The somewhat ironic thing about washboard abs is that everyone is born with the muscles that create the ‘six-pack’ look. The six-pack is made up of three rows of muscles and their connective tissue that form the appearance of a ‘six-pack’ of cans across the front of the stomach. For the vast majority of people, these muscles are covered in a layer of body-fat. Making these relatively tiny muscles visible, is one of the biggest fitness obsessions of all time. That said, having visible abs is not an indication of health, strength, endurance, or agility.
Abs are just an aesthetic.
A six-pack is an aesthetic look that the corporate fitness media touts and manipulates in a similar way that the fashion and beauty industry worships fleeting youth. Visible abs have come to represent the promise of freedom, youth, vitality, confidence and an overall happiness - except of course that there is no correlation between abs and happiness or success. At BodyRock, we recognize that having and maintaining definition anywhere on your body takes serious effort and discipline, but we will never sell you that having a six-pack will make you happier, more well adjusted or emotionally balanced. What we will tell you is that we can help you get into the best shape of your life - and that before you aim for a six-pack, try on a strong, flat stomach first. Having a strong, flat, defined stomach is a realistic fitness goal that is sustainable for most women with busy lives.
Abs are a nice place to think about visiting, but chances are, you wouldn’t want to permanently live there.
Having a visible six-pack and maintaining that look requires a level of continuous restriction that professional figure competitors typically only try and maintain briefly before they compete. As someone that has been directing fitness content now for over 14 years, I have seen, up close, the amount of restriction and deprivation that is required to keep this level of minimal body fat. Maintaining a six-pack is a full time job, that impacts every area and aspect of your life - and to be as direct and honest with you as I can be, it’s why I have chosen not to make having a six-pack a personal fitness goal of mine, despite having all of the necessary resources around me pretty much 24/7 to make that happen. My personal fitness goals center on having a strong, flat stomach and being the best version of myself that I can be. This does not require me to have a six-pack.
Take some pressure off.
If you are setting your fitness and body goals, ratchet down some of the pressure and aim for a flat, strong stomach instead of a six-pack. A flat stomach and strong core will still deliver all of the confidence that you are looking for, as well as an athletic body silhouette. A flat stomach will keep you in great company - none of the current crop of top actresses, models or musicians - many of whom are considered to be some of the most attractive women in the world - are rocking six-pack abs. Jlo, whom we have celebrated as a fierce and fit woman in her 50’s works out like a demon and doesn’t sport a six-pack.
Rant over. I feel better now. Less pressure. Now that we’ve established that a strong, lean core and flat stomach are achievable goals that we can pursue while also living life, lets look at some of the top tips for getting us there. If I had 1 minute in an elevator to give you my best advice on what is going to actually move the needle for you when it comes to your overall fitness and achieving a flat stomach and strong core it would be these 3 success pillars:
The BodyRock Meal Plan Bundle ($29.99)
1. Get on a meal plan that provides enough lean protein. Most women still don’t get enough protein into their diets, which makes building lean, fat burning muscle difficult. Protein is critical for fat loss, will keep you feeling full longer between meals, and will help you build lean muscle tone and athletic definition. If you are vegan or vegetarian, there are plans specifically for your requirements that will ensure that you are including enough sources of muscle building protein.
A shot from our 30 Day Beginner Bootcamp.
2. Follow a video based workout plan that is right for your fitness level. By ‘right’ I mean suitable for your current fitness level. If you haven’t exercised in years or even decades - that’s ok, but start with a beginner level workout program like our 30 Day Beginner Bootcamp that will progress you forward in an achievable way with workouts that are just 10-15 minutes per day. Find out why 10-15 minutes per day is enough to change your body here. Following a workout plan takes care of consistency, coaching and support - all of the components that are necessary for success. Our Beginner Bootcamp workout plan includes HIIT (high intensity interval training) and Strength Training for optimal fat loss and full body conditioning has been scientifically proven to deliver the best and fastest results. Focus on full-body exercises that activate your abs and core muscles during each movement. Guess what? The best core exercise isn’t even a crunch. The Beginner Bootcamp program will target your core and flatten your stomach while you are working on toning and strengthening your whole body - no need for endless sit-ups.
3. Get more sleep. A recent study found that women that got just an extra 1.2 hours of sleep a night dramatically reduced the amount of calories they ate the next day. You can read more about the importance of sleep and fat loss here.
If you like our vibe here at BodyRock, and you want to get in the best shape of your life in an healthy and achievable way, then I hope that you will come and train with us. For a limited time, we are offering a full year of unlimited access to our 30 Day Beginner Bootcamp program on BodyRockPlus.com (think NetFlix but for workouts), and all of our other beginner level workouts for just $69 with code: NY22.