The Truth Behind "2-Week Abs": A Myth That Has Misguided Our Generation
Two-week ab challenges are often marketed as a way to get a toned and defined stomach in a short period of time. However, the idea that you can significantly transform your abdominal muscles in just two weeks is a myth for several reasons.
WTHN's initiative is to guide and inspire the youth of our generation to live a healthy life in a realistic manner. Therefore, it is crucial to clear up the common misconception about achieving a six-pack in two weeks, or even less time. The Youtube videos and fitness influencers that market this idea are leaving out the key elements that are necessary to building your core and tightening your abdominal muscles.
Reducing Body Fat
The first step in achieving visible abs is to reduce body fat, no amount of ab exercises will help you unless you start off with a smaller percentage of body fat.
Even if you perform exercises that target your abs, you won't see the results if you have a layer of fat covering your stomach. Losing body fat takes time and requires a consistent calorie deficit, which cannot be achieved in just two weeks.
It is important to maintain a diet that allows you to burn fat easily and build muscle. Eating a diet that is rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods and low in processed foods and added sugars can help you achieve a calorie deficit while still providing your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to function at its best.
*Disclaimer: undergoing a calorie deficit must be done in a consistent and balanced way. Do not restrict yourself or severely reduce your caloric intake.*
Diversify Your Exercise Routine
The idea of an "ab challenge" implies that doing a certain number of repetitions of a specific exercise every day for two weeks will lead to visible abs.
According to Erin Brodwin from Business Insider, "The human body is adaptable and can quickly become accustomed to a certain exercise routine, making it less effective over time. To continue seeing results, you need to continually challenge your body with new exercises, progressive overload, and variation in your workouts."
The three main parts to a successful exercise routine include:
Cardio - running, biking, and swimming
Strength training - weight-lifting, circuit-training, and upper body exercises
Flexibility - yoga, pilates, and barre
Abs Are Made In the Kitchen
The saying "abs are made in the kitchen" is a reminder that a healthy, balanced diet is a crucial component of achieving visible abs. While exercise is important for building abdominal muscle and burning calories, reducing body fat is the key to having visible abs, and this requires a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
The best way to advance yourself to revealing your abs is to eat a lot more protein and vegetables!
Yes, a calorie deficit is the number one factor in this process, but being mindful of the kind of foods that you eat in your deficit are equally as important.
Eating homemade, natural, and whole foods are the best way to keep your body healthy and achieve your fitness goals.
Low-calorie processed foods actually contain a lot of chemicals, sugar alcohols, and substances that our bodies are not able to digest properly, thus furthering us from peak health.
Examples of whole foods include:
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Lean protein (chicken, fish, or eggs)
Nuts and seeds
In summary, while two-week ab challenges can be a fun way to kickstart a fitness routine or challenge yourself, they are not a guaranteed path to visible abs. To achieve visible abs, you need to focus on building a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and consistent effort over time.