Can’t See Your Abs?
5 Reasons Why You Can’t See Your Abs
You’ve been checking the mirror every day and penning your workout into your journal every evening.
You’re in routine, training, recording, taking your fat loss supplement…
but still no abs!
You’re discouraged, why can’t you see your abs?!
Here are the 5 most common reasons why you can’t see your abs
Your body fat is above 10%
You can take as many fat burning supplements, perform as many rounds of deadmill sprints and eat as few calories as you want…
None of these things will allow you to see your shredded abs until you’re 10% body fat or below.
When we’re in a cutting phase the training, the dieting, the supplementation – these are all in optimized in place to allow us to delve down into that single digit body fat range.
Don’t buy into the hype of a specific food, supplement or exercises getting you abs.
Abs are due to low body fat. Low body fat is the rest of a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is implemented via a combination of diet, training and supplementation.
You’re storing too much water
If you’re consuming large quantities of water or sodium chances are your body is going to be holding excess water weight.
This water weight gives the body a bloated look and as a result your muscle definition and vascularity will be compromised.
A guy at 10% body fat holding no excess water will look far better on stage (and have far more defined abs) than a guy that’s 7% and holding too much excess water.
Reducing your sodium intake, dropping your carbohydrates slightly, using epsom salt baths and infrared sauna sessions are all fantastic methods to reduce any excess water weight you may be carrying.
You’re in a caloric surplus
If you’re bulking (i.e. placing your body in a caloric surplus) you’re going to be building muscle as well as storing a slight amount of extra body fat (this amount is dependant on how large of a caloric surplus you’re in).
Building muscle and burning fat at the same time, if you’re been training for any longer than a year and already experienced your newbie gains is frankly, not possible.
A caloric deficit (or maintenance if you’ve already got abs) is necessary.
You expect to get abs by training abs
Ab exercises are great, don’t get me wrong.
The hanging leg raise, the plank, the windshield wiper… these exercises all assist in building immense abdominal and core strength.
But that’s all they do. They develop your abdominal region, they make you stronger and provide a stronger base for your heavy, core intensive compound movements such as the squat, deadlift and overhead press.
If you’re north of 15% body fat I recommend focusing on cardio instead of ab exercises.
Burning calories will reveal your abs, training abs won’t reveal your abs.
You’re utilizing poor lighting (a trick from the professionals!)
In fitness photoshoots for magazine covers, for personal trainer advertisments, for supplement companies – lighting is key.
The different between good lighting and bad lighting can give the illusion of 5% body fat or more.
Down lighting emphasizes your striations and cuts, revealing emphasized abs when you’re in a higher body fat range.
Taking a photo to show off your physique? Focus on dialing in the lighting – it makes all the difference.