I have received many, many, MANY questions asking me, “How many crunches/sit-ups per day required to get six pack?” Most of the time, it will be followed by a statement similar like, “I have been doing 50/100/200 sit-ups per day but still I don’t see any result. Still, I don’t see my six-pack. I still have this fat-pocket or beer belly.”
Well, this is not a difficult question. I know exactly what the answer is, but I just don’t know how to answer it. Because I don’t want to discourage the person asking the question, but I also feel that I have to tell the truth (that’s right. I’m not like those in health magazine and supplement industries who simply hide the truth for their benefits)
So, here it is. If you want to lose fat and make your six-pack visible, crunches and sit-ups are the least important thing to do. Instead of asking how many crunches per day required, a better question will be, “How many calories per day or how many weight training sessions/cardio sessions per week required to have six-pack?” BUT, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED. Whatever crunches/sit-ups you have been doing, how many times you do it per day are NOT USELESS. If you do crunches/sit-ups regularly, you should be certain that your mid-section is well trained, your six-pack lies somewhere beneath your belly fat. More importantly, your back is strong and more immune to injury, which is REQUIRED for the real exercise to show that six-pack.
In most cases, people can’t see their six-pack abs not because they don’t have big enough abs muscles. It is because the belly fat covers the abs-muscles. Now you know where I am going. What you need is not to build up your abs muscles. What you need is to REMOVE THE COVER of your abs muscles, the belly fat. You HAVE TO reduce your overall body fat percentage first before you can see the abs you have been dreaming about.
Now, we have come to the ultimate question which anybody with correct understanding and high desire of six-pack should ask. “How do I reduce my body fat?” Surely you have seen many supplements and “miraculous gadget” advertisements promising XX% reduction in body fat in 2 weeks. Again, this is JUNK. If it is so, why are there still so many people live in obesity today?
To reduce body fat, high intensity and efficiency workout routines combined with proper diet IS REQUIRED. No way around it. In general, high intensity and efficiency workout routines should comprise MOSTLY of high intensity weight training/cardio training, since this will stimulate MASSIVE fat burning in your body by putting yourself in high metabolism mode throughout your workout and also 7-8 HOURS AFTER TRAINING (No typo there, it is really 7-8 hours). Crunches/sit-ups should only take MINORITY of your workout time (believe it or not, I only do 100 crunches/sit-ups…..PER WEEK….it is less than 15 PER DAY)
On top of that, high intensity training will force your muscles to grow. Muscle is, the way I call it, a calorie-burning machine. Our bodies require A LOT and I mean A LOT of calories just to maintain the muscles. So, the more muscles we have, the more calories will be consumed. When our bodies need extra calories, where do they go? YES, YOUR STORED FAT (only as long as your calorie intake from food is not too high). Therefore, focus on high intensity training (cardio/weight). FOR LADIES, do not be afraid of weight training. You WILL NOT become like a HULK with just 2-3 times of weight training per week (More on this in the next newsletter).
Till the next “road sign”, stay on the road to six-pack.
AMFPT Certified Personal Trainer
AMFPT Certified Sport Nutritionist
Creator of RoadToSixPack.blogspot.com