For the longest time, the fitness and ‘health & slimming industry’ has brought on the loud visuals to entice consumers to their products / services. Think sexy, cute, half naked models (both males and females) with smouldering eyes and tight abs. Think the explosion of selfies showing off buns, guns and boobs. Well, I am sorry but that is not necessary a picture of health. It is possibly an illusion.
1. Abs don’t do much work
The society gives abs too much credit it really deserves. All the flaunting of 6-pack abs by bikini models, celebrities and fitness junkies condition us to think and believe that the 6-pack abs is what you need to be going after for your fitness goal. But is your fitness and health really just about having 6-pack abs? In fact when you focus on working your 6-pack abs, you will likely not achieve them packs. Simply because they are not quite the biggest muscle group in your body and you do not end up burning enough fats in the body when you just focus working on them.
If you are a time-poor mum, you might get the biggest bang for your buck doing more squats.
2. Tight Abs or slouched back
What would you do if you want to train for your 6-pack abs?
Conventionally, people will crunch, sit-up, plank and curl-up till they nurture those packs. Repetitive movements have a high chance of causing unnecessary stress to your spine. Imagine you have been sitting at your desk the whole day, body slouched forward towards the desk/ computer. Then you head to a workout session where you repeatedly engage in these “crunch’ movements to “build your 6-packs”. I can be sure your spine and back will not be very happy.
If you are a mum who is still breastfeeding, your back (and abdominals) will thank you if you focus on exercises that help you open up your chest and lengthen your posture.
3. Truth about getting abs
The hard truth is that if you are not eating clean enough, your 6-packs will never reveal. Ask Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans how they prepared for their roles as Wolverine, Thor and Captain America respectively. Sure they had the most sophisticated workout programs. But they also had the strictest diet regimes!! They could be following their workout programs religiously, but their abs wont surface if they continued to eat the same way.
If you are a mum (or super hero dad) and not paid millions to maintain your body in the same manner as our Marvel heros, stop focusing on the abs, start eating better.
Take baby steps and be patient.
4. Your sustainable lifestyle
If you don’t already know, maintaining 6-pack abs is a full time job. You need to be planning for the right foods you have to eat 4-5 times a day, the workouts you need to be doing everyday. Are you ready for that? If you are, by all means go ahead and reach for the sky. But if you are a mum with little ones, this may be a goal that will add on more stress for you if you don’t have the right support.
And the reality is most of us are not athletes, bikini models and celebrities who are paid to maintain a highly marketable physique. So don’t be misled by the noise and distractions in the media.
Do what is achievable within your abilities, which supports you to lead a happy fulfilled lifestyle.
5. What’s your intention?
Ultimately, identify what the true intention is for your fitness goal. Cosmetics and beauty are naturally one of the most common reasons why we work on our fitness. But go ahead and challenge yourself to ask “why” again. I can assure you that achieving those 6-pack abs is likely not the main reason why you set out on this goal.
Most of the time, there is a bigger reason why.
And that is a more valuable intention you need to identify with, to help you achieve long term success!