For many people, six-pack abs are the holy grail of fitness and they’ll do whatever it takes to get them. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most misunderstood areas of the body. This is due, in part, to so much misinformation about it.
If you’ve been working your butt off for a rippling abdomen with poor results, here are some reasons why that might be.
1. Too Much Body Fat
We all have abs. Yes, even you, right now.
But the main reason why we don’t all have a six-pack is that they’re covered by fatty tissue. The biggest single thing you can do to get closer to that six-pack is reduce body fat. For most guys, abs start showing up at around 10% body fat, give or take a percentage point or two.
2. You’re Neglecting Your Diet
Reducing body fat is pretty simple (not easy, but simple). All you have to do is consume fewer calories than you expend. But, if you just do that, you’re liable to lose as much muscle as you do fat. Make sure you’re crafting a protein-rich and balanced diet to support muscle retention as you lose weight.
3. Not Enough Rest
A lot of our body’s muscle-building happens while we sleep. If you’re not getting enough rest, it will negatively impact all your muscle goals, even abs.
That said, you may not need eight hours of sleep a night, every night. Your sleeping requirements may vary from the norm.
4. Not Enough Variety
The abdominal muscles are complex and govern a lot of movements. To target all of them, you’ll have to use a lot of different motions. Change up your routine often and incorporate both static and active movements for the best results.
5. You’re Focusing on Quantity
Many people have the notion that abs need a lot of reps to be trained effectively. While it’s true that smaller muscles respond to higher rep ranges, you can take this too far. Using some resistance and staying in the 12-15 rep range will do more for growth than pumping out hundreds of crunches.