Does the 4 minute abs program work?

A defined and chiseled midsection is seen as the pinnacle of health, and as a result, there are countless diets, workout plans and products promising a quick path to a perfect six pack. As always, it is difficult to differentiate between valuable and junk products. There are many factors involved in body fat reduction and these quick ab programs are not all inclusive solutions.

How to Get Abs

The key to a perfectly toned midsection is a low body fat percentage. Due to the way we store energy, body fat often obscures muscle definition in the midsection. The solution to this is to burn the layer of fat sitting on top of your abs.

When you eat more calories than you burn (calorie surplus), the body stores the excess energy as fat in various areas around the body. For a lot of people, that place happens to be the midsection. As the body stores more fat, the abdominal muscles become less visible.

Doing sit ups and crunches strengthen the abdominal muscles, but these exercises do not burn a large amount of energy. Spot reducing, burning fat from a specific area on the body, is impossible (example: burning fat in the midsection through crunches or sit-ups).

Getting rid of body fat requires a calorie deficit; a state in which you burn more energy than you eat. During a calorie deficient state, the body turns to non-food sources of energy, typically body fat, to make up for the shortfall (difference between calories burned and eaten). There are a few ways to create a calorie deficit: eat less, exercise more or a combination of both.

Do Quick Ab Programs Work?

Quick ab programs can be part of an overall ab routine, but alone are not enough. If done regularly and over a long period of time, these quick, high intensity ab workouts are a good way to strengthen abdominal muscles. Since they are done so quickly, they do not burn a large enough amount of calories to burn through body fat.

The Bottom Line

If your body fat percentage is low and you need a new program, it is possible to get results from these mini-routines. If your body fat percentage is high, use these programs only if you are willing to combine them with a calorie restricted diet and more exercise.