Sunday Story…Your 6-pack

Sunday Story…Your 6-pack

Lately, I have been hearing about this desire, no this need to have the chiseled 6-pack ab look. I get it…it’s a measure of fitness (we think) and if you have a 6-pack you must be in really good shape. But like a lot of other metrics that have nothing to do with fitness 6- pack abs come with their own set of problems.

First, everyone has some ab development under that layer of fat. To get that 6-pack you so want you need to get your body fat % down, way down. For most women that is going to mean under 15% and for men it’s under 10%. Your individual percentage may need to be lower. When you get that lean it has a whole host of problems…a compromised immune system is one of the biggest issues. You get sick more often that you did when than you carry a bit more fat. If you are a woman you may have issue with your menstruation cycle, as in you won’t have one anymore. And as we all know that is a measure of health. Your performance is going to suffer. You may not be able to lift as much weight as you could before. You may actually end up a bit slower. You thinking processes may also end up compromised.

So how are you going to get that lean?

It all about the diet, dummy! You need to eat natural and unprocessed food. Over processing makes food unhealthy and it will wreck your metabolism and hormone balance. Too much sodium, too much sugar, too many chemicals all combine to ruin your pursuit of lean and healthy. Stop eating processed crap. The worst offenders are the highly processed, refined, hydrogenated vegetable oils.

I have said this hundreds of times: eat meat and vegetables (including starchy vegetables), some seeds and nuts, a little fruit. Avoid sugar. Eat enough to support activity but not store fat. If you do this you will find your body responding.

Avoid alcohol. You can’t drink and maintain a 6-pack. It’s that simple. I know you have all these example of people who do but you aren’t those people. So quit drinking.

Lift heavy weights. Especially squats…if you know me you knew that was coming. Squats build strength, squats build a rock solid core, squats will build muscle everywhere in your body, squats rock.

Move fast, and move fast often. If you aren’t sweating and panting after your workout you aren’t going to see the physical development you want, nor will you be healthy.

Here’s the bottom line:
Lots of people who are NOT healthy or fit have 6-packs. What you want is to be healthy and fit and have a 6-pack so you are going to have to do something new and different; the tried and true hasn’t worked. It is going to require some experimentation on your part. There is no cookie-cutter formula for this. You are different than I am. You need to know what your fat % is now so we can target to a new and exciting number. You need to know your performance numbers as well so we can make sure those don’t go down.

Really, though this 6- pack thing is a construct like “thigh gap”. Having a 6-pack won’t have you squat more, throw faster or farther, run longer, or be immortal. You are going to make some sacrifices to get there. If you are willing we can get there. But you are going to make some changes. And if anyone says they will only love you if you have a 6-pack just go ahead and dump that chump!

John Mariotti
www.crossfit-odyssey.com
www.sunday-stories.blogspot.com
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