Abs training is as simple and comprehensible as biceps training yet, for some reason, more misleading garbage has been written on training this bodypart than any other.

You must have seen dozens of fitness articles that allegedly tell guys how to develop their abs. I'm sure you've seen the images of a guy holding a broom handle, or a light barbell over his shoulders and twisting his torso from left to right as a means to lose his love handles. It's a total waste of time! Or even worse, a guy holding a dumbbell in each hand and bending from side to side. Forget it!

It's just as important to know what doesn't work, as it is to know what does work. If you spend weeks in the gym doing ineffective and inefficient exercises, you'll only get discouraged and finally give up. That's why most people buy a yearlong gym membership and then stop going after a dozen or so visits.

By contrast, there is nothing more motivating and encouraging than steady, measurable progress toward a specific goal!

Why TV Abdominal Machines Are a Joke

You've probably seen all those exercise gadgets advertised on late night TV - the lightweight gizmos that make it easier for you to rock back and forth while doing a crunch. Have you noticed that none of them allow you to add serious weight, to increase intensity? Some have rubber bands or similar devices to add a bit of overload, but it's a trivial amount.

I work with male clients who have progressed to the point of doing crunches with 300+ pounds! That's the kind of power and level of development your abs are capable of. So fiddling around with cheap exercise equipment, or those electric belts that "stimulate" your ab muscles using the minuscule power of two flashlight batteries, is beyond laughable. It's total crap! How can two AA batteries generate the kind power required to lift a man's torso and 300 pounds 20 times in one minute. Please.

Goals and Measurements

The first thing you need to know is that 'love handles' are created by the depositing of extra fat around the midsection. This is common in men, whereas women tend to have extra fat deposited in the hip and thigh regions. So, to target this specific area and create specific goals, we first need to know the measurement of your midsection. Wrap a tape measure around your abdomen at the widest area of your 'love handles' and record the measurement. Also, you really should measure your bodyfat percentage, since one of our principal goals will be to reduce fat.

Once we have the 'before' measurements of your abdomen and your bodyfat percentage, we can create a program and monitor progress every step of the way. Remember, measurement prevents wasting time on things that don't work and it also offers very motivating feedback regarding what is working.

Step 1: Burn More Calories

There is no real secret to losing fat. You just need to burn more calories than you consume. A great way to do that is, is to engage in low intensity aerobics such as walking on a treadmill, using a stationary bike, or whatever. The real key is to make certain that the intensity is low enough, so that you can do it every day of the week.

That means you should be able to carry on a normal conversation, or talk on the telephone, while you're doing this exercise. Higher intensity than that requires more time off between workouts and that means less activity and less fat burning. Over the longer term, nothing beats adding more muscle to your body, as it increases your 24/7 calorie burn and makes it easier to keep the fat off. (Easier to do lots of things, in fact.)

Step 2: Tighten Abdominal Muscles

The most intense exercise you can do to target your abdominal muscles, is to perform weighted crunches. Adding weight to crunches increases the overload to the target muscles and allows you to employ progressive overload, which is an indispensable condition to muscular hypertrophy.

Lie on your back with the handle of a low pulley behind your head. Grasp the handle and pull the slack out of the cable. Using your abdominal muscles, raise your shoulders and upper torso off the floor, while lifting the weight stack two inches. Use a weight you can only hold in a static contraction for five seconds. Each time you do this exercise, try to increase the weight by ten percent.

Step 3: Widen Your Upper Body

A wider midsection can be visually minimized, by a having a wider upper body. While you are whittling down your midsection, it really helps to add a little more size to your upper body and create more of the vaunted 'V shape' that is so desirable.

The single best exercise for this, is the lat pulldown.

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Clinton Robson is a South African Personal Trainer and fitness fanatic and is a qualified Personal Trainer. He has completed a contract to run the gyms on cruise ships. He has done a special higher level course and qualified as an Exercise Specialist, or Conditioning Coach. He manges a local gym, assisting clients with training plans. He has been working out regularly, since 1996. He writes articles on many fitness topics, such as training, bodybuilding, working out, losing fat, toning the muscles, nutrition, supplements and more. Visit his blog at Fitness And Fatness, by clicking here, or by copying this link: http://www.fitnessandfatless.yolasite.com