Is Doing Abs a Waste of Time?

Here is a post by Mike Boyle that says it all. You can see my thoughts at the bottom, but definitely read this post if you want abs, do crunches, have abs or have ever thought about abs.

I can’t even tell you how often I hear someone at the end of
the workout say something like “I need to do more abs, I
want to get a six-pack.”

The truth is that passing on a six-pack is a better way to
get a six-pack than six hundred sit-ups. The key to abdominal
definition is the visibility of the abdominal musculature, not the
strength of the muscles.

You can do one million sit-ups, crunches or whatever
exercise you want and it will have no effect on abdominal

When people ask me the best exercise for abs I tell them
table push-aways.

It usually takes a few minutes for them to get it. It’s not a
joke, it’s the truth. If you want better abs, eat less and train
more but, don’t just train your abs.

The idea of working abs to get abs is one of the oldest
misconceptions in training. This goes back to the old idea
of spot reduction. Spot reduction has never and will never
work. The research has been done over and over and the
answer is always the same.

You can’t decrease the fat layer on a particular area by
working that area. That means that the guys doing sit-ups to
lose abdominal fat and the lady sitting on the adductor
(inner thigh) machine are both wasting their time.

Good total body work is, was, and always will be the key to
fat loss.

Want better abdominal definition?

Finish every workout with some hard interval training
instead of extra sit-ups or crunches. Interval training or
what is currently called High Intensity Interval Training
(abbreviated HIIT) is the real key to fat loss and the resulting

Interval training burns more calories than steady state aerobic
training and because it is s sprint program you get a sprinters

Abdominal training may potentially reduce the diameter of
the waistline but, will very little to reduce bodyfat.

The truth is there are lots of good reasons to do abdominal
work or core training as we now like to call it. A strong core
(strong abs) is one of the keys in the prevention of  back pain.
A strong core will help you look better and improve performance
in a host of sports but, sit-ups or any other abdominal exercise
will not reduce bodyfat.  The fact of the matter is that crunches
will lead to back pain long before they lead to visual abs.

Another good tip.

Don’t do crunches. A good abdominal or core program is
a lot more than crunches. Most of your core work should be
isometric exercises like front planks and side planks or carries
like Suitcase carries.
One of the major functions of the core musculature is the
prevention of motion.
hat does that mean? It means that the abdominals are
great stabilizers. Work on the stability function, not on
flexion and extension.


Mike Boyle

Everyone I train wants either  lose abdominal fat or have better definition in their midsection. More and more the I see the answer is nutrition (80%) and then good training (the remaining 20%), to have better definition (which means you have to lean out!).  If you need anymore guidance, as always contact me.



About MaxOut Performance Fitness
Sergio Maldonado is a Sports Performance and Fitness Coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. He strives to be the best at what he does through training, professional development courses, and practice. The purpose of this blog is to get out some of the knowledge that he obtains to better help others in their pursuits towards fitness and a better life.

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