Fitness Myth 3 – Crunches will give you a six pack

“I do 600 sit ups a day to get these abs”

“Crunches are the best way to get a killer 6 pack”

Common phrases in a gym, but i’m sorry to say unless your body fat percentage is low enough your abs will still be invisible no matter how many crunches you do.  Crunches, sit ups, rotations and so on are great exercises to strengthen your abs and improve posture, but in order to see your abs their is no substitute for a good diet and burning off those calories.  

I am not, however, only focussing on abs for this myth, it is spot targeting for fat reduction on any part of the body.

As a fitness professional one of the most common targets for clients is to lose fat around the stomach, get rid of the fat on the bum, tone up the arms and to try and lose some of the chins.  Due to years of legs, bum and tums classes couple with 6 minute ab and bingo wing banisher adverts in the media people don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept that –

You can’t choose where you put fat on so why should you be able to choose where it comes off?

Put simply the concept of reducing body fat is down to your body being in a calorie deficit, i.e. you have burned more than you have eaten.  For this reason no matter how many crunches, squats or triceps extension you perform, unless you are in a calorie deficit you will not lose fat and even if you are, it may not come off from where you want it to!!



I am a personal trainer and sports scientist working in Manchester. After graduating from the University of Salford with an Applied Sports Science degree, i was employed by the University to work with their professional sporting partners. As part of this I spent 6 years working with the first team at Salford City Reds as a strength and conditioning coach. I was also used as a consultant sports scientist by the University for teams including Manchester City, Lancashire Cricket Club, Sale Sharks and England Lacrosse. Since leaving my position at the University I have been working as a freelance sports scientist and personal trainer in and around the Manchester Area.

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