Before I started to really focus on building muscle, there was a time that I was only focused on ABS! For me, My stomach has always been my “stubborn” area! While I could get it flat, I could NEVER see my abs. No matter how many crunches I did or how many miles I ran-eventually I’d hit a plateau and my stomach would stay at this point indefinitely. It was so frustrating for me because at the time flat abs was the goal of all goals, and I couldn’t seem to get there. I finally found the little secret that I had been clueless about for years, before I tell you what it is I have a question for you…
Have you ever heard that “Abs are made in the kitchen?” yes? well its true!! But how true is it??
Let me tell you this: In life there are a lot of TRUTHS but not often are they THE WHOLE TRUTH. So yes, what you are eating WILL effect how you are able to lose weight, build muscle, get lean, and keep energy going. But that is A TRUTH. Not the whole truth. Furthermore if you are eating a crap diet, you’re going to have a hard time reaching fitness goals. If you aren’t doing workouts that make a difference you’ll get the same results. They go hand in hand to make pieces of THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT FITNESS. I encourage all of you to seek facts and learn more about your individual needs in this journey. The more pieces you have, the more complete your puzzle will be. Watch out for fake facts, because people tend to be quick to believe what sounds good. I’ve done that a few times and learned the hard way. =)
Everyone’s body is different and while my method may work for some and not others, THIS is what got ME a flatter stomach and finally some abs showing in 4 weeks! I am not a personal trainer but my own experience with the struggle for a flat tummy has given me some insight on methods that really work, and I’ll tell you EXACTLY what I did.
One day on set of a photo-shoot, I was talking to the personal trainer who was hired to help us stay in shape on the days we were doing the project. I was going on about how damn difficult it is for me to get the results I want even though I was eating as healthy as possible. Then something amazing happened!
He suggested circuit workouts.
Now at the time, I was thinking “okay yeah sure whatever”. I had never really considered doing a circuit workout and it seemed too simple to actually work. He sensed my hesitation and told me to try it for two weeks and if I saw zero results, I could write it off and never do one again. I went home after work that day and thought…
“WELL WHAT DO I HAVE TO LOSE EXCEPT BODY FAT?!”
After searching the net for hours reading about this type of training here’s what I learned:
Along with a good diet,(enough protein, essential healthy fats, right amount of calories) you need exercises that
- Raises metabolism
- Preserves muscle
- Burns body fat
Circuit training does this.
Workouts that burn tons of calories and increase EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption) are the most effective in losing body fat. Why? because the EPOC is your metabolic rate of recovery back to your PRE workout state. Light exercises such as aerobics and jogging will only have an EPOC of several minutes while circuit training or intervals can have an EPOC of a few HOURS! This means you’re still burning body fat long after the workout has finished. Your body needs to be shocked and forced to adapt to the high intensity workouts. When you do the same things everyday, you’ll eventually hit that plateau I was talking about, because your body is comfortable in its routine. Shocking your muscles with high intensity exercises and intervals WILL CHANGE YOUR BODY!
It also means you’re going to be real hungry! So making sure you have a proper diet to refuel later in the day is a must. SO what exercises did I do? Well, at the apartment complex I lived in we had a small gym, and since I was a runner I made a circuit plan for the treadmill. I know, I know, everyone hates the tread mill. But it is simple to use and effective in the plan to lose body fat. This was to get my blood flowing, my metabolism up and those calories burning. After the tread sesh, I’d move over to the weights and finish off there. Here is my workout!
Note: if you are just starting out you can forget the incline and add that later.
1 min at 3.5
1 min at 4.0
1 min at 4.5
1 min at 5.0
1 min at 5.5
1 min at 6.0
1 min at 7.0
1 min at 8.0
after the 8.0 minute hit the stop button and walk at a 3.0 for 2 minutes. REPEAT this circuit 3 times. I did this workout 4 times a week. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday! If you STILL have energy and aren’t totally spent you can do what I eventually added to my tredmill circuit after 4 weeks, which helped me lose EVEN MORE stubborn fat. So here’s that also 🙂
AFTER the tread mill I picked a machine for back, legs, and arms only 3 machines total. Do 8-10 reps on each machine back to back without breaks. use proper form people. Make sure that the weight is heavy enough for it to be hard for you, but not impossible to get in at least 8 reps. REPEAT this circuit 3 times.
You can switch up the weight training exercises to what ever you’d like but make sure you’re pushing yourself and not using too easy of weights. If you’re wondering if the weight intervals after all that running will actually matter, the answer is YES! It ABSolutely will. See what I did there? The continued workout in interval/circuit style will keep your metabolism burning more calories even longer. Total body workouts are going to be your ticket to a flat stomach since the deciding factor in abs showage (totally my made up word) is the amount of body fat present. Are ya’ll following?
More body fat burning workouts=less body fat=abs coming through for the win!
Other workouts with similar results:
If you dont have a tredmill or HATE running here are some other workouts that have the same effect since they are high interval training!
- spin cycling class! (this is newly my favorite interval workout)
- high interval weight training
- swimming (treading water for 5 mins, then completing laps and repeat circuit)
- barre class! (one of my old favs)
In a later post I will be explaining my current workouts and dieting plan to gain more muscle in my legs, and glutes.
There ya go!! That is my circuit workout that got me flat abs in 4 weeks! I wont lie, It was tough at first. But the results were great! I felt so accomplished and my body was visibly changing in only two weeks! Again, everybody is different. You may get better results doing something else which is great!! I’d love to hear what worked best for you in the comments below.