For most men, the question on how to get six pack abs is what gets them started at the gym. Sure, strong pecs are great, as are great arms and legs. But a washboard set of abs is what they want to reveal when they take their shirt off at the beach.
Abs go all the way back to ancient times as symbols of health, strength, and physical fitness.
But this has led to a whole suite of common myths around the exercises and nutrition involved in getting a ripply six pack.
You can also lead yourself down the path of believing that a six pack is a sign of a strong and healthy body.
The idea that ripped abs is the ultimate source of well-being and health is misguided. And, it can often lead to poor nutritional choices and a less than ideal bodybuilding program.
Nonetheless, we all want to sport a six pack, but not everyone’s willing to pay the price.
It might seem difficult to pop up abs when you look at your belly, but you can still get a pack in your own body.
But before starting to try there are some myths you need to get rid of.
Today we are going to take a good hard look at the 5 common myths around how to get six pack abs.
5 Common Myths on How to Get Six Pack Abs
For instance, people commonly think that our genetics and hormones determine where the body holds onto excess weight.
Sadly, in the same proportion as we get older, our midsection will become commonplace for storing spare fat, which is even more likely if you’re a woman.
While genetics and hormones are associated with this fact, it doesn’t mean an adult woman will not have beautiful abs.
Genetics is not a barrier if you put the effort in.
However, building a six-pack is not easy.
So, dedication and commitment are keywords both for eating clean and training hard.
Consider the myths below as a series of Do’s and Don’ts of eating and working out.
No matter if you are a regular gym-goer or a newbie, this article will help you.
Fake news 1: Exercise compensates for what you eat.
Get rid of the idea of having a double cheeseburger and then rocking out 50 crunches to “burn” them.
What you had for dinner last night has a significant impact on where the excess of fat stores within your body.
Remember that you do have your six-packs since you were a baby.
The only thing is that they are hidden underneath a layer of fat.
The thickness of this fat depends on your eating habits: both what you eat and the amounts you decide to eat.
So if you want to uncover your “hidden treasure”, make sure to increase the frequency of foods like lean proteins, real fruits and vegetables in your everyday meals.
Do not forget whole grains as well.
Fake news 2: Abs are to be worked out differently.
This is a typical cliché.
Most people think our abs must be worked out even harder than the rest of the muscles.
But the truth is abs are the same as every other muscle in the body.
Therefore, training 2 to 3 times a week, resting in between, and having various types of exercises, will be enough for having strong fit abs.
By the way, do never forget: abs exercises are not a warranty of getting them flat.
As we mentioned before, maybe your dream abs are not part of the original plan designed in your DNA code.
But genetics is not meant to be a barrier if you try hard. So, focus on strength training, which is necessary for keeping a strong core.
Fake news 3: The gym is the best place to get ripped abs.
Consider this: Have you counted all of the gyms available next to your place?
Yes, lots of them, and most will be full in peak hours.
But, people are still out of shape, and there are so many pot bellies out there!
So, it is not about the place; it’s about us individually.
In other words, move!
Getting abs in shape is about dynamic moves: those focused on core strength, which maintains the body stabilised and in place.
Not everybody trains core muscles properly.
They focus on arms, pecs, legs, or a tight buttock.
However, the truth is that training your core muscles do not necessarily require heavy weights and specialised equipment.
You can even make a gym out of your nearby playground.
Again, what you have to do is MOVE!
As a challenge, try vertical crunches: Lie on the floor while holding legs up and aiming soles of your feet at the roof.
Once in that position, imagine you’re holding onto something fragile on your feet (like a baby you are playing with, delicate enough?).
Start then lifting the fragile weight straight up to the roof until your hips are off the floor.
Do it nice and slow for 1-3 sets of 12-20 reps each.
This small, but intense movement will convince you that no gym is needed for a good abs workout.
Fake news 4: There is special food to get rid of your belly fat.
Of course, certain foods will help you lose weight, (fibre-rich dark, leafy vegetables and citrus fruits, and such.).
But eating these foods will not focus just in the stomach region but your body in general.
So mind your eating.
Keep a good balance between carbs and proteins, and avoid temptations and cheat foods.
It’s not one food, it’s a healthy diet you should aim at.
Fake news 5: If you want, you can train your lower abs only.
If your lower abs were a different group of muscles apart from the upper section, that might be possible.
But your anatomy says otherwise: your rectus abdominis (that is your six-pack) is one unit.
Many people consider their lower abs a troublesome area because it is kind of difficult to get it toned.
But the truth is that, again, you might have amazing abs underneath that especially tricky layer of fat.
So, combine a healthy diet with both upper and lower abs workout.
If you can combine weights with bodyweight exercises, you might want to try different combinations as well.
Do not let your body get accustomed to one routine and surprise your abs with a new approach every time.
If you keep doing that for long enough, you will start to see results.
- Cole, S., & Seabourne, T. (2003). Athletic Abs. Human Kinetics.
- Brungardt, K. (2015). The Complete book of Abs: Revised and expanded edition. Villard.
We have, in preparing this information, used our best endeavours to ensure that the information contained herein is true and accurate, but accept no responsibility and disclaim all liability in respect of any errors, inaccuracies or misstatements contained herein. Information guide only and any other further information should be considered by a professional.