They are the truest definition of physical fitness, right? We see the beautiful models, both men and women in the magazines, in the movies, on TV (think The Situation) and we all wonder, how do these people get these incredibly flat stomachs and incredibly chiseled abs!! There are some people so incredibly fixated on “the six pack” that they will go to any length to achieve it. I think it is time to discuss this little issue….
The Six Pack that everyone likes to call it is actually your Rectus Abdominis. This is a paired muscle that runs vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the human abdomen. The Rectus Abdominis helps our posture, helps our breathing and keeps a lot of our internal organs where they need to be and protected. Oh, and everyone has one!
The problem is, most people cannot see their “six pack” because of layers of fat that cover it. So how do we remove that layer of fat. Crunches right? Sit ups maybe? Nope, not even close! What if I told you that doing squats, lunges, leg presses, push-ups and cardio work will get you to see them? The truth of the matter is that you cannot target fat. IT is IMPOSSIBLE!!! Core work is extremely important in strengthening all of your abdominal muscles, Rectus Abdominis included, however doing 1,000 crunches a day will not allow you to see them any quicker.
For you to get that six pack, you need to work every muscle group. As muscles are contracted they burn energy, as you burn energy your body needs a fuel source. Our bodies have two basic ways of getting energy…Our ATP cycle which is stored glucose that gives us our initial boost. The second way is through fat. Fat utilization for energy is by far the best source of energy, but it takes a bit of time to get the body primed to use it. 30 to 40 minutes of intense cardio and strength training 3 to 5 days a week will get you to where you need to be. Long slow running or cycling is also a great way to burn fat. 60 minutes or more of low intensity cardio will allow your body to use it’s fat stores at a much higher rate, which will allow fat to begin to disappear.