Abs Are Made In The Mind Before The Kitchen
My Top Shelf
Abs are in the mind first.
There's a common saying in bodybuilding and gyms that "abs are made in the kitchen not the gym", thats absolutely true but without mental strength and will power that trip to the kitchen can be your downfall too.
In my house we have two shelves in our food cupboards and fridge, top shelf is mine, its lined with BCCA's, creatine, whey protein, vitamin pills and so on, the lower shelf is hers and is filled with shortbread, biscuits, white bread, crisps and other such delights.
Twice a day I have to reach passed that delicious shelf of goodies to get to my supplements , twice a day I have to resist temptation to have "just one" of those sweets, because as we all know one leads to two, two leads to half a pack.....and so on.
The same with the fridge, I allow myself one can of diet Pepsi a day, yes I know they are supposed to be bad for you but water is boring, very boring, so once a day I allow a little flavour into my life. However to reach that can of drink I have to reach past chocolate bars that are chilling in there waiting to be eaten, every day at dinner time I have to ignore the red devil on my shoulder telling me I can burn it off the next day with an extra bit of cardio, every day I have to tell him no!
So yes while abs are certainly made in the kitchen they can also be destroyed in the kitchen with its minefield of delights bought by a partner who doesn't share the need to have a six pack. Mental strength is needed to eat clean, ask anyone who is trying to achieve or maintain a six pack, the hardest part is not going to the gym, the hardest part is eating good clean meals and avoiding temptation, that little devil will pop up every time you open that cupboard door, its up to you to brush him off and reach for the top shelf.
Even when it comes to cheat meals you stilll have to maintain control, its a cheat meal not a cheat day or cheat buffet, enjoy your cheat meal but don't let it become the size of three meals. Even while maintaining my weight as I am currently in the phase between bulking and cutting I still have to maintain control and will power not to let the cheat meal become epic in proportions, at my age (47) it can easily push me over the body fat levels I need to maintain ,so when it comes to bodybuilding competition time I wont have to shift an impossible amount of weight to be stage ready.
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Alcohol and Abs
Abs are definitely not made in the pub or a bar either, I often hear people in the gym or read posts on social media stating that "this it it" they are going to get rid of their gut and get a six pack, only to read a day or two later they are having a massive night out on the booze. Will power unfortunately extends to nights out as well, yes its not as fun to be drinking water or diet drinks , buy you will benefit, firstly with that coveted six pack and secondly no hangover, which is always good as it will not lead to missed gym sessions because you cant drag your throbbing head out of bed without spinning or wanting to vomit.
Finally the six packs you see on boxers/fighters are often brought out by dehydration and not good nutrition, yes they are supreme athletes and yes they have a six pack but they get to the desired weight and visible abs by dehydrating or extreme dieting at the last minute to make weight. They do this so they can rehydrate after making weight and can enter the ring/octagon at a much heavier weight, I would not recommend doing this for obvious health reasons as well as the fact that as soon as you hydrate again that definition could disappear very quickly.
To conclude, abs are made in the mind before they are made in the kitchen, whenever there are two options available, one that will help your goal and the other that will not you have to make the decision to go for number one every time, enjoy those treats with moderation during the so called "off " season but when you want to reveal the hard work you put in over the winter you have to be strong.