You probably have heard about some myths about abs and working out to have the perfect abs. But which of the myths are actually just myths, and which are true? Let’s find out.
- Myth #1: Abdominal muscle is different from regular muscle.
- Myth #2: You have to train your abs every day.
- Myth #3: Doing ab exercises gets rid of abdominal fat.
- Myth #4: High repetitions are required to make gains.
- Myth #5: Anyone can have a flat stomach.
- Myth #6: If you have a bad back, training the abs will worsen it.
Myth #1: Abdominal muscle is different from regular muscle.
People often assume that abdominal muscles should be trained differently than other muscles. However, they follow the same laws of physiology (nature) that all of your other muscles do, the only difference is that your abdominals are located in a different place. Thus it is important to work them out similarly to how you would your quads or triceps and use proper form to get the most out of your workout.
Myth #2: You have to train your abs every day.
Even your muscles need to stop and rest every once in a while. Sometimes less is more! Modern weight training acknowledges the importance of allowing muscles time to recover, so it is best to train once every two days or slightly less. You key is to work your muscles harder each workout, not more often.
Myth #3: Doing ab exercises gets rid of abdominal fat.
Spot reduction is not a real thing. Working your abs will not burn the deposits of fat that your abdominal has. There is only one method of streamlining your belly and that is only through repeated workouts and a diet that is healthy and contains few calories.
Myth #4: High repetitions are required to make gains.
Gains do not come from repetition. Abs get stronger by working harder, not by working more. So instead of a lot of low intensity ab exercises, try a smaller number of high intensity ones that will really make you feel the burn.
Myth #5: Anyone can have a flat stomach.
All people are not built equally. Nature actually meant for abs to be a little rounded which means that for some it can be physically impossible to obtain washboard abs, especially when you factor in genetics, sex and youth which can also affect your tummy.
Myth #6: If you have a bad back, training the abs will worsen it.
Like angles, opposites often complement each other. This is particularly true of muscles so working out your abs can actually make your back stronger. When you lift, the load actually acts on your back more if you don’t have strong ab muscles to help support the weight. So if you work on your abs your back will follow.
Stop training incorrectly by centering your workouts around these common myths about abs! When in doubt always consult science to maximize your gains and develop better techniques to help you get where you want to go.