The Secrets of The Six Pack – Part 1

Oct 9, 2012 by

High IntensityWhen it comes to fitness, training or diet advice, the number one thing it seems that everyone wants to know is – how can I get those rock hard abs??

Thanks to the ubiquitous late night infomercials and silly abdominizers, shake weights and other useless exercise contraptions, its easy to understand why so many people are totally confused and so often frustrated in their efforts to show up at the beach sporting that tight, trim midriff.

While a strong core is a necessity for anyone who wants to remain healthy and free from joint pain, back pain or various other injuries, visible six pack abs are purely a cosmetic obsession completely devoid of any functional use. Make no mistake you can very readily develop a perfectly strong and functional core with no six pack in sight, but who are we kidding, if you’re doing ab work, functionality be damned – you wanna see some abs right?!

Who could blame you for mixing in a little vanity to your workout motivation, six pack abs have come to symbolize strength, fitness, health and youth, not to mention sex appeal, so its no surprise that they’re highly sought after – yet when I look around I see that not many are finding that which they seek.

I think we all know people who spend hours and hours in the gym, doing hundreds of sit-ups and crunches and drinking or eating all kinds of stuff that’s ‘guaranteed to melt away belly fat’ blablabla.

I know a person who literally has four different contraptions in her home just for removing belly flab! Of course, they’re all collecting dust under the bed or in the closet or being used as a clothes hanging station of some type, while the flab? Well — lets just say it apparently never signed those divorce papers.

Business is booming for ab products and it’s because marketers have figured out that apparently no matter how ludicrous their cockamamie contraptions may seem – people will still line up to buy them as if they were the iPhone 9 with Kung-Fu grip.

If you watch late night TV or even just use the internet, you must have heard about how you can burn belly fat in your sleep, or while watching TV on your couch. You can get the Abtronic and electroshock the fat off, or literally ‘melt’ the fat off (I guess that’s the premise?) using the Sauna Belt, because as we all know when you sweat that’s really just pure fat escaping your body. You can even get yourself some abs in just six seconds – which is a whopping 800% improvement over those silly ‘8 minute abs’ posers!

I can promise you that not one person who actually has any visible abs has ever used any of these gimmicks and shams to get them. No one with abs has ever owned a Sauna Belt, for instance – not even the people in the photos advertising the product!

With all that said, I should point out that there are a select few products on the market which are not scams and can be used to help build a strong core, though none of them will give you visible abs all by themselves (more on that later).

I’ll list a few products that I’m familiar with before we’re done here, but with one simple caveat: none of them are actually needed because you can build a strong, healthy core for free using nothing more than your own body weight and gravity.

It's time for a changeSo here is where we try to cut through all the BS and give it to you straight with no chaser as to what it takes to actually get rid of your one big ab and start to find the other 5.

Let’s start with a few basic ab facts to help cut through some of the confusion I tend to find many people have about what works and what doesn’t:

  1. Situps, crunches, and any other ab exercise will never make your six pack show. Ever. If you can’t see your abs now, then doing those things will not reveal them, though they will strengthen them which is also important.
  2. Walking, jogging or any other form of low to medium intensity, steady paced, long duration cardio will not be very useful at all in helping you reveal those elusive abdominal muscles.
  3. There is little to nothing that you can do to specifically target belly fat. You have to reduce the percentage of fat in your body overall and your genes determine where the fat will fall off first.

Now that we’ve gotten some of the major inconvenient truths out of the way, lets move on to what it really takes to get that tight midsection – and despite what I said earlier about a set of six pack abs being completely unnecessary from a functional perspective, the reason we’re even talking about it here on ThriveQuest is that in order to get there, or anywhere near, it basically forces 95% of us to have to travel through general health and fitness town; unless you’re a true classic ectomorph or intend to go on a crack smoking binge, losing your teeth and your dignity along with your belly, there’s just no way around it – you’re going to have to get leaner and that means eating clean and exercising strategically.

You see, the abs that you want are already there right now in all their glory, but those little muscles are covered by your subcutaneous fat, which is then covered by your skin. So in order to show them off, you first have to remove the fat which is hiding them by getting your body fat percentage down enough for them to show.

The body fat percentage required to start showcasing ab muscles varies from person to person, but generally for men it would be 10% or less, while for women its usually in the 14-16% range.

Now for the good news, I’m happy to announce that I have a brand new system which will not only help you lose all your belly fat in one short week – but do so without ANY diet or exercise at all – you can finally eat as many deep fried bacon doughnuts as you like and still watch the fat just melt away!!

Sound too good to be true? Right, well thats because I was just testing you. The reality is you can get there, but its going to take some work; let’s face it, if it were as easy as the infomercials make it out to be everyone would have rock hard abs to show off by now.

You’re going to have to develop some discipline in both your diet and your exercise habits. The simple fact is that a proper diet is about 60% of the six pack equation with the other 40% being exercise, you really need to do both and in the right way in order to get the results you’re after.

I know that everyone wants to change their physique overnight, but I should point out that the amount of time it takes generally depends on how far you have to go – think about how long it’s taken you to put on those extra lbs around the middle and ask yourself – why do you think it would be faster to shed them than it was to gain them?

So with all that said, here are 5 key things that you need to do in order to most effectively reduce your body fat and finally reveal that six pack.

Part two of this article will go into greater detail on specific exercise and diet protocols and why they work so well to help you cut body fat in a hurry (but not quite in six seconds).

Starving yourself is counter productive, but you do have to eat fewer calories than you burn every day in order to cut fat, its simply not possible to do it without a calorie deficit. Shoot for no more than about a daily 500 calorie deficit for best results, this will help prevent cravings and allow you to gradually lose the fat without as high a likelihood that you’ll fall off the wagon and gain all the fat back.
The most effective way to burn calories is to lift weights or use other forms of resistance such as elastic bands or bodyweight movements. I recommend compound exercises which use major muscle groups such as legs, upper back, glutes and chest because exercises such as these elevate your metabolism and cause longer lasting calorie burn.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This method of cardio is characterized by bursts of near full intensity effort followed by a period of recovery – think spirnt/walk/sprint/walk intervals. Intensity is the key. Take a look at the woman at the top of this article running on the beach – get the point? Very much like resistance training, HIIT training promotes increased metabolism and greater fat burn.
A clean diet is absolutely essential. If you want to expose your abs you’ve got to cut out the junk and processed foods and replace them with whole foods – fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, lean meats and good fats on a consistent basis.
Carbs are not bad. We need carbs in our diet for long term health, however most people eat the wrong kinds (primarily processed foods and wheat) as well as way too much of them. Carb cycling or other methods of restriction are very effective at cutting body fat as it helps get your body’s insulin response back to a healthy balance. Insulin is a hormone which regulates how and when your body stores or burns fat.

Finally, as promised here are some relatively inexpensive, yet effective core strengthening products which I can personally recommend. Again, none of these are critical because bodyweight exercises such as hanging knee or leg raises, planks and side planks and others are perfectly sufficient and absolutely free.

Everlast Duo Ab Wheel

Duo Ab Wheel

Abmat

Abmat

Stability Ball

Stability Ball

 

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks Amir information was very useful. Getting health requires balance.

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