Abdominal Muscles and Topical Fat Loss
There are two groups of trainees: those who know what exactly it takes to reveal the abdominal muscles, and those who wrongfully think that abdominal exercises are actually what melts the fat in the mid section.
If what you just read surprises you in any way, bare with me for a few more paragraphs in order to find out how abdominal fat is NOT burned, how it IS effectively burned and what exercises stimulate the most the process of fat loss.
Why you can't directly use the fat from any spot you want:
The simple reason is fat has to be taken out of the fat cell and it has to enter the blood stream, from where it will be delivered to the working muscles.
You can NOT tell your body where to take the fat from. It takes it from everywhere. And since the most fat accumulates in the mid section (typical for both men and women) thatís why it seems to go away so slow.
Yes, it would be nice if a working muscle (as in working abs) could pull fat from the closest sites in the body. Here is another reason why this is not possible: there is a layer of tissue between the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat and the muscles underneath it. This layer does not allow any short cuts from the fat to the working muscle in proximity. The fat still has to enter through the general blood flow first.
Now that we got this straight letís see how you should train effectively in order to reveal your six pack.
Three main conditions are involved: proper nutrition, proper resistance training and cardiovascular activity.
We are examining the training part of the equation, and thatís why I am not going to focus on nutrition here in this article. As to the resistance training, simply remember this:
Select basic multi-joint exercises, involving large muscle groups. Why? Because these are the exercises that positively affect your metabolic rate - they are very energy demanding during the workout, and they will also help you burn more calories for hours after doing them.
Such exercises are: squats, dead lifts, bench press, shoulder (military) press, etc. Make sure you always include one or more of them in your training routine.
The next, equally important thing you MUST do is cardio activity. This is what will actually burn the most fat.
You have two choices here: steady state cardio activity - the resistance is moderate and it doesn't change throughout the session; and high intensity interval training activity - you cycle all-out bouts with rest periods that are at least as long in duration as are the all-out periods. A good example for such cardio activity is the sprints, followed with walking.
The first type of cardio activity, described above, helps you use the fat for energy during the exercise, whereas the second type uses mainly carbohydrates during the session, but it has the ability to elevate your resting metabolic rate to where you burn more fat for hours after the activity is over.
"Well then what do I need abdominal exercises for?" you'd ask.
You definitely need them but not to loose the fat, covering the abs. You need them to better condition your abdominal muscles and even build size on them. Completed physique and proper body posture are the "side effects" from doing ab exercises.
Do ab work at least two - three times a week. Train them heavy like every other muscle group. Don't forget. You are striving to condition them and build size...
About the Author: Resource Box:
Ivan Nikolov, a top five natural bodybuilder, shares with you his experience and knowledge about meal planing, nutrition and natural training. Visit his web site http://www.ivannikolov.com to learn more about what you need to know if you want to be a natural bodybuilder or simply look like one.
For more on proper training, meal planning and supplementation visit his "Articles" page.