How To Get A Six Pack: 5 TRAPS to Avoid
Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed (to invent the light bulb). I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
I have to admit that’s how I felt on my quest to get a six pack. I believe I tried 10,000 things that didn’t work! Imagine this: I first wanted to get a six pack at the age of 14. But I didn’t get one until the age of 27. You ask, what could have gone wrong all those years?
I will cover the five mistakes that I made which seem to be common among my fellow six-pack seekers. If you are on the quest to get a six pack, make sure to read all 5 traps to avoid so you can get to your goal faster. Learn from my mistakes so you won’t make them too. You will thank me for it.
Trap Number 1
Saying to yourself, “I will eat whatever I want. I will just train harder at the gym.”
This was my mentality during my high school days. I ate cereal and milk, processed foods from the supermarket, cupcakes, and pretty much anything that was available. But I tried to justify it by saying, “Hey, I do work out several days a week. Things will ‘balance themselves out.'”
Let’s just say that things don’t balance themselves out that way, at least when it comes to getting six pack abs.
So what happened? Sure, I got big biceps and triceps from all the working out, but a six pack? No way. More like love handles.
My advice: By improving your diet, you can commit less time to working out and actually get six pack abs faster than you think!
When I stopped eating cereal and milk, processed foods, and other junk I was able to cut my body fat % down to 10.57% with modest 45 minute workouts, 4 times per week.
Trap Number 2
Doing situps and crunches
Relax. You don’t ever have to do another situp or crunch ever again.
I have verified this trap from numerous sources including Men’s Health and the Fat Loss Code. While it seems like doing situps and crunches would help you get a six pack because you feel your abdominals burning, this method of exercise does not increase the visibility of your abs.
When I was 14, this was one of the first things I tried out. I did hundreds, maybe even thousands of situps and crunches. But the bottom line is, you cannot get a six pack to show unless you reduce your body fat percentage. Then and only then would it make sense to do any type of ab targeted exercise.
My advice: Do full body exercises instead of ab targeted exercises. Squats, deadlifts, cleans, and other Olympic style lifts. They are the way to go. I know it sounds weird: Get a six pack by not working out your abs. But trust me, it works!
Trap Number 3 – Consuming highly acidic foods and drinks<
I used to consume a lot of processed meat, energy drinks, cokes, etc. But one day I was listening to self-help guru Tony Robbins “Get the Edge” audio program and in one of the sessions he talks about the acid vs. alkaline diet.
Our blood is naturally slightly acidic. But when we introduce highly acidic foods into our system, our blood acidity level becomes more concentrated and the body begins storing fat around our vital organs to protect them.
If we are to expedite getting rid of excess fat in our bodies then, we have to make sure our bodies aren’t in defense mode to guard against acidity. We have to eat more alkaline foods like green vegetables. In that way, our body is closer to the ph level is should be at (slightly acidic).
My advice: Avoid energy drinks, carbonated beverages, sugary fruit juices, and other processed meats.
Drink plenty of water to flush your system of toxins and eat plenty of leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables.
Trap Number 4
Wasting money on supplements
It would be wonderful if there was a magic supplement that could guarantee six pack abs. But most supplements are just expensive urine. And all of them are unnecessary to get six pack abs.
Another bad thing about supplements is that the supplement market is not regulated by the food and drug administration.
Who knows what is actually in these powders and pills?
Speaking from personal experience, I had to throw away a big 5 pound bag of protein that I was using because I read in Consumer Reports (September 2010 issue) that it contained more than trace amounts of arsenic, cadmium, and other metals that can be toxic to the body.
And this is stuff that I was taking every day before and after my workouts. Scary.
My advice: Try to minimize the use of supplements. Taking a multivitamin is a good idea. Beyond that, drinking low-fat, low-calorie 100% whey protein before and after your workouts can help you build lean muscle. Don’t buy fat burner pills. (by the way, the protein I use is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey).
Trap Number 5
Too much cardio.
Yes, I have been guilty of too much cardio in my lifetime. I was a cross country and track runner in high school. I also used to think that running miles and miles at the community park was going to help me get a six pack.
The truth is, while cardio is great for cardiovascular health and promoting cellular health by increasing oxygen to blood cells, it might be counter-productive to getting a six pack if done in excess.
Mike Geary uses a great illustration in his ebook. Think about the difference between the body of a sprinter versus an endurance runner.
“Most sprinters carry a physique that is very lean, muscular, and powerful looking, while the typical dedicated marathoner is more often emaciated and sickly looking.
Now which would you rather resemble.?” (Mike Geary, The Truth About Six Pack Abs ebook, page 91)
My advice: Spend less time doing boring cardio exercises and more time doing full body workouts and sprints. You will develop more lean muscle that way, essentially turning your body into a fat burning machine by boosting your resting metabolic rate or RMR.
In closing, I think that it’s worth noting that although I found 10,000 ways not to get six pack, I learned a lot in the process. And hopefully this information will be of great benefit for you.
Let’s recap the 5 traps to avoid enroute to getting a six pack.
- Avoid practicing the “I’ll eat what I want, but just workout more” approach. Start enjoying healthy foods so you can train less and get a six pack in the process.
- Retire the situp and crunch routine. You no longer have to do these. Lose body fat first and do full body exercises.
- Refuse to ingest highly acidic processed foods, sodas, and energy drinks. Cleanse your system with alkaline foods like leafy greens and fruits. Drink water throughout the day to get rid of toxins.
- Save major cash by saying neigh to supplements, unless it’s a multivitamin or low-fat, low-calorie whey protein.
- Decrease cardio if you’re overdoing it (more than an hour). Full body workouts and sprints should do. (remember the contrast of the sprinter’s muscular body versus the marathon runner’s emaciated body).
Best wishes to all of you in your quest to get a six pack. Remember: when diet comes first, training comes easy, especially when it comes to getting a six pack!
Mike Powell is an entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast from Houston, Texas.
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