The ever-coveted six pack. You’ve probably heard the expression time and time again. Six pack, six pack, I want a six pack. When we’re not talking about hitting up the nearest convenience store for a beer run either, we’re talking about the muscles of your stomach.
A six pack, in essence, is the set of six, dense, rounded muscles that run from the top of the stomach (just under the ribcage) to just above your belt line. These muscles will vary in shape, size, definition, and even number, from person to person
The muscles of the rectus abdominus make up the six pack, and if fully developed, it’s possible to obtain an eight pack (counting the two, longer muscles of the lower abdomen). These are muscles that some of the most sought after movie stars and fashion models are praised for, the ones that people find so sexy. What about the rest of us? The ones who have to hold down the 9 to 5 day jobs while trying to work in an effective exercise regimen. Can we get six packs, too? Yes we can!! (no pun intended).
Why don’t you have a six pack? In actuality…you do! I like to believe that everyone does. Now whether the muscles of your six pack are blanketed by layers of fat stemming from high stress levels/poor diet, or whether they have atrophied from lack of use, is another story entirely.
How can you get your six pack to show? That’s the million dollar question. But it’s really not so hard to answer. To get your six pack to show, build and maintain good to excellent muscle tone in your abdominal muscles and keep your body fat percentages low. That’s all there is to it…seriously! In some cases a man with 15% body fat and great tone might be able to catch a glimpse of his six pack if he squints his eyes hard enough in the right light. For woman, I’d say the same effects start to happen just under 20% bodyfat. In both cases, the lower the body fat levels the better you’ll be able to see your abs of course.
So to get your six pack to show you just have to eat a healthy high protein, low or slow carb diet, exercise, and regularly log several sessions a week of intense cardio, right?
In theory this sounds quite simple. But the application of these principles isn’t always as easy for people to do. That’s exactly why most people don’t have fitness model tummies, because it does take dedication, it does take work. But it’s doable work, if you’re so inclined. Make time for training. Make time to eat right. Make time for cardio. Get a six pack.
I remember having quite a noticeable six pack in my late teens and early twenties, only to lose it as my job-hunting and stress levels got higher. I have successfully regained much of my abdominal muscle tone, and my six pack shows once again. Admittedly, though, it takes more work to keep it, at least it seems that way to me.
In my teens and early 20s my metabolism was a given. But for many people, as time goes on, your metabolism will slow down a bit as you get older. Is that an excuse? Hell no, it’s not an excuse! You just adjust accordingly. Long gone are the days where pizza and ice cream in excess would still leave me looking fit as a fiddle. If I tried that now, in a few short months my bulging tummy would become one of the new wonders of the modern world.
Eating 5-6 small healthy meals a day can help to speed up your metabolism and burn unwanted body fat. Making necessary adjustments to how you eat and how you exercise are a big part of being able to attain that six pack you want at any age.