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Crunch time: Why thousands of sit ups might not equate to flat stomach

Let's face it, most of you who work out are doing so to tone up that tummy and develop what just about every person wants out of their hard work.
A flat stomach.
But as much as you want to tighten up your mid section, you truthfully may be going about it completely the wrong way.
For years, you've been told that sit ups and crunches are what build muscle and allow you to flaunt that ferocious six pack and quell any fear of showing off your gut. That has translated into a countless number of products from the ab coaster to the ab lounge and a host of others promising you that flawless figure you want, but failing to deliver as promised.
And while sit ups, whether you're on the floor of your living room or on a mat at the gym holding a weight against your stomach, will help develop and strengthen your core, don't be surprised if you aren't seeing those abdominal muscles poking through your skin any time soon.

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That's because, quite frankly, you have layers upon layers of fat holding those muscles back from popping out. Fitness experts and those who do more than dabble in exercise will be quick to point out that everyone has a six pack; they're not created per say but rather are there just waiting to make their debut.
What weighted or regular sit ups will do is build muscle but to truly see the product of your hard work, you'll have to lose some fat first. That layer of fat that is over your stomach is what is keeping your abs at bay, and adding cardiovascular training to your workout certainly will help. You also want to forgo the heavy duty weight training with lower number of repetitions and lift less more times.
Often overlooked in stomach and abdominal training are leg workouts, particularly leg curls and squats which work those pesky lower abdominal muscles incredibly well.
The real science behind seeing those stomach muscles, however, really rest with how you're eating. You should implement lean protein, fruits and vegetables and limit your sugar, fat and carbohydrate intake significantly.
In other words, you should trade those doughnuts and your spare tire in for something a little sleeker. Expecting to see results on sit ups or crunches alone shows that you've bought into the hype that is stomach exclusive exercise and haven't yet bought into the big picture of just how those stomach muscles actually work.

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