7 Myths About Abs
by Justin Leonard

Most would agree that abs are the most wanted muscle on any physique. But what's realistic when it comes to abdominal training and nutrition? I decided to write about the myths I hear most often. Hopefully, this clears up any confusion.

I must train abs for hours for them to be defined.

In reality, long workouts provide no additional benefit for your abs. It may even cause them to get weaker as a result of overtraining. Generally, it should take approximately 20 minutes or less per abdominal training session.

Fat burners will help me burn fat around my abs.

Although they can be effective, fat burners do not target specific areas of the body. Fat is burned throughout the entire body. Plus, the best fat burner is the food you eat. I might even go so far as to say that in most people, it's mainly the nutrition strategy that yields the "six pack."

I'll have to go on a strict diet to get good abs.

In fact, through the use of diet modification, anyone can turn their abs into a decent work of art. There are still ways to enjoy what you eat, using these modifications. You don't necessarily have to "diet." You just have to know when you can and can't eat certain foods.

If I use weights with abdominal exercises my abs will show up better.

Don't waste your time. Weights provide no additional benefit for your abs. Abdominals will never grow as the legs or pectoralis (chest) muscles do. Abs barely increase in size when you train them. Also, the size increase, if any, is usually unnoticeable. Abs are predominately a type 1 muscle fiber, which means that they are highly resistant to fatigue. If they were meant to grow, they would be a type 2 fiber like the large muscles of the body.

To get your abs to show up better, you have to sculpt them. The sculpting of the abs is best done with a combination of sound nutrition and exercise, not weighted abdominal training.

I can eat fattening meals because if I workout, I can burn if off.

Here's the deal: This is true in some cases. However, most people don't workout long enough to burn even half of the calories they ate. The unburned excess energy will more than likely become fat. You may be able to combat this problem by routinely eating smaller meals and working out with very little in the stomach. It's okay to eat fattening foods, but try to do it in moderation.

I should do leg lifts and leg raises to target the lower abs.

Truthfully, the abdominal muscle (rectus abdominis) functions as one group. Lower and upper abs ARE NOT separate muscle groups. Need proof?

While lying on the floor, get into the crunch position and touch your "lower" abs. Now slowly lift your upper back off the ground, keep your neck straight, and contract your abs. Did you feel that?

If I do hundreds of sit-ups everyday, I'll have toned abs.

Well, you can do 200 sit-ups a minute and still wouldn't have abs. It's because exercise alone doesn't necessarily define the abs. Although it may make them more prominent once the fat has been removed from around them. Usually, the nutritional element is necessary to enhance fat reduction throughout the entire body, which may ultimately improve ab definition.




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