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‘I Did 50 Crunches Every Day For A Month—Here’s What Happened’

 

Fifty crunches a day—sounds like no biggie, right? I thought so too, at first. Normally, the only things I like to commit myself to are my husband, my extensive (and obsessive) skincare routine, and a well-deserved glass of cabernet (or three) after a long, hard day. But I was actually super psyched to take on this challenge I deemed a simple feat. 

For most of my life I’ve worked out fairly consistently, running outside, going to the gym, or taking fitness classes at least three or four times a week. But something happened this past year that caused me to hop off the workout bandwagon, so to speak. 

I recently got married. In other words, I spent the 365 days prior to my wedding date on a strict diet and fitness plan (of sorts). I made sure to carefully watch everything I ate and tried my best not to skip any workout classes. But by the time I walked down the aisle in October, I was more than ready to add back all of the cheese, carbs, booze, and more cheese back into my daily diet. I indulged during my three-week long honeymoon in Paris and Greece—and upon returning, I kept right on indulging through the holiday season. 

So, as you can imagine, taking on this 30-day abs challenge was very welcomed at first. My only to-do before crunching on the daily was to reach out to fitness gurus to figure out what I might achieve by locking in my 50 a day. 

“You can expect to see more changes mentally than physically,” Ben Boudro, C.S.C.S., owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, Michigan warned me. “To be honest, there are way better exercises for your core than just plain old crunches, but that’s really not the point of doing a challenge.” Then what was the point of a challenge like this, I asked him? “Challenges have end dates so there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, which helps people following through with said challenge,” he told me. “I don’t care if you just jumped over a stick, did pushups, squatted or only did planks—the bottom line is you exercised in a certain way for 30 days straight, which is a great accomplishment.” I liked his enthusiasm and belief in my commitment level. (Torch fat, get fit, and look and feel great with Women’s Health’s All in 18 DVD!) 

“If you only do 50 crunches a day for a month, you will probably have a serious case of rug burn with a little extra strength in your upper abs, and maybe a little more definition,” Chris Ryan, C.S.C.S., a physical trainer and founder of Chris Ryan Fitness, told me, which sounded a little less exciting, but also realistic. 

So I took the plunge and did 50 crunches every day for a damn month straight. Here’s what I learned.

 

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