Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Abs Abs Abs

Good Evening All,

I had a spare slot between clients this morning so I decided to sit down in front of the computer and write something that has become a reoccurring question in my life - 'how do you get abs?'

After finishing a weekend of Bootcamp with the 'Ab Queen' herself Lilly Sabri, we found the girls constantly asking about stomach. It seems as a female species we are all obsessed with a flat tummy, and a large portion of us want to take it that step further to get a really sculpted stomach.

So what makes some succeed in their quest for abs, while others wave their white flag and settle for a jelly belly?

In my opinion, those who settle, just simply didn't put in enough work. I know that may sound a little harsh but after a couple of years of training clients there is a definite key ingredient to reaching your body goals, and that ingredient is EFFORT. You have to go the extra mile. If you want to remain the same - train as you have been, maintenance is easy, improvement is where the hard work starts.

Day in and day out I see girls who want change. Who aren't happy with their bodies. They go to the gym, they do a session here and there... but they don't do enough.

If you want abs from what I have learnt there are three key components - diet, ab exercises and cardio. You need a relative understanding and effort put into all three of these components in order to achieve the stomach you want.

For example I previously did no dieting, no cardio and just ab exercises. That got me to stage 1 out of 3 on the invisible ab scale in my head.

Over the past couple of months I reintroduced cardio to my exercise regime. I now tend to do sprints on the treadmill 3/4 times a week up to level 20 on speed. This, combined with intense ab exercises 5/6 times a week has brought me to stage 2 on my ab scale.

Now if only I can conquer the issue of a good diet i'll be set for life! Dieting has always been my nemesis. If  I say to myself I cant have something, I instantly want it (and considering my will power sits at around 0 on a scale of 1000 - I usually do end up having it).

Saying this, my general diet isn't too poor. I try and eat clean and make smart decisions as much as possible, however if I can step it up a notch and say no to that pizza on a Friday night - I think I may just get those abs of steel very quickly.

Lilly on the other hand is a very good example of eating clean and having year round washboard abs. Unlike me she just doesn't seem to massively desire refined sugar and saturated fat, therefore when it comes to exercise she doesn't have to go as hard to maintain them. Her abs are absolutely a reflection of her diet, and an example that eating clean works wonders. Without eating clean (and we all know what clean is don't make me spell it our for you) we make life about 70% harder for ourselves when trying to get rid of that extra layer of fluff.

Fortunately for me I have always had a relatively fast metabolism, my weight rarely fluctuates and I don't have a particularly sensitive body when it comes to foods. Therefore, I don't massively suffer with bloating or a swelling of the stomach like some ladies do.

This brings me to another very important factor when it comes to working on your stomach. Find out if you have any intolerance's. Several of my clients had no idea why they had constant bloating or swelling on their stomach, until they sent off for an intolerance test. Results varied from wheat to gluten, to dairy and nuts. If this rings a bell with you, may well be worth paying £50 to get yourself tested too, by simply cutting out an ingredient it can change your life!

The fact that I train very hard (and actually enjoy training) massively compensates for the fact that my diet can be a little on the naughty side. As I say to my clients, everyone is different, do as I say not as I do. Just because I can be flexible on my dieting and maintain abs, does not mean everyone is as fortunate. Our bodies are completely different, we all break foods down differently, react to exercise differently and our bodies take their own sweet time in showing changes.

However what I can say, is although I always give credit where credit is due. We as humans do often need to give ourselves a reality check - stop telling ourselves we are doing enough, when really, we are just scraping by and doing the minimal. I know I need to work on my diet. And until I do, you won't hear me complain about my stomach being at the exact level I am aiming for. Look at your habits and be completely honest with yourself. Are you really working out enough? Is your diet really clean enough? Do you really want it bad enough?

Don't go to the gym for an hour twice a week then go home and eat crap. It's just not enough. A 10 minute run is just not enough. Go for 20, go for 30, turn up the speed, turn up the incline. Incorporate some HIIT. Follow a new training plan. Sign up to a new fitness class. Instead of doing 4 minutes of ab exercises, do 6 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 10 minutes. Play around with your diet, minimize the amount of carbs you're eating (unless you're headed to the gym after) and completely cut out saturated fat and refined sugar. Switch to good fats and natural sugars. Lay off the junk. Try it. See what happens. Don't be that person who complains but doesn't make changes.

'Einsteins definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results'.

Stop doing the same thing. Switch it up.

Below is an example of 12 of my favorite ab exercises. 1 minute for each of them and i promise your abs will be on fire. Do this 5 times a week. That's 1 hour a week in total. If you can waste an hour watching Love Island you can spare an hour for your stomach :)

Best of luck to you (and me) - lets get the abs we all deserve

Ciara x


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