The truth behind a visible sculpted set of abs. And it's not what you think...

By now, you've probably seen your fair share of adverts for pills and products that 'specifically target belly fat', always with the inclusion of an extremely lean fitness model. I was actually inspired to write this article after seeing an advert on an obscure channel for the Slendertone Ab Toner belt - I couldn't believe it was still on sale!

But after thinking about it, I decided that yes I could actually. Having a toned, sculpted and visible set of abs remains one of the biggest desires in society today, and also one of the most misunderstood from the ton of misinformation available. So no wonder there's a market for gadgets like ab toner belts! (My favourite however still remains the Tug Toner, click here to see why...)  😀 

So in order to clear up the confusion, here's three flat tummy facts for you to start putting into practice. 

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Correct Nutrition

If you want a flat, toned tummy, sorting out your gut health and digestion must be addressed first and foremost. Regardless of how much you exercise (even if it's the correct type of exercise) a poor diet cannot be out-trained.

Think of it as fueling a car. It will only perform when filled up with the correct type of fuel. Would you even consider filling yours with the wrong type?! Chances are your answer is (hopefully) no, yet so many people fuel their bodies incorrectly!

If we applied the same care and attention to our bodies as we did to our cars, not only would they no longer hold on to excess belly fat, but their performance, just like a car would be optimised. Side effects would be smooth digestion, increased energy and productivity levels as well as elevated moods!

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Correct Cardio

If your cardio consists of a steady run that, for example burns 500 calories in 50 minutes, it is important to remember that that is ALL you are doing!

Your body will not continue to burn calories afterwards, as it has not been challenged enough, metabolically. And if you're still in the habit of calorie counting to work out how many glasses of wine you have therefore "earned" you will neither lose or gain anything!

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training - as we do at Boot Camp) burns calories both during AND for up to 48 hours after the workout. Working at a higher intensity causes a greater testosterone and growth hormone release. Stored fat is then broken down into free fatty acids, that our cells use for energy after the workout, as the body recovers.

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Correct Strength Training

Essentially, strength training creates lean muscle tissue. The higher your lean mass percentage, the higher your metabolic rate. And the lower your body fat, meaning the more visible your abs will be! 

Muscle is active tissue, meaning it burns calories during exercise and at rest. Correct strength training encompasses functional exercises, that target big muscle groups and as many muscles as possible- not isolating a single muscle at a time!

It is also important to include aspects of unpredictability that get you off balance, rather than sit-ups and planks that may only cause injury. A good rule of thumb is to train your core, get off the floor!

So now you know just how simple the formula to achieving a visible set of abs can be, and what you need to start doing if you're really serious about it. For more info on the correct nutrition, cardio and strength training required for you to start seeing yours, contact me today to arrange a free personal training consultation.

Wishing you health, happiness and an ab-tastic day!

Southampton Personal Trainer Gen Preece Boot Camp