Let's face it, we are only hours away from the beginning of a new year. Many of you are thinking about a new program, new diet, and making resolutions to get there. If you are reading this blog, chances are, you will be training for abs!
From what I can see in the gym and the questions I get, most people are going about it all wrong. Here are 5 common mistakes people make when trying to get abs!
Mistake # 1:
Doing 1,000s of crunches - it's not enough to do traditional mat crunches. Now, you can turn your knees to either side, hold a weight behind your head, medicine ball, everything but the kitchen sink. Do any of these variations help? Not quite. Flexion and extension are but one way you can train your midsection. It takes a variety of movement patterns and strategies to sculpt a six-pack!
Mistake # 2:
Going on a low-fat diet - sure, reducing calories is important. But not to the point of starvation. You should be going slightly below maintenance. Shoot for 250 calories LESS than what you are currently doing. You should see results within two weeks, if not, shave off another 250 calories and repeat the process. Don't crash diet, slow and steady will win the 'abs' race.
Mistake # 3:
Having a 'Core' day - midsection training should be a part of an overall balanced program, not the entire focus. You can insert midsection training ANYWHERE in your program. It doesn't have to go at the beginning, middle, or end. In fact, mixing it up can bring better results.
Mistake # 4:
Too many isolation exercises - be careful not to include too many 'small bodypart' movements like, arm curls, triceps kickbacks, side raises, etc.. at the expense of chin ups, presses, rows, squats, etc... Big body part movements are going to burn more overall calories and help you to lose fat faster. Faster fat loss leads to better looking abs.
Mistake # 5:
Inconsistency with good nutrition - sure, you can take a cheat day, just make sure it's not more frequent than once a week. Most people would do best to eliminate it all together, but some of you can control yourself and enjoy a small spike in calories without blowing your diet all together.