Hey, so the 80′s called. They want their crappy exercise back. Watching all of those crazy ads, about some new ab exercise contraption that’ll “guarantee a flat stomach,” is all a myth! Do you still think crunches help you burn belly fat?
Here’s more evidence: A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that simply performing sit-ups, crunches, and other ab exercises won’t do much (correction: anything) to reduce belly fat.
One group of study subjects performed ab exercises 5 days a week while the control group did nothing. At the end of 6 weeks, there was no significant change in stomach fat in either group. Everyone was told not to change their diet.
In short: Ab exercises didn’t flatten people’s stomachs. In fact, they were just as effective as doing absolutely jack.
So if you want flat abs, what should you do? It’s not as simple as plodding on the treadmill for 20 minutes a day: New research reveals some types of exercise burn more fat than your local steakhouse—while others only burn up your time.
It’ll take you 250,000 crunches to burn a pound of fat. Now that’s a situation, and not the kind you’ll find at the Jersey Shore.
“Aerobic activity must be a part of the exercise prescription. Crunches and such are great to increase abdominal and core strength, but just performing these alone will not increase caloric expenditure above that which is needed to facilitate sizeable fat loss,” says study researcher John Smith, PhD., HFS, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Steady-state aerobic exercise alone isn’t particularly great for weight loss, either. One study published in Obesity found that after a year of hourlong cardio sessions for 6 days per week, people only lost 3.5 pounds. (The study asked participants to leave their diets unchanged.)
“Research has shown over and over that steady-state aerobic exercise alone has a minimal effect on fat loss,” says Jeff Halevy, NYC-based celebrity trainer & CEO of Halevy Life. “With all due respect, because I do truly respect their accomplishments, how many recreational marathoners and half-marathoners cross the finish line with a little belly in tow? Looking at the typical finish line, plenty of them.”
From the best selling book, Eat This Lose That! well known, Dr. Kota Reddy, says, “Forget working out all together if you do not change your diet! Exercise does NOT reverse heart disease, it does NOT prevent heart attacks, it does NOT lower cholesterol, and it will NOT help you lose weight, especially if you are eating foods in high sugar and starch!”