I recently did a TT for Abs question and answer seminar where I received dozens of questions from folks about how to lose belly fat, the best ab exercises and the best nutrition, and all that good stuff.
And over the next few days I’m going to be sharing with you the workout system, advanced training questions, and really weighting the pros and cons of a lot of different ab exercises to overcome a lot of the confusion that is floating around out there.
So, let’s dive in…
The very first question that I want to talk about is this one that someone sent in. My question is about losing the belly fat to show the abs I know are under there.
What or is there even such thing as a perfect combination of diet, intervals, weight training, and ab core work to achieve this?
It’s a great question and that’s why I want to start off with it, because it’s really a well- rounded question. Let’s break things down….
Let’s say we have somebody who is 20 percent body fat. What’s going to be the number one thing to help them get closer to getting their abs, to being able to see their abs, whether they’re a man or a woman?
Of course, that first thing is DIET.
I talked about that all the time in the emails and I always admit that diet is more important than any type of exercise for losing belly fat. So, that’s the first thing. We have to make sure that we have the right diet for our personality. I think my throat is all messed up here is because on the weekend I must have said that phrase to 30 to 40 people at this seminar that I was at.
We were talking about diet and we were talking about getting results. It was really interesting, because these people weren’t in fitness and we were sitting around having dinner or later in the evening and they were asking about losing fat. I said over and over again that it’s about diet.
They didn’t like the word diet, but I said to them, “Everybody’s got a diet that works for them. There’s nothing wrong with diets, because a lot of diets work.”
The reason that so many diets work is because different diets appeal to different personalities, different body types, and different life schedules. I know it’s not what you want to hear when I say that there’s a whole bunch of diets out there and you have to go through them and try them all until you find the right one for you, but that’s really the truth.
I still think that for a lot of people simplifying their nutrition, focusing on fruits and vegetables, and raw nuts, the fat loss foundation as I call it in the Simple Nutrition Plan, that will probably help the majority of people to lose that belly fat. So, you don’t have to do any crazy type of diet, any extreme restriction diet, but simply just eat more healthy foods.
When I talk about healthy foods I don’t mean the low calorie boxes Lean Cuisine type dinners, that stuff that’s actually full of sodium. That’s not necessarily what you should base your diet on, because that stuff can just be consumed so quickly and it goes back to that diet versus exercise video that I made with my friend Brad Pilon.
You can just see how quickly when it comes to processed foods that you can eat that stuff and it takes eight minutes to consume 1,000 calories, but it takes over an hour to burn off 1,000 calories. So, again, diet is the first thing that we need to do.
Next up, definitely to lose the belly fat interval training is probably going to be your MOST EFFECTIVE weapon.
Now, on the other hand the metabolic resistance training that is becoming more popular and that we’ve been using for a long time is also a very effective way of losing belly fat. But, research from Australia shows that interval training definitely works better than slow cardio.
So, we don’t have slow cardio in the mix, unless it’s something that you’re doing for stress reduction on an off day that’s not going to interfere with the rest of your workouts.
So, interval training I say would be second, and a close third almost equal to interval training is going to be the metabolic resistance training, which you’re going to do.
At this point, we’ve done what I call carve away the big chunks of fat and now we’re getting down into really sculpting the body. So, I like to use the analogy of going back to sixteenth century or seventeenth century whenever these guys like Michelangelo were sculpting those beautiful sculptures….
They would get a big block of concrete and to get down to something closer to a human form they would use, or if we were doing that with body fat we would use diet first and then interval training to get rid of the big chunks of concrete, the big chunks of fat.
Then we use the metabolic resistance training for the fine sculpting of the features. That’s really where the metabolic resistance training comes in and that is going to start helping you to define your abdominals.
So, big blobs of belly fat from nutrition, then getting down to a smooth stomach from interval training, and then you’re starting to get the ridges in your abs from metabolic resistance training, and then abdominal and core work, as the person called it in this question…
…now we’re looking at really getting the ridges in those abs, but at the same time something I’m going to talk about over this call and I’m going to come back to many times is there’s really two different types of abdominal training.
There is what we consider normal abdominal training, which is we’re thinking about working our abs the way we used to work our abs in the 80’s and 90’s with that crunching type motion. We’re thinking about flexing our abs, and that’s one type of training. That’s our stability ball roll outs, which aren’t necessarily crunches, but that’s that type of exercise there. I guess we’ll call those dynamic.
Then there’s another type of ab training, which is all about endurance for your abdominals and keeping static for your abdominals. I should be more specific, not see if I can do 300 crunches types of endurance, but static endurance of your abdominals.
That is not necessarily to give you six packs abs, but it’s there to protect your back, because it’s research proven that the greater the endurance you have in the plank and side plank type exercise the less low back injuries you’re going to have.
So, when people ask about the BEST types of ab exercises, and can we train abs every day there’s two answers, because there’s two different types of ab training.
There’s that direct I want to make my abs sore type of training, and then there’s that stabilization endurance type of training that I want to use to build up my abs and endurance so that my low back pain goes away.
The truth about whether you can train that every day is that you DON’T NEED to train the traditional ab type, I’m going to hurt my abs with getting them sore, that’s not something you’re going to do every day.
So, if you are a beginner and those plank exercises are new to you and you can only do 10 or 20 seconds at a time, then as long as you’re doing that with proper form you can do that on a very frequent basis, because you’re just building up endurance.
We’re going to come back to that quite a bit, but over all that’s the general picture of how you’re going to get the best abdominal results, how you’re going to lose that belly fat and sculpt your abs. Obviously, we’re going to have to go into some specifics with the workouts and how those are set up, but that’s really what it’s all about.
Everyone is always looking for new ways to challenge their bodies in the gym, check out part 2 to learn the best way to keep your workouts fun without sacrificing results.