One of the most common questions I get when meeting with prospective training clients is, “Will CrossFit give me abs?”
And I understand why they’re curious! A quick Google search for CrossFit turns up hundreds of images of ripped, shirtless athletes.
Look, I’d love to tell you that CrossFit will give you six-pack abs, but it’s not that straightforward.
Factors that Influence Whether You’ll Get Abs
CrossFit can certainly improve your core strength and make those muscles pop if you’re lean enough for abs to show. But for most people wondering, “will CrossFit give me abs?” the answer is no.
CrossFit alone won’t give you abs.
In fact, the two strongest predictors of whether you’ll get visible abs are genetics and your diet.
Abs really only start to peek out when body fat percentage is pretty low.
The exact percentage varies from person to person. For guys, this is usually somewhere between 6 and 13% body fat. Ladies may start to see abs when body fat is in the 14-20% range.
Getting into that range takes consistent effort with your diet, your activity levels outside the gym, and your sleep.
But there are no guarantees–even if you consistently eat well, get lots of steps in, and sleep 7-9 hours per night. The reality is, that some people never get a six-pack, thanks to genetics.
Why do You Want Abs, Anyway?
If you’re asking, “will CrossFit give me abs?” a good follow-up question might be, “why do I want abs, anyway?”
Sure, they look cool. And sure, they might give you a teeny bit more confidence at the pool. But other than that, why do you need them?
Having a six-pack doesn’t necessarily equate to a stronger core. Some of the strongest people I know don’t have visible abs, and their cores are crazy strong from deadlifts, thrusters, and other CrossFit movements.
Now, let’s flip the script. What are some reasons you don’t want a six-pack?
You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but hear me out as I share a few ideas:
- You’ll have to maintain the changes it took to get you there.
- Getting lean enough for a six-pack usually involves sacrifice, like passing on certain social engagements.
- If you’re not careful with your approach, you could end up with some serious health issues (such as hormone imbalances and disordered eating).
Look, I’m not trying to talk you out of working toward a six-pack if that’s your goal. I’ve helped clients get there, and I’ll do it in the future!
All I’m saying is that visible abs require some pretty serious commitment. If you want to go for it, you need to be very clear on your “why” and be ready to put in some hard work.
Will CrossFit Give Me Abs?
So just to recap, CrossFit will make your core stronger, but it won’t give you abs in and of itself.
You might see them peek out if you stay active (not just in the gym–all day!), get good sleep, eat mostly wholesome foods in the right amounts, and are genetically blessed.
And if you need help staying consistent, a coach can help! Click here to learn more about nutrition coaching at 26.