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Calorie Count Blog

A Six-Pack Reality Check


By +Carolyn Richardson on Aug 30, 2011 10:00 AM in Dieting & You

By Carolyn Richardson

A little over a year ago I had a six-pack reality check.  After losing 50 pounds, I was determined to get a six-pack.  After all, if I could lose that much weight in 6 months, I could definitely get my abs ripped, right?  The answer is not so much.  The primary reason for saying no is my personal trainer telling me it’d take at least another year to do it, despite the fact that I’d virtually reached my goal weight.  I didn’t understand how extreme trying to get a six-pack was.  Here’s what I found out about getting a six-pack, and why it’s no longer one of my goals.

Extreme Body Fat Percentage

Dave Zinczenko, author of "The Abs Diet Get Fit, Stay Fit Plan," told ABC News, “Guys usually have to get to about 12 percent body fat to see their abs… women can see them between 14 and 18 percent body fat."  When I set my six-pack goal, my body fat percentage was into the “fitness” range at 22%.  In my mind, another 4-8% seemed easy, but if Dave’s comment was true, somehow that meant I’d have to do even more than I was already doing to get it, and I truly don’t know how much more I could take.  

Extreme Exercise & Diet

I wanted to know from my trainer what else I had to do.  His answer was simply more. But the fact that I have a full-time job, and a social life, meant that I’d have to reconsider.  Losing the weight had already consumed me.  My husband endured my exercising twice a day, an hour each, everyday for almost five months, as well as my strict daily caloric limit, not to mention the continuous food logging on CalorieCount.  Doing more than this for a whole other year meant sacrifice, and the sacrifice may have been my sanity.

Extreme Sacrifice

According to my personal trainer, I’d have to exercise MORE than two hours a day everyday, eat MORE restrictive than I was already eating, and lose MORE body fat even though I was in the “fitness” range. All of which has led me to where I am now.  I do not have, nor do I care to get a six-pack anymore.  After admitting to myself that my motivation was completely vain, I have come to my senses.  The fact that I’d reached my goal weight, a great body fat percentage, and learned to eat healthier is enough.  For me, I simply can’t afford to give up my healthy lifestyle for a six-pack. 

No More Extremes

While a six-pack eludes me, I do have a new goal, and that is maintenance of a mindset that's confident that I can let go of extremes and still maintain my goal weight.  I no longer workout two hours a day, or adhere to meeting a specific caloric number everyday. I have, however, taken what I learned in those extreme months to teach myself boundaries.  I won't allow myself to get too far away from a weight and body fat percentage that will keep me healthy, but I also don't feel guilty if I don't eat something completely healthy, and I also don't feel self-righteous if I have a highly nutritious meal.  Now, I truly eat to live, and I've never felt better inside or out.  


Your thoughts…


Do you have a certain body part you want to change even after you reach a healthy weight?



Comments


I was 234 lbs before I started working out. I went down to 176 lbs in about 5 months and I was started to get pale and weak but still I saw fat everywhere and a 6-pack was barely visible. It was only after I changed the way I worked out that I started to see any visible change.

I thought that since I can't burn any more fat, I'm going to pack a bit more muscle. I'm at 190 lbs now and I have a very visible 6-pack. I didn't exactly gain the six-pack because I gained more muscle. I got a six-pack because I started eating better and I got my metabolism right. You need to find a delicate balance with how much you eat. You have to eat enough to keep your metabolism high and having strength to push your limits in the gym, and still be able to burn the fat in your body.



I don't agree with this opinion.  You don't need to work out more to see your abs.  You do need to change your workout, and diet is a big part.  A combination of exercises with interval training and a slight calorie deficit will get you to burn fat and eventually see the abs that are already there.  Maybe 45-60 minutes 3-4 times a week and 6 months tops if you're already fit.



Right now all I have is a keg!



Well done on your 50lb weight loss!

I'm glad that you have put a stop to overtraining and overthinking. When your mind is relaxed, you are in a better position to listen to what your body requires to achieve future goals.

With regards to a quest for a six-pack - there's no harm in putting that on ice for the moment. What I would suggest is that you do as much conventional and unconventional research as possible before embarking on a six-pack programme. By unconventional I mean look for six-pack bearers with a similar shape and body composition to your own, ask them about their journey - and just listen.

When you are ready, you'll combine the information you've compiled and put together a 'six-pack'  nutrition and diet plan that works for your lifestyle ;-)



the writer sounds like already burned out because of the 6 months diet. well take 2 weeks off everything and another 2 of diet and get back at it slow but steady while lifting you will see your 6 packs before you realize it.



This is a very useful article I am really glad you wrote it.  Even though I still got a long way to go, that has been one of my goals from the beginning (well actually a 4 pack (6 pack is just extreme :) ). 

But it is rather nice to see what it would take.  Probably two-three years away at my current progress myself (but rather than sticking to the diet till it is done, I do 3 mo stints, afterwards I switch to maintainence until the next diet). So anyways thank you for the article.

Salindor



First of all: congratulations on setting and reaching a lofty goal!  You're awesome.

Second: I can't be sure what was said, but I am inclined to believe your personal trainer has NO IDEA what he's talking about.  He's telling you to work out MORE than two hours a day.  What a freaking joke.  I'm telling you this as a man who is a certified personal trainer.  You do NOT have to work out more than two hours to achieve anything.

It is TRUE- everyone has a 6-pack, just not the bodyfat to prove it.  You will have to reduce your BF% to have a noticeable core.  BUT DON'T get discouraged by this guy.

I will inbox you my website with my email and address on it.  Please give me a call!  I'd love to set you straight, if I can.



Carolyn: Bravo! You sound great and what you wrote is helpful and sane. Good for you. I haven't needed to lose a lot of weight but I did need to learn to eat healthier and I'm well on my way (and enjoying it.) I like what you wrote, "Now I eat to live".

Well said!

d



What I heard from your words was more about getting a more functional goal for yourself, rather than the issue of the 6-pack. That perhaps will benefit you more than a belly to show off. However, if you still get the notion later to try to achieve that goal, use more targeted, difficult exercises for the abs, rather than more time spent on them. Will get better results.

Grats on your successes and I wish you continued happiness and success along your journey.



Have to agree with a couple of comments above...get a new trainer. He has NO idea what he is talking about in having to train more than 2 hours a day. 

As someone who prides themselves on their abs, it takes a lot to put them on, but abs are not like any other part of your body.  They can be worked on at each workout day and there are so many methods and excercies that are needed.  Cardio/high intensity training is to shed the weight and excercises are to build the muscles.  Diet is a huge part.  Drinking alcohol can be a killer. 

  



Original Post by: thesilverpen

What I heard from your words was more about getting a more functional goal for yourself, rather than the issue of the 6-pack. That perhaps will benefit you more than a belly to show off. However, if you still get the notion later to try to achieve that goal, use more targeted, difficult exercises for the abs, rather than more time spent on them. Will get better results.

Grats on your successes and I wish you continued happiness and success along your journey.


Yes Silverpen, the article is more about changing my way of thinking about a certain body part into focusing on becoming and staying healthy, balanced, and whole.  



I don't agree with this article. I believe this information is incorrect, inappropriate, and irresponsible. Exercising too much (over 2 hours a day) can put stress on your body that will cause the release of Cortisol. Cortisol increases the flow of

glucose(as well as protein and fat) out of your tissues and into the bloodstream. This is done in order to increase energy and physical readiness to handle a stressful situation or threat. This will cause fat to be stored in the abdomen and other regions in the body. Six pack abs are made in the kitchen. You need to eat clean and get enough protein for your bodyweight.


First off I'd like to know the name of your trainer...  So I know never to higher him or her... 

 

Although I see the point of what you are talking about, it all comes down to what you really want.  You want a sixpack?  Get it...

Watch your food intake (I said food intake, not "diet" as that is what it is).  As soon as you look at it as fuel for the body (machine) the better off you will be in this situation.

Find like minded individuals that have the same mindset.  People that will support you in your endeavors.  Your trainer sucked...

Don't make excuses...  Congrats to all that have improved their health by losing excess fat and eating healthier that is a wonderful step in the right direction but if want a sixpack?  Get out there and get it!



I think that we are sometimes brain washed by the media, and by the magazines that we buy.  They tell us that we need to strive for these things.  Heck, I would like a six pack too, but not at the jeporday of my marriage or my health to get it. I have found myself being content in my new skin.  I'm doing things that I have never done, like running 5K's at the age of 55.  I'm wearing sizes that I never wore in high school.  And my husband says he is proud of me.  It has even motivated him to get busy on the treadmill.  As a result of his efforts, he recently had a heart cath and it was discovered that a stent he had gotten in 2008 was 100% plugged with scar tissue.  I would be a widow right now, however, because of his commitment to exercise his heart created it's own by-pass.  It grew a new blood vessel around that blocked stent and is supplying blood to where it needs to go.  Also, a damaged part of his heart from a heart attach in 2002 has now developed enough muscle around the damaged part that it now beats as regular as the rest of his heart.  Before it was like squeezing a balloon with not enough air in it.  It kind of bulged on one side where it was weak.

Six pack abs?   Nah.....a healthy heart, a better life.....That's what we're all about!



Thank you for writing this!  I am not at my goal weight yet but am getting there.  I would LOVE to have a 6 pack but also know that in reality not every body is built to be that lean.  It's nice to see someone writing that a 6 pack does not equal healthy and fit!



Original Post by: dana1956

I think that we are sometimes brain washed by the media, and by the magazines that we buy.  They tell us that we need to strive for these things.  Heck, I would like a six pack too, but not at the jeporday of my marriage or my health to get it. I have found myself being content in my new skin.  I'm doing things that I have never done, like running 5K's at the age of 55.  I'm wearing sizes that I never wore in high school.  And my husband says he is proud of me.  It has even motivated him to get busy on the treadmill.  As a result of his efforts, he recently had a heart cath and it was discovered that a stent he had gotten in 2008 was 100% plugged with scar tissue.  I would be a widow right now, however, because of his commitment to exercise his heart created it's own by-pass.  It grew a new blood vessel around that blocked stent and is supplying blood to where it needs to go.  Also, a damaged part of his heart from a heart attach in 2002 has now developed enough muscle around the damaged part that it now beats as regular as the rest of his heart.  Before it was like squeezing a balloon with not enough air in it.  It kind of bulged on one side where it was weak.

Six pack abs?   Nah.....a healthy heart, a better life.....That's what we're all about!


"Six pack abs?   Nah.....a healthy heart, a better life.....That's what we're all about!"

Halijah!



Carolyn- I am glad you started this dialogue.  I have seen even the fittest leaders in the exercise field say that they have had to take extreme measures to get and obtain their abs- especially a very restrictive diet.

While I work my abs./ core several times a week  and can feel their strength, they are not all that visible.  I know they are in there and can feel them guiding my movements throughout the day.  My issue, and I always wonder why no one ever says this out loud is simply extra skin!  (Do push ups without a tee shirt on!).

I have also lost about 45 pounds or so, (49 on my very best day) and retunred to an ideal weight that I have been maintaining for about a year.  I initially had a very difficult time with the transition from loosing to maintaining.  I worried about eating more or taking a day off from exercise.  I have learned that with the gained muscle and exercise, I can actually eat much more than I thought  I could.  I do feel even small weight gain in the abs right away though, usually my first reminder to check myself and weigh in.  I continue to weigh myself almost weekly and have adopted a 4 pound range that is acceptable.   Imention this because it sounds like you are similar concerns about shifting to maintenance.

Congratulations.



Fabulous post..... :)



P90X is the way to go, you have to try it to truly understand how it works. Now a 6-pack at age 50 or above might be out of the question, but I do know this. A 6 pack is from Extreme limiting of food and fat, extreme workouts and in some cases, extremely dangerous for some of us who think that we can have it all, even at our age. So, just get the reality check and realise that you are who you are, accept it, and someone out there will accept it also, and one day, will be your lover.



First you have to understand that every body is different and will take different amount of exercise, diet and time to get to your goal, sometimes it may need plastic surgery if you do not have the proper genes to achieve your goal.  I have thin calves, even if I wanted to have ‘cankles’ I am unable to as I do not have the proper body mass to achieve so no matter how much exercise or diet I administer in that area.  Therefore my only solution is calf implants.  Similarly, with abs you can get lipo and other cosmetic treatments to help with that area and find out about your body time, where do you accumulate fat the most and what can you do to improve that area by diet and exercise.  Chances are that with some lipo and the right diet and the right abs for your body type you are able to achieve your goal.  Don’t let the ‘self-righteous’ think that plastic surgery is evil and vain because in the end when you are flaunting your abs you are the one who has them and they do not. 



I agree with the people here. Youre burnt out because youre over doing it. Fire your personal trainer and get a new one. He's very wrong.

 



I second that.  I'm sorry you gave up so easily.  There are so many other (better) opinions out there.  Your personal trainer is an uneducated twirp. 

If you don't want to commit the time to P90X, which would give you results in a short amount of time for sure, check out MaxT3 by Maximized Living.  It's a similar concept but for the rest of us peons who aren't world class athletes already.  It WILL give you results in 12 minutes or less a day.  Everybody is overeating, and everybody is overexercising.  Do you know what happens to your body when you participate in various exercises?  Most of us don't.  I suggest you do your research and learn that you can have the fit and fabulous body you want with less time and more intensity.

If you really want to learn the truth about your healthy diet, go to www.mercola.com. ; Start eating the way your body was meant to eat!

 

 



Original Post by: carolyn_r

Original Post by: thesilverpen

What I heard from your words was more about getting a more functional goal for yourself, rather than the issue of the 6-pack. That perhaps will benefit you more than a belly to show off. However, if you still get the notion later to try to achieve that goal, use more targeted, difficult exercises for the abs, rather than more time spent on them. Will get better results.

Grats on your successes and I wish you continued happiness and success along your journey.


Yes Silverpen, the article is more about changing my way of thinking about a certain body part into focusing on becoming and staying healthy, balanced, and whole.  


It just so happens, that by being "unbalanced" in pursuing great abs, you would also be creating an overall effect of improved BMI, improved triglycerides, and an astounding core.  That sounds pretty balanced to me.  For once, it's okay to be vain.  Just don't say, "Look at my great abs!" to everyone you meet.  Instead you can say, "Hey, I've gotten A LOT healthier, and you can, too!"



I was thinking: Six Pack abs? How about some major surgery! I know I will be dealing with the "extra skin" thing( once before I lost a lot of weight and had this "thing" made up of tummy skin (I did have three children). Even skinny women can get it! Now I have carried a lot of extra weight for a long time, and I, just as in altering clothing, some parts that grew to accommodate my growing  bulk (yes and stretch marks too, big 'un's.) are not going to realize that they are no longer needed. Now perhaps there is a way to "tighten up" some of the reluctant tissue, but I am in my mid fifties and one does have to be realistic. The most important thing to me, right now, is improving my health and the quality of my life. I do not truly anticipate every wearing a bikini and "showing off body." For me, it will be wonderful to fit into the clothes I love and truly be comfortable in "my skin". That said: if anyone knows of a Foundation or something, looking for "a body" to practice skin removal and tightening and stuff. Let me know!!! Good luck to all!



can you list what not eat ? or not to drink?

 

Daniel.



Just eat at a calorie deficit and lift heavy things. Its not hard. You don't have to go to any extremes, or try any magic formula.

 



I have to agree with most of the posts, Carolyn. You need to fire your trainer and concentrate more on weight training, now that you're at your goal weight. 

Btw, I started with Dave Zinczenko's book last year and I'm barely starting to see a 4-pack on the horizon. After doing his routine for about five months, I graduated to Arnold Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding book and am using that now. Mind you, like most people I cheat during the holidays and on weekends but I've learned to control and discipline my food urges for the most part. I cycle a lot outdoors and most important....I REST. Yeah, that's the part your trainer messed up on. If you do resistance training, the muscles you worked out NEED to take a day off otherwise you could do some serious damage. Most of the bodybuilding books I've read state that in their introduction. It's like musical notation, you need rests and pauses otherwise it's counterproductive and cacophonous. Good luck and I hope you get that six-pack. Peace.



Many people with six packs only weight train for an hour, 4-5 times a week, while on a 500 calorie diet deficit per day.  This allows them to maintain their muscle mass while losing fat.

The problem that others have is they only do cardio for several hours a day, which burns fat but also a substantial amount of muscle.  So those individuals would indeed need to get to a ridiculously low weight for a cut six pack. 

In order to spare the muscle you need to make sure you eat sufficient amount of protein in your reduced calorie diet and lift heavy enough for your body to preserve the muscle mass that it has.  Simple as that.



I will admit, I was a little bit misled by the picture at the beginning of the article here. I thought this was for a guy. As a woman I have seen women with 6-packs and it seems a bit ridiculous. They look like they are trying to be men. My personal opinion. I would just be happy to have a little more definition to the muscle. See some muscle tone, as a way to say that I am reducing my body fat and getting to a more healthy weight. Also I have to look at things not so much as a diet, but as a lifestyle. Just because you got there, you need to be able to do things to maintain. It does sound that with the mind shift into health and well-being, you are on your way to just that. I bet with the better health you may start to see an improvement in muscle tone and overall body image.



Original Post by: karambini

I was 234 lbs before I started working out. I went down to 176 lbs in about 5 months and I was started to get pale and weak but still I saw fat everywhere and a 6-pack was barely visible. It was only after I changed the way I worked out that I started to see any visible change.

I thought that since I can't burn any more fat, I'm going to pack a bit more muscle. I'm at 190 lbs now and I have a very visible 6-pack. I didn't exactly gain the six-pack because I gained more muscle. I got a six-pack because I started eating better and I got my metabolism right. You need to find a delicate balance with how much you eat. You have to eat enough to keep your metabolism high and having strength to push your limits in the gym, and still be able to burn the fat in your body.


This is so true! Most people don't realize how important it is to get the right macronutrients in the right quantity to get those six packs. And sometimes it means eating more than you are currently eating. I have very visible abs (not a prominent six-pack yet), and I started noticing them more as I started eating more.  The human body has millions of algorithms built in and it knows exactly what to do in what conditions. Sometimes that means, eating more and losing more body fat %.



Six packs are overrated in my opinion; I like my guy a little soft in some places.



Cool!



I think the attitude of the initial post was right on! I agree, however, I agree with the follow-up post that indicated that you could reached a six-pack without going even more extreme on your workout schedule.

Whatever it would take in fact for you or me ... flat abs might just be fine, not ?

I agree with Pinangel, from a guys perspective though, that women with six-packs are rather less attractive than women with flat abs. Not sure how women see men, but I would think that a healthy, trim impression would generally be regarded as a 'plus'. 

 



"Your level of commitment determines your level of results".  In order to reach your goal of a six pack involves change.  Spending two hours in the gym is too much time in my opinion for someone just wanting to lose weight and stay fit.  You should look at changing your routine, increasing the intensity of your exercises and cardio. If you run, run faster, then moderately increase distance.  Include circuit training and stick to a strick rest period between exercises(start with a rest period of 1 minute to 45 seconds, then gradually decrease until your rest period is down to 30 seconds..). Look over your diet and and make sure you are making lean meat choices.  The key to burning fat is to increase your metabolism, specifically your resting metabolic rate.  The best way to do this is to increase your lean muscle mass ( this doesn't necessarily mean becoming muscular). Also if you haven't started weight training, I would look into it if I were you. start with weight in which you can complete 3 sets of 8-12 reps, then gradually increase the weight.   



Not intending to be sexist but you do realize, I hope, that 6 pack abs are more difficult for womene to attain. I agree that your trainer is ill-informed.  You didn't state your workout routine....they can be many and varied.  I suggest a Metabolic Resistance Training routine.  Do a full body workout 3X/week using moderate weights (including body weight exercises), high intensity, and short rest intervals for 45 minutes.  Follow that with 15 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio.  Include adequate protein and quality carbs in your diet so you are maintaining a muscle-building rather than a muscle-wasting mode.  This type routine burns calories for hours after you leave the gym! And as you replace fat stores with more metabolically active muscle you will be adding fuel to the metabolic fire.



I think not feeling self righteous about making good choices is actually key to changing your approach to food.  It is a really subtle but CRUCIAL shift in thinking. 



Original Post by: chersharbell

I was thinking: Six Pack abs? How about some major surgery! I know I will be dealing with the "extra skin" thing( once before I lost a lot of weight and had this "thing" made up of tummy skin (I did have three children). Even skinny women can get it! Now I have carried a lot of extra weight for a long time, and I, just as in altering clothing, some parts that grew to accommodate my growing  bulk (yes and stretch marks too, big 'un's.) are not going to realize that they are no longer needed. Now perhaps there is a way to "tighten up" some of the reluctant tissue, but I am in my mid fifties and one does have to be realistic. The most important thing to me, right now, is improving my health and the quality of my life. I do not truly anticipate every wearing a bikini and "showing off body." For me, it will be wonderful to fit into the clothes I love and truly be comfortable in "my skin". That said: if anyone knows of a Foundation or something, looking for "a body" to practice skin removal and tightening and stuff. Let me know!!! Good luck to all!


And while you're at it, if you know of any foundation looking for a face to lift... well, i'm a great candidate! Wink



Original Post by: eirraca

Six packs are overrated in my opinion; I like my guy a little soft in some places.


And not so soft in others!!!

sorry, couldn't resist.



i agree with the people who disagree with this sentiment - the six pack is illusive but not unattainable. it doesn't take extreme exercises but strategic workouts and good, clean eating. The difficult is easy, the impossible takes a bit longer and a bit more determination... and it's WAY more satisfying.



I agree with the dissenters as well.  Your trainer is flat wrong.  You can absolutely burn body fat without working out for 2 hours a day.  Furthermore, working out for two hours a day could be putting enough stress on your body that it WON'T let go of fat.  I think you are right to take a break. If you decide to pursue a six-pack again, you will probably need to adjust your macronutrients, and do some serious fat burning.  However, fat burning can be done in a more reasonable time frame.  A half hour of high intensity interval training several days a week, and four days of heavy lifting each week should be enough to start changing your body composition.  Furthermore, you can add muscle, which will also adjust your body fat percentage. 



I'm 58 and I've lost skin elasticity. I've lost 140 lbs in 2 years 9 months deliberately trying to take it off slow for fear of the sagging skin. I've got my waistline from 53" to 33" and have been at this number for quite some time.  My belly sags and has that crepe paper appearance.  I physically can't do some of the targeted ab exercises and my body told me it could not take 3 days a week with weight training so I do 2 hours 2 days a week making certain it's every third day or more (I listen to my body).  My health comes first and getting a six-pack is not on my priority list.  I would though like to lift my belly some (I'll be satisfied with a pooch for a belly) and take off at least 3 more inches.  Is this possible?  I've changed my exercise routine a bit.  Instead of lapping 5 to 6 days a week, I do 2 days and 30 minutes interval training on my swim days, 3 days elliptical, 2 days a week weight training.

I'm happy Carolyn wrote this article because I don't know what to do next to fine tune areas (abs and inner thigh).  The rest of me considering where I've come from is ok. 

And Bastonydaga, you look fantastic!

 



How do you find the delicate balance?


How do you find the delicate balance? Carolyn, what ab exercises do you suggest?


Good for you for getting in shape. Personally, I think "six pack abs" are grossly overrated. 

Personality is way more attractive. Smile



Gr8 thinking :-) There's so much more to life than being perfect in every single thing. Hours spent to get your health back are a good investment but being away from your husband and friends for a six-pack? Doesn't seem worth it.



If I was you I'd find a new trainer. Anything is possible. You don't need to workout more than 2 hours a 6 to get a 6 pack. The only way to get a 6 pack is through adjusting your diet. It's all about body fat percentage levels, it's nothing to do with how much you weigh. Check out www.leangains.com and start following Intermittent Fasting like that, see if it suits you. Martin Berkhan (the person whose website it is) recommends lifting heavy weights 2/3 times a week and cycling calories something like protein 2.5xbw in kg everyday (for satiety reasons) and when you workout eat more carbs less fat in a 75/25 ratio around 20% above your maintenance level and on rest days eat more fat less carbs again 75/25 ratio around 20% under your maintenance. This system has been tried and tested, look at results, look at his Twitter, Facebook page the guy is a pioneer for the fitness industry, he's walking around with 5-6% body fat year round and he goes to the gym a lot less than you do.

 

I look forward to the people saying that fasting lowers your metabolism, eats your muscle and that six small meals a day is the best way replying to this.



Original Post by: mthaito

Have to agree with a couple of comments above...get a new trainer. He has NO idea what he is talking about in having to train more than 2 hours a day. 

As someone who prides themselves on their abs, it takes a lot to put them on, but abs are not like any other part of your body.  They can be worked on at each workout day and there are so many methods and excercies that are needed.  Cardio/high intensity training is to shed the weight and excercises are to build the muscles.  Diet is a huge part.  Drinking alcohol can be a killer. 

  


I second this sentiment!



I AGREE WITH MOST OF THE PREVIOUS POSTS TOO -GET A NEW TRAINER. I HAVE ALWAYS DONE WEIGHT TRAINING BUT GOT BORED WITH IT NOT TO MENTION VARIOUS MINOR AILMENTS. I DISCOVERED A GYM THAT OFFERS  MMA TRAINING !! THIS GYM CONSISTS OF TWO MMA FIGHTERS WHO TRAIN PEOPLE TO FIGHT OR THIS IS THE BIGEE TO TRAIN REGULAR PEOPLE LIKE ME FOR FITNESS. I HAVE NEVER AND I MEAN NEVER GOTTEN RESULTS LIKE THIS! MY TRAINER PUTS ME THROUGH SOMETHING DIFFERENT EACH SESSION.LOTS OF BAG PUNCHING KETTLE BELLS BURPEES  JUMPING ROPE JUMPING JACKS AND REGULAR BODY WEIGHT EXERCISES ETC. I DO MOST OF THIS IN 3 MINUTES TIME INTERVALS SO HIGH INTENSITY CARDIO IS A BIG COMPONENT. I ALSO STARTED DOING HILL SPRINTS TOO. SO WHAT I AM SAYING IS MIX IT UP AND FIND A GOOD MMA GYM WITH AN INSTRUCTOR THAT TRAINS REGULAR PEOPLE FOR FITNESS WITHOUT FIGHTING (OR YOU CAN TRAIN TO FIGHT) THIS REGIMINE IS OUT SIDE THE BOX IN A VERY GOOD WAY. I HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR ALMOST A YEAR NOW AND HAVE SEEN MY BODY CHANGE IN A VERY POSITIVE WAY.I AM 51 YEARS OLD AND AT THE START OF THIS NEW TRAINING I WEIGHED 184 -I NOW WEIGH 181 BUT MY BODY COMPOSITION HAS CHANGED SO DRASTICALLY.AND YES FOR THE FIRST TIME I AM STARTED TO SEE MY ABS. I MUST SAY I DO EAT A VERY CLEAN DIET TOO. I TRAIN 4 OR 5 TIMES A WEEK FOR ONE HOUR. FORGET THE GIMMICKS ON TV AND FIND A MMA GYM AND YOU REALLY WILL BE AMAZED. MY GYM IS MMAathletix IN BATH MAINE. MY TRAINERS ARE RYAN COWETTE AND BRENT DILLINGHAM -AWESOME GUYS !!! REMEMBER HAVE A GOAL BUT BE REALISTIC ABOUT IT AND EXPECT TO WORK HARD BUT YOU WILL GET RESULTS !



It is really not a healthy goal as a woman to have a "6 pack" we are just not made to be that way in general.

Body Fat Percentages

WOMEN:
Competition shape (“ripped”): 8-12%
Very lean (excellent): < 15%
Lean (good): 16-20%
Satisfactory (fair): 21-25%
Improvement needed (poor): 26-30%
Major improvement needed (very poor): 31-40+%


MEN:
Competition shape (“ripped”): 3-6%
Very lean (excellent): < 9%
Lean (good): 10-14%
Satisfactory (fair): 15-19%
Improvement needed (poor): 20-25%
Major improvement needed (very poor): 26-30+%

According to the American Council on Exercise:
WOMEN:
Essential: 10-13%
Athletic: 14-20%
Physically fit: 21-24%
Average: 25-31%
Obese: 32+%

MEN:
Essential: 2-5%
Athletic: 6-13%
Physically fit: 14-17%
Average: 18-24%
Obese: 25+%

When body fat in a woman drops below 12 percent, she runs the risk of ceasing menstruation. If such a low body fat is chronic, this can lead to brittle bones.



i am curious. i am 59. 5'6. 211 lbs. what is apporpriate caloric intake and deficit. I do zumba cardio two to three times a week and strgenth training twice a week.. I have lost thirty six pounds in six months


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