Wednesday 19 February 2014

Trying to find your abs and get a flatter stomach? Start here.

A little bit about 'abs', body fat and flat stomachs! I hear from many people
 who are frustrated with particular areas of their body, one that crops up
 A LOT is stomachs. If you're frustrated about trying to get a flatter stomach
 or really want to see some definition in your abs, you're not alone, read on.

What's this all about? 
This picture represents a side on view of large stomach muscles
 (tubs) and the small stomach muscles (white balls).

Well today's post is about the stomach!  
The muscles
The Thick blanket
The Thin blanket

So what are all these funny looking pictures? 
I'm going to give you an insight into abs and flat stomachs that many of my clients are on their way to (or have acquired) I might also tell you why doing heaps of crunches and sit ups and similar ineffective exercises are a waste of your time.... This is the best analogy I've come across...

TUBS AND BALLS... The balls on the left represent small abdominal muscles, the tubs on the right represent large abdominal muscles... These are my two six-packs for demonstration purposes... See what happens when we put a layer of body-fat on...

GREEN SHEET.... The thick green towel represents someone with moderate to high body-fat covering the abdominals, there is very little definition or shape... even on the very large abdominal muscles (the tubs) 

BLUE SHEET... The thin blue sheet represents someone with low body-fat covering their abdominals.... as you can see there is good definition on both the small and large muscles. The larger muscles protrude (stick out) more than the smaller muscles which would essentially make the stomach look bigger.

Top Picture.... represents a side on view of the large abdominal muscles vs the small ones, if you just want a flat and smooth stomach that doesn't look really really muscular or 'ripped' then getting bigger abdominal muscles isn't going to help you. Reducing the blanket of fat down to a thinner sheet however, will ensure some definition and shape but still a flat stomach.

So what does all this mean? 

Consider the Picture Below... Someone who has done no specific 'abdominal exercises' ... Why? Your abdominals should be working during all movements that involve your whole body eg when the arms and legs are working together the muscles in the middle are the link. This would show a 'thin sheet' of body-fat, Give the person in the picture a 'thick sheet' of body-fat like the green towel then there would still appear to be no definition, even though the musculature would be the same. Although the person pictured does a considerable amount of exercise (I heard he runs marathons for warm ups), living on a diet of convenience foods, sugary, carbohydrate rich foods, regular alcohol and poor quality foods would soon cover up the muscles!

Correct training helps to shape our muscles and 'burn off' excess fuel such as body fat, It's near impossible to out exercise a bad diet. Sure there may be one or two people who do, but the nutrition has an incredible effect on our bodies 'composition' (how the body is made up eg what % is fat, what % is muscle) If you want to have a thinner 'blanket' and more definition it's likely the nutrition that needs work. Endless amounts of crunches and sit ups for example, will not shape the stomach up alone, if at all.

What are your eating habits like? Do they match up to your activity levels and your goals?


  1. As they say, abs are made in the kitchen! Make them strong through proper exercises (crunches are not included in that category!) then eat proper food. Easy!