You’ve seen it written on this site and you’ve probably read it before; crunches will not reduce stomach fat!! It’s that simple. Yet I know that many people who are going to the gym simply don’t get it. The reason I know this is because I see people doing a “core day” at the gym when their goal is to lose fat. Now I have scientific proof, so this is me saying “I told you so!”.
In a recent Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (v. 25, no. 9), they did a study to determine “The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat”. They split up 24 men and women into a control group and an exercise group.
The control group did no training. The exercise group did:
7 Ab exercises for 2 sets of 10 repetitions. This was completed 5 days per week for 6 weeks.
Now before you say anything about diet, both groups were held to an isocaloric diet. This means the calories stayed the same for everybody in the study.
So what were the results? No significant difference in:
Body weight, Body fat percentage, Android fat percentage, Android fat, abdominal circumference, abdominal skinfold, and suprailiac skinfold measurements.
Essentially, the ab exercises had no effect on body weight, leanness, look or size. What did it improve in? The ab group performed 15 more situps in a situp test after the study.
If you have a goal relating to body fat or weight then stop doing tons of ab work. You can keep a few sets to maintain muscular endurance like any other muscle, but toss away your ab dvd by “The Situation”; it’s not helping you achieve your goals. YOU CANNOT SPOT REDUCE!
You need to do the basics to achieve a better body:
– Use mostly complex movements (squat, deadlift, pushup/bench, etc.) for moderate to heavy weight.
– use high intensity interval training.
– Eat healthy food.
– Sleep well
I don’t like to see people wasting their time; go home and re-evaluate your program.
It’s About Getting Better!