Most of us don’t go to the gym just because working out is fun. We do it to build a healthy, muscular, great-looking body. For both men and women, six-pack abs are one of the ultimate signs of success.

That’s why it’s so frustrating to spend months doing crunches without seeing any visible signs of progress on your body. If you’re going for the six-pack look, or if you just want to define your abs better, you’ve probably heard that you just need to work harder—unfortunately, this isn’t true for everyone. If you can’t seem to get the six-pack abs you’re looking for, maybe one of these reasons is the problem:

1) You’re Working the Wrong Muscles

Not all core exercises make a major impact on the rectus abdominis (the technical name for the muscles in your abs). Talk to your trainer and find exercises that target your abs—their strategies will go beyond the squats and deadlifts that haven’t been yielding results.

2) You Need More Resistance

Some novices who want to build muscle just think they need to work out more, but doing endless reps isn’t effective. Add exercises that emphasize resistance to your routine instead of doing more of the same.

3) Your Diet Is Wrong

The food you eat impacts the way you look. You’ll have a hard time earning six-pack abs if you eat excess carbohydrates that add body fat. Add more fiber-rich vegetables to your diet, and get your protein from lean sources like chicken and nuts.

4) You Need to Take it Easier

If you work out too hard or too long, you’ll damage your muscles. Make sure you leave enough time for recovery between workouts so your abs can gain definition in a healthy way.

5) You Haven’t Tried Baby Oil

The bodybuilders in magazines look so amazing for a reason: They’re covered in baby oil. If you really want your abs to pop, try applying a few drops of baby oil to the area and see if your six-pack stands out more.

6) You’re Not Sleeping

You might lay the groundwork for muscle growth in the weight room, but most of the growth happens at night, while you’re asleep. If you don’t get enough rest, you won’t get the muscle growth you want. A lack of sleep causes the stress hormone cortisol to prompt your body to store excess fat around your midsection.

7) You Don’t Have a Six-Pack

Some people can spend hours in the gym every day and still not get the abs they want. That’s because not everyone has a six-pack to begin with. If you’ve tried everything and still don’t see six-pack abs when you look in the mirror, it could just be your genetics.

8) You Have Excess Body Fat

It doesn’t take much fat to hide the muscles in your abdomen. If you’ve got a stubborn layer of belly fat that won’t go away no matter what you do, Belle Medical can help. With our abdominal etching procedure, we can remove your diet-resistant abdominal fat and sculpt the toned shape you’ve been dreaming about.

Everyone wants a great-looking body, and we believe everyone should have the chance to get it. If diet and exercise aren’t doing the job for you, maybe we can. Contact us today to see if you’re a good candidate for abdominal etching.

McKay Taylor
Author: McKay Taylor

McKay has a love and passion for health and physical aesthetics. He went to Utah State on a full-ride academic scholarship, majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition. McKay is currently the CMO of Belle Medical, a competitive bodybuilder, and a Certified Personal Trainer and Dietitian. When he’s not reading up on the latest breakthroughs in health and fitness research, he’s working hard to set trends of his own. Most importantly, McKay truly believes that with proper eating habits, training, and the right medical interventions (a la Belle Medical), no physique or personal body goal is out of reach for ANYONE.