For many years six pack abs have been a major symbol of the fitness industry. The human society has been convinced that having perfectly ripped abs reveals physical excellence and loads of sex appeal. There are two main reasons why ripped abs look so fascinating to the general public. First – visible abdominal muscles represent a much better sight than a fat gut and second – most people have fat guts. This fact raises the share value of six pack owners higher than normal.
I’ve been on both sides of the bridge which gives me a great insight into the world visible abs owners and pancake lovers. However, I have never had six pack abs as you see in the fitness magazines. Never.
I must have been about 13-year-old when the images of shredded six pack abs first hit my subconscious mind. At that age many boys were into breakdancing or bboying, if you want to be more precise with your terms. I had a semi-friend and together we were trying to learn different moves, which was the reasons why were always wiping the floors at school during the breaks. In reality we didn’t really know what we were doing. Keep in mind that this happened almost two decades before YouTube. We didn’t even have Internet at the time. All we had were clips such as SuperFly by Music instructor. What I knew, however, is that most of bboys had ripped abs. Many years later I searched for things like: “breakdancing abs” on the Internet. I was really that delusional and brainwashed. I was almost naive enough to believe that those belts melting fat from your midsection were working too. Thanks for nothing, greedy mainstream media and music videos.
So, what is the “secret” to extreme abs?
There is no secret. You just lose fat and that’s it. There is no other way possible to make your abs visible. However, there’s a catch. The guys who are used as poster boys for the ultimate six pack abs are not only lean but also quite B-I-G. By big I don’t mean Ronnie Coleman size before or even after his retirement. I am talking about 17 inch arms and shredded abs. I have never seen a true natural with shredded abs and arms 17 inches or more. I am not saying this is impossible to achieve for absolutely every single person walking on the planet Earth. I know there are some crazy freaks out there with bones as thick as a small tree, but as far as the average humanoids are concerned – yeah, good luck.
I know a lot of people who are reading this will be offended because they have 19+ inch arms coupled with defined lower abs with veins on them, but please – you are either lying or not natural.
The irony gets meaner when you realize that true naturals will have to dig really deep in order to see them abs. This means one thing:
“Hello, extremely low bodyweights. How are you doing? I haven’t seen you since 10th grade.”
For many people who have been convinced that you should weigh less than 200 lbs / 90 kg unless you are 5’5” / 165 cm this would come as a devastating shock. Sorry.
Good luck seeing your abs when you are heavy, delusional and natural. It’s not going to happen. The average waist of a male is 30-32 inches when decently lean and to remove an inch you need to lose about 5 lbs of pure fat. This is just a guideline, not written in stone, although it probably should be, right?
So, if you are 230 lbs / 104 kg and your waist is 45 inches, you may need to lose 13 inches to see some abs. You may ultimately have to lose 65 lbs / 29 kg to get to a 32 inch / 81 cm waist, which by the way may still not be as lean as the fitness models in the magazines who have sub 30 inches waists thanks to steroids, growth hormone and other drugs. So, your final weight would be something like 230 lbs – 65 lbs = 165 lbs / 75 kg. I know this is neither Rippetoe nor Bodybuilding.com nor T-Nation.com nor YouTube.com approved, but that’s how things works in reality.
The heaviest punch comes from the lower abs. Those are ridiculously hard to keep lean. It’s almost impossible unless you are predisposed to ultimate leanness. There are people who weigh less than a bike and still have some fat on the lower abs. I can tell you that many teens cry themselves to sleep after pinching that area. That’s how deep the image of abs is in the mind of the society. Well, sorry. Lower abs require something special to keep lean year round. There are three reasons why they are so stubborn. First – this is the first place of the midsection to gain fat and the last to lose it. Second – the lower ab muscles are usually underdeveloped which makes them hard to show. Third – I’ve heard of hormonal problems causing the accumulation of stubborn fat in the area, but you should really ask somebody else about it.
This is also why the secret to “extreme” abs is still the femur of the fitness industry. When they promote mystical ways to get shredded abs, they use the image of bodybuilders who already have complete development, which is what actually gets your attention. To make the bait even better, those tactics come with professional photos, which are digitally edited and mastered by designers. If they were to show you the abs of an emaciated teen tennis player, you wouldn’t be as impressed.
My journey to a 4 pack was a frustrating adventure. The first thing I noticed is that people start to wonder why you are losing so much weight. “You sick, bro?”
When I was on some form of improvised intermittent fasting people thought I was anorexic, because I wasn’t eating throughout the day. The caloric deficit was insane and my body had no choice but to lose weight. I finally saw my abs after years of separation, but I did look terrible – flat, emaciated and fragile. People were not looking at me the way they look at the guys in the magazines. I understand why.
This period also confirmed another observation I had from before – people are only with you when there are results. There is no doubt that if what I was doing was transforming me into guys like Jeff Seid or who not, my family would have been more supportive. Instead, they got to see a delusional person starving to death. If there are no results that can gain attention, forget about support.
Finally, we arrive at the biggest obstacle stopping people from having lean abs – the carb supported environment. Carbs are cheap and everywhere. Sometimes when I walk around I can hear them calling my name: “I know you want us. Buy us.”
Carbs are sweet and taste very well. However, they also come with one main downside – it’s easy to accumulate a tons of calories without even knowing it. Once my last cutting phase ended in February or March, I decided to have an overload day. I bought a huge pack of coffee waffles. Initially I was thinking about eating only a few, but ate the whole pack before I got home from the store. The thing was 1 500 calories. Didn’t feel that way.
Another downside of carbs are the insulin sensibility people are talking about. I am not going to go into details, but I believe that the more insulin there is in your system, the harder it is to lose fat. That’s another plus of the low carb diets – they keep your blood level more stable. I know the vegan nuts eating 450 bananas a day will probably call me an idiot for saying that, but I really don’t care. I also don’t care what you eat. I know that for me this is true.
At the end of day, however, I have to admit that what counts the most are total calories regardless of their sources. I’ve seen garbage men with visible biceps head, which usually equals super lean abs. Those guys don’t follow a specific diet and yet they are ripped. Why? Because of theiractive lifestyle and very little calories – carbs or not.