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Great Abs: A Few Thoughts

February 11, 2010

The big secret behind great abs is…low body fat!

Please believe me. Without a low enough level of body fat…

  • No amount of crunches will get you abs.
  • No amount of “ab classes” will get you abs.
  • No amount of time on the “ab machines” will get you abs.

And on a related topic…

No amount of side bends or “tick tocks” will tighten your waist.

 No amount of time on the “rotary torso” machine will tighten your waist (OR help you lose those love handles, guys).

 

So you say you’re a regular at the gym, and you still can’t see your abs? Your jeans are still pinching your stomach?

The answer is simple. It’s because there’s FAT covering your abdominal muscles!

That does not make you a BAD person.

In fact, you don’t have to be “overweight” to have a smooth belly instead of “abs.”

Think:  Have you seen amazing abs on most fashion models?

Not even bikini models have the “six packs” that physique competitors have.

And that’s OKAY! They’re not going for “buff.” They’re not going for “abs.”

To get abs, they’d have to quit fashion modeling and call themselves fitness models–which would probably limit their earnings.

Instead, they eat little to keep their weight down (it doesn’t hurt that they’re in their 20s). But their actual body fat level (the ratio of fat to lean body mass) is absolutely higher than, say, that of a physique athlete, who has considerably more muscle packed on her frame.

That said…

Sometime after 50, I think most women forget about abs–wanting them, working for them, stressing over them. Perhaps most women in their 50s think their time for six packs has long passed them. Not necessarily.

But priorities change. It’s usually “good enough” to tighten things up a bit so there’s no “pooch” under the sweater or t-shirt.

And that sounds healthier than staring mournfully at the mirror every morning, searching for indentations.

Please note: This is no reason to skip training your abdominal muscles. Strong abdominal muscles support good posture and may prevent some kinds of low back pain.

* Photo courtesy of Stacy McDowell (Simons), pro fitness competitor.

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