It never fails. As spring approaches people start thinking about getting in shape for summer. And every year the number one thing I’m asked is “How can I get great abs?” 

You’ve probably pondered that question at some time or another and you’re likely frustrated with your waistline. Maybe you’ve given up on your abs after doing dozens of crunches only to see zero results. I don’t blame you.

Forget everything you’ve heard about how to sculpt your abs. Crunches simply won’t give you a six pack.

You see, to do crunches with the hope that it will turn your midsection into a washboard is to operate under one of the most widely held fitness myths. I’m talking about spot reducing. Simply put, training one area of your body will not specifically burn fat from that area.

You’ve probably heard that spot reducing is a myth, but most people still train as if it is true. Doing crunches will not magically make your waist shrink, it will not cause your muffin top to disappear, and it will not give you washboard abs.

Only a drop in body fat will do that for you.

So what is the secret to great abs? Instead of endless crunches, the secret is a winning combination of fat burning cardio, resistance training, and proper eating.

It is absolutely possible for you to dramatically shape up your waistline before summer hits this year. Yes, Y-O-U. Weight loss is not reserved only for the people you’ve seen on the Biggest Loser or on diet pill infomercials. You can do it too.

Answer the following two questions to see how your routine measures up:

How often do you exercise? If your answer was anything less than 4 times a week, then that’s the first thing getting between you and streamline abs. How do you define a fat burning workout? A routine including intense cardiovascular training coupled with effective resistance training. Do you do this?

I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes isn’t a fat blasting routine. Neither is a leisurely 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. The truth is that you can dramatically increase your results while investing less time when you exercise right.

Cardio exercise is all about maintaining an effective level of intensity. This doesn’t mean that you should be out of breath or gasping for air. It does mean that you need to push yourself.

Resistance training is the second key part of a fat burning workout. This means working your major muscle groups against resistance in a way that stimulates your metabolism. Again the key here is to find the right intensity and to keep each muscle group guessing.

What kind of shape is your diet in? Diet is a big stumbling block for most people-especially as it relates to their midsection. Here’s a fact: If your diet is out of control then your abs will be too. You can’t trim your waist without trimming the junk out of your diet, regardless of how hard you exercise.

  • Keep calories in check. Do you know how many calories you eat? The best way to find out is to record everything you eat for a few days. Tally the number of calories that you eat each day and do an evaluation-feel free to recruit me to help out with this part. Together we’ll chart improvements for your diet and adjust your calories for maximum results.
  • Just say “No” to junk food. While this may seem obvious, your definition of “junk food” may need an alteration. Refined sugar is one of the biggest culprits in the junk food world-it is found in soft drinks, blended coffee drinks, cookies, cakes, packaged snacks, and other sinfully sweet treats. Processed fat is another monster. As a rule of thumb you can safely view all processed or refined items as junk food.
  • Eat more frequently. The key here is to never let your metabolism “crash” by going hours without eating. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to skip breakfast-as this is the meal that ‘breaks the fast’ that your body goes into each night. Stick with eating small meals every few hours and always avoid stuffing yourself.

You should now understand why you are better off not wasting time on crunches-while it is important to exercise your abs a couple of times a week, you won’t expect fat to fall of that area after 100’s of crunches.

Do you want to flatten and sculpt your waist in time for summer this year? All you have to do is decide that you really want it. Commit to yourself-you deserve it.