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Why You Should Have A 6 Pack 1 Time in Your Life
One Of The Most Important Things You Can Do For Lifelong Health
This post is much less about the vanity aspect of having abs, or really even having abs themselves at all. It’s much deeper than that.
The reality is, if you’re reading this, statistically you are around 18-25% body fat, have some fitness experience, have fitness as a priority but still have the occasional junk meal and drink.
You might even have a hard time sticking through with your plan to a T for more than a few weeks or month at a time, but it’s okay because you “look okay”.
This is fine, you’re likely going to avoid most health issues and will be more fit than the average person your entire life.
But what if… what if for one time in your life you really pushed the envelope and saw what you’re capable of.
This is what I’m suggesting in this post.
Why Should You Want a 6 Pack?
This is much more about the process and future implications than it is actually walking around with a 6 pack (which is cool in it’s own right—trust me, I’ve been doing it for almost a decade—life is better this way).
The reason being is that it will actually take work. It will take consistency. It will challenge you. It will force you to adapt and make healthy lifestyle choices.
The best part is, it’s very achievable and will likely take less time than you think—it’ll just take more time than you want.
If you can commit 6 months of you life to this goal, you’ll completely transform who you are as a person and more importantly—your health.
What It Takes
For most men, around 12% body fat is where you’re going to be able to have fully visible and defined abs. Around this range is where health, athleticism, and aesthetics meet. This number is significant for a number of other reasons.
You will be in a very healthy spot for testosterone production.
You will be lean and lighter.
You will have pronounced muscle definition and abs.
It will take challenging yourself in a positive way. You will have to train with intensity and gradually adjust your diet to suit your goals.
Training with Intensity - how “hard” you are working during a session - working each muscle in the appropriate hypertrophic range (6-20 reps) multiple times a week.
stimulate don’t annihilate - allow enough recovery for your muscles to grow - muscle mass takes up less space than fat, you will be leaner and healthier
Diet - we will be in a caloric deficit, eating less calories than we burn in a day (see below in How Do We Get There?).
Maintaining a healthy level of hydration and sodium intake. This will affect your appetite, appearance and overall well-being:
body temperature (metabolic rate will be affected by this).
shuttle nutrients to cells
maintain healthy organ functions
Once you achieve 12% body fat you will have learned how to effectively manipulate variables to understand what works for you and what doesn’t. Maintaining this physique will seem even easier than getting to this point.
Not only will you feel and look amazing once you achieve this goal, but it will have lasting effects.
Reaching this point in your life becomes a lifestyle. Once you’ve achieved seeing abs for the first time you become cognizant of what you had to do - what discipline was necessary. At this point you will know your body. You will know what it takes to maintain this impressive physique forever because you figured out what not to do and what to do.
To lose this physique, you’d have to completely give up on yourself. It’s not likely you’ll ever revert back to that 18-25% body fat range because you’ve been through the process and know what you’re capable of.
1. You don’t want to be overweight.
2. You won’t crave the same things, your body is going to naturally adjust.
3. You are forming lifelong habits that will stick.
It’s also highly beneficial for our health.
Simply put, leaner is healthier and leaner people live longer.
When we get below 15% body fat, which is the range where the outline of our abs become visible, we are entering a very health place to maintain body fat.
When you carry excess fat, above 15-18% body fat, you are actually doing a number of things that are hurting your health.
1 is the fact that you are creating chronic inflammation and the various issues that come with that.
Another is caused by an enzyme known as aromatase that lives within fat tissue. This little enzyme is what converts testosterone to estrogen. I could go into more detail on this but I think you all get the picture—this is not what we want as a man.
The rewards of health seem to compound as we reach leaner phases. By getting down to around 12% we are going to experience nearly peak benefits of most things that matter overall for health.
These are generally all going to greatly improve as we reach the range of actually having abs.
How Do We Get There?
I’ve previously written an article on how to see your abs for the first time, this article is more about the why, but I will share the methods that are true and tried for achieving this goal.
There is no secret - diet is going to be almost 100% of the battle here and we will need to create periods of a caloric deficit, where we are eating less than than we burn a day.
We have to plan for this - if you’re on the higher end, it’s going to take a lot more time and work vs if you’re just slightly overweight (think dad bod) - you can probably manage this within a few months.
Regardless, we are going to need a plan to and to attack this with consistency and intelligently design our plan of action.
Realistically, if we are newer to lifting, we want to eat in a small caloric deficit, 200-300 calories a day. This will provide enough fuel that we can still grow while losing fat.
If we have been lifting for awhile, we want to go full cut route, 500-700 calorie deficit.
This is the source I used to help estimate how many calories to consume a day—TDEE Calculator.
If we are pretty far away from this goal, then we are going to diet down for weeks at a time, my suggestion is 8-12 weeks, then have a 2 week diet break where we eat at maintenance calories (again can be calculated from the link above) and then proceed back with our fat loss.
Of course during this time we will be lifting, as hard as we can, as that is going to not only keep and potentially add more muscle, it is going to allow us to burn fat at a much faster rate.
Beginners will do well on something like a Full-Body Program, if you’re advanced of course you probably know what works, but my PPL Program is by far my favorite program and the one I am currently using to get ready for a bodybuilding competition (where I’ll be 3-5% body fat & the same one @BowTiedHeifer utilized for her competitions).
I promise you will want to quit 100x and your mind will play tricks on you. This is normal and part of the reason why this is so important to do.
Every single time you say “no” and you stick to the plan, you are building more discipline and resilience, which is a quantifiable skill—the more you do it, the more discipline and resilience you develop.
Remember what is important. If you can do this once there is overwhelming odds this will become part of your identity and something you stick with the rest of your life.
For better or worse, starting to lose your abs will make you feel “fat”. I definitely do not encourage body dysmorphia or self-image issues, but this is relatively a good thing—it means you have higher standards for yourself.
This will likely take double the time you think it will—be ready for that—but it’s worth it, I promise you. If you get abs for the first time and don’t love it, I will refund your entire subscription.
Putting It All Together
Just one time, dedicate 6 months to your fitness and health. You have to work hard. Challenge yourself. Be consistent AND force yourself to truly adapt by making healthy lifestyle choices.
This is very achievable and will likely take less time than you think. Believe that you are capable of doing it and you will do it (not to sound like a guru, but it’s really that easy).
Reaching 12% body fat will positively impact testosterone production, lean muscle mass and appearance - by this point you have learned how to effectively manipulate variables and you understand what works for you and what doesn’t. You know what you’re capable of and exactly what it takes to maintain what you have.
You’ll never go back. You won’t miss being overweight, you’ll kick most (you’re still human) of the junk food cravings, and you’ll feel 1000x better than you did when you were 18-25%.
Now you know the benefits and you have the tools to effectively reach this goal. Start implementing them today—right now!
This is not Legal, Medical, or Financial advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting any workout program, diet plan, or supplement protocol. These are opinions from a Cartoon Ox.