The question has been asked a million times, why is it so hard for me to get abs? The main reason is that because you have too much fat between your skin and your ab muscles. The second reason is that you haven’t built up your abs enough.
In this article, we are going to discuss the ways to make it easier for your abs to show. There are a lot of ways that you can ensure your abs will show. Once you learn them, you will set yourself on the path to shredded abs.
People seem to forget the fact that getting in the best shape of their lives requires more than just showing up at the gym. It takes dedication to multiple disciplines and adding those up over time. We are going to discuss each requirement to getting there.
Before we get started, I encourage you to download our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). If you want help building muscle and shedding fat, our app will make it easy. Enjoy one of our multiple FREE workout plans, or make a custom workout plan that fits your needs!
Eating at a caloric deficit to shed fat and reveal your abs
Have you heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen?” No, it doesn’t mean eating only boiled chicken and steamed broccoli. It means that you are eating at a deficit compared to your maintenance calorie number.
In order to get started, you will need to learn to calculate your maintenance calories. Once you have those dialed in, we can now get shredded beyond belief.
If you say that you don’t have enough time to calculate calories, I simply do not believe you. The truth is, you aren’t making it a priority. Go to the settings on your phone, and see how many hours per day you spend on your phone.
Chances are, it is many hours that you could be using to build a better life instead of wasting time on your phone. I don’t say this to be mean. Because I was once in your shoes. I received a notification one Sunday that I was spending 3 hours per day on Instagram. I immediately deleted the app.
Ok, let’s get back to eating at a caloric deficit. You cannot lose belly fat while in a caloric surplus. This is something that can’t be negotiated. You simply will never be able to see your abs if you are eating at a caloric surplus.
Download an app like MyFitnessPal to get started tracking your calories. It’s a free app and once you get the hang of tracking calories, it will be like second nature to you.
How to make sure you are eating at a caloric deficit
Based on the previous section, I think that you understand the importance of eating at a caloric deficit. But how do you make sure that you are doing it correctly?
Start by planning to eat 500 calories per day less than your maintenance calories. You have already calculated your daily maintenance calories. Now all you have to do is eat at a deficit.
You next step is to make sure that you are weighing yourself appropriately. And what I mean by that, is you need to weigh yourself at the same time each week under the same circumstances.
I prefer to weigh myself every Sunday morning after urinating, and before eating or drinking anything. This will give you the most accurate representation of your current weight.
If you do this once per week, you can make adjustments when necessary. For example, if you are eating at a caloric deficit which is 500 calories per day lower than maintenance, you should be losing at least 1 pound per week.
If you find that you aren’t losing that much weight, it is time to add another 500 calories less on your deficit.
Be sure to monitor your calories diligently each week. This is very important because this type of monitoring is what is going to give you abs.
Doing the right exercises to show your abs
Some people might have low enough body fat percentage to show their abs, but there is a problem. They don’t have any abs to begin with!
This is where we introduce ab workouts. The good news is that if you are doing a regular weight training program consistently, you probably don’t even need to do that many accessory ab workouts.
But, we want to make sure that we hit them hard in this case. I have put together a 6 exercise ab workout titled mens beginner ab workout. But do not worry, if you are female, this ab workout will be just as effective!
The thing to be sure of with every single workout you do, is that you are engaging your core. This isn’t just for ab workouts. Every single exercise that you do, you should be engaging your core.
What does engaging your core mean? Start by squeezing your abs tightly. Over time, you will build up the muscles around the core. You will really start to get a feel for what it means to engage the core.
Remember, it’s not just strictly ab workouts that will get your abs showing. Every exercise that you do plays a role.
It’s not just ab workouts that you need to do
As mentioned in the previous section, you will be building abs in almost every exercise that you do. No longer should you be asking yourself, why is it so hard for me to get abs.
Now, we have weight training, and ab specific exercises in our arsenal. But what about other exercises and workouts? Well, let me introduce high intensity interval training. HIIT for short, this category of exercise is known for being one of the most effective fat burning tools of all time.
Why is it so successful? Because if performed correctly, your heart rate should be at 90% of its maximum multiple times throughout the workout. This in turn burns fat overtime, and helps your abs show up!
The most traditional form of a HIIT workout is 30 seconds of INTENSE exercise, followed by 60 seconds of rest. Repeat this 10 times to complete the workout. This can be tweaked and adjusted to be more or less intense.
Just remember, during those 30 seconds of intense exercise, you absolutely have to get to 90% of your maximum heart rate. Learn how to calculate your maximum heart rate here.
If you are new to the concept of HIIT workouts, do not worry. We created a list of best high intensity interval training workouts for beginners at home.
The moral of the story is that by adding in some HIIT workouts to your plan, you will shed fat faster. And when you shed fat faster, your abs are going to show faster. This will give you the motivation and the confidence to keep on going.
Main Point: Why is it so hard for me to get abs?
If you are still asking yourself the question, why is it so hard for me to get abs, you aren’t paying attention. Yes, the formula is simple, but it is not easy to become the person who is able to complete all the steps necessary.
Remember that diet is going to be your number one goal before you even think about going to the gym. You need to learn about calculating your maintenance calories, and eating at a caloric deficit.
When you eat a caloric deficit, you will lose weight no matter what. If you are not losing at least a little bit of weight each week, you are not eating at a caloric deficit. It is that simple. This means you need to eat at a bigger deficit.
Once you have your diet dialed in, you are ready for the next step, which is to do weight training and ab workouts. I linked one of my favorite ab workouts above, but if you are interested, I also wrote a beginner bodybuilding routine for mass.
It doesn’t matter what exercise you are doing, be sure to engage your core for every one of them. This will ensure that your abs are getting worked out, even when you are not actively targeting them.
Remember that losing fat in your belly is going to accelerate your abs being shown. This can be quickened by the addition of high intensity interval training workouts. These are workouts that are known to shed fat.
This is because of the fact that in order to perform a HIIT workout properly, you must get to 90% of your maximum heart rate.
When you combine everything outlined in this article, you are setting yourself up to build your ideal body. Don’t give up!