Because of the never ending supply of articles about six packs in fitness, body building and celebrity magazines as well as the washboard stomachs displayed by actors in films and advertising it would seem that everybody and anybody has a six pack these days which can leave you wondering why you don’t and what you have done wrong to suffer such injustice.
You might then read countless magazines on fitness and embark on a frenzied journey to attain this evasive gold standard of fitness.
What you need to be aware of, however, is that even your favourite stars and bodybuilders do not sport the 6 pack 52 weeks of the year.
Body builders spend a large part of the year consuming more calories than their bodies need so that they can build muscle tissue. They then begin dieting as early as 3 months before a competition to ensure that their bodies are ripped to sheds on the big day.
D-day muscle-show itself is usually a combination of near-starvation combined with dehydration.
But (you say), what about athletes? And that skinny friend of your that seems to ALWAYS have a six pack despite what he eats? Is he lying when he/she says he works for it?
No. Some people are genetically blessed with an extremely low propensity to gain fat. They make great athletes for a reason and any muscle they build will show right up because they don’t have a lot of fat covering it anyway. So, Yes, they do work for it. But the odds are, you can work twice as much and not see the same result.
Does all this mean you should just give up on the idea of six-pack abs? Not really, you should still train hard and eat right. You should look at cutting down on visceral fat as much as you safely can and you should still work your core and look to strengthening it.
What you should also do is keep your expectations realistic. If your diet is leaving you cranky and irritable and your training is exhausting you instead of energising you. You might need to dial it back a little, and accept that the best you can do without losing your sanity, is a nice no-fat/very-minimally-clothed-in fat-midsection.