Our culture seems to be obsessed with abs these days. A chiseled six pack has become the symbol of fitness and male magnetism. Even some women are busting their buts in the gym now to get the coveted abdominal definition that is so elusive.
Not as Easy as it Seems
The thing many gym goers do not fully understand is just how difficult it is to get lean enough to make your abdominal muscles visible. Cutting out ice cream and walking on the treadmill a few times per week is not going to get you there. The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to get lean, ripped and muscular, so folks over 30 will have an especially difficult time uncovering their six packs from the stubborn layer of fat that keeps them hidden.
It may sound like I am trying to discourage you from trying to get nice and chiseled, but that could not be further from the truth. What I am trying to do is educate you about the difficulty of getting into this kind of shape so you do not get discouraged a few weeks into your training. The fact is; however difficult you imagine it will be it will likely be even harder.
Throughout our evolution as a species, there has never been a survival benefit to having a six pack. On the contrary, those who were able to hold on to some body fat even when food was scarce were more likely to survive and procreate. Evolution is based purely on survival, not on looking good at the beach, so as attractive as six packs abs are, they never helped man survive through tough times. The fact that the opposite may be true makes it easy to understand why it is so hard to get ripped.
Getting it Done
I would love to tell you that there is some great new shortcut that will allow you to get ripped in 30 days without giving up your favorite foods, but I will leave that up to the late night infomercials. Deep down most of us know that the tricks and gimmicks coming from self proclaimed fitness gurus are little more than marketing hype. If any of these tricks really worked everybody would be walking around shirtless showing off their washboard abs.
You will have to work hard in the kitchen and in the gym to get the lean, sculpted physique you want and it will not happen in 30 days unless you are already in fantastic shape.
In the gym a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular training is ideal for burning lots of calories and building some lean muscle mass. Most experts recommend 4-6 hours of moderately intense exercise per week if getting a six pack is your ultimate goal.
As far as nutrition goes, you will have to eat a very clean diet that results in a moderate calorie deficit. Carbohydrates will have to be kept to a minimum, and lean meats, fresh vegetables, and healthy fats should make up a large percentage of your calories.
How Long will it Take?
This all depends on your current fitness level. It could take only 12 weeks if you are already lean, but if you have a good bit of body fat it could take a year or longer. If you stick to a sensible plan and keep your eyes on the prize, you will eventually reach your goal. Now get to the gym!