In the strive for fitness and a body that turns heads when you walk by, there are a few defining looks that stand out. For example, now a days a big butt is a standout feature. Unfortunately for me growing up, a big butt was never in vogue, so I was the “butt” of a lot of jokes…lol. One feature that has stood the test of time however is the look of a strong defining six pack. Even to this day nothing says “in shape” more than a well defined six pack. While most of us want that killer six pack, do we really know how to go about getting it. Let’s see how much you know about that six pack and abdominal muscles by taking a little ten question quiz. The quiz will be true or false. Each question will be worth ten points. The goal is to score a 70 or above. After the quiz I will provide the answers and reasons why. Let’s get started.
True or False
____1. Visible abs are the defining point of being in shape.
____2. You should try and do abs for as long and often as you can.
____3. Crunches are the best way to make your abs visible.
____4. Abs come thru training and have little to do with diet.
____5. Abs play a significant role in back health.
____6. Body fat levels are the most important factor when trying to see abdominal muscles
____7. If you have visible abs you will have a strong core
____8. A few basic ab exercises will do the job at targeting your entire abs
____9. A pot belly is not only a sign of a weaken abdominal wall but can also lead to back problems.
____10. Stomach wraps and Sauna suits are great for reducing abdominal fat..
1. Visible abs are the defining point of being in shape.
False. While visible abs do display a certain level of leanness it is not the defining point of being in shape. A person can have visible abs and still have terrible cardiovascular fitness or other health related issues. When looking at overall health factors such as cardiovascular health, blood pressure, muscle strength, immune system health, and adaptability to stress should all be factored in, not just a visible six pack.
2. You should try and do abs for as long and often as you can.
False. Abs like any other muscle can be strained or overworked. Limit you ab work to a few exercises with a few sets. If you are training with high intensity keep your ab workouts to 2 to 3 times per week.
3. Crunches are the best exercise for your abs.
False. When training abs, its not a one exercise fits all mantra. The abs are actually defined by many sections including the upper, middle, lower, transverse wall, and obliques. because there are so many sections it is actually better to target the abs with a variety of exercises. Take one of two exercises that are specific to the area or areas that you want to target and use them in your program.
4. Abs come thru training and have little to do with diet.
False. The most important component to having visible abs is a proper diet. You simply cannot out train a bad diet. A proper diet allows you to cut body fat which will allow you to see more visible body definition. Even if you don’t do a lot of ab training, focusing on the diet will still allow them to come out more than training them with a bad diet.
5. Strong abs play a significant role in back health.
True. Strong abs are important because they act as a brace for the entire upper body. Strong abs will keep everything stable and supported especially the back. When the abs are weak and not stable the lower back will take on the job of being the brace for the upper body. The added work placed on the lower back can lead to back strains and injuries over time.
6. Body fat levels are the most important factor when trying to see abdominal muscles.
True. The lower the body fat levels, the more defined a person will look. If the goal is to have visible abs then make sure body fat levels are low enough that they can be visible. For women to start to see defined abs this usually begins at 18-19% or lower. For men this usually happens at 14-15% or lower.
7. If you have visible abs you will have a strong core
False. This is the one instance where training does take a huge precedence when it comes to the abdominal muscles. Lean cut up abs does not always mean strong abs or core muscles.A strong core will give support to the back and entire upper body. If you look at powerlifters, they have some of the strongest ab muscles in the world but the average person would not know that because often you can not see a powerlifter’s abs. It is very possible to have incredibly strong abs without being able to see them.
8. A few basic ab exercises will do the job at targeting your entire abs
False. To really target all areas of your abdominals use a variety of exercise that target different areas. Doing a routine of crunches will not be enough to strengthen areas like lower abs and obliques. Try and aim your ab training exercises to focus on the areas that you specifically want to target.
9. A pot belly is not only a sign of a weaken abdominal wall but can also lead to back problems.
True. Pot bellies are usually an indication of overstretched or a weaken area of abdominal muscles. This not only throws a person’s posture off but can put unnecessary strain on lower back muscles and joints. Focus on a proper diet and exercise to manage pot bellies.
10. Stomach wraps and Sauna suits are great for reducing abdominal fat.
False. Stomach wraps and sauna suits do little for removing abdominal fat. What they do do however is remove a lot of excess water. What this sometimes does is give the outward appearance of visible abs. The problem is though, because it was water that was sweated off and not actual body fat, once a person drinks water and balances their internal water levels those abs quickly disappear. If a person becomes severely dehydrated when they sweat, once they replace their water levels they may even have the appearance of a distended stomach.
So how did you do? Here are the rankings based on your score.
(Potbelly Porker)10-60 points
(Some Definition Showing) 70-80 points
(Beach Body Six Pack) 80-90 points
(Bodybuilder 8 Pack) 90-100 points