You’ve tried plain old planks and every crunch variation there is. And yet, those extra inches around your midsection just won’t give. You’ll be relieved to hear the answer isn’t more reps on reps on reps. In fact, accorddddding to celebrity trainer Brett Hoebel, it’s got to be deeper than that. “If you really want to be in it for the long haul, you’ve got to find something that connects with you more profoundly than the skinny jeans,” says Hoebel, trainer on season 11 of NBC’s The Biggest Loser.
Related: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners
In his new book The 20-Minute Body, Hoebel has glute workouts, ab exercises and full-body HIIT workouts for days. But his signature short and sweet routines can’t exist in a vacuum, he says. For success that lasts, a shift in eating habits and mentality has to happen, too. DailyBurn hit the gym with the California trainer to talk diet, setbacks and what he calls “sweating with soul.” Get moving with his six-minute ab workout below, and read on for his essential health and fitness tips to keep you in it for the long run.
The 6-Minute Ab Workout
For those who point to time as their biggest hurdle, remember this: A quick sweat session can fit into any schedule. So sidestep those excuses and dive right into this six-minute ab workout, developed by Hoebel exclusively for Life by DailyBurn. Pair it with our eight-minute glute workout and you’ve got two reasons to pat yourself on the back(side)!
5 Tips to Keep You Moving Toward Your Goal
1. Go short, but hard.
Don’t have hours to devote to fitness? Research suggests just 20 minutes of rigorous exercise a day could be more effective than continuous moderate activity at improving cardiovascular and metabolic functions. Plus, it just sounds more doable, Hoebel says, and that can be half the battfle. “If it doesn’t fit in someone’s schedule, it ain’t happening.” The only caveat: You’ve got to train much harder in that short amount of time. Hoebel recommends pushing the body to a point of discomfort, but not pain. When in doubt, wear a heart rate monitor to gauge intensity — that way slacking isn’t an option.
2. Have a big-picture plan.
“When you go off to college, you’re not signing up for random classes, you’re choosing a curriculum,” Hoebel says. “When you begin a workout program, the same rule applies.” Commit to a concrete schedule and timeframe — whether that’s 20 days or 60 — and plug it into your calendar STAT. “You’ll fall off quickly if you don’t have something you can really sink your teeth into for the days and weeks ahead,” says Hoebel. And when flaky gym buddies, gridlock traffic and other setbacks get in the way, remember, “You can always work out at home — no excuses,” Hoebel says.
3. Get your inner monologue in check.
Not everyone is motivated by bootcamp-style instructors or crazy-challenging CrossFit WODs, and that’s OK. The key is not shutting down mentally when the going gets tough. “Soon you’ll get to a point where you choose to overcome that self-doubt and discomfort. And you’ll start feeling instant gratification from every rep, set and workout you do,” Hoebel says.
4. Replace, rather than eliminate.
You’ve heard it before: You can’t out-train a bad diet. “Nutrition is more than 50 percent of the ballgame, and you’ve got to lock it in from day one,” Hoebel says. But before you go cutting solid foods from your diet or other drastic measures, consider starting with just one of the four biggest diet derailers: processed foods, sugar, alcohol and salt. And if a diet overhaul sends your wheels spinning, think in terms of “replacements” rather than “eliminations,” Hoebel suggests. “Swap processed sugar for fresh fruit…Or if you were pounding sugary juices all the time, start diluting the juice with water, and slowly move to just water or unsweetened tea.”
5. Find fitness from within.
Extreme diets and workout programs are by nature unsustainable, and pushing through pain is never the goal. To keep coming back requires you find a true passion. “It’s what I call sweating with soul,” Hoebel says. Maybe that’s boxing or ballet or deadlifting twice your bodyweight. Identify the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning, and inspires you to ‘do you,’ Hoebel says.