How to Get 6 Pack Abs Realistically
I'm My Own Propaganda: Six Pack Abs From A Real Person (I resent that keyword, seriously...)
6 Pack Abs Without the 6 Pack Mentality
If you look for an article on how to get "6 pack abs", you might feel intimidated by some extreme ab workout, turned off by doing some ridiculous ab workout, skeptical that you can get a 6 pack like the pictures, or laugh at how over the top these ab gurus are.
I read through several articles and learned that the author is not the person in the picture nor is the person in the picture in their current physical state because they followed the advice of the author.
Want those 6 pack abs? Allow me to give you the 1 secret trick that will shred away that flab and make you look ripped! Ready:
For every complicated problem, there's a simple solution, that doesn't work. That especially goes for toning, defining, and strengthening your abs.
"6 pack abs" can result from attention to diet, resistance training with our entire body as opposed to isolating particular parts like our abs, our genetics, our metabolism, our cardiovascular exercise routine, and our state of mind.
The reality is not all of us care about looking like someone on the cover of a magazine. And for those of you who do, I attached photos of myself as the result of the advice I offer to show that attention to the whole as opposed to the part works more effectively than aiming for 1 specific area to exercise... and ends up making that specific area look great as a side-effect.
Where's the Real McCoy?
Google results. Also note all abs are not equal in anatomical symmetry. Some of us will have 4 packs. Others will have 8 packs.
5 Myths Blocking the Path of Ab-lightenment
In each of those hubs, the author was not the person in the picture they used as the hook, nor was it a picture of someone they trained using their own hub advice. They throw around phrases like 6 pack abs, 8 pack abs, get ripped fast, 3 weeks to 6 pack abs, 4 week plan for amazing abs... You've seen them all.
The advice they offer to get those six pack abs can actually hurt us. We only get one body, and it is not worth ruining for an aesthetic trend like six pack abs. Besides, these guys used a commercial photograph of someone else's abs. In fact, when I Googled 6 pack abs, the first 3 lines of pictures in the search result thumbnails were the same pictures of the hubs and these hubs are not the original source.
Next, these hubs listed a generic abdominal exercise list. That is, they're not showing us that they take their own advice or someone else took their advice to get the photographed results. They're showing us someone else whose true workout routine remains a mystery. When it comes to exercise and how we eat, we must be selective about the information we trust. The ultimate decision maker is you.
Now for the Myths:
- Myth 1: We must do rigorous abdominal routines to burn fat around our mid section, hypertrophy hard to reach areas of our abdominal wall, and cut away abdominal fat for muscular definition.
- Myth 2: Do cardiovascular exercise in the "fat burning zone"; or just do more cardiovascular exercise because it is the ultimate way to raise our metabolism and burn fat (please flag any hubs that state that as the best way to burn fat).
- Myth 3: We must eat tons of extra protein.
- Myth 4: Carbs make us lose definition and must be avoided at all costs.
- Myth 5: Avoid all sources of fat.
- We can injure ourselves if we ignore pain. We put our trust in these experts whose credentials are dubious and we might as well assume they believe their legitimacy to be in ratio with the amount of spandex they wear. Often they suggest exercises that are too difficult for our current state of fitness. Or, they recommend exercises that cause us to move in unnatural ways which can lead poor posture, muscular imbalances, or injury if repeated over time.
- Additionally, we can hurt ourselves by following a predetermined number of exercises and repetitions. When we ignore fatigue and "push past the burn", often we begin recruiting other muscles to compensate. Never sacrifice form to attain doing a higher quantity of exercises or a higher difficulty of exercise.
Dispelling Myth Countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
Myth 5: avoid all sources of fat.
Truth: eat fats. Here's what kinds of fats are good for us. To give you an idea of how much fat I eat, please direct your attention to exhibit A:
I'll use all of that over a week, sometimes sooner. I would put almond butter and avocados in that picture but I ate the last of what was in my house today.
I also supplement with a combination fish, borage, and flax-seed oil for Omega 3, 6, 9, DHA and EPA. Each source contains a different percentage of these fatty acids, and fish oils contain the DHA and EPA. The details and utility of these fatty acids is worthy of their own hub. Good fat sources:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Most types of nuts
What is true about fat is per gram it yields the highest amount of calories. The only way to truly reduce fat is in accordance with the law of thermodynamics: burn more calories than you consume. Excess energy converts to fat. I learned this information from 2 personal training certification courses (A.C.E. in 2005 CPT and NASM CPT in 2010) as well as an extracurricular general nutrition course I took in college. Looking back I could have saved a lot of money and just Googled this information:
- Fat = 9 calories per gram
- Protein = 4 calories per gram
- Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
- Alcohol = 7 calories per gram
Avoid these fats:
- hydrogenated oils
- trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats found in baking goods like cookies)
- saturated fats (fats that are solid at room temperature)
In non-scientific terms, these unhealthy fats will clog your arteries and make you feel and look like crap.
Eat these fats:
- mono-unsaturated fats
- poly-unsaturated fats
- Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids
How much fat should I eat?
A healthy percentage of these kinds of fats in your caloric intake is estimated around 10%-30%. 2000 calories is the recommended average caloric intake meaning your optimal caloric intake might not be 2000. It could be more or less depending on genes, metabolism, daily exercise, your work, how much muscle mass you have, etc. Talk to your doctor or a registered nutritionist to determine the best and healthiest diet for your unique body.
How do you have muscle definition if you eat all this fat?
Then what makes it possible to eat all that fat and still look slim? Is it genetics, metabolism, or massive amounts of cardiovascular exercise? The answer to all 3: a little of everything and more.
The biggest point to understand is that seeking to get results in a specific part of our body often does not get us those results.
To get significant and lasting results, we must make healthy and appealing lifestyle changes, create changes in our eating habits that give us a sense of feeling healthy, and make changes in our exercise routine that follows an all inclusive stability, strength, and cardiovascular regimen that never sacrifices form.
The next 4 parts of this hub series will continue the countdown of myth dispelling in addition to motivational tips and exercises to help you get those 6 pack abswithout shaking a weight around in a very suggestive manner.
We Are Visual Creatures
Seeing is believing. Photoshop enhanced pictures, tanned bodies, perfect lighting, and stylized poses just don't seem believable. I chose to take a real picture of myself, unpolished, after work, without any embellishments. To take the picture I used:
- 1 Bathroom mirror,
- $100-ish digital camera,
- Took a "The Situation"-esque tasteless photo in front of said mirror,
- And cropped the picture with Microsoft Paint.
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