You want your abs to be ripped like the cover of a Muscle and Fitness magazine model. But when you Google how to get 6 pack abs, the return of information is very overwhelming. The bulk of information you find mostly pertains to all the many different types of ab exercises you can perform.
I too wanted to learn how I can get a six-pack past the age of 50, I do know enough about exercise and working out to know that doing hundreds of crunches, situps, and multiple ab exercises were not going to get me the results I want. No matter how many crunches you do, how many situps you do, if you do not approach the process of getting a 6-pack correctly, it will not work for you.
In this fitness blog, I will share with you the four things that I have learned that will get you that eye-popping 6-pack after the age of 40.
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What Are 6 Pack Abs?
So, what is this thing that we want so badly known as the six-pack? When you say, six-pack abs you are referring to the rectus abdominis muscle which is a paired muscle that runs vertically on each side of the anterior wall of your abdomen.
The rectus abdominis has two parallel muscles separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba. When you have reduced the proper amount of fat, typically, you will not only see your rectus abdominis but your external oblique muscle as well.
But because our bodies are wonderfully made, other muscles contribute to a great looking 6-pack. While having a 6-pack looks killer during swimsuit season, your core has a very important job – it helps with standing, sitting, walking, and so much more.
Losing Weight vs. Losing Fat
First, let’s start with a bit of good news; you already have a 6-pack. Look at that, you are already halfway to your goal.
Unfortunately, your six-pack is probably buried underneath your body fat. But trust me, beneath your belly fat are the abs of an Adonis.
What you may not know is that losing weight and losing body fat are two different things.
Weight loss is the loss of overall body weight that includes muscle, fat, and water from the body.
Fat loss is the reduction in body fat.
Just like with weight loss, you can reduce your body fat. Chances are when you speak of losing weight, what you are really talking about is losing body fat.
Getting a six-pack is dependent on your abdominal structure and genetics. Many are blessed to come from a great pool of genes and do not carry excess body fat around the midsection. What I have learned is that our bodies have two primary kinds of fats subcutaneous and visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat that lies under your skin beneath the top layer of skin known as the epidermis and the middle layer known as the dermis. Do you know that beer belly also known as a spare tire? That is subcutaneous fat.
How much subcutaneous fat you develop depends on a few factors such as your genetics and your lifestyle, meaning how active you are along with your diet.
Subcutaneous fat is genetic (you are born with it), but over the years you will create more subcutaneous fat if you eat more calories than you burn, if you are not very physically active, or if you don’t have much muscle mass.
It’s important to point out that subcutaneous fat does serve a real purpose. It helps your body store energy, it serves as a passageway for your nerves and blood vessels between your skin and muscle, it helps to regulate your body temperature, and it protects you when you smash against hard surfaces.
While subcutaneous fat performs important functions and may not be considered as unhealthy as visceral fat, too much subcutaneous fat has some major drawbacks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease.
Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs (liver, pancreas, and intestines) and is stored around your abdominal cavity and can sometimes build up in your arteries causing all kinds of health problems – heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer disease.
More research needs to be done to understand why visceral fat is stored by the body, but what is known is that the stress hormone cortisol will boost the storage of this dangerous fat.
More and more men are getting cosmetic surgery that includes weight loss surgery (liposuction). It needs to be pointed out that liposuction will only remove subcutaneous fat and not visceral fat.
When Will You See Your Abs?
To see your abs pop through your skin, you must first get leaner and drop your body fat. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), people who lose ~1 lb. to 2 lbs. a week (4 lbs. – 8 lbs. a month) tend to keep it off.
As a guideline, men with approximately 14% body fat will begin to see the makings of a 6-pack; but at 10% or less, you may begin to start thinking of a career as an underwear model. Again, this is just a guideline.
It works a bit differently for women as they store more body fat than men. Women will begin to see their 6-pack around the 20% mark and more pronounced at 16%. Again, this is just a guideline.
How to Lose Your Body Fat
1. Commitment and Dedication
To be successful at reducing your body fat and flattening your stomach, to get that seemingly elusive 6-pack; takes a certain level of commitment and dedication. You must make up your mind that this is what you want and that you will work hard to achieve your goal.
Before you take a step into the gym to begin a grueling ab exercise routine, it is important to know that a true 6-pack is not built in the gym but the kitchen. What you eat is the most important building block when it comes to a stunning 6-pack. For so many, just losing body fat especially around the belly will yield enormous results. Remember, you technically already have a 6-pack. Check out my blog on Superfoods.
But just as important to know what to eat, is knowing what not to eat; this is crucial to building a jaw-dropping 6-pack. Here is a list of foods to stay away from.
- Sugar-sweetened drinks
- Fried foods
- Sugary snacks
In conjunction with the right mindset and eating right, you will need to incorporate aerobic activities to help burn calories. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “The term aerobic means “with oxygen,” which means that breathing controls the amount of oxygen that can make it to the muscles to help them burn fuel and move.”
Some aerobic activities that will help burn calories include:
- Jumping rope
Weight training also contributes to weight loss. Lifting weights will increase lean muscle, boost your metabolism helping to burn calories.
Your overall exercise routine should include total-body exercises that involve your core such as squats, deadlifts, and standing shoulder presses.
Once you are a lean, mean fighting machine by losing body fat and not just losing weight, it is time to hit the abs with specific exercises. As your body gets lean you will begin to see your 6-pack live and in 3D. To help make them more pronounced,
- Train your core 2 to 3 times a week. You do not have to do ab exercises every day. Just like other body parts your abs need time to recover.
- Perform your ab exercises post-workout and be sure to incorporate a variety of core exercises such as planks, bicycle crunches, and leg raises just to name a few.
4. Waist Trimmer
There is a good chance you may come to a point where you are not losing some of the stubborn fat around your midsection as fast as you like, and you need a bit of help. Losing the fat around your midsection can be frustrating, but it is not impossible.
The Active Gear Waist Trimmer is a great product to help you sweat off those unwanted pounds. The great thing about the Active Gear Waist Trimmer is that you can wear it throughout your normal day and it helps support your back while you lose weight.
The Active Gear Waist Trimmer is the perfect choice for men and women who need help burning those pounds off the stomach area.
You simply wrap the Waist Trimmer around your waist to fit from snug to tight for optimal results. The very strong velcro makes this easy to strap on.
- You will lose weight fast.
- You will get a slimmer physique.
- You will lose inches on your waist.
- It supports your core as well as your back.
- It improves your circulation.
Besides all the great benefits it has some amazing features!
- Comes in two sizes – Medium size (8-inch-wide and 42-inch-long) fits up to a 48 waist. Large size (9-inch-wide and 46-inch-long) fits up to a 52 waist.
- Moisture repelling that fights bacteria build-up and odors.
- Increases body heat to help remove excess body weight.
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and a LIFETIME WARRANTY.
Remember, there is a difference between losing weight and losing fat. To get that jaw-dropping 6-pack, you first must lose the body fat which consists of both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Focus on your diet and nutrition. It is important to stay mentally strong and focused on your goal of reducing body fat. Finally, add exercise and cardio to help your abs stand out, and maybe it will be you whom we see on the cover of muscle magazines.
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Aerobic Exercise. 2019. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7050-aerobic-exercise
Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity. 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/