Abgnostics: The secret of ab secrets

Here you will find no fees, dieting or ab contraption gimmicks. I’m not even asking for your email!

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Are you struggling in pursuit of a solid mid section, wondering what secret knowledge lies hidden behind the “ab secret” ads floating all over social media? Or maybe you’ve considered the numerous benefits of physical training and figure that while you’re at it, you may as well do something for your core.

Maybe you could care less, and that’s perfectly fine too, so long as you’re active and healthy. But I do receive questions and see much misinformation pertaining to “sharp abs.”  Here’s the lean (not skinny) on what all the remarkably well advertised ab secrets should be trying to tell you.

                       Kung Fu Panda opens the sacred scroll

                                   “It’s you. The secret is you.”

exercise

It’s that simple. You can run, bike, swim, zoomba, scoot, crab walk, shuffleboard, rake, chase puppies, throw children, and so on. You can even do some crunches and leg raises if you like.

I’M TELLING YOU IN CAPS – THAT A LARGE PORTION OF HAVING ABS IS SIMPLY GETTING YOUR ENTIRE BODY STRONG AND FILLED WITH MUSCLE. Most of the above activities do not really achieve this. You need resistance training. Press weight overhead, squat, lunge, and pick it up off the ground. Rest well and make sleep a serious health priority. No, this is not a substitute for an intelligent diet. Forget the training machines and learn how to move some weight in good form, without doing anything stupid that will wreck your knees, back, or shoulders!

It’s muscle that sticks out – in a good way – in your midsection and other sections. It’s the loaded resistance exercises that cause all your trunk muscles to work hard in a functional manner. You don’t get that from just running, or swimming, or zoomba, or crab walk, or so on. Plus, muscle is functional, like making you useful outside of the gym. All of those injury prevention and functional benefits are mere side effects of being ripped ; ).

Please don’t worry about 7 minute abs, 4 minute abs, or any other minute abs. Sure, you should try to include a few “core exercise” variations after or as part of your real training. And yes, the fact that Hershel Walker and so-and-so do 15,000 sit-ups each and every night is dooly noted. And a waste of time! Doing that much of anything does risk developing imbalance and later injury.

eat

This side of the issue can be complex. What, when, and how much we eat has far more to do with behavioral science than food science. I mean, really, the formula is fairly easy to grasp:

Eat non processed foods (that are at or close to their natural form) most of the time.
But of course it’s never that easy.

The specifics probably vary and are highly dependent upon your starting point; whether you’re already relatively thin or 15 or 100 pounds overweight. Here are a few things to consider no matter where you stand.

No amount of training will make up for a crappy diet. But -the-perfect diet cannot do for your body and mind what intelligent training can.

If you feel like you don’t have time to be at the gym 6 days per week and prepare and tolerate broccoli and chicken every day, good because you don’t have to. You do not have to eat like a typical bodybuilder. On the other hand, you cannot eat like a “typical” American either.

Start with this: give up fried foods, add something green to every time you eat, and attempt to limit (but don’t overly restrict) healthy carbs. Try to find a weekly cycle of a few meals/foods that work well for you and simply stick with it for a while. Enjoy a moderate cheat day once per week, and otherwise remove your choices and eat on autopilot. You WANT to be bored with your food most of the time, but NOT hungry. Nobody said it would always be fun.

These secrets are all general. Please don’t put hope in any breakthrough supplements or ab machines unless you’ve tried at least 3 to 6 months of consistent total body resistance training along with boring, non extreme dieting with moderate amounts of mostly non-processed foods ; ) .

And here’s the kicker:

Around the time that you train strong and live strong and generally make solid choices with your diet, you tend to care far less about less than perfect abs. These things tend to help you become a solid -person-. And that’s truly a great place to be.

For detailed information specific to your needs and situation, please see David Drinks at Umed Gym in Carlisle. Also a plethora of legit and no b.s. top-notch dietary advice can be found at the Precision Nutrition and Examine.com websites.

Published by

bonnylane

I'm a husband, father of five, and physical therapist. I do sports performance physical therapy and personal training at Full Reps Training Center in Camp Hill, and in my basement and backyard. I have been in the game for over 18 years and attempt to find time to type out my ideas and experiences! Thanks for reading.

One thought on “Abgnostics: The secret of ab secrets”

  1. Amen. Go David Drinks at UMedGym in Carlisle Pa. 717-254-6751. He is a guy that reads scientific exercise journals for fun and lives them (however, he seems to not be a “cardio” zealot). Isn’t that what you want from an exercise specialist?

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