Many exercisers and gym goers go through the motions, sometimes purchasing the latest fitness gimmickry and sometimes trying the latest fad diet in hopes of attaining a firm midsection. The Abs Diet is one such diet, but unlike many diets, Abs stresses sound nutritional principles that coincide with strict exercise principles.
The Abs philosophy advises a well-rounded approach to attaining a sculpted belly that includes cardio training, abs-specific exercises, additional resistance exercises and dieting components, encompassing all the methods needed for the exerciser to trim down. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, “spot reduction” – the practice of targeting only belly fat in an effort to reduce its size – is physiologically impossible since fat stores encompass the entirety of a person’s body. This means by also addressing other “problem areas” the person can address the fat around her midsection.
Putting the Abs Diet in action means doing strength training, cardio and workouts that specifically target abs into a workable, easy-to-follow exercise regimen. Resistance exercise workouts, whether they use body weight as in pushups and pull-ups, or incorporate free weights or cable loaded machines, are advised three times a week. Abdominal workouts are done twice a week and consist of “super-setting,” sometimes referred to as circuit training, where the exerciser performs a series of abdominal work like crunches, sit-ups, leg lifts or planks without resting in between exercises.
In addition to regular cardio work performed during the diet’s prescribed three-day strength training days, more cardio is advised on “off days” when the exerciser isn’t engaged in a regular workout day. For example, if the exerciser chooses Monday, Wednesday and Friday as their strength training days, and Tuesdays and Thursdays would consist of light cardio like brisk walking, light jogging, recreational swimming or moderate cycling.
Proper nutrition and adherence to a strict eating regimen are paramount to success on the Abs Diet. According to “The Abs Diet” author David Zinczenko, the plan allows dieters to eat six smaller meals a day in an effort to curb hunger, reduce the chances of overeating and engage a person’s metabolism to help aid in ridding their midsections of belly fat. Foods such as whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies and lean meats are advised over processed foods, fatty meats and sugary snacks and desserts.
An example workout advised by the editors of “Men’s Health” magazine has the Abs dieter performing one or two sets of 12 to 15 reps each of exercises that address all the major body parts on Monday. Tuesday means light cardio like walking for at least 30 minutes in duration, followed by Wednesday’s repeat of Monday, but abs-specific work is added with no rest time taken in between exercises. The same happens on Friday, while Thursday repeats Tuesday’s light cardio approach.
- “The Abs Diet: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach & Keep You Lean for Life”; David Zinczenko & Ted Spiker; 2006
- "ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing & Prescription, 7th Ed."; Amercian College of Sports Medicine: 2006