For decades now, six-pack abs have been looked at as a symbol of ultimate strength and fitness. Not only are they a sign of a strong core but are just as aesthetically appealing to possess.
You’ll hardly come across a bro who doesn’t want a six-pack. In addition to that, in a study conducted by Western Illinois University, women rated abs as the sexiest muscle on a man’s body.
There are only a few other muscle groups talked about as much as the abs; this is also the reason they are surrounded by myth. These myths act like a wall between you and your goal of achieving a chiseled midriff.
Without any further ado, here are seven myths about abs that every bro should know:
1. Stay Away From Carbs and Fats
Everyone has abs, it’s just that some of us have ours covered by a thin layer of fat…or pizza. Some people decide to completely cut out the fats and carbs from their diet — this is a mistake. Our bodies use carbs and fats as a source of energy.
Cutting them out rids our bodies of essential nutrients. Some people just don’t react well to a low-carb and fat diet, and it can make you feel like sh*t. So, if you don’t feel right, don’t do it.
2. Cardio-Intensive Training
Ask someone how you can get a chiseled midsection and they’ll tell you cardio is the way to go. Cardio helps you burn calories and speed up your metabolism. But if you are someone who doesn’t like cardio, there is no need to sweat about it.
An intense weight training program and a tight diet schedule will give you similar results as cardio. You may need to tighten up your diet since you’re not burning the extra calories you would be with cardio.
3. Crunch Your Way To Abs
Another myth surrounding ab training is that crunches are the best way to get a six-pack. You will see people doing dozens of crunches in a single set, but this isn’t very effective since crunches burn very few calories.
There are many effective exercises like leg raises, hanging leg raises, reverse crunches, Russian twists and many others, which burn plenty of calories and strengthen your abdominal muscles at the same time.
4. Abs Equal Strong Core
There is a belief that you can only have abs if you have a strong core, or if you have a strong core you will automatically have abs. This is not true. Although a strong core is a must if you want to be good at big lifts and compound movements, it is not in any way related to your abdominal muscles.
You can have a weak core and a chiseled midriff at the same time. As mentioned, abs are a result of low body fat over the abdominal. A strong core can support you in abdominal exercises, but it is not necessary for a defined midsection.
5. High Volume Training Is A Must
Ab training is surrounded by the myth that you need to be doing high volume in order to see results. You will see people doing endless reps and sets of crunches and leg raises when it’s actually not required.
You should be working out your abs like any other muscle group. According to a study done by Dr. Jim Stoppani and Weider Research Group, it was found that abs are one of the muscle groups that respond better to a higher rep range (as mentioned in the video above). Do anywhere between eight to 12 sets consisting of three to four different exercises for optimal results.
6. Weight Training Is Harmful
Many people are under the impression that weight training is harmful when it comes to abs. They think that it puts unnecessary pressure on the abdominal walls. Again, this is not true. Training your abs with weights makes them stronger and at the same time keeps the intensity high.
Training with weights makes your six-pack sharp and defined. Doing this will also keep you in the suggested 15-25 rep range.
7. Train Abs Every Day
People consider abdominal training to be accessory work. They’ll put it in every day, whenever they feel like or when they have time; this is the wrong approach to ab training. As I said before, you should treat your abs like any other muscle group.
Since abs are a small muscle group, you should be training them anywhere between 2-3 times a week. Don’t worry if your aren’t sore; this is because small muscle groups need less time to recover and they adapt to your workouts faster than the big muscle groups.