Archive for the tag - how to get a six pack

How to Get a Six Pack: Are Crunches Enough?

Sexy? Yes. Worth the effort? You tell me.

Wisdom aside, many people first start working out because they want the almighty six pack. Of course, it’s my hope that these exercisers eventually come to appreciate the much more powerful and transformative benefits of working out, but there’s new denying the ubiquity of the six pack.

In fact, more than 40,000,000 web pages (now 40,000,001) are dedicated to the subject. So what’s the secret to abs of steel? And are crunches enough to carve out a washboard midsection?

The simple answer is it depends.

In terms of effectiveness, crunches and sit-ups are at the top of the list. Researches from Slippery Rock University put many popular ab products to the test and found that we need not waste our money on fancy equipment to activate our abdominal muscles (check out my equipment-free 5-minute ab workout on YouTube). Researches wrote:

For the 8 exercises examined in this study, the Ab-Sling, Ab-Rocket, crunch, and sit-up produced the most muscle activation in URA and LRA, but because participants would neither purchase nor use the Ab-Sling or Ab-Rocket, the sit-up or crunch should be prescribed for rectus abdominis exercise.

That’s good news for our wallets. But are crunches really a magic bullet if you’re going after the superficial Jersey Shore six pack? If you’re naturally very lean, then yes – you can stop right here. But for the rest of us, no.

Here’s the real secret: A powerful workout that incinerates any body fat hiding your abs and a smart but lower (not crazy low) carbohydrate diet.

The good news is that you may already have a six pack. The bad news is that it’s probably comfortably hidden under a layer of body fat. Even a small and healthy layer of body fat will do a good job to hide your abdominal muscles from view. But if a six pack is really your goal and focus (spending that same energy elsewhere may be more rewarding), then you’ll have to step up the cardio and really monitor your eating. Goodbye pizza and pasta and hello up-hill sprinting and intervals!

Sure, they’re sexy. But do you think it’s worth the energy and effort to carve out a six pack? Let me know in the comments below.