Do Ab Workouts Burn Belly Fat?
You can do ab-specific exercises at any body-fat level. But should you? I’d argue that most people should not.
Only two things will get you ripped abs.
👉 First, you must be lean enough to see them.
👉 Second, you need abs developed enough to be worthwhile seeing.
So, this means you should do a shit ton of abs training, right?
Well, no. You can’t spot-reduce body fat. This means that training the abs doesn’t burn fat from around the abs.
And if you already have a well-balanced routine that includes deadlift and squat variants, overhead pressing, rowing, other compound free weight exercises (like Novice Bodybuilding Program or Intermediate Bodybuilding Program), you’re already training your abs, because you have to brace them.
Yes, you can train the abs directly, and it may make a difference in some cases, but it’s not the place to focus your efforts initially. And I can’t say I’ve seen any client make a noticeable difference to their physique by including them.
Just think about it for a second. When was the last time you saw a skinny guy who had great abs?! When was the last time you saw someone who was built like a brick shit house, got super lean and had shitty abs? Pretty much never, right?
There’s a lesson in that.
The difference isn’t the ab training. It’s the level of leanness and muscular development overall.
So, if you want abs, find a well-rounded training program that develops the whole body, and dial your nutrition in so that you’re losing half to 0.5-1% of your body weight per week.
If you set things up right, that should all be fat.
The level of leanness where you will start to your abs depends on how muscled you are, but it’s typically 11-13% (here are some male body-fat percentage pictures). I’d encourage you not to try to calculate your body fat percentage, because all the methods we have of estimating it have accuracy and consistency issues.
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