There is a huge misconception about how to get abs, and how revealing them is done. Contrary to popular belief, you already have abs, and if you can’t see them it is almost completely irrelevant to how many crunches you do each workout.
Abs Are Made In The Kitchen
I’m sure many of you have probably heard this saying before, and it couldn’t be truer!
Even if I was to stop lifting completely, I could maintain visible abs because of one thing specifically…
Diet is #1!
It doesn’t matter if you train your abs every single day for years doing thousands of crunches, leg raises, oblique crunches, etc.
If you aren’t lean enough, you won’t see your abs, period.
I get a lot of people asking all the time what exercises they should do to get ripped abs and I can’t help but shake my head.
If your abs aren’t visible, then you need to get your diet in check.
No amount of ab training will make up for the slabs of fat sitting on top of your ab muscles.
And that is all that is holding you back from seeing those chiseled abs that every single person has, is a pesky layer of blubber.
So You Want To Get Shredded Abs, Where Should You Start?
If you haven’t already read my article on “Getting Shredded For Beginners,” I highly suggest you go there now and read through that first.
Essentially, you are going to need to be in a calorie deficit, either via calorie restriction or increasing your cardio frequencies/durations in order to increase the disparity between your total daily energy (calorie) expenditure, and your calorie intake each day.
As you plug away each day, lifting hard and eating right while in a state of energy deficiency, your body will start melting fat off your body.
Eventually, once your body fat levels have reached a low enough point, your abs will start to become visible. This is not the result of your millions of crunches, but rather, as a result of your proper nutrition and getting rid of the fat that was hiding them!
So If Abs Are Made In The Kitchen, Is Doing Direct Abdominal Training Pointless?
Just like any other body part, abs should still receive direct stimulation via isolated ab work. Simply hitting them indirectly via your normal deadlifts or stabilization work is not sufficient to build them and get them strong.
The reason why you want to train your abs directly first of all is that if you have a muscular imbalance, then it will leave you vulnerable to injuries. It isn’t a smart idea ever to leave one body part completely untrained while you bust your ass building other ones up. When you require your abs for stabilization work in other exercises, you will be happy you train them directly and they are strong and can handle the workload.
Secondly, when you train your abs with resistance training, just like other body parts, they will grow in the same way other body parts experience hypertrophy in the proper training conditions. When you do this, you will increase how thick your abdominal muscles are, consequently making them visibly show more easily through layers of fat.
Essentially, the more developed your abdominal muscles become, the easier it will be to see them.
The Positioning Of Your Abs Is 100% Genetic
I have quite asymmetrical abdominals, and that is simply how my muscle inserts are genetically. There is a common misconception that having asymmetrical abs, or shallow abs, or different shaped abs than the stereotypical “6 pack” is a result of insufficient training, or incorrect training.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I have had several people tell me before “hey bro just do more abs and focus on this area specifically so it matches the other side more”.
So many people actually truly believe that you can shift the genetic positioning of your abdominal inserts via leg raises and crunches. Unfortunately, you cannot.
Trust me, if I could have my abs as developed as my shoulders (for example) I would’ve already done it.
It all comes down to body fat percentage, that you train them sufficiently, and most of all, genetics.
Some of the guys I know with the best abs I have ever seen in my life literally NEVER even train their abs directly, they just are shredded and have fantastic genetic abdominal inserts.
Make The Most Out Of The Genetics You Have
There’s a reason why you more than likely have a body part that far surpasses all your other body parts in muscular development. It is genetic, and that area of your body simply responds better to training and develops more than other parts of your body.
Maybe it’s that you have a great chest, maybe it’s great calves, whatever it may be.
For some individuals, they have great abs. Couple that with being lean enough to see them, and that is where genetic abdominal perfection will shine.
If you don’t have perfectly shaped abs, don’t let it fuck with your head and ruin your perspective on bodybuilding though, just accept it, and make them as good as you can by stimulating them with isolated movements a few times per week, and get as lean as you can when you want them to show.
Ultimately, it all boils down to how lean you are. There are probably tons of guys with great abs, but nobody will ever see them because they’re sitting behind a 50-pound beer gut.
As I mentioned above, and I want to engrave into your mind, is that body fat percentage is EVERYTHING when it comes to “getting abs.”
It doesn’t matter if you are 300 pounds and can bench press the planet, if you are holding too much fat, none of the definition and muscular separation will show on your body.
Using A Fat Burner To Burn Extra Fat And Get Abs
The only way to do that is to strip the fat off your body with a proper diet, and proper supplementation (diet being infinitely more important).
Don’t waste your money on garbage that will do nothing for you.
If you choose to use a fat burning supplement to make your cutting phase more productive (and easier), you want to use something that will increase your metabolism a substantial amount, which will burn a lot more calories each day.
If it also provides appetite suppression then that is even better (most stimulant dense products are better at this).
It honestly doesn’t matter how clean your diet is, if you are overeating. You could get fat on chicken and rice if you eat too much of it.
That is why appetite is such a huge part of getting really lean, and getting those abs to pop.
Being able to avoid succumbing to your cravings and binging on junk food is crucial as if you can’t stay in a calorie deficit because you’re simply too hungry, then you have no chance of getting your abs to be making an appearance anytime soon.
A good fat burner can help keep your appetite down, making dieting down FAR less torturous than it needs to be.
It also will give you a nice kick in the ass of energy each time you take it, which is something you will definitely need once you start getting really lean.
The leaner you are, the lower your energy levels will be, and having a powerful energy boosting supplement will definitely be something you want to have on hand so you’re not dragging ass all day tired beyond belief.
The key to making your abs show is far simpler than most people make it out to be.
There are no secrets, there are no magic formulas, all it comes down to is simple clean nutrition, making sure you’re in a fat burning state/calorie deficit, training hard, and not having a weak mind that caves and binges every time you get a craving for junk food.
The shape of your abs are genetically determined, so don’t spend hours per day cranking out crunches thinking it’s going to alter your muscular shape.
Get in the gym, stimulate the muscle with some isolated ab work a few times per week, eat properly and do your cardio, and you will be rewarded.