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Myths about Abs


Myths about Abs


While it’s important to get our abdominal work in to strengthen our core and work toward that nice, flat stomach we all desire, there are several myths about ab work that can be misleading, and can cause us to miss the important stuff.  Below is a list of myths to help set the story straight.

Myth #1:  Doing ab work will get rid of midsection weight.  Unfortunately, doing only ab exercises won’t make abdominal body fat disappear.  The same holds true for any other area on our bodies.  While exercising the muscle will make the area increase in strength and endurance, it will not remove the fat in that area.  The only true way to burn fat in our midsection is to reduce our overall body fat by creating a calorie deficit.  And we do this with, you guessed it, a consistent exercise routine and a healthy diet.

Myth #2:  Ab muscles are different than other muscles in our bodies.  The common misconception is that it is okay to work our abs everyday.  Our abdominal muscles, just like all the other skeletal muscles in our bodies, are made of the same fiber.  They therefore should be treated and trained the same way; 2-3 times per week, with rest in between.

Myth #3:  Abs should only be trained with high reps.  Again, our abs are like all the other muscles in our bodies.  They are made up of slow twitch fibers which respond to lower weight and higher reps, and fast twitch fibers which respond to higher weight and lower reps.  To get maximum results, training in both areas is recommended.

A regular training regimen and healthy diet is the only true way to achieve an impressive midsection.  By keeping in mind these common misconceptions, we can focus on the things that provide the results.

Recipe of the Week:
Rich in protein and containing no cholesterol or saturated fats, chickpeas, also commonly referred to as garbanzo beans, are a great way to spice up your diet.  They’re also the main ingredient in hummus, which is a very versatile dish used as a dip, spread, or eaten alone.  Here is a very simple hummus recipe that can be spiced up any way you like.

Homemade Hummus:
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
1/4 cup tahini
Half of a large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons water
Dash of ground paprika for serving

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process for 30 seconds.  Scrape edges of bowl then process 30 more seconds.  This is a great spread for sandwiches or used as a veggie dip.  To spice things up, add some olives, a roasted red pepper, or even roast your garlic before adding it to your processor.

Homework for the week:
At boot camp, we do our best to incorporate ab work into the week, but occasionally we run out of time and don’t get to them.  Here’s a great little ab set that you can do in the comfort of your own home:

  • 50 situps, 50 reverse crunches, 50 mason twists
  • 40 situps, 40 reverse crunches, 40 mason twists
  • 30 situps, 30 reverse crunches, 30 mason twists
  • 20 situps, 20 reverse crunches, 20 mason twists
  • 10 situps, 10 reverse crunches, 10 mason twists

The Flip Side:
We encourage you to try out classes at the gym as well.  We offer a wide variety of classes including Cycling, Pilates, Cardio Kickboxing, Yoga, Zumba, Buns & Bellies, and Cardiofunk.  You can sign up using the same MindBody portal you use to sign up for boot camp classes.