One of the most pervasive myths in the annals of resistance training is the notion that if you want a killer six-pack (well-defined abdominal muscles), then all you have to do is a bunch of sit-ups or crunches and yours will soon magically appear. Wrong. The truth is, a nice six-pack is the result of a two-step process:
1. Lose the fat: Your six-pack is already there to some degree, it’s just covered with a layer of fat. So most people still believe that you can “spot reduce,” which in this case means that by doing a bunch of ab work, the fat around your midsection will quickly melt away. This is a myth. There is no such thing as spot reduction, so you have to do some combination of increased cardio work and a lower fat/lower calorie eating regimen to get rid of the excess body fat.
2. Develop the abs: With the fat on the way out as a result of your cardio/diet efforts, you will want to ensure that your abs are looking sharp so that there is a well-developed six-pack to reveal. Here is where the beloved crunches and other ab work come into play. The more diligent you are with your ab training, the better they’ll look when the fat goes away.
So remember, it’s going to be a combination of aerobic exercise, cutting some calories and fat out of the diet, and training those abs hard that will give you the coveted six-pack. Sound like a lot of work? No doubt…which is why you don’t see a great set of abs very often.