Crunches Don't Burn Belly Fat

I hear this a lot from people, "I need to do more crunches because I need to lose fat in my belly." It's hard to make them understand that one exercise alone isn't going to miraculously disappear all of their belly fat. Just ask anyone on the mats doing hundreds of crunches, they'll all say they are "working on losing belly fat." I read an article in the Idea Fit Fitness Journal that proves my statement and will hopefully help people understand that weight loss doesn't happen in one region of your body.

The study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2011; 25 [9], 2559-64) is based on the research done by the Southern Illinois University. It's purpose was to "determine the effect- if any- of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat." They had two groups, each comprised of 12 men and women, aged 18-40. One group was asked to refrain from exercise and the other group performed the abdominal exercises. The group doing the exercising, performed seven different exercises (2 sets of 10 reps), five days a week for six weeks.

At the end of the study, there was no difference in their weight, their body composition, or the measurements around their waist. The only change was that their core was stronger.

So ... stop buying ab contraptions, stop spending hours at the gym working solely your abs, and start working on functional fitness that's engaging your WHOLE body. Nutrition is a BIG factor as well. Going to the gym is only part of the equation. Eating clean, healthy and well rounded meals will provide you the fuels you need to get through the day and will help you stay further and further away from the junk meals.

Of course, I am the first to say that everyone should have their treats. But trust me, the cleaner your diet, the less you will crave in terms of sweets and junky fried food. Below is an article I read on Men's Health that I found interesting.