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REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
Fitness Minutes: (41,738)
Posts: 523
2/3/13 11:21 P

Doing ab muscle workouts will bulk you up... if you are eating a calorie surplus. Or have some ungodly amount of testosterone in your system. I am assuming you don't relate to either of these.

No matter what, if you eat a calorie deficit, you should see some weight loss. The most effective way to see weight loss will always be to cut calories more and burn more calories (except when you have a calorie deficit that is TOO large), but I WILL attest to the fact that doing ab work is mega important. Me, personally- well, I lose a LOT of muscle mass when I lose weight (I would say it's more than 25% muscle loss...). When I add in strength training, I typically lose weight a tiny bit slower (I think it's because I get RAVENOUS after lifting) but I see WAY more definition. Totally worth it. What use is being "skinny" if you are still ashamed of your body? I stopped training for a while, and I lost SO MUCH muscle mass along with my weight loss. The last 6 lbs I lost, about a THIRD of it was lean body mass. Uh, that's not okay with me! Building it up is REALLY hard and while it is mega fun, I would so rather I had just kept with the strength and not lost that muscle.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,460
2/3/13 6:34 P

It's actually very difficult to add muscle mass while running a calorie deficit to lose weight, as the body burns protein for energy, rather than creating new muscle tissue. So it is extremely unlikely that ab exercises will make your stomach look bigger.

But it's equally true that ab exercises aren't going to make your stomach look smaller either. Energy is delivered to the muscles via the bloodstream, NOT from being absorbed from surrounding fat stores. Ab exercises will not burn stomach fat.

So when should you be doing ab exercises?

Well, without strength training, up to 25% of weight loss can come from lost muscle rather than fat. And its a lot easier to maintain your existing muscle mass through a regular program of strength training, than it is to add it back later.

But ab exercises (eg. crunches, situps) only work a very small proportion of the core muscles - you would be much better off doing something like planks, which work a much broader range of core muscles. And a strong core is important for posture and balance, and makes cardio easier.

Bottom line: you should be strength training your core NOW!


UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
2/3/13 6:19 P

No, it's a myth.

Ab work won't change how your stomach looks in the least. Won't make it bigger, won't make it smaller.

Exercise doesn't target nearby fat.

You should be doing major ab exercises now as a full body strength training routine that targets everywhere on your body is part of a healthy fitness routine.

MARIAHHELM SparkPoints: (1,421)
Fitness Minutes: (495)
Posts: 35
2/3/13 6:07 P

I've been hearing alot of contradictions about whether or not ab exercises actually make your stomach look bigger if you are already on the "chunky" side because you build muscle underneath your fat, pushing your fat out.. Is this true? If so, when should I start doing major ab exercises?

My waist measurement is:37 in.

If you want to see an actual picture of me, there is one on the front page of my profile that I actually took today.


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