Don’t give up on your abs yet

It is easy to lose your potbelly even after 40—provided you drop your misconceptions

man exercisingEveryone wants surfboard flat abs with a six pack. However, people commonly have misconceptions about who can get six pack abs and what it takes to actually make it real.

Here are some of the most common myths I have encountered.

Myth: The more you exercise the abs, the quicker they will build.

Our body doesn't work that way. Like any other muscle in the body, abdominal muscles need to be trained just the right amount and not over-trained or under-trained.

If we train them too much, they won't develop and even get injured. Training your abs three times a week is enough to get you desired results.

Myth: I can get rid of belly fat with abs training alone.

For belly fat to go, a low-fat and balanced diet is required along with correct abdominal training imparted by a certified trainer. There is no point in exercising your abs and eating junk food. A lot of people do this and then complain that they can't get rid of that potbelly.

A balanced diet is as important in building those impossible-looking six pack abs as good training. Along with training, it is important to have a strong willpower. You need to be disciplined about your routine and make sure that once you are done with the hard work at the gym, you eat the right things in the right proportion and control the temptation to overeat or eat junk food.

Myth: Those over 40 can't get rid of belly fat.

So many people actually believe this. Firstly, age has nothing to do with either getting or shedding belly fat. If you have a potbelly and are over 40 years of age, you can still get rid of the fat and even get six pack abs.

Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shekhar Suman and Milind Soman [I can go on…] are perfect examples. These individuals have developed abs even after 40 and are also maintaining them as they go along. Not that they have done anything different; it is hard work, discipline and application.

Like I mentioned before, if you train properly and follow a good diet even you can have a flat tummy.

Myth: Fat burning pills alone are enough to reduce belly fat.

Fat burning pills, popularly known as fat burners, increase one's metabolism and only aid in burning fat if one eats correctly, trains and does regular cardiovascular training. They don't build muscle. So you may not be able to build solid-looking abs.

If you take fat burners and do not train, you might lose fat but your body will become loose as the skin will hang because of the lost fat and lack of exercise. You need to exercise to tone the part.

Myth: I must consume minimum calories and follow a low-carb diet.

This type of eating can actually backfire. While on a low-carb diet, people choose the wrong type of fat, or if they have the right fat, they sometimes keep the amount too low. The trick is in carb cycling with progressive cardio.

Myth: If you want flat abs, you can't rest.

In fact, resting is one of the most important factors in building any muscle, gaining strength and developing a phenomenal physique.

Every time we train, our muscle tissues break down and we need protein to repair them. Recovery takes about 48 hours, after which they are ready for the next workout.

I suggest splitting the abdominal exercises into three distinct parts—upper, lower and sides. If I make a schedule, it will be something like this: Upper abs on Monday [Exercises: crunches and sit-ups], lower abs on Wednesday [Exercise: leg raises, lying down], Obliques on Friday [Exercise: side bends].

This regime will hit the abdominal muscle from every angle, at the same time giving your body the required rest.

What do you mean?

Carbs cycling

It's a weight loss technique that does not have the side-effects of a low-carb diet. In it, you eat a high carb diet on one day and a low carb diet, the next. This continues till you reach your weight loss goal.

Progressive cardio involves gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your cardio routine.

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Sheru Aangrish is an international health and fitness guru. He has 14 years of body building experience under his belt and has provided his services to international icons like Jason Statham and Arnold Schwarznegger, and celebrities from India including businessmen, politicians, and Bollywood actors. He was Mr India - 1998 and British Champion - 2002.

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