Six-Pack Abs, Anyone?

I work ’em all the time. So where are they?
Please pass the ketchup…

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According to Beachbody Coach, Bryan Akers, there are at least three fallacies regarding that sought after (and often elusive) washboard stomach. Here’s what he shared via Fitness.com last July:

Myth 1.You need to do a lot of ab exercises. The reason this is a myth is because you can get away with doing a relatively few ab exercises and still see massive results. My abdominal exercises at the most last 25 minutes (but most lasting around 15 minutes) and I see tremendous results.

Myth 2. You need to do ab exercises everyday. False. Abs do not need to be worked any more than any other part of the body. You don’t do chest and back exercises everyday do you? You don’t do quad and hamstring exercises everyday do you? Then you shouldn’t do ab exercises everyday either—it results in overtraining. Your muscles (even your abs) need time to recuperate and grow. The most I train my abs is three days a week after my strength training workouts.

Myth 3. The ab crunch is still the best ab exercise. The reason this is false is because there are so many other exercises out there that can do the job! I’ve done complete ab workouts that don’t include a single crunch—it’s all done either standing up or sitting on a mat—and it works your abs like crazy.

That’s great info and not, to my knowledge, incorrect. But here’s what bothers me about Bryan’s article. It’s missing two key statements:

1. What you eat matters.
2. How much bodyfat you carry matters.

In fact, those really are the most important factors, in my opinion. Take my 11 year-old son, for example. The kid rarely does abdominal or other core-centric exercises, yet he has a fairly well-defined six pack. Why? Because, in addition to Tae Kwon Do, his diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and water. Add to that, the kid eats slower than anyone I’ve ever known. Well…my grandad ate pretty slowly, but I always chalked that up to his living through the Great Depression and the Battle of the Bulge (such experiences tend to affect one’s appreciation for certain things, I suppose). Regardless, my son is lean; so his stomach muscles are visible. Simple.

To be fair, that info may be available in Bryan Akers’ Free 65 Page Report!, but I’m not inclined to search for it in order to find out. Half way through my 30s, I’m not sporting a six pack. Could I? You bet. Would I like to? Why not? Is it critical? Nope. Unless I decide to become an underwear model…but I won’t. All that really matters is that your core is strong, and you are in good health.

TODAY’S LESSON: New acquaintances can refresh stale thinking…

I met a gentlemen at work today named “Bob.” As almost all guys do when meeting another male for the first time, I sized him up (seriously–it’s natural. If a guy denies this, he’s denying his place in the animal kingdom). Bob seems pretty darned fit, and unless I’m up for a real challenge, I don’t think I’d ask him into the ring.

Thing is–like me, Bob’s no spring chicken. In fact, he’s a few years older than me. Come to find out, Bob is breaking into the health and fitness industry. He seems to really own the whole healthy living subject. So I listened to him. Man I’m glad I did!

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Bob shared some great ideas with me, but one was particularly great. It went like this:

If a person has a bit of unwanted fat, that’s not necessarily a big deal. What’s important is how they feel from day to day in contrast to how they want to feel from day to day. The rest is kind of inconsequential.

Of course Bob’s statements are true and nothing I didn’t already know, but it sure was refreshing to hear another fitness enthusiast say all that with such conviction. When I hit my 40s, I want to be in the best shape of my life. When I hit my 50s, I want to surprise people when I tell them my age. When I hit my 60s, I want to inspire people young and old. When I hit my 70s and (God willing) beyond, I want my doctor asking me for lifestyle advice.

So where are you in the fitness spectrum?

– Are you extremely overweight or underweight (both are equally problematic)?
– Are you in good health or excellent health?
– Are you that guy or gal that inspires others to get fit?

Where ever you fall within that admittedly narrow spectrum, what is your plan to improve or maintain your health profile? Mine begins with that much-needed vacation I mentioned in Monday’s post. I’m sticking to my P90X challenge throughout, but I’ll delay no further. My holiday begins in T minus….

Warmest Regards,
~Aj

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Aj

My name is Aj, and I am a fitness and healthy living enthusiast. Please check out my log at www.ajsfocusonfitness.com for more information. View all posts by Aj

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