BodyEditors’ pick

6 Reasons Why You Will Never Have Six Pack Abs

Have you been dieting, exercising and losing weight only to find that you still don’t have six pack abs? Here are 6 possible six pack abs workout mistakes you could be making and what you can to now to get your abs to pop.

You’ve been watching your diet by eating healthy, you’ve been doing crunches, you’ve been losing weight and body fat, but you still can’t see your six pack abs.

It seems like no matter what you do you’ll never get those six pack abs to show.

Don’t lose hope because I’m here to help you, but first we must go over the six most common reasons why your abs aren’t showing.

By learning the reasons and fixing the mistakes that I’m going to go over in this article, you should be on your way to six pack abs in no time.

However, a big disclaimer is that you have to actually make the changes that I recommend.

You simply can’t just read this article and hope that you get six pack abs. So let’s jump right in.

Reason #1 — No Variety Using Full Range Of Motion

The first reason why you don’t have six pack abs is because you’re not choosing a variety of exercises with a full range of motion and you’re getting minimal negative contraction.

It’s a common known fact that the negative portion of any movement is where the most muscular breakdown occurs.

It’s also commonly known that in order for your muscles to grow and come back stronger you have to first effectively break muslce tissue down.

If you want our abs to show you should definitely focus on the part of the movement that breaks down the most muscle which is the negative portion.

The mistake that a lot of people are making is that they primarily focus on movements that only allow for minimal negative contraction because those movements can’t be done with a full range of motion.

Let me give you some examples to further drive this home.

A super common exercise is the crunch on the cable cross with a rope.

This is where you sit on your knees and you have the rope behind your head and you crunch down.

Even though I admire this exercise because it’s actually weighted, the angle that the weight is pulling on your abs is already problematic and on top of that you can only come up to neutral.

I say the angle is problematic because you lose abdominal tension before you even come up to neutral.

What this means is you have a very small negative range of motion and most of your work is done within a very short range.

It would be like doing a bicep curl only going down to about sixty degrees rather than fully extending the elbows 180 degrees.

Lets look at another example.

Crunches on the ground only allow you to move from a neutral position to your shoulder blades slightly elevated off the ground.

Once again this movement has very little range of motion especially in the negative aspect.

The most negative you can get is at the neutral position.

Leg raises on the floor have the same issue.

The floor will prevent you from giving your abs the stretch that they need in order to grow.

Also with regular leg raises the angle will again take tension off the abs except in limited ranges of motion.

The plank is another example.

This movement is an isometric contraction meaning no negative is performed at all.

To get around this problem focus primarily on doing far more effective exercises.

For example, during the declined sit up the angle is set up in such a way that the tension will not come off of your abs at any point so the negative portion starts at the top of your sit-up and continues all the way to the bottom because of the way the angle is setup.

This allows you to open up your abs more and get more muscle breakdown.

Same thing with a stability ball sit-up.

You can curve your back around the ball allowing you to go past the point of neutral.

Normally the floor would be the end of your movement during a regular crunch, but with the stability ball you have a longer negative range of motion.

Another upgrade would be leg raises hanging from a bar or hanging off the edge of a bench.

These exercises accomplish the same thing.

They give you more room to work the negative portion of the movement.

I’m not saying to not do those other movements, but your bread-and-butter should be exercises that allow a full range of motion and provide more negative tension like the decline sit-up, hanging leg raises and stability ball sit-ups.

Then sprinkling in the short range of motion exercises like crunches is a good way to help finish off your abs.

Reason #2 — Training By Only Doing Direct Ab Work

The next mistake you’re making is that your trying to get abs by just training your abs.

Many of you have a layer of fat covering your abs and as important as it is to build up the muscles to have them pop out, it’s also equally important to burn off the layer of fat sitting on top of your abs.

You’ll never burn off that layer of fat by doing crunches because there is no way to target fat burn.

The only way you’ll be able to burn off that belly fat is by creating an overall negative energy balance requiring your body to pull energy from fat stores around your body including from your midsection.

The unfortunate truth that no one wants to hear is that your abdominal fat is usually the last to go and the belly area is usually the first place that your body likes to store fat.

So even if you’re dieting and exercising this may feel very much like an uphill battle.

The key to lose belly fat and keep it off is consistency. Find a plan that you could be consistent with.

If you’ve been consistent with diet and exercise but you still can’t lose the belly fat, this leads us right into the next reason why your abs won’t show, insulin resistance.

Reason #3 — Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a fat storage hormone that will prevent fat loss when elevated and seems to increase the storage of belly fat.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians there’s a strong relationship between abdominal obesity and the degree of insulin resistance regardless of how much you weigh overall.

EDITORS NOTE: Knowing what and how much to eat for weight loss is critical towards your success.

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Another study at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney Australia investigated the link between abdominal fat and insulin resistance in normal and overweight women.

What they found is that abdominal fat was a strong marker for insulin resistance and the major determining factor of insulin resistance in women.

It’s a mistake to think that if you don’t have diabetes you can’t be insulin resistant.

There are different levels of insulin resistance just like there are different levels of insulin sensitivity.

The best most natural way to lower insulin resistance is by trying intermittent fasting with the ketogenic diet.

I’ve personally found intermittent fasting with keto works very well for fat loss. So far I’ve lost over 30 pounds in a matter of a few moths.

The ketogenic diet is the hottest diet of 2018 because it helps you quickly lose stubborn fat… it reduces fat storing inflammation… it helps you live longer and avoid today’s most deadly diseases.

But there are several problems that accompany a “traditional” high fat keto diet:

  • You like to eat carbs?….You are out of ketosis.
  • Want to eat some healthy, ripe fruits that are in season?….You are out of ketosis.
  • Too much protein in that delicious steak or baconyou just ate?….You are out of ketosis.
  • Want to have a glass (or two) or red wine, a few beers, or cocktails? You guessed right….You are out of ketosis.

Bottom line:

Permanent ketosis is not healthy, fun, OR realistic for anybody to follow long term, which is exactly why there’s a new, upgraded version that produces rapid results in only 14 days

It’s called, The “Targeted” Keto Diet and people have used it to drop pounds of unwanted belly flab, WITHOUT avoiding carbs, desserts, or alcohol

It all started by eating these 4 SUPER FATS at the right time over a very short 14 day period (a few of them are probably in your kitchen right now)…

Other things that can help insulin resistance is avoiding all forms of simple sugars.

This means no ice cream, soda, sweet tea, Gatorade, candy, sweetened coffee, no simple sugars at all.

Weight training has also shown to help with insulin resistance so if you’re not weight training start doing that right away.

Some studies have also shown apple cider vinegar can prevent blood sugar and insulin spikes after eating, but keep in mind what you eat will impact your insulin a lot more than what you supplement with.

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In a Japanese study, participants who drank more ACV than their counterparts during a 12 week period had lower BMI, waist circumference and visceral fat than the control group who drank none!

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This almost magical liquid has WAY more beneficial uses than you could have imagined.

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The number four and probably the biggest mistake that I see people making is that they’re going for super high reps and not training their abs at a high enough intensity level.

Reason #4 — To Many Reps

As much as it might seem like it burns a whole bunch to do a hundred reps of crunches, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually the most beneficial way to build up your six pack abs, in fact it’s quite the opposite.

A 2009 study published in physical therapy and sport concluded that abdominal muscles were significantly more recruited with higher weight loads.

This doesn’t come as a shock to me because I’ve been doing weighted ab exercises since I was 25 years old and it shouldn’t come as a shock to you.

Think about it… you can grab a very light weight and curl it until your arms are so sore that you can’t lift them up anymore but this is typically is not the protocol that anyone would suggest for building bigger biceps.

The abs are not some special muscle on your body, they are still categorized as a regular muscle group.

They still get broken down the same way and they get built up the same way as other muscles in your body.

So if you’re not using weights for your ab workouts then that is a huge red flag and it’s the main reason why your abs aren’t showing .

You wouldn’t expect your shoulders to show without first working on building them up through a progressive weight training program. Well same thing with your abs.

Even if you cut all the fat off your body, if your ab muscles were not built up you wouldn’t see much muscular definition because there would be none.

To fix this problem focus on movements that allow you to load the abs with weight and focus on upping the weight over time with a progressive weight training model.

You can simply start off using just your body weight but every week make it a point to try and increase the weight load.

Some of the best weighted exercises are decline sit-ups, leg raises, pulses and stability ball sit-ups.

Let’s move on to the last two.

Mistake number five is that you’re training your abs either everyday or simply way too often.

Reason #5 — Frequency

Some experts will advise you to work your abs no more than four times a week and I think that’s pushing it because that means one of those days you don’t get a rest day before working your abs again.

Two to three days a week should be the most that you work your abs.

Once again your abs are muscles.

Would you train any other muscle in your body every day for maximal improvements? Of course not.

Your ab muscles grow and get stronger when they repair and recover just like any other muscle in your body.

Give them time to recover and I promise you won’t regret it.

The last reason why you can’t seem to get six pack abs is one that nobody wants to hear and nobody in the fitness industry wants to talk about.

Reason #6 — Genetics

Abs may not be in your genes even though this is definitely not the most likely reason and I certainly believe that most of the people reading this article can get abs.

One undeniable reason you don’t have six pack abs maybe because you simply don’t have the genetics for it.

Some people naturally carry more abdominal fat and even if they get down to leaner levels with ripped arms and ripped legs, the abs may still don’t show through.

On top of that, genetics play a role in determining the shape of your abdominal muscles themselves and genetics especially play a role in the symmetry of your ab muscles.

For that reason don’t obsess over how your abs compare to someone else’s.

Your goal should be to make incremental progress based on yourself.

Everyone can get a flat stomach but there’s no guarantee that your abs will look as symmetrical or as ripped as some fitness model in a magazine.

It also does not mean that getting six pack abs should be the most important part of your journey.

The best scenario is for you to become a better version of who you were yesterday.

Abs are not going to change your life for the better, abs are not going to get you the girl of your dreams and I promise you the novelty will wear off.

Nobody really cares except for you so make your transformation about you, not someone else.

I really hope this article has helped you out.

Keep in mind most of you can get six pack abs by simply following these 5 tips.

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