Visible 6 pack abs are one of the hardest goals to achieve anymore. You can watch what you eat, do crunches, shrink your body fat and lose weight.
Sometimes none of it seems to help, so you’re stuck unable to see your abs no matter what you do. Does this sound like you?
If so, you’re not alone my friend. It is one of the most common issues across the country for like-minded individuals trying to get abs!
Today, we will look at six reasons why you’re not seeing those 6-pack abs. By learning this and how to fix your mistakes, you’ll be on your way to ripped six-pack abs in no time.
Top 6 Reasons You Struggle to Get Six Pack Abs
#1 Lack of Exercise Variety and Range of Motion
First, you’re not using a variety of exercises with a full range of motion, that gets you minimal negative contraction. That negative contraction is where the money is when it comes to abs.
A well known common fact about negative contractions is that that is where the most muscle tissue breakdown occurs. In order to grow, you have to break down your muscle first, your abs are no different.
You need to focus on the part of your abs movement that breaks down the most muscle tissue, which in this case is the negative portion of the movement.
A common mistake people make is they focus on movements that only allow for a very minimal negative contraction. Now, this means that they are doing ab movements that consistently have a short distance from point A to point B, with a very low range of motion.
Some examples of exercises with a bad range of motion include cable crunches, crunches on the ground, and planks. Now this doesn’t mean these are bad exercises, but the angles are problematic with these, you only come up into neutral positions, providing a very small range of motion.
You can’t get the negative contractions you need without the full range of motion that these exercises are missing. A good example would be something like a decline ab crunch, medicine ball crunches and leg raises.
You are able to get past the point of a neutral position, providing the necessary range of motion you need for negative contractions.
#2 Trying to Get Abs by Just Training Your Abs
A lot of people think that if they train their abs every day they’ll start seeing results. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.
Many of you have a layer of fat sitting on your stomach and as important as it is to build up your muscles, it’s equally important to burn off the layer of fat sitting on your abs.
But here’s the thing, it’s impossible to burn off that layer of fat by simply doing crunches every day because there’s no way to strictly target fat burn.
You have to create an overall negative energy balance. This will require your body to start pulling energy from fat stores from your body including your midsection.
The truth that no one likes to hear is that your abdominal fat is usually the last to go and your belly is usually the first place for fat to store.
This is just how the human body works, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. The key is consistency, find a diet plan and workout plan that you can be consistent with.
You actually have to take action to get ahead of this and you can’t just eat whatever you want, Muscle and Fitness states, “building abs starts in the kitchen with a clean diet”. Now if this doesn’t work, you may have a slightly bigger problem.
#3 You Have Insulin Resistance
Another reason you may have issues seeing your 6 pack abs is you could be insulin resistant. What is insulin resistance?
It is the fat-storage hormone that will prevent fat loss when elevated and increase the storage of fat in your belly. So you can see how this could be an issue.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, there’s a strong relationship between abdominal obesity and the degree of insulin resistance, regardless of weight. If you find yourself continually having issues with getting rid of belly fat, it would be a good option to check with your doctor to see if you are insulin resistant.
There are different levels of insulin resistance, just like insulin sensitivity. The best way to lower resistance is by trying a fasting diet plan.
You need to avoid all forms of simple sugars including, ice cream, soda, Gatorade, etc. Another way to help reduce insulin sensitivity is weight training. Weight training has been shown to help decrease insulin levels in individuals.
#4 Not Training Your Abs at a High enough Intensity Level
If you want 6 pack abs, you have to work for them.
Many people work on their abs by going for super high reps but they miss the fact that they need to train their abs at a higher intensity level. Even though it burns to go with super high reps, it doesn’t mean it will be the most beneficial way to build your abs up, in fact, it’s the opposite.
There was a study done back in 2009 where, in physical therapy sports, it was concluded that abs are more recruited with high weight loads rather than higher reps.
People tend to forget this, ab muscles are still a regular muscle group, so they build up and break down just like the rest of their muscles. It will be key to start using a weight with your movements that allows this and try to focus on upping the weight every time you enter the gym, with a progressive weight training model.
#5 You Train Your Abs Too Often
This one can be a pretty obvious no-no, just like the rest of your body, if you overtrain your muscles what happens?
You will actually stop seeing results because you’re not allowing enough time for them to rebuild. In theory, you are breaking down the muscle and the breaking down that broken down muscle all over again, so your muscle doesn’t get stronger, bigger, or more toned.
You shouldn’t train your abs more than four times a week, even that is pushing it. Rest days are just as important as days at the gym, you should shoot for two to three times a week, working your abs.
You must not train them every day so they can repair and recover to grow and get stronger.
#6 Abs May Not be in Your Genes
Finally, as hard as it is to say, abs may not be in your genetic code.
Obviously no one in the fitness industry wants to talk about it because then they couldn’t sell people all of there stuff that doesn’t work. Not that this is the likely reason you can’t get abs, but it could be a player in it.
Some people just naturally hold more abdominal fat on their belly, even if they are lean. Genetics can determine the shape and symmetry of your ab muscles, which would play a part in just how much definition you could actually achieve.
Having restrictive genes isn’t the end of the world, it only means you will have to work just a little harder to reach your goal.
Now your goal should be to make incremental progress based on yourself and not others.
Never compare yourself to others because everyone is different in how they respond to different movements and are made up of different genetics.
Final Thoughts on Why You Can’t Get Six Pack Abs
After reading through those 6 reasons why you’re not seeing your 6 pack abs, can you relate to any of them?
If so it’s time to fix your mistakes so you can be on your way to 6 pack abs in no time. Just remember, nothing comes easy, especially abs.
Get yourself on a strict lean muscle diet plan and a workout plan that provides a variety of full-motion exercises.
Always be sure you are taking rest days in between ab training, I can’t stress enough how important it is to rest, you don’t want to overtrain your muscles.
Also, be sure to show up ready to train, you need to bring a high-intensity level every time you walk into that gym.
Take this advice and use it towards your goals, it won’t be an easy road but it’ll be one worth it in the end.
So until next time, stay lean, stay healthy, and always stay hungry.