When I used to think of the ultimate physique, I would imagine a rock-hard stomach and a visible six-pack. A few sit-ups and crunches every day, and I too would be the owner of vac-packed abs.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. A six-pack takes some serious hard work. While some people don’t store much body fat in their stomach, most people have a layer of fat covering their abs. This is completely normal, but it does make things a little tricky.
In a recent YouTube video, Mike Thurston reminded us just how difficult it is to get, and keep, visible abs. It takes the right mindset and serious hard work, but it’s possible if you’re committed enough. And if abs aren’t at the top of your to-do list, that’s OK too.
If you’re looking to sport six-pack abs, here are five things to bear in mind:
You Need Serious Self-Discipline
Given that visible abs require a low percentage of body fat, your workout routine and diet need to be super strict. That means you need to be incredibly disciplined. There will be days when a trip to the gym seems far too much to handle compared to ordering a takeaway in bed. At these times, in the absence of motivation, this is when you must summon the discipline to get you out of bed.
Don’t Do Too Much Too Soon
Like many things in the gym, building six pack abs is a marathon, not a sprint. While it’s possible to increase activity levels while dropping calories to cut body fat quickly — that doesn’t mean you should.
This sort of drastic change is usually unsustainable. The best road is a long one: get to the gym consistently and eat the right foods frequently over a long period, and you’ll be on the way.
Build Muscle Mass
For your abs to become visible, you’ll likely need to perform a ‘cut’. This is losing body fat while maintaining muscle mass, and it requires consistent resistance exercise in a calorie deficit.
But if you attempt to ‘cut’ with little muscle mass, it will become increasingly difficult to burn calories through exercise and even more difficult to further reduce your calories after your progress plateaus.
By building muscle tissue and eating plenty of food to support muscle growth, you’ll have enough mass to ‘cut’ away from in the first place.
Even when you’ve had a bad day or a bad week, you’re still in control of the food that goes into your body and whether you exercise. Although it’s easy to blame a lack of progress on others, you’re ultimately responsible for your results. Own it and do what needs to be done to meet your goals.
Ask Yourself How Badly You Want It
To achieve visible six-pack abs, you must ask yourself how badly you want them. A six-pack requires motivation, determination, and self-discipline. You’ll have to make sacrifices, but if you’re willing to put in the work, it’s possible. If you don’t want abs enough to put in the work, then you probably won’t get them. You need to ask yourself: “is it worth it?”.
Take Home Message
As with everything in the gym, it requires hard work and determination. But if you set your mind to it, you can do it.
Do you have what it takes to build six pack abs? Do you even want six pack abs? It isn’t an easy feat, but it’s achievable with self-discipline and dedication. Set your mind to it, and you can do it.