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The Truth about Six Pack Abs - by E. Honan


Most people have abdominal muscles (Rectus Abdominis and External Abdominal Oblique). Without them, standing up and walking around would prove quite difficult. What is a ‘six pack’? This is a name given to the appearance of the abdominal muscles when they create raised bumps on the abdomen.


How do I get a six-pack?

The main contributor to a washboard stomach is diet. The reason most people do not have a visible six-pack is because there is a layer of fat covering it. Some people think that by doing relentless isolation exercises, eventually their abdominal muscles will protrude. Other people think that passing a mild current through their abs will work. The most effective way of achieving a six-pack is reduce the layer of fat covering the abdomen. Exercise, of course, also plays a vital role. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of gimmicks created for the sole purpose of aesthetically enhancing the abdominal region.


What about the latest ab gimmick?

‘Ab-gimmicks’ come in many flavours. Here is a brief breakdown:

Crunch machines and large balls

The first question to ask is; how do these machines affect my diet? Well they don’t. Remember that diet is the main contributor to washboard stomach. These machines are effective in that they actually get people to do exercise. However, don’t expect too much, unless you also change your diet. Remember that you don’t need a machine to do crunches.


Electrolysis pads

People really think these make a difference. Somehow, they believe that passing a mild current through their body is going to spot reduce fat, and create a washboard stomach. Of course, these claims are ‘clinically proven’ so they must be true! Well read the advert. What exactly are they claiming? They aren’t allowed to lie, or miss sell the product.


Here’s an example:


"XXXX is the starting point in your toning regime. Uses clinically proven CSI technology to tone and firm all of your abdominal muscles. Use everyday for 4-8 weeks to see and feel the difference. 2 Programmes with variable intensity levels. LED function display. Includes battery."


This advert doesn’t state ‘Use our product and you will get a washboard stomach’. It doesn’t even come close to stating that. It doesn’t even state that you’ll lose an ounce of fat. However, in the picture, there is a model with amazing abs, supposedly using the contraption. The buyer makes the mental connection. Let’s break the advert down:


"XXXX is the starting point in your toning regime"


Yes, okay. It’s the starting point. By the way, what is ‘toning’? Does it mean I’ll grow abs, or lose fat? It implies that I’ll be able to shape my abs? It’s a very handy word that means very little.


"Uses clinically proven CSI technology to tone and firm all of your abdominal muscles"


Here we go again with the ‘toning’. What is this CSI technology actually proven to do? – I’d love to know. Firming muscles? If I tense my stomach muscles, I too am ‘firming’ them. Firm muscles are just tensed muscles. It means nothing.


"Use everyday for 4-8 weeks to see and feel the difference"


Really? – What difference would that be? Unfortunately, the advert never lets us know what to expect. Maybe the difference they are referring to is acute loss of $100.


"2 Programmes with variable intensity levels."


Why would you need two programs, or variable intensity levels? “Oh, my abs were getting too defined with the high intensity level, so I had to reduce it” How ridiculous does that sound?


"LED function display. Includes battery."


Oh, well at least you get a battery. You could probably use the battery for something useful.


No lies there. This is because they aren’t actually claiming anything!…And no, the super-fit person in the advert probably didn’t get their abs by connecting wires to their body.


Tablets and powders

If these worked, they would be classified as a drug (and probably banned!). It’s that simple. You certainly would be allowed to sell them over the counter.


What is the Six-Pack Formula?

The bad news is that it’s not easy to create a washboard stomach. If it was, a multi-million dollar industry would collapse, and everyone would have a washboard stomach.


The main emphasis should be reduction in Body fat. Silver Onion is giving away free body fat callipers with each copy of PTrainer Fitness Software. You’ll be able to measure your progress both with the body fat callipers, and also by visual inspection of your abdominal region. Keep a record to ensure that you continually lose body fat.


The best way to reduce body fat is by diet control. Pick a diet that works for you, and stick to it. You should be able to stick to it for however long you wish to keep your six-pack. Think of it more as a life style change, rather than a diet. Don’t pick something too restrictive, because you simply won’t stick to it.


The next step is to do some exercise. I hate doing crunches, so I don’t bother. Instead I do heavy compound exercises. These are exercises such as squats and deadlifts. Such exercises recruit many muscles, including abdominal muscles. I find them to be most effective.


A washboard stomach doesn’t actually cost anything. It’s yours, free.

PTrainer Fitness Software can be purchased from www.silveronion.com.


Last updated: 7 February 2006. PTrainer (c) 1999-2006 Silveronion Software Ltd.