Cardio for Abs? I don’t buy it and neither should you. The fitness industry has been duping your ass! (Or abs. . .) The one thing that has anything to do with whether you will ever see your abs or not is simple: your level of body fat.
If you are carrying more weight than necessary, you must consume less calories than you are burning in order to shed the extra fat. Only then will you be able to actually see your abs.
Doing cardio to see your abs is simply bullshit. At least when it comes to high-intensity cardio. However if this helps you induce a caloric deficit, by all means incorporate it into your routine but it isn’t and shouldn’t be necessary as a go-to rule.
Walking is cardio – and it’s great. Here are some of the millions of benefits of walking. Now, if you’re an athlete – as we’ll explore below – cardio could be very beneficial for you.
In this article we’re going to be exploring how to make those illusive abs finally visible!
Now Now, Let’s Not Get Too Hasty. I Am Not Being 100% Transparent.
Let’s get something out of the way – Cardiovascular endurance training is fantastic in its own right. When you are already exceptionally lean, or if you simply want to get leaner, cardio is great. And if you’re an athlete training for endurance, it’s not only great – it’s essential.
But low-intensity is where it’s at and we will be exploring the “why” down below. However, this article is here to present the argument of why it may not be the best solution for your fat-loss or abdominal-showing-off goals.
When it comes to being able to show off your abs, your level of leanness (or your body fat percentage) is the only thing that matters.
Nothing in the world will show off your abs if you’re carrying excess body fat – that’s why they say that “abs are built in the kitchen, not in the gym” and it’s true. If you don’t eat in a calorie deficit until you’re at the correct leanness, you will never see your abs.
If you want to learn more about how I was finally able to see my abs again after 10+ years, I highly recommend you read my review of Kinbody’s Aggressive Fat Loss program.
Why do something that makes you miserable if there is a different way?
Why Be Miserable? Why Not Enjoy the Process?
Remember the post I made about doing things in an enjoyable fashion while making it sustainable and which is based on evidence?
Yeah, doing cardio for abs is not any of the above. I don’t know about you, but if there were an “easy” way to do something I’d rather do that.
Let’s face it – I want to get to my goals, but I don’t want to have to do more than I have to. I am lazy.
Wouldn’t we want to make it the easiest on ourselves?
Not easy per-se, but one that’s more direct and stream-lined. No?
I hate doing cardio. Who wants to slave on a treadmill for 1 hour a day? I love walking. I’ll do that instead.
Who wants to eat chicken breast and broccoli for the rest of forever?
Who wants to be a slave to their dream physique? Nah, I’ll pass.
Why YOUR DIET Plays More of a Role Than Cardio Does When it Comes to Being Lean
When it comes to losing fat, being lean or staying lean, high-intensity cardiovascular training does nothing for you.
Actually, what it does is burn about 300 calories per 1 hour of work.
What it also does is make you extremely hungry – and when you go home you will binge eat far more than the 300 calories you have burned during your cardio training.
If you went for a walk during that same hour, however, you could burn up to 250 calories which is far less strenuous – which is the golden key!
More strenuous activity = more hunger created.
For 50 less calories (cardio vs. simply walking) you avoid all the post-activity hunger that is usually associated with high intensity cardio.
But Mike – I Am a Firm Believer in Cardio and I Actually Enjoy It
Good for you. Then do it.
Look, one of the best things about Physique Authority is its anecdotal stories about what the author – Michael – actually enjoys and believes in.
If you don’t like fasting, pizza, ice cream, sleeping in, walking instead of cardio, and eating chicken breast for the rest of humanity then by all means – don’t do those things!
Here at PA, I do not tell you what you should do.
If you like high intensity cardio, go for it!
Just a note: Here and here are some of the implications regarding muscle growth when it comes to high intensity cardio. It has been shown that aerobic exercise can positively affect muscle hypertrophy under certain circumstances.
You might want to read through that if your goal is to have a body building type physique at some point. However, like I have said, I personally don’t bother with cardio because I do not enjoy it. Not because it’s less effective, I just like what I like and I like what works for me.
Walking and weight lifting is perfect for me. However, if running, swimming, jogging, endless spin classes and HIIT training classes are your jam, by all means do them. I won’t try to dissuade you from participating in those.
Just keep in mind that the more you stress your body, the more you affect your recovery, and the more cardio you do the more stress your placing upon your central nervous system to handle.
Physique Authority’s Main Purpose is to Help You Make Informed Decisions
Do not make arbitrary decisions based on your “hunch” – make informed decisions based on EVIDENCE.
This is a very important rule not only for fitness but for anything you want to do in life. EVIDENCE! Show me the proof in the pudding, baby.
Not everyone is Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Chris Hemsworth in Thor – but you can get there.
If you’re significantly overweight, cardio isn’t going to help you get there faster than if you get your diet in check (proper caloric deficit).
Weight training, proper dietary adjustments and determination will all help get you there.
Whether you’re already lean or still fat, walking can have a significant impact on your overall caloric requirements even with just 30-60 minutes per day.
Get the knowledge you need and start informing yourself – and please stop listening to all the bullcrap that circulates in the fitness industry.
Where’s the evidence? Where are the informed decisions? We all have a brain that is capable of enormous potential – we just have to start choosing to use it more of which you can learn about here.
Click below to learn more about Kinobody’s Aggressive Fat Loss Program that teaches you how to diet down in the most simplistic, enjoyable way possible without suffering, torturing yourself and ultimately being miserable.
Well, that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed learning about the cold hard truth of life – you don’t always have to slave your ass off to get to where you want to go!
It’s not always about working harder – it’s about working smarter.
Have you done something that you had to work harder for when there was an easier way? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think!