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The much sought after and often media-hyped glorious stupendous supposedly guaranteed to make panties melt…  six pack abs.

What a crock of sh#t.

The truth is that six pack abs will not bring you fame or fortune or anything more than the passing lust-filled glances of buxom beauties.  And even more counter-intuitive, they often won’t bring you improved performance in athletic endeavors.  Allow me to put on my lawyer hat and submit Exhibit A:

Shot of a handsome young man wiping the sweat off his forehead while exercising outdoors

The above picture is of the recently crowned National Hockey League Champions, Los Angeles Kings.  Maybe one guy in the bunch is lean enough to sport a six pack.  But every single one of those guys are complete bad asses.  Imagine speed skating on ice, repetitively slamming into opposing team players at top speed night after night as you strive to show that you are at the top of your game.  Those guys are at the proven pinnacle of their professional sport, and very few of them are sporting the coveted six pack abs.  Dropping their body fat to a level that flaunts six pack abs simply does not comply with their goals.  Does it really comply with yours?

Why do you really want six pack abs?

Is your desire for the coveted abs ego or performance based?  I will concede that there are some endeavors where dropping your body fat to the level that displays a six pack is favorable.  Notably this includes weight-class athletes such as boxers, wrestlers, MMA fighters, judokas, and other combat sport participants.  But for most of us, the beautiful intersection of performance, aesthetics, and health does not necessarily include six pack abs.

So why do it?

There are several cliches about how the journey is more important than the destination.  And acquiring six pack abs, for those of us of average genetics, is truly a journey.  It involves sacrifice.  It involves dedication and discipline and a host of other attributes that can carry over to areas of life that far exceed looking good at the pool in summertime.

But truth be told, I’ve never met anyone who wanted to get six pack abs to develop their character.  They simply want to “look good naked”.  I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that… but at the same time I personally crave more depth for my ambitions.

All of that being said, I know many people will still want to get their damned “six pack”.  And having achieved that goal more than once myself (and having helped others achieve it as well) I understand the quest.  If you really want to “get ripped” be prepared for the following:

What you eat is more important than any workout.  So many people seek the “killer workout”.  And that is such bullsh#t.  The killer of body fat resides in your diet.  It would be great if 30 minutes of exercise effort could erase 23 and a half hours of nutritional debauchery but it just doesn’t work that way.  Six pack abs are built with your fork, not your damned workouts.

Be prepared to get light as hell.  Especially if you have never achieved the coveted six pack abs, be prepared to get much lighter than you expect.  My personal “walk around” weight is between 160 – 165 lbs.  And I need to drop down to the mid 140’s to have a six pack.

Nearly any exercise protocol will work.  My personal preference is to focus on strength training, even when trying to get lean.  I like to supplement strength training with high intensity interval or circuit training.  I rarely do (or recommend) any direct abdominal training.  I feel long slow cardio is unnecessary but if you enjoy it, then it can be worked into a successful fat loss program.  What I’m saying is that nearly any exercise protocol can work to get you lean as long as your diet is dialed in.  Sure some protocols may work better than others, but I’m skeptical as to just how much better one is over the other for the express purpose of getting lean.

So what does it all mean?  It means that if you have the itch then scratch it.  Just don’t expect that successful scratch to make any monumental difference in your life in and of itself.  Six pack abs will not cure what ails you, but acquiring them might provide you with tools that can transfer to other more worthy areas of your life.  And I suppose that’s why I can still produce guides and programs that help people achieve their six pack goals with some semblance of peace of mind.

What are your thoughts about “six pack abs”?  Are they a purely aesthetic goal based in ego or do they have a practical purpose?  Share your thoughts in the comments below