing down to their midsection)?”
So without further ado, I present to you:
The Top 10 Reasons Why You Don’t See Your Abs
10. You don’t have muscle.
All of us have core muscles but because of sitting in a chair at work, and then coming home to plop down on the couch afterwards, cores are getting weaker and weaker. If core muscles are worked up, then they aren’t going to look defined. Just like any other part of the body. If you want toned legs you turn to lunges and squats, right? So start adding in some core moves.
9. You enjoy life.
For a woman to show off a six pack, it is really hard. You have to keep your body fat under 17% and be conscious of your lifestyle all the time to maintain a flat stomach. If you enjoy happy hour, cookouts with friends, dinners out from time to time, then maintaining a six pack is going to be oh so difficult.
Oh Friday night Wine Night, how I look forward to you all week long!
Personally, I eat clean 90% of the time but I enjoy a glass (or two) of wine on the weekends, and I enjoy the freedom to be able to eat what I want without being on ab patrol. Just check out what Alexandra does to show off her abs before a Victoria secret show.
8. You work your abs too much.
I know, I know doesn’t number 9 and number 8 conflict? Not having abs keeps you from showing them off, but on the flip side if you train them too much they can actually give you that oh so sexy “beer belly look”.
A perfect example would be a weight lifter.There is no denying that they are in shape, but they have “guts”. Or do they? Really they have just built their stomachs up so large to make it give the illuision of one too many beers.
How can you avoid this? Work your abs from different directions so you target all parts: obliques (side abs) and the rectus abdominals (“6-pack”) and the smaller muscles.
Planks, crunches, leg raises, side planks, etc are all good examples.
Also don’t often work abs with heavy weights as this can lead to bulk. Body weight core moves are perfect.
Yup, that would be my stomach… taken this morning.
7. Wrong types of workouts.
Thin that doing 500 crunches every day will lead to a flat stomach? Or that walking the neighborhood each evening is going to do the trick? Nope. The number one thing with fitness for abs is that you have to do workouts designed to burn body fat.
Since you can not choose which part of your body the fat is burned off from, it’s key to follow a total body workout plan to burn the most calories. A workout should include both cardio and strength training to up your metabolism and blast as much fat as possible.
6. Stressed out.
Stress does more to the body than just affect your mood. It can cause you to eat more (or less) and it can cause hormones such as cortisone to pump throughout your body. This is an evil little hormone because it tells the body to hold on to body fat, more specifically body fat around your midsection.
5. You’re sleep deprived.
Just like with stress, not getting enough sleep can do more to your body than just leave you craving for a huge cup of coffee.
Most often lack of sleep leads to increased hunger (which leads to increased calories consumed) and increased production of cortisone. Gosh darn that cortisone! Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every single night. If that means missing the latest Bachelorette, then so be it (TiVo time).
4. Crazy hormones.
We’re women and hormones suck. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other thyroid hormones can all lead to increased fat storage and weight gain. if you’re having a hard time losing weight or you’ve suddenly gained weight talk with your doctor to check out your hormone levels and to make sure your metabolism is working as it should be.
3. You lost A LOT of weight.
I know this sucks but it’s the hard truth. If you lost a lot of weight you might notice that you have loose skin on arms, thighs and stomach. This skin is due to the fact that it was stretched out in your former body and when you shrunk down the skin wasn’t able to “bounce” back with your body. The elasticity was decreased and the result is the loose skin.
First, you should feel so proud of yourself for making the change in your body and your life. Every day you should look at yourself in the mirror and smile at what you’ve accomplished.
If you’re struggling with the skin issues, and it really bothers you then you might want to speak with your doctor about your options. Right now unfortunately, the only real solution is to have the skin surgically removed.
2. Too inconsistent.
Last week you did awesome with sticking to your workouts and you didn’t eat one processed meal or sugar-filled dessert. But this week you decide to relax a bit and eat up on some cake and miss a workout or two.
It’s not going to cut it. It takes dedication, motivation, and consistention (oh fine, consistency) to get results. Create a workout schedule and stick to it. Create a meal plan and stick to it as well.
This doesn’t spell torture and deprivation, but it does spell flat stomach.
1.Your diet isn’t where it needs to be.
Abs are made in the kitchen, it’s as simple as that. Even if you have the best workout program in the world, you won’t have a good stomach if you eat out every night or if you enjoy a few too many slices of pizza and other not so forgiving foods.
So there ya have it. The top 10 reason why you don’t see your abs.
- If there was one are of your body you could change what would it be?
- What’s your favorite body part?