A lot of us aspire to have a six-pack – it is considered the “holy grail of fitness”. But, every time you are prepping for those summer months, does your six-pack always seem to be missing in action? This could be because of a few mistakes you may be making whilst training/prepping. Here are a few mistakes you could be making and/or need to avoid in order to achieve your goals.
- You’re carrying too much fat
First things first, it important to understand that unless your body fat percentage is sitting around ten percent , your abs simply won’t be making an appearance or be very visible. If you are carrying some additional weight, your time may be better spent incorporating a bit more cardio (or reviewing your caloric input/output) than performing the latest ab routine you saw on social media. As a general rule of thumb, the more muscle fibres you recruit to perform a certain exercise, the greater the fat burning potential of that particular exercise. If your goal is to lower your body fat and reveal your rectus abdominis muscle, the small isolated nature of a sit-up’s routine won’t really compare to one that involves compound movements engaging large muscle groups. .
- Sit-ups aren’t going to cut it
One of the biggest mistakes you could be making it that you are relying heavily on sit-ups for results. Your efforts could be better spent learning less well-publicised core exercises. Researches have compared sit-ups to planks, they claim performing an exercise where you get into a press-up position, rest your elbows and hold for 30-90 seconds, using surface electromyography (EMG) electrodes, can give you 20 per cent greater muscle activation when compared to a sit-up. In this instance rather train smarter as opposed to training harder and maybe re-think your ab routine.
- You’re not getting enough rest
This point is specifically targeted to those who are guilty of trying to fit months’ worth of training into a week or two as they frantically try to get their abs ready for their beach holiday, and train at all hours of the day or multiple times a day. This simply will not work. By not getting enough sleep, you could affect the hormonal balance in your body that could increase stress, increase your appetite, cause bloating and possibly increase the amount of fat you are holding around your midsection. So, set the alarm clock for a reasonable hour and make sure you are getting between 7-9 hours of sleep per night and you’ll be biochemically better equipped – so to speak – to gain that six-pack you’ve been working so hard towards.
- You’re not training hard enough
This one is for those who leisurely set the treadmill to a lower level and take a stroll and call that training. The reality is, you have to be willing and prepared to put in the work in order to earn a six-pack. Of course, sleep and recovery are very important, but when it’s time to put in the work – that’s exactly what you must do. High intensity training can be much more effective at burning body fat than low intensity training. So, let’s get to work and get that six-pack we’ve been talking about!