Abdominal Fat: What is the best way to lose it?

Dear Tom,

I’m pretty lean overall, but no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get rid of this last little bit of fat on my lower abs. What are the best ab exercises to burn the fat off?

If I hear this question one more time, I’m gonna scream! Ok, let me clear this up once and for all: You can’t “spot reduce” fat from one specific part of your body! You lose fat systemically. That means you can’t control where it comes from. When fat is oxidized for energy, you will draw it from all areas of the body, and the first place you tend to put it on will be the last place it comes off.

Everyone has certain “stubborn” areas where the fat seems “hard to get rid of” but the fat WILL go, it will just be the last place to go.

The best way to burn fat off your abs is not to do more ab work, but to do more cardiovascular work: Bike, Stairmaster, treadmill, elliptical machine or rower – they’re all great fat burners. Work at about 70-85% of your age-predicted maximal heart rate (220-your age) and maintain it for 30-45 minutes 5-6 days a week for optimal results.

Train your abs about twice a week, just as you would any other body part. Doing your abs every day will do almost nothing to remove the layer of fat covering the muscles. In fact, it’s possible to have a great set of abs that you can’t even see because they are covered up with a layer of fat!

And don’t forget, nutrition is half the battle when it comes to fat loss! If you’re drinking beer and eating pizza on a regular basis, it doesn’t matter what you do in the gym, you’ll probably never get a great set of abs.

Tom’s formula for ripped abs:
Nutrition: 50%
Cardio: 49%
Ab exercises: 1%