Why crunches are a waste of time

Of course you already know that you are not going to lose any fat by doing crunches all day long or torturing yourself on some ab gadget. In fact to lose belly fat you don’t really need to do any ab exercises at all. Instead choose compound movements such as squats, presses, swings, high pulls, snatches and cleans. That’s how you are going to burn that lard off. Those of you who use kettlebells know that pretty much any exercise you do will work your core anyway. Of course it does not hurt to throw in some ab specific drills simply to make sure you are building a stronger core able to support all your day to day activities.

What matters is how long you exercise for, how much weight you are using and how much you are resting in between sets.

If your session is too long or too short it will not give you the desired results.

Beating yourself up for an hour with weights or high intensity intervals (enter CrossFit) will simply result in a catabolic state which is the opposite of what you want.

Using a tiny weight will do next to nothing and using a weight that is too heavy will result in an injury.

If you are supposed to rest for 30 sec between sets then you rest for 30 sec and not 90. If you can’t cut it with a 30s rest then you are either using too much weight, doing too many reps or going too fast and burning yourself out too early. Change your interval that you can manage and once you are no longer challenged, reduce the rest period.

Do not work to failure – read this again ! The ‘one more rep’ nonsense is an absolute waste of time. Leave that to the body builders and other meatheads. If you you are doing sets of, say, 8 reps and you did so comfortably for the 1st two sets but on the 3rd one you start struggling at around the 7th rep then you should do only 6. Occasionally we can test ourselves and there is nothing wrong with it but pushing yourself to failure on each set is in the end detrimental to your success. All you are doing is training your muscles to fail and perhaps satisfying your ego that you did not quit. Leave your ego at home ! Remember – perfect rep is worth infinitely more than a crappy one.

Categories Core training, Exercise, Fat loss, Interval Training | Tags: | Posted on June 23, 2013

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