I would venture to say that while not everyone is interested in developing a massively muscled physique on the order of a professional bodybuilder, the majority of people would love to reduce excessive abdominal fat and get a flatter stomach. This includes both men and women, although men are more likely to store fat in the abdominal area, while women tend to store fat to a greater extent in their hips, upper thighs, and buttocks. That is related to hormonal differences between the sexes. While having a more defined appearance of the abdominal muscles has always been considered attractive, in recent years it has risen to the point of also becoming sexually alluring. In surveys, most women express a preference for men with highly defined abdominal muscles, the so-called "six-pack appearance," rather than the pot belly look often referred to as a "dad bod." Having well-defined abdominals devoid of superfluous fat sends a message of health, energy, and vitality that is overwhelmingly attractive.
But the strong desire to obtain a flatter and more defined abdominal appearance has given rise to a number of false ideas and fraudulent products that are not based on any established science. You can see examples of this on late night "infomercials" that advertise exercise machines that will allegedly produce a sharply defined midsection before you can say "rip-off."To emphasize the effectiveness of these devices, they are often modeled by young, well-conditioned people who invariably are in great shape with ripped abs. But nowhere in these ads is diet mentioned, because telling people that diet more than any exercise is what produces great abdominals just isn't as sexy and there is nothing to sell, except perhaps a "fat burner" supplement that in most cases doesn't work as advertised.
One problem prevalent today is the gross misinformation relayed by otherwise knowledgeable people about how to get great abdominal development. It isn't my intention to embarrass any particular individuals who spread nonsense about abdominal exercise, but you will recognize them by their philosophies about abdominal exercise. They are often "old school" types who say that the way to great abdominal definition is to work the abdominals every day and do thousands of repetitions to "burn the fat off." One such individual has won four Mr.Universe titles. He is a highly respected bodybuilder and has also trained a number of successful bodybuilders. This man believes that you should begin each workout by doing 12 different abdominal exercises for 100 repetitions each. He has stated that he judges his overall condition by the appearance of his abdominals; that is, if he can see notable abdominal definition, it means he's in good shape. Years ago, he wrote out a workout program for me and one of the abdominal exercises included was side bends. This exercise trains the external oblique muscles, which if heavily developed will impart a wider waist . . .