T Nation

Ab Work and Fat Loss. Opinions?

So basically, ever since I graduated college this May, I’ve been hitting the gym hard. I played baseball and basketball at school, which served me very well as far as keeping in shape.

As a pitcher, I was always discouraged from hitting the weight room too hard, because of the increased risk for connective tissue problems associated with heavy lifting. I was basically all about cardiovascular fitness, light weight workouts, and flexibility.

Since then, I’ve really been going all out in the gym, as I basically see that as my athletic activity instead of the sports I’d been playing for so long. But I digress.

My question is this:

Admittedly, I’ve put on a bit of weight since school ended, mostly in the midsection. I’m currently 6’5, 235, and while I still maintain what I would call an athletic build, I’ve always had a bit of a “love handle problem”, you could say.

Basically, I’m not quite as slim as I’d like to be. Any excess fat that I have, I swear goes right to my sides, haha. I’ve been doing consistent abdominal work, and I was wondering, if I’m looking to slim down a bit, should I lay off the ab work that targets my sides, and focus only on ab work that targets the center?

I was thinking that with a proper running program, I could drop the 10 lbs or so I’m looking to lose from the love handle area. By the same token, I feel like maybe I should just continue doing excercises that work the sides, because it might help burn some of the fat in that area.

So basically, if I’m looking to lose some fat from that love handle area, do I lay off exercises that work that specific area, and do only those that focus on the center? Or will continuing to do exercises that target the sides really help out in burning fat in that area? My profile view is perfect, it’s just my front view width that I’m looking to tighten up.

Any advice would be great.

For reference:


You haven’t mentioned your diet.

You need to eat to burn fat if you want to lose what tiny bit you have over your midsection; what does your diet look like right now?

Ab exercises aren’t going to give you a 6-pack, sadly.

Also you really shouldn’t be concerned about trying to lean up - you are not carrying very much muscle mass at all and should be bulking up.

I will definitely need to get a more recent picture. I’ve had a good month of heavy eating and lifting between that pic and now. And yes, I’m aware that I wont get a 6pack from ab exercises alone. I’m not really looking for a 6 pack though, more just losing that fat. The problem with describing my diet is that I’m all over the place, and it is very rarely consistent. I’m open to any suggestions though.

You need to get your diet consistent. Probably not what you wanted to hear :stuck_out_tongue:

Diet is a very large part of what determines who is making progress and who isn’t.

To answer your question, you will not burn off fat by doing exercises that target the area that has the extra fat.

If doing ab execises burned off fat from your midsection there would be way more people in this country with six packs. However this would also mean that even though they had a lean midsection the rest of their body was pretty flabby.

I’m of course referring to the thousands of people who do crunch after crunch, without much more, and expect to get that “lean, sexy midsection.”

You gotta clean up your diet, do some weight training and incorporate some cardio and you can burn off fat all over your body, although people burn fat off different areas at different times.

[quote]MeinHerzBrennt wrote:

You gotta clean up your diet, do some weight training and incorporate some cardio and you can burn off fat all over your body, although people burn fat off different areas at different times.[/quote]

And as said above, even if you do cardio with proper diet and lifting, you may not burn fat off your sides until after losing some in your face, then neck, then arms, then legs, then back, then center midsection, and then maybe sides. Or you may lose your sides first, then legs, then face, etc… It is different for everyone. You need to get your diet under control first.

and for an ab exercise that burns fat (in a roud about way-spot reducing is a myth)

zercher squats! 3x8 or whatever
good fun