Why Your Abs Aren’t Showing Regardless of How Much You Work Out

Some of you might be wondering why you just can’t seem to get those six-pack abs that we get to admire every time we pass the magazine aisle and happen to glance at the men’s or women’s fitness cover.


You think you’re doing all the right things: you’re doing tons of Ab Crunches on your Total Gym and lots of cardio every day, but no ripped abs are visible. As I hear a lot of people comment, you might think you don’t even have the six-pack muscles!


The good news is that we all come with six-pack muscles and they’re in there somewhere. Read on and we’ll discuss the not so good news: The challenges of doing everything necessary to look like one of those marble statues with well-defined abs.


Watch the accompanying video for a quick ab anatomy lesson that spells out all the various components of your abs, shows you three great exercises to train them on your Total Gym and why you should work them all regardless if they’re showing or not.


Here are three reasons why you might not be sporting a cut six-pack:


Too Many Actual Six-Packs!

Alcohol is considered “empty calories” as it contains very little nutritional value. Those calories seem to go down even easier as the night goes on. Soon, two beers or drinks can quickly turn into five.


There goes 750 calories which would negate a pretty intense hour and a half workout. To make matters worse, a few drinks inhibits your healthy food making decisions (and decision making in general). A little buzz and now you’re adding a plate of nachos or an order of hot wings.



Switching to light beer and minimizing your fatty food intake will help but if you truly want to see your whole six-pack, you’re going to have to teetotal for a while.

You Fall for the Fat Burning Myth

Ok, get ready to put on your math brain. It still irks me that on cardio machines they have a “Fat Burning Zone” and a “Cardio Training Zone.” This chart fools people into thinking they are burning more fat if they are working out at a lower intensity. What the chart should tell you is that at a lower intensity you are burning a higher percentage of calories from fat.


Yes, at a higher intensity, the percentage of calories burned from fat is less, but the total fat calories burned is greater. Here is an example to drive this home:


If you’re sitting on your couch doing nothing, almost 100% of the calories you burn come from fat, but you’re only burning about 70 calories an hour. Conversely if you get up and go for a walk, you may only be burning 50% of your calories from fat but you’ll burn a total of about 350 calories, so 150 calories come from fat.


70 calories vs. 150 calories. Seems to be a clear winner here.



The best way to torch fat AND calories is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Check out these great articles where you can learn more about HIIT workouts using your Total Gym.


You Do Too Many Bicep Curls

What!? Has Total Gym Master Trainer JayDee lost his marbles?


What I mean by this is the motion your arm makes when you bring your fork full of food to your mouth! This is by far the biggest piece of the puzzle when to see abdominal muscle definition. Your diet determines your success.



Hook up with a nutritionist or a dietician!


Tell them your specific goals and eat clean! This means no processed foods!


If you really want to see your six-pack and have ripped abs, just know it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But if it is a goal of yours, more power to you! Watch the video and I will show you that it is possible.

JayDee Cutting III, MBA

JayDee Cutting III, MBA is an Educator for the American Council On Exercise and holds 12 fitness certifications including Pilates, yoga, personal training, lifestyle and weight management. JayDee is a Total Gym master trainer and spokesmodel since 2004. He lectured and taught wellness at Rancho La Puerta Fitness Spa and is featured in over 10 fitness DVDs and over 40 fitness television programs. He developed his own Coregolf Fitness Program and founded the NiceDogYoga Company. His mission statement is: “My passion is inspiring people to enhance their lives through wellness, creating healthier, happier, higher qualities of life.”

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