Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
November 30, 2022
Abdominal Fat – Why Isn’t it Going Away?
by Ivan Nikolov

Go Away Ab Fat! Let me ask you a question. If you wanted to burn the fat, covering your abdominal muscles, what exercises would you do?

Possible answers: 1) A huge amount of abdominal exercises; 2) Compound movements and cardio exercise

If your answer was number one, you couldn’t be further from the truth! And you know what? You are not alone. You are actually one of the many, who think exactly the same way.

The bad news is you have probably lost a lot of hours doing ab work without seeing any results, and what’s worse you then have lost motivation and have quit. May be not only one time at that…

If you belong to the group of people, who chose the second answer: congratulations. You are a part of a small but increasing group. Now, tell me that not only do you know the right answer but you apply it into your daily training routine…!

The information below is for YOU, if you joined the first group above. If it came as a surprise that doing abdominal exercise is NOT going to burn the fat in your mid section, then I ought to explain two things:

Why abdominal exercises are NOT the way to define your abs
What abdominal exercises really do for you

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The fat that you are targeting is called subcutaneous fat. The name comes from the fact that it is located underneath the skin. If you see it on your mid section that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any of it anywhere else in your body.

Well, the truth is all subcutaneous fat is surrounded by a layer of tissue, which separates it from the working muscle. And the sad part is there ISN’T a short cut between the fat and the muscle underneath it!

Yes, you read that right. Remember this: The difference between 15 reps and 150 reps of ab exercise is the higher level of frustration.

Read on. The way it works is the fat, when released from the fat cells enters the blood stream in the form of glycerol and fatty acids. This process occurs simultaneously throughout the body. There is no way that you can make your body selectively take the fat from your abs only!

Why do ab exercises then?

The fact is abdominal exercises are an important part of the overall training routine. Their job is to condition and train the abdominal muscles for size. This is necessary for strong core development. Moreover, it is a main condition for a well mastered physique.

Now what?

Being a member of the first group you need to seriously re-consider your approach to overall fat loss and abdominal fat loss as a part of it. What you need to focus on is not burning the fat topically, but burning more calories through exercise, while keeping your metabolism elevated.

There are two very effective ways to keep your metabolic rate higher: cardio activity and basic compound movements (I haven’t mentioned anything about the negative calorie balance here. This is a topic for another article, plus I assumed you’d already known that).

The cardio activity:

Steady state cardio is what mobilizes the most fat throughout your body to be utilized as energy; High Intensity Intervals (HIIT) type of cardio is what is significantly proven to elevate your resting metabolic rate for hours after the session. These two should play a substantial role in your efforts.

The compound movements:

When I say basic compound exercises I mean multi-joint movements that involve the muscles of the thighs, mainly the quads. These are the largest muscle groups in the human body, and are those that require the greatest amount of energy. That’s why they have the ability to elevate your metabolism.

Good examples for such exercises are: squats, dead lifts, step-ups, lunges. Include any of these (or a combination of them) in your workout and you will significantly shorten your journey to a leaner physique (including a defined abdominal section).

Let’s just quickly recap. If your main goal is to define your abs you should be well aware of the fact that doing hundreds or thousands of crunches will NOT help UNLESS there is a sound training system implemented, which includes exercises for increased fat utilization and metabolism elevation.

The nutrition part of the equation must be in place, too, but this is a different story… The bottom line is abdominal training is good for core muscles conditioning and development. As to the fat tissue, it will go layer by layer from every single part of your body until it is all gone. That’s when you will see your “tiles”…

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