Trim Your Waist Wednesday: Crunches Don't Burn Fat!

As I do every Wednesday, I am writing to teach you how to make your waist look gooood.  Today I am not going to go into too many specific exercises, but instead teach you some important principles.  


"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble"

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


The most important lesson of the day is that crunches don't burn fat!  There is a significant difference between strengthening your ab muscles (which is what crunches do) and burning away the fat that covers them (which is what calorie burning workouts do). According to a University of Virginia study, it would take 250,000 crunches to burn a pound of fat!  Do you have time to complete 250,000 crunches?  Are your abs strong enough to complete that many crunches?  Mine sure aren't.  


I'll let you guys in on a little secret.  My abs are crazy weak.  I can do far fewer ab exercises than my girlfriend.  I can't even do some of the more complex ones.  But you can still see my abs fairly well.  Why?  Because there isn't a layer of fat on top.  So here are some tips for getting not only strong abs, but getting abs that people will notice:


1.  The right diet will get rid of that tummy fat faster than anything.  Not what you wanted to hear, and not the focus of this article. But it's true.  I don't do anything too strict, but generally I don't eat carbs Mon-Fri (the weekend anything goes).

2.  Burn those calories.  This is why I jog, swim, do sprints and always do circuit training in the weight room that gets my heart going.

3.  Always do full body workouts.  Don't have a "chest" day and a "shoulders" day.  You can concentrate on those things, but do exercises for your whole body.  It gets your blood flowing throughout, engages all of your muscles.  This means some leg exercises too!

4.  Do warmup.  You jog and stretch a bit before you sprint, right?  Why don't you do the same thing in the weight room.  Do a few core exercises with light weight to make sure your body is engaged and ready to go.

5.  Ab exercises are still important.  Just because I said they don't burn fat, doesn't mean you shouldn't do them.  Have strong abs and a strong lower back is healthy.  And strong abs are always going to be more defined than weak ones.


That is all for today.  Remember, full body workouts, get all of your muscles engaged, keep your blood flowing and heart rate up and keep a healthy diet.  Maybe we will have a more detailed diet post at a later date.


Until next time,