Most people want to get six pack abs, but only very few get real results. Unfortunately, I begin to realize that people are simply misinformed about ways to get six pack abs. The majority of people who are looking to get six pack abs, focus on a single exercise: crunches. They act surprised when I tell them that doing crunches does not result in a flat stomach. So let me be very clear once again. If you are looking to get well defined six pack abs, stop doing abdominal exercises like crunches. Crunches should be your last priority.
So what is the real truth about six pack abs and body fat?
The truth is that most of us have abs already. Did that revelation shock you? Well it shouldn’t; here is why. Most people’s abdominal muscles are covered with layers of fat, which prevent their six pack abs from being visible. Therefore, what I usually suggest to people who what to get a flat stomach, is to get rid of their excess fat. Once they do that, their ab muscles should start showing.
At this stage, one can begin doing ab exercises such as planks, crunches, jump ropes etc, to tone up the ab muscles and shape them up into the six pack appearance.
How does body fat percentage prevent six pack abs?
In general, a man’s body fat percentage is different from a woman’s. For a man between the ages of 20 and 40, a body fat percentage in the range of 8% to 19% would be considered normal. For a woman of the same age, her normal body fat percentage is in the range of 21% and 33%. Obese men typically have a body fat above 25%, and women are not considered obese until their body fat surpasses 39%.
Now, here is another truth about six pack abs and fat percentage: In order for men to get six-pack abs, they need to drop their fat percentage below 10-11%. For similar result, women must get below 19% of total fat to visibly bring out their abs. However, these numbers are not carved in stone. Try it out for yourself.
Unlike men who accumulate stubborn fat in their abdominal region, women pack up their excess fat in their thighs and hips. In order to determine your body fat percentage, you may seek one of two most common methods: The skinfold caliper or the bioelectrical impedance techniques. If you are a health club member, any trainer at that gym should be able to perform either one of the two methods. The skinfold caliper method has been proven to generate more accurate results, so it is preferred to the bioelectrical impedance test.
I suggest you get a good measurement of your body fat percentage, and then work diligently to reduce your body fat below the level aforementioned. Only then, would I recommend that you begin doing some abdominal exercises