By Mike Chang
Six pack abs – they can make women instantly attracted to you, and guys envy you. Let’s face it, you would LOVE to have a six pack – but chances are that getting one has seemed hard and frustrating to you in the past.
But there’s good news – this is probably just because you’re making one of a few common mistakes guys make when trying to get ab definition. If you can just avoid these common errors, you’ll see much more success in your quest to get a six pack.
So, here are the 10 most dangerous mistakes men make when it comes to getting six pack abs. If you make these 10 mistakes it’ll be incredibly hard and frustrating to get abs, and you probably will never get them at all. If you do learn these mistakes getting abs will be much easier, and you’ll start seeing abdominal definition more quickly than you could imagine.
Mistake #1 Doing sit ups and crunches to get a six-pack
The biggest mistake that I see in almost every gym I’ve been to is watching people do endless ab exercises one after another in hopes of getting a flatter stomach. Ab exercises only build the ab muscles — they don’t get rid of fat that’s covering it. In fact, doing too many ab exercises actually has a negative effect when it comes to slimming your waistline.
Think about it…when you do a lot of resistance exercises for your arms, they get bigger right? Well guess what – if you do that for your abs they will respond the same way. When you work on your abs too much, the muscle gets really big and bulgy and actually makes your waist BIGGER. Now you have a bigger waistline than when you first started because of the larger ab muscles, plus the fat is still there covering any visibility of a six-pack.
The only way to get rid of fat on our stomach is to allow our body to convert it into energy and use it. Doing crunches and sit ups is not intense enough for our bodies to have to break down fat because the abdominal muscle so small compared to using a larger muscle group like our legs. You need concentrate on burning the fat before you start building up abdominal muscle – otherwise you’re just bulking up your beer gut.
Mistake# 2 Doing cardio
Cardio only burns calories when you’re doing it, is doesn’t burn when your heart rate is not elevated. Think about the last time you did any type of cardio exercise. Your heart rate and body temperature was increased and when stopped they went back to normal.
Even if you did cardio 30 min a day 7 days a week, there’s 24 hours in a day so what are you burning the other 23.5 hours? Not too much, because it was a lot, you would be lean by now. Throughout the remainder of the day its then up to our natural metabolism to burn the rest of the calories. And doing cardio all day long doesn’t seem like a very reasonable solution either.
Can you think of the last time YOU did cardio? Did you get a six-pack? Did your stomach at least get a little flatter? Probably not. If it did, it’s not flat anymore isn’t it? The cold hard truth is that long cardio workouts are completely ineffective for burning fat, and for getting a six pack. If you’re spending long hours on the elliptical, treadmill or bike, you’re completely wasting your time if your goal is to get hard, defined abs.>/p>
Mistake # 3 Diets
Think of all the people you know who got on a diet, how many of them actually stayed on it. Losing weight and having a lean healthy body is a lifestyle change and unfortunately, when you ask someone to change their habits of eating that they been doing all their life, that’s almost like asking someone to change their personality permanently. Sure, you can pretend for a short period, but you will always go back to being you.
Most diets now are so low in carbohydrates; it’s likely the initial weight loss is primarily water weight, as carbohydrate encourages your body to hold water. As soon as you go back to a normal amount of carbs, the water weight comes back and the weight goes back to normal. No real fat was really loss.
There is no point in “going on a diet,” or temporarily changing your eating habits. Because as soon as you change them back, you’ll gain back all the fat you lost – and then some more on top of that.
You need to learn healthy eating habits that are also EASY to maintain – this is the only way to make the permanent change in eating that’s necessary for six pack abs.
Mistake # 4 Using fat burning supplements, diet pills, and other drugs to burn off fat
You can’t get in shape through supplements alone. All fat burning drugs do is first suppress your appetite so you don’t feel the need to eat as much. Now your body doesn’t have the nutrients to give you energy. But wait! The fat burners are also filled with other stimulants so your energy level doesn’t go down. So what that does is decrease your natural metabolism (which is what your body does to burn calories) and increase your fat storage because your body will now go into “survival mode”
- Your body will lower its calorie burning because it’s not getting enough of it.
- Your body will hold on to your fat and not use it as energy because fat is your most valuable energy source in your body and in survival mode; it will do the smartest thing to survive.
- Your body will also break down muscle tissue as fuel causing your metabolism to lower even more.
- Once you stop taking the supplement, your food intake goes back to normal causing you to gain all the weight you loss plus more. The reason why you gain more than you started is your metabolism is now lower than when you first started due to the loss of muscle.
This is why most guys who ACTUALLY have a six pack take very few supplements, or no supplements at all.
Mistake # 5 Getting advice from people who never had flat abs
Think about the last time you at the gym or at some sort of gathering and you received advice on how to lose your gut.
People tend to consider themselves experts at something after only doing it once or twice. When it comes to losing body fat and getting six-pack it get even worse.
You will notice a lot of times the people giving advice on how to get lean or ripped are either genetically very lean their whole life and never had a problem with excess body fat or an overweight guy who use to weigh 300lbs and is now 200lbs and still has a gut but giving advice on how to lose belly fat.
First, the skinny lean guy: Naturally lean all his life, can eat whatever he wants and always seems to have a six pack no matter what. He is genetically build that way and really has no idea how it’s like to have a gut nevertheless teach someone how to lose it. It’s like asking a rich kid who never had to work a day in his life how to make money in the real world.
Second, the fat guy who loss some weight and is now an fat loss expert
When your 40 – 100 lbs over weight, you can walk in a circle in place for an hour and lose weight. Cut out a couple sodas or snacks a day and their goes 10lbs. But if you ask him if he ever had six-pack, the answer is always no. The lower the body fat, the harder it is to get leaner. Someone who is 40 – 100lbs overweight can lose very easily, but someone who is 10 – 15lbs away from having a six-pack can spend 6 months and not see any changes.
Mistake: # 6 Being A Gym Rat
This one applies to people who go to the gym 6-7 days a week, or who spend 2 to 3 hours at the gym, or who are twice a day members.
More is not always better. You heard the term before, “TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING IS A BAD THING”
Working out that much causes overtraining and will break down your muscles rather than build. It doesn’t give the muscles enough rest to recuperate and rebuild. Imagine a football player having to play 10 straight football games back to back everyday. Every game he is a little more fatigue than the last and his performance gets worse and worse. Give him a week to recover between games and he will play at his best.
Spending lots of time in the gym is never a substitute for a quality workout doing the RIGHT exercises. It’s far better to spend ten minutes in the gym doing the right things, than three hours doing the wrong things.
Mistake#7: Wasting money on AB Gimmicks like…
AB ROCKER, AB LOUNGE, AB CHAIR, AB COASTER, THE CONTOUR, AB AWAY 2, AB CIRLCLE PRO, AB SWING, AB SLIDE, AB TWISTER, AB ZONE, THE IRON ROD
These machines only work on your abs, and nothing more. You’re only burning a little bit of calories because the abs is such a small muscle group and doesn’t require much energy to contract.
It’s all marketing. Hire a fitness model to be your front cover and make a couple of DVDs on how to use the machine. Then pay some people to do your testimonials and you have a new AB product.
Just like a get rich quick scheme. But this is a get lean and rip quick scheme. Think of about it, everybody has tried some get rich scheme one time or another. Did it work? Was it as easy as step 1, 2, 3?
When it comes to abs machines nobody ever got in shape using just the machines. They fail to mention the part “in addition to low calorie diet and exercise regimen”
Mistake# 8: Lack of sleep
Sleeping affects us more than what you think. When we go to bed, our bodies replenish and rebuild physically and mentally from the wear and tear throughout the day. Today’s norm of staying up past our bed times due to computers, cell phones, 24 – hour cable has made our bodies fatigue, reduced health, and even weight increase.
Grehlin and Leptin are hormones in our body that control appetite and weight gain or loss. Leptin suppresses our appetite while grehlin increases it. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, grehlin levels increase while leptin level decreases which means not getting enough sleep could be one of the reasons why many overeat and have weight issues. Ever experienced a sleepless night followed by a day when no matter what you ate you never felt full or satisfied? If so, then you have experienced the workings of leptin and grehlin.
When lack of sleep becomes a chronic problem, levels of grehlin increases, causing greater appetite, and levels of leptin decrease. Regardless of diet and exercise, it’s possible that some obesity is caused, or made worse, by sleep deprivation.
Mistake # 9: Doing isolation workouts to rid of specific fatty areas
Your body fat is spread out thru out your body. When you gain weight, you gain it everywhere, not just in one place. So why would you try to get rid of it just in one place? A lot of guys always tell me their ok with their legs, just need to get rid of some fat around the chest and stomach area.
Your fat doesn’t go, “hey lets all jump on your chest today and tomorrow, we’ll go fatten up the gut area!”
So when you’re attacking the fat, which is your goal and to get a six pack you must attack it from your whole body. Instead of doing exercises like bench presses or curls you need to do functional multi body group exercises to increase more cal burning in your body so your body will be forced to utilize fat as the energy source.
This doesn’t mean you do the same isolation workouts but just all in one day, because your still only using 1 to 3 muscle groups in every individual workout instead of using your entire body. Increase the calorie burning and your fat will melt away.
Mistake# 10 Not getting the HELP
This is by far the biggest mistake of all that will keep most guys from ever getting the body they truly want. I know most guys don’t like to admit that they are tired and fed up with having a gut. They usually act like its not a big deal, play it off real cool by making jokes like “I don’t have a six pack – I have a KEG!” but deep down inside all guys would like to have a lean, chiseled midsection if they knew how to get it.
Trust me, I been there myself. I know exactly how its like to be embarrassed to take off my shirt when there are girls around wondering if I had a nice body and my shirt was the only illusion I had.
The last 6 years, I tried everything from crazy diets I read about to working out twice a day for 3 months straight and after years and years of trial and error I finally figured out exactly what to do to get a six-pack and maintain it. Since then, I trained and helped hundreds of guys get the body they want by showing them how to train, how to eat and some of the best shortcuts and tips I learned. Now I enjoy my life more than ever because I feel so confident, my clothes fits good, I don’t have anything to hide. I now became That GUY the one girls would grope on and go OMG for and you know what, it feels great!
If you’re reading this right now, you’re probably thinking…is it worth it? Let me tell you it’s worth every second to have this great feeling. Since then I’ve helped others do the same. I send out weekly newsletters on tips and step-by-step articles on what it takes to get a six-pack, from what to do first to get started to what to expect along the way and special tricks to do and maintain your lean midsection while still having fun and doing normal things like eating out and drinking with your buddies. I show people how to cheat on their diets and still stay ripped. I would highly suggest you check out my website to get more tips and info so I could get you started in the right direction.
[Ed. Note: A few years ago, Mike Chang decided that he wanted to help others change their life through fitness the same way he’d changed his. Since then, he’s trained hundreds of guys to get abs using his unique system, and kept refining it and improving it over time. Six Pack Shortcuts is designed to get you a ripped body and six pack abs in just 12 weeks. To get started click here.]