“Abs are made in the kitchen” is what we always hear. But is it wrong? Does training frequency affect your abs appearance? Or do you really need to focus on your nutrition? 

Of course nutrition is important no matter what goal you want to achieve. However, when it comes to abs it can be a little bit tricky.

In fact, what determines your abs visibility depends on many aspects. Here are 3 reasons to consider when it comes to abs visibility. 



What determines your abs visibility: physical goal

The number one factor you should consider is of course your physical goal. If your goal is to become lean then it’ll be much easier to have abs. Keep in mind that throughout the article “having abs” will mean “having visible abs”. Because of course we all have abs. However their visibility will depend on many aspects.As we said, the physical goal will determine if you’ll have abs or not. If your goal is to lose fat, nutrition will be very important. You’ll need to eat less calories than you burn. The more you respect your diet plan the faster you’ll achieve your goal

One easy way to do it is to do intermittent fasting. Here’s a detalied article explaining what Intermittent Fasting is. However, keep in mind that intermittent fasting is not for everyone. If you’re an emotional eater or struggle to control your food intake then IF won’t help. You should first talk to your personal trainer or a dietitian. They’ll help you overcome this issue before committing to a diet plan. 

On the other hand, if your goal is to gain muscle mass or weight, forget about the abs. In fact, you’ll need to train hard but also to eat more. It’ll allow you to restore your muscles better. And of course, the more calories you eat the more you’ll gain fat.

But please, don’t stress yourself. Indeed, it’s perfectly normal to gain fat when your goal is to build muscle. However, the fat percentage will depend on many things. If you want to gain muscle fast then you’ll eat even more calories in a short period or time. Hence, you’ll store fat quickly. If you want to take it slowly, then you’ll gain less fast. 

So, depending on your physical goal, you may or may not have visible abs. If you want to build muscle, you’ll then need to make a cut to lose the fat. But if your goal is to become lean then it’ll be an easy journey. 



What determines your abs visibility: diet

To answer the question “what determines your abs visibility” we talked about fitness goals. Of course, working out will take a good part of it. However, the expression “abs are made in the kitchen” it’s the realest one in terms of fitness and health. 

Diet follows the physical goal. As said earlier, no matter what your training is, diet will play the biggest role. In fact, there are two things that will determine your abs visibility: calories and types of food.

By calories, we mean that you should track your calories. Once you know how many calories you need, stick to a diet. The best thing to do is to have a weekly plan. In fact, nobody eats the same amount of calories everyday. Some days you’ll eat meals full of veggies and other days you’ll eat a bar of chocolate. Which is totally fine, as long as you don’t exceed. Remember that when it comes to diet, flexibility is the key

Them comes “the types of food” you eat. In fact, there are two important things to keep in mind. The first one is to stick to your diet as much as you can to achieve your goals faster. The second is that you should enjoy your food. If you really feel like eating some “junk food” then you should allow yourself. You can eat your favourite foods and still hit your goals. Of course, for those who want to lose weight, you should pay more attention. Here are different articles about carbs, proteins and fats that will help you understand more about nutrition. 



Training frequency: abs every day or few times a week ? 

So, what determines your abs visibility? Is it training your abs every day ? Or just training two to three times a week ? This is why having a personal trainer is important. They’ll know what is best for you. 

But every personal trainer will agree that training abs every day isn’t necessary. In fact, training them every day can lead to two problems. First of, like every other muscle, abs need rest. Training them everyday won’t make them appear. In fact, what determines your abs visibility, like every muscle, is rest. Indeed, you should follow what we can call the trinity of fitness: Workout, Nutrition, Rest. The second reason is that it can lead to health problems. Overtraining in general can lead to back problems, insomnia, injuries, poor results and more. 

If your goal is to get stronger, training abs every day won’t be necessary. In other words, training them two or three times a week will be sufficient.  It’s worth noting that your abs routine should follow your workout plan. In fact, you already have a workout plan with exercises that will help develop your core.

For example, when you do squats you’re not only training your legs. If you do a good squat, you’ll also feel that your core is engaged to make a proper movement. 

Moreover, if your goal is strength then your abs should follow along. That is to say, you should implement strength abs exercises. Which means that you can add for example weights into your exercises.

On the other hand, if your goal is endurance, maybe your personal trainer can suggest working abs 4 to 5 times a week. No matter what your fitness journey is, there’s always a place for rest. Resting means not doing any time of exercise besides walking for example. 

Indeed, even when you walk you’re engaging your core. So what determines your abs visibility isn’t on how much you train them, rather the quality of your training



Credit: Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Categories: Sport

Pret a train

Pret-a-Train is a team of personal trainers, expert in fitness. We deliver in person and online personal training and we also share some tips and advice to make you healthier and fitter. Be happy, be healthy.


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