You: "Here sir, I'd like to buy this brand new Ford Ranger please"
Car Salesman: "Sure, $50,000 please"
You: Awesome, just wait 15 years while I slowly chip away at saving my 5c pieces, hoping that I don't get bored of saving and lose motivation, whilst every now and then I stop saving because something shiny jumps in front of my eyes and I get distracted, but then jump on board the 'save wagon' again because it's new years and I need to make a resolution.
Car Salesman: "ahhh, do you want the car or not".
You: "of course I do, are you questioning my integrity? I said I want it and even explained my super inefficient plan to get there. I bought an E-book from this super awesome Ashy-Coins instagram babe who says all I have to do is save 5c a day and I'll have a super awesome instagram car just like hers. One with a really huge 'Boot'.
Ok you get my point. Saving for a car is like trying to achieve your ideal body.
You need to be disciplined and you need to be biting off big chunks if you want to be efficient at reaching your goal, so that shiny object syndrome doesn't consume you and turn your goal into a dream.
Your bums and tums workouts (I'm referring to things like sit ups, glute bridges, planks, etc) are not the most effective way for you to burn stubborn body fat and give you the flat stomach and curves that you're looking for. Of course doing something is better than nothing, but they are the 5c coins when you could be saving $20 notes.
When building your ideal body, everything will come back to 1 mathematical equation.
Calories consumes vs calories expended.
However, it is not as simple as that and the tried, tested and failed "LOW CALORIE DIET" is not the answer.
Why? because by restricting your calories and cutting out food will have too much affect on your body's homeostasis. There are too many elements relying on food coming in for you to just cut it out and expect your body to drop fat.
There are hormones, enzymes and tonnes of biological processes all relying on a maintenance of regularity within the system.
The most effective way to create a desired result of lower body fat and lean muscle is through slowly altering the net balance of calories at the end of the day/week in a way that your body is comfortable with, whilst maintaining your muscle mass.
To date, this has been most efficiently done through increasing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) + Activity Level (AL = An increase in total daily expenditure (TDE), whilst controlling your calories that you consume. (CC)
TDE= BMR + AL
Net calories = Calories Consumed (CC) - TDE
This number will have to be in the negative if you wish for you body to drop stored body fat.
Ideally you will not let this number decrease too dramatically. It should be a consistent decrease and a subtle one at that.
Your muscles are metabolically active. Which means they are directly correlated with your BMR. The more muscle mass you have and the more you utilise them, the more calories you will burn on a daily basis, due to the growth and repair properties requiring energy in the form of calories.
So, if you wish to burn more calories, whilst maintaining muscle mass, ensure you are completing strength based exercises which promote hypertrophy (muscle growth).
To increase your AL, incorporate some high intensity conditioning training. Controlling your heart rate through high peaks in repeated bouts will force you to consume more oxygen in shorter periods of time.
Oxygen consumption is directly correlated to caloric expenditure. I.e. the faster your heart rate-> the more you breathe-> the more calories you burn.
Now to tie this all together and explain why doing 'bums and tums' is not enough of a stimulus to make any real change is quite simple. Your abs are too small of a muscle group and fatigue too quickly to be able to make an real impact on your TDE, and the exercises/ volume / intensity most of these workouts you find in a magazine or E-book are the same.
Yes, your glutes are the powerhouse of your metabolism. So yes, you should provide them with a stimulus which is going to make a difference. Even though they might burn a little from all those pulses and wall sits you're doing, but that is probably all your getting. (A feedback system from your muscles to your brain telling you that you haven't swept away the physiological junk (lactate) and is now altering the pH balance, causing a pain signal to be relayed to the brain, however with now real benefit to muscle building/ leaning up)
This is however a great tool used by trainers to trick their clients into thinking they have just been "smashed" and totally had the best workout EVERRRR!.
As boring as it may seem (to some), there is a science behind the appropriate stimulus behind causing adaptation to muscle growth which I'd be glad to share with you with either a