Let’s talk abs. Everyone wants them, but not everyone gets them….

The first thing most women tell me is that they only want to lose the fat in their midsection. That they don’t care about the rest of the body, it’s all good, as long as they have a flat stomach.

Everywhere you go, there’s great emphasis on sporting six-pack abs.  It’s like abs are a synonym to fitness. From magazines to infomercials, I can assure you there’s a good looking couple with rock hard abs promoting “30 minutes for chiseled abs” or “the magical electric ab belt” or some type of baloney of that sort.

It’s no wonder that when one thinks of  being in ‘shape’ or ‘fit,’ we automatically think of a statuesque person with a six-pack bulging from their midsection. But is that reality? Certainly not, at least not mine.

You might be asking yourselves how can someone who has a blog called “Confessions of a Fit Girl” possibly make such statement. Well I’m realist. That’s how.

I can tell you from personal experience, and from experience of many fitness competitors, that having abs is usually not an everyday thing. Although, most men are ‘blessed’ in that department, we women have a much harder time keeping that midsection trimmed and tight. But before I go on, let me break it to you, there is no such thing as “spot-reduction.” Meaning, you won’t lose the belly fat by doing ab crunches. Sorry!

Hang on for a moment; let’s think about this a little more. Do you really want abs? Is that something you personally desire? I’ve been told, by both men and women, that they think a full set of abs on a woman looks way too masculine. Others have said women with six-pack abs are very sexy (e.g. the woman from above). And some have shared their preference for a defined midsection-kind of an in-between….Seems like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, no?

Abs are the product of strict clean eating, and for those freaks of nature, pure genetics. They are usually the last show up when dieting and the first to go away after a eating a heavy meal. Temperamental little things.

But, if having a six pack is something you really, really, want, I can only suggest clean eating for weeks on end. That means you won’t be eating cheat meals anymore. The reality is, the leaner you are the more prominent those abs are going to be. I wish I could say there was some magic pill or formula to get you that six pack abs, but there isn’t.

  1. Now to give those abs more definition, you have to work them. If you do a simple google search for ab workout, you’ll encounter a myriad of options. They’re all great. Just remember proper form-no excess extension of the neck when doing crunches/curl-ups! Research shows that because the abdominal fibers are mostly fast-twitch, you should try to overload them and do lower repetitions.
  2. Those abs won’t show up if you can’t manage your stress. “Oh shoot! Here’s another thing to stress about!” Reality is we live in a high-pressure world and the hormone, cortisol, thrives in this environment. Cortisol is released when you go through physical and mental stress, and it, unfortunately, shifts your body into “fat storing mode” right onto your belly area.
  3. You need fiber. I cannot stress enough the importance of this!  You need to eat at least 25-30 grams of fiber a day to reduce intestinal inflammation and visceral fat. And by the way, visceral fat is the worst type of fat anyone can possibly have. Basically it’s the fat that wraps around your organs and heightens the risk of diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Really nasty stuff!
  4. Train your whole body. “What? What they heck, I just want abs!” Let’s think about this, when perform squats, Olympic lifts, deadlifts, and chin-ups, you use your abs…and you use them hardcore! You need your abs to stabilize your body when doing these types of exercises. In fact, you can do heavier loads if you consciously tighten your abs when you perform, for example, a squat.

So now that you have some prominent abs…

Make sure to condition them with some sprints. My favorite is 6-8 sets of 400m all out with a 4 minute rest or you can do 6-8 sets of 200m with a 2 minute rest.

Now, here’s my opinion in all this…

I appreciate abs. I think they look amazing on both men and women alike. Do I have a set of six pack abs? No, not always. Is that something I strive for? No, not really.

To tell you the truth, I hardly ever work out my abs- I simply don’t have time for it. I have to rationalize my time effectively between my family, working, lifting, conditioning/cardio, cooking, packing meals, socializing etc.

Ab work=


I consider sprinting the best ab workout ever. Basically you get more bang for your buck! I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m a firm believer of this.  I also do a lot of compound lifts. I love deadlifting and squatting and I eat clean 80-90% of the time. That itself is enough to keep my tummy flat and tight, and in the morning I have indentions on the sides of my abs. I’m happy with that, I need no more.


Reliving the ab days…



I will start by saying I’m no runner.

Let’s go back in time…I remember 3rd grade gym class, the coach made us run a mile. I ran ‘so fast’ that I tripped on my own feet and scabbed my knee right through my jeans; this of course made me afraid of lap running for the rest of my short elementary career. I dreaded every year when the gym teacher would make us run laps. I would see that most of my classmates were excited to race each other while I would think, “Oh, my sides are going to hurt.” You see my point, from early on, I hated distance running, and I still do.

I did however, as a kid, love-love-love, to play tag and soccer. You might ask, “Isn’t there a lot of running involved?” Why YES, yes there is! Both Tag and Soccer are intense running activities. But if you think about it, it’s not straight distance running. There are short stops/rest then bursts of all out running. And, that my friends is called sprinting.

Aside from the myriad of research that shows that sprint running is the best form of ‘cardio’ for fat loss and is a great addition for muscle building, sprints are very time effective. All you need is 15-30 minutes and you’re done. You can sprint at the track, on a hill, or on stairs; all great variations.

So if you don’t enjoy distance running, try sprinting. For me,  I need something to chase (ball), chase after me (tag), or know that I will be able to rest shorty (sprints).

So if you’re up for it, find a track field and do the following:

As a warm up, jog for 2 laps, and then do some dynamic stretching, then jog another two laps.

Run about 80% of max effort for 100m, rest 2 minutes

100m all out, rest 4 minutes, repeat 5-6 times.

Cool down with some static stretching

If you have a good set of stairs with at least 2-3 flights in it or more do the following:

Warm up with some dynamic stretching for 3-5 minutes. Run up the stairs all-out and walk down, rest 30 seconds. Repeat for 10-12 sets. Cool down with some static stretching.

Hills sprints are great for the tushy, so find a large hill. Start your workout with some dynamic stretching and with a easy warmup jog up the hill. Then you…

Run up the hill as fast as you can for about 20-30 seconds. Then you walk it down (about 45-60seconds) which is your rest. Immediately repeat for 10-12 sets. Cool down with some static stretching.

If you like it, try sprinting for about 2-3 times a week. It alone is a great way to lose fat, but combined with strength training, results are simply outstanding! It has changed the way I look at when doing I do “cardio,” I actually enjoy it now. I like to take my speed time and try to beat it at every session. I have seen the shape of my legs  change; they are now, more shapely-leaner and stronger. My vertical jump has improved and I feel and look more athletic. Sprinting has also helped me when I played co-ed indoor soccer. I am able to keep up with the running, and chase the ball at full speed. And, it surprisingly helps build some abs! You get the point, sprinting is the full-package when it comes to getting more bang for your buck. So give it a try! You’ll get a great workout out of it!