I want to give my insight on probably the most popular topic of fitness. If you are reading this, I’ll bet a few dollars that you have dreamed of or worked toward having a thin waistline with sculpted abs! As a Fitness Trainer, It is easily the most common topic I receive questions about. Look, you want abs, but you NEED a strong core. After reading this you will have a basic understanding about how to develop a slim waistline, strong core, and defined abs.

Your core is more than just your abs. Your core consist of of a variety of muscles, some of which work deep below the surface.  I don’t want to get super technical because, well, its no fun to read and makes this shit more difficult than it has to be.  So, to keep it simple, think of your core as a belt that not only wraps around your abs and lower back, but your gluteus and pelvis.  You must train your core as a whole.  The benefits stretch well beyond physical appearance.  Yea, I said it, doing hundreds and thousands of crunches will not strengthen your entire core which will hinder your progress towards chiseled abs.

Remember your core is a belt that involves more than just your abs.  All of the muscles work together to support each other and you!  If one area is significantly stronger than another, you put the weaker area at risk for injury. So, how do your train the core as a whole? Compound movements!  compound movements are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at one time.  Squats, deadlifts, and planks are a few examples of compound movements to build a soild core.  These exercises build strength, stability, and muscle in the core which is vital to brining out those abs of steel.  In addition to compound movements, working each area of the core individually ensures there is no lacking.  Crunches, hyperextensions, gluteus/hamstring developers, or any “glute” machine at your gym will do.  A sample routine is included at the bottom of this article.

I am about to give you the best possible piece of information you can ever receive on your journey to abs.  Stop…Eating…Bullshit.  Your diet is the most important factor in determining how strong, slim and defined your core will be.  Consistently taking in cakes, pies, doughnuts, cookies, candy, soft drinks, white breads, pasta, fast foods, fried foods, alcohol etc… is not conducive to your goal.  Have you ever eaten a combination of any of these foods and a few minutes later felt like it was nap time? That is called an insulin spike.  Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use sugar that you ingest from food for energy.  When there is more sugar than needed in the body, insulin stores the excess as FAT.  The previously mentioned foods are full of artificial sugar, carbohydrates and unhealthy fats that spike your insulin, promoting excess fat storage in your core.  The bottom line is you must eat more vegetables, low glycemic carbs (carbs that don’t spike your insulin), healthy fats and lean proteins.  A sample list of these foods is included at the bottom of this article.  It is true, abs are made in the kitchen.

Get focused, train your whole core, clean up your diet, and build a masterpiece of a midsection.

Sample core routine:
* Barbell back squat x10 reps
* weighted crunches x10 reps
* glute/ham bridge x10reps
* front plank x30-60 seconds
***Complete 3-5 rounds***
***Use moderately heavy weight for the exercises that require it.***

Low glycemic carbs
* brown rice
* sweet potato
* oatmeal
* beans
* most vegetables
* grapefruit
* cherries
* pears
* apples
* oranges
* plums

Healthy Fats
* Avocado
* Almonds
* Cashew
* Pecans
* Walnuts
* coconut oil
* olive oil
* almond butter
* Natural Peanut butter
* Salmon
* Flaxseed

Lean Proteins
* skinless chicken breast
* 85-90% lean grass-fed beef
* 85-90% lean ground turkey
* salmon
* tuna
* shrimp
* eggs

***Many of these foods have diverse nutrient profiles, making them interchangeable. For example, salmon is a great source of healthy fats and protein.***

I hope this helps someone, somewhere

I’m always open to questions or comments.  Hit me up.

Be Well!

2 thoughts on “YOU WANT ABS, RIGHT?

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