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What's the right amount of cardio to tone up my abs?


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I know cardio and good nutrition is key to toned abs, but what's the right amount of cardio?

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I'm not a fitness expert, but to tone your abs, I think you have to use weight training. Or crunches or something. Not just cardio. I think that only burns fat...But, once again, I'm not sure. x_x

Cardio doesn't help tone abs.  What exactly do you mean by "tone" anyway?  If you are looking for more definition, allover fat loss is what you need.  Cardio can help with that although lifting heavy weights is better. 

Cardio will help you burn more calories when you do it which can make it easier to have a calorie deficit which is what helps with weight loss.  It doesn't have a lasting effect though, and you can lose lean body mass which is probably not what you want.

Weight lifting (not talking 2lb-ers here) will help strengthen your muscles and increase your base metabolism since an equal weight of muscle burns a lot more calories just by existing than an equal amount of fat. 

Personally I have found GREAT success (over 50lbs lost so far) with eating a clean diet with a small deficit and my only exercise is weight lifting. 

ooh i am interested to know this too! because i know crunches will not tone your abs alone, you have to incorporate cardio too or the muscle will just grow under the fat..

i've been running 3-4 miles per day and doing a few sets of different types of crunches, 15 each. i really want to get toned!

What exactly does every mean when they are saying 'toned'. For some people, they mean losing fat. Other people mean building muscle..as in getting that six pack look for the abs. Crunches will help build muscle. People with muscular [think 6 or even 8 pack] enlarge their waist. So, are you trying to build/increase muscle in the abdominal, lose fat and shrink the appearance of the abdominal or both?

Either way, strength training is awesome for all of the above.  Even though I am a runner, I still strength train and train hard and heavy, 3x's a week. It's what has made me faster, stronger and definitely why my body is as sculpted as it is!

The key to getting a flatter stomach is diet. You have to clean up your diet. You can do sit-ups, crunches until you are blue in the face and you can build muscle but it the muscle is surrounded by fat you will not see your ab muscles if that is what you are referring to. Diet is key, then lift heavy and hard. HIIT and interval training are the best ways to burn fat and speed up your metabolism.

Over time my new eating habits of very healthy and balanced meals combined with daily walking and basic crunches-several types, push-ups, leg lifts) resulted in a flat stomach and 7" off my waistline.

Thanks for all of the excellent advice. Weight training, no problem here. It's the cardio and perfect eating that gets me. I'm hoping CC will help me with the eating part.

My idea of toned is a lean, thin waist line with slight definition of muscle. I'm not looking to have bodybuilder abs or just a skinny waist. I want abs that you would look at and say that girl is healthy and fit.

Littleshellys ~ What type of training is HITT?

Original Post by slimcatiexo:

Littleshellys ~ What type of training is HITT?

 HIIT can be done many different ways. I personally do sprints. You can also do HIIT biking, swimming and so on. HIIT is going all out. As hard as you can push yourself for a short period of time 30-60 seconds and then bring it back down to recover and do it again. When sprinting you must go as fast as you can. Not jogging or running but sprinting. Then recover and repeat. You should be exhausted at the end of an HIIT session. It kicks your butt but it is Worth it when it comes to fat loss. It also shortens your cardio workout time. You get your heart rate up and increases EPOC (Post exercise oxygen consumption)

http://www.naturalphysiques.com/faq/525.html

Original Post by littleshellys:

Original Post by slimcatiexo:

Littleshellys ~ What type of training is HITT?

 HIIT can be done many different ways. I personally do sprints. You can also do HIIT biking, swimming and so on. HIIT is going all out. As hard as you can push yourself for a short period of time 30-60 seconds and then bring it back down to recover and do it again. When sprinting you must go as fast as you can. Not jogging or running but sprinting. Then recover and repeat. You should be exhausted at the end of an HIIT session. It kicks your butt but it is Worth it when it comes to fat loss. It also shortens your cardio workout time. You get your heart rate up and increases EPOC (Post exercise oxygen consumption)

http://www.naturalphysiques.com/faq/525.html

You actually want to keep your sprint intervals in the range of 15-30 secs. Once you pass a certain point, you are no longer going @ 100% anymore because a person can't maintain a full on sprint @ 100% intensity for a long period of time.

Thanks for the tips! Now it's time to workout!!! :)

to have well defined abs u ought to bring down your fat percentage between 7% and 9% depends on how big your abs are. So, u have to:

1) Do cardio for at least 40 min.s everyday and keep your eyes on your nutrition to bring down your fat percentage.

2) Do crunches with weights around 10 kg to 25 kg and do bicycles.

N.B: THE MOST IMPORTANT PART IS THE NUTRITION AND CARDIO

i hope this helps

you don't need cardio for abs. Diet (calorie deficit and proper macros) is the most important path to abs. After that, resistance training (compound movements are great)

Original Post by ajaro:

you don't need cardio for abs. Diet (calorie deficit and proper macros) is the most important path to abs. After that, resistance training (compound movements are great)

+1 - As ajaro said, lifting, proper calorie intake, and the right mix of protein, carbs, and fats are the ticket. As I and plenty of others on here have said, great abs are made in the kitchen.

If anything cardio should be done with the mindset of keeping the cardiovascular system healthy.  Heavy lifting can serve as cardiovascular exercise if you do the right exercises. I know that after 45 minutes of doing a workout like power cleans to presses, squats, and weighted pull-ups, my heart is beating harder and I am sweating more then during a long run.

A new type of cardio I really enjoy is heavy bag training. Great for stress relief, and it gets my heart flying and me covered in sweat. As I said before though, I am doing this to keep my cardiovascular system healthy. My main plans of attack for fat loss are heavy lifting and proper nutrition/calorie intake.

bumping threads from 2 years ago is the best exercise for abs ever.

it's science.

Original Post by mohanadsalem:

to have well defined abs u ought to bring down your fat percentage between 7% and 9% depends on how big your abs are. So, u have to:

 

For females this is a very dangerous recommendation!!!  

Original Post by dbackerfan:

Original Post by mohanadsalem:

to have well defined abs u ought to bring down your fat percentage between 7% and 9% depends on how big your abs are. So, u have to:

 

For females this is a very dangerous recommendation!!!  

I think for females that would be almost impossible, that is the male body fat percentage.  Most females have to have about 10% more body fat so adding on 10% would make it 17% - 19% body fat for females.

I'm betting the answer is... BRAIIIINNNSSSSSSS...

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