Will Running Give you Abs? – Not Exactly

You don’t have to look for long on the internet to find a million different ab workouts that will give you “rock hard abs” and a “movie star body”. It seems like thousands of health advocates think they have found the #1 workout to build your abs and get them popping out of your stomach.

Abs are very hard to build in general, let alone trying to get them to be visible. Workouts alone can’t and won’t give you aesthetic, visible abs that make others jaws drop.

So, will running give you abs? The answer is not exactly. Running can help, but where abs are really made are IN THE KITCHEN.

The Truth about Abs

Abs are a very unique muscle. You can work them out every day and not even make them sore. They are very resilient. But, no matter how hard you workout your abs, you won’t make much of a difference visually. You will get them stronger no doubt, but the only true way to get that movie star body and have your abs looking aesthetic is to have a low body fat percentage.

That’s it. One guy can work out his abs every day of his life and still not see a sliver of a crease on his stomach. While another guy, who hits abs once a month, can look like a Greek god. Why is this? It’s because the second guy has a low body fat percentage that allows his abs to be visible.

Do Ab Workouts do Anything?

I’m not saying that there is no point to do ab workouts. Having strong abs is very important not only for a strong aesthetic, but strong abs assist you in almost every workout including squats, shoulder presses and bench presses.

Building your abs can also change how they look once you achieve that low body fat percentage. Your abs will look better if you work them out compared to if you had abs without strengthening them. The term “skinny abs” is a real thing and people who don’t workout their abs but have abs don’t look as good as people who have abs and work them out consistently.

How to Achieve a Low Body Fat Percentage

To achieve a low body fat percentage, you must be in a caloric deficit. As I talked about in my previous posts, a caloric deficit is when you eat fewer calories than your body burns in a day. Say your body burns 2800 calories in a day, you would want to eat less than that in order to lose fat.

Even if you don’t work your abs often, as long as you consistently eat in a caloric deficit, you will eventually see your abs start to peak out.

To calculate how many calories your body burns in a day, take your weight and multiply it by 14, 15, or 16, depending on how active you are, and use that number as your daily maintenance caloric intake. For example, if you weigh 190 pounds and workout for about an hour a day, multiply 190 by 15 and you get 2,850. After you calculate this number, subtract it by whatever calorie deficit you would like to be in. The bigger the deficit you are in, the more weight you will lose. So for this example, You could take 2,850 and subtract it by 300 and get 2,550. Meaning that every day if you ate 2,550 calories, you would slowly lose weight.

Be careful with this method, however, as I wouldn’t recommend putting yourself in a caloric deficit of more than 400 calories. Not only is it hard to maintain a caloric deficit of more than 400 calories, but after 400 calories, your body might start to freak out and your hormones could become out of wack.

Suggested Article: Do You Have To Do Cardio To Lose Weight? – It’s Complicated

Formula for the Best Looking Abs

To get the best looking abs and look like you just walked off the set of Thor, I would recommend staying in a slight caloric deficit and working your abs out 2-3 times a week. Eating in a caloric deficit will get your abs popping and hitting them 2-3 times a week will have them looking rock solid and very aesthetic.

As for eating, I recommend staying away from sweets and foods high in fats for a while or at least until you think you achieved the abs that you want. Foods I recommend to help curve desire for unhealthy foods would be Greek yogurt, protein shakes, all natural granola bars and peanut butter. Whenever I’m feeling the urge to eat a donut or chocolate cake, I eat one of these foods which are both nutritious and delicious and my desires subside.


Achieving great abs is not easy. If it was, everyone would be walking around with rock solid abs. To get abs, you need to be disciplined, determined and focused. Whether you are starting at 10% body fat and only need to lose a couple of pounds or if you are starting at 20% body fat. ANYONE can achieve abs if they are willing to put the work in.

With that said, some people may acquire abs faster than others but as long as you are persistent, there is nothing in the way of getting your dream abs other than yourself.

As long as you eat in a caloric deficit, workout your abs 2-3 times a week and stay persistent, you WILL achieve ab goals!

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