Ab Progress

It’s time for another quick update, this time around the mid-torso region.  Ah, the elusive six-pack.  Upon examination today, I feel like I’m making decent progress, but much of the progress has little to do with direct ab exercise.  In fact, I’ll use this time to discuss bodyfat and how spot elimination is a myth.  Progress pictures after the jump!

So here is where I sit right now.  I’d estimate somewhere around 10% bodyfat.

First of all, let me apologize for the webcam quality.  I really need to start taking better quality pictures, but that’s all coming.  Anyway, back to the numbers.  I’m estimating 10% based on my own bio-electrical impedance unit (coupled with proper hydration at the time of reading) along with comparisons to other pictures on the web.  The problem with bodyfat% numbers is that they’re generally exaggerated and most people have no real idea of the actual number.  But I’d also argue that the number is mostly irrelevant anyway – if what you see in the mirror looks good, who cares if you’re 9 or 12% bodyfat?

So how did I do it?  Well, as some of you know, I’m a natural ectomorph.  However, this does not mean I have a natural six-pack.  It just means I’m less prone to holding lots of body fat, but I definitely didn’t have great definition before.  What I really credit for the leaning out of the midsection is hard work in the gym coupled with the cleaning up of my diet.  The diet portion may be obvious, but I’d like to further examine what I mean by “work in the gym.”  I do NOT mean sweating my ass off doing steady state exercise, like the elliptical or something equally useless.  I also don’t mean doing tons of crunches or direct ab work.  In fact, all I do are the major compound movements that work the major muscle groups.  It’s not that this activity “burns fat” in and of itself, but it does require a lot of energy, and if you’re eating right, everything sort of takes care of itself over time.  Remember, there are no quick fixes.

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