Factors Holding You Back From Six-Pack Abs
Six-Pack Abs Series, Part 5:
Six-pack abs are not easy to achieve. It takes discipline, motivation, incredible hard work, and the right information to get you there.
In the first four parts of our series I gave you surefire ways to get started achieving six pack abs starting right now. Now with that said, the last thing you would want to do is let some outside factor or habit hinder all your hard work and dedication.
There are many different factors that can come into play to really slow down the results you are trying to get when it comes to getting six-pack abs. In part five of our series, I will give you five major elements that can really hold you back from getting the body you have always wanted. Take a look at the elements below that may be holding you back from achieving six-pack abs and see where you need to improve in order to better your results:
In today’s day in age, sleep deprivation is a regular occurrence in the lives of many. We are constantly “burning the midnight oil” or “burning the candle at both ends.” Many times we take pride in not sleeping more than 4 hours a night, as if it is some kind of accomplishment. (Although it is impressive going on little sleep, the side affects are not something to brag about)
The problem with sleep deprivation is that there are some serious consequences health-wise. Sleep is meant to restore your body and let it recover from the day so you can wake up each morning refreshed and ready to go.
Instead, most people find themselves hitting the snooze, reaching for the pot of coffee, or dragging themselves through their day. Take a look at a few of the harmful side affects that too little sleep can have on your body:
- Insulin sensitivity decreases, meaning it makes it harder for the body to burn fat
- Testosterone and growth hormone (GH), which naturally get produced when we sleep, get interrupted hence hindering our results
- Multiple studies have shown an increase in heart disease and obesity when we lack sleep
- We don’t allow our bodies to fully recover making it much harder to get through the day let alone a workout that is going to boost our results
- When we lack sleep, our body is forced to produce a hormone known as cortisol, which can be detrimental to our health. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” but it can also be referred to as the “fat storing hormone.”
As you can see, sleep deprivation has some pretty significant downfalls when it comes to the effects it has on your body. Now take a look at some of the benefits that you will see if you start taking your sleep seriously:
- Insulin sensitivity increases allowing your body to melt away unwanted fat at a rapid speed.
- You allow your body to recover and produce GH and testosterone , which by now we know is something we desperately need if we are looking to stay strong, healthy, and lean!
- You will have more energy, more focus, more strength, and more fat burn. All great things to have when trying to get six-pack abs!
Sleep is so overlooked in today’s society when the reality is, it is crucial in not just helping you achieve six-pack abs, but for your overall health. I challenge you to turn off the TV, put down the video game controller, and get some sleep. Sleep is so important when it comes to fat loss, lean muscle gain, and getting six-pack abs! In short, start sleeping. Shoot for 7-8 hours a night!
Too Much Stress
Stress is a major contributor when it comes to weight gain and hindering your fat loss results. Our bodies were designed to deal with stress in one of two ways: “fight or flight.” No matter what kind of stress it is; stress about work, sports, sitting in traffic, financial stress, an upcoming exam, or problems in a relationship; our bodies handle it the same way.
All stress causes the body to produce cortisol, which ultimately promotes the storage of fat! As we saw in our sleep section, cortisol can be referred to as the “fat storing hormone.” The last thing you want to do is store fat when you are trying to lose it.
With stress being such a huge part of our lives these days, it is a must that you take a breath and try to eliminate all the stress you can from your life. It is much easier said than done, but taking the steps to eliminate stress will not only better your fat burning and six-pack abs results, but it can also add years to your life!
Too Much Sitting
In a recent study, it was shown that the average person sits down for 9.3 hours a day. That is more than the average person sleeps in a day (7.7 hours). Even worse, another study showed that people who spend most of their time sitting down at work, tend to sit down during their leisure time too. This is a recipe for disaster.
The more time you spend sitting, the less time you spend moving. Now many cannot help the number of hours they sit down during the day but it is important to recognize opportunities when you can stand up and move around more.
Take breaks during the workday to stand up and stretch or walk around. Park further away so you have to walk a bit further. Instead of watching three hours of TV a night, cut it in half and use the other hour and a half to go for a walk.
When we sit down, our caloric burn drops, our leg muscles start to shut down, and our insulin sensitivity drops.
You should try to make a conscience effort to move around and be on your feet more. I don’t expect you to stand every waking hour; I just want you to be aware of just how much you are sitting. Find ways to incorporate more standing and moving throughout the day. Use your sitting times as relaxation periods.
If you must sit down for your job, try to incorporate breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around.
When trying to lose fat and put on lean muscle, alcohol can play a huge role in holding you back from the results you are looking for. Take a look at a few of the ways alcohol can affect the results you get:
- When you consume alcohol it inhibits both fat burning and muscle building hormones for hours after alcohol enters your body. This means your fat burning and muscle building slow a great deal when you consume alcohol
- Alcohol is usually stored as fat when consumed. Just as protein will help put on lean muscle, alcohol will help put on unwanted fat
- Many times when consuming alcohol, poor choices will be made when it comes to your diet. For example, a 2AM fast food run that will put an extra 2000 calories into your body without you even realizing it
- Alcohol is mostly consumed in the evening or late night hours, meaning we aren’t giving our bodies a chance to burn off all the calories we just drank
- Alcohol affects your sleep, and seeing from above how important sleep is, this is not a good thing when trying to lose unwanted fat!
There is a time and place for alcoholic beverages. It is fine to indulge in one or two a few times a week, but if you a really looking to get results very quickly it is best to cut it out all together. Alcohol contains calories and chemicals that your body does not need when trying to lose fat and put on lean muscle.
Lack Of Motivation And Determination
This may be the biggest factor holding you back from getting the result you desire. You can read and talk about all the information we have covered in this series thus far, but if you don’t take action on it, you will stay right where you currently are. Plus, on top of that, if you don’t have the motivation and determination to get in better shape and change you health, you won’t get anywhere.
Friends, your family, and myself can only motivate you so much. But there comes a point where you have to buckle down, get motivated and get healthy once and for all. It doesn’t matter what your motivation is, just as long as you stay motivated and determined. Back when I first started training, my motivation was to look as good as my already ripped friend, Levi. Plus, I wanted to outdo Levi and my best friend Brian every single day in the gym.
Among the three of us, we were always competitive in everything we did (and that continues to this day). That was all the motivation we needed to get better each day. Now my motivation is to stay incredibly healthy and continue to get stronger every day. Having different fitness goals has been a great way to keep me focused and getting better each and every day. (I will be sharing some of those goals with you soon, so stay tuned!)
Your mindset may be the most important tool when it comes to getting six-pack abs. There will be days when eating healthy is incredibly hard but you know deep down you must stay strong to your plan. There will also be days when a workout is the last thing you want to do but you know you must push through to keep getting better.
(Quick Tip: If you ever find yourself unmotivated to go do a workout, trick your mind into thinking that you are only going to do a short five minute workout. What you will find is that once you get going, it’s hard to stop. Many times, just getting to the gym is the hardest part. So get to the gym and get through at least five minutes of your workout! You will be surprised how many times this five minutes will turn into a full workout.)
The five factors above can either make or break the results you are going to get when it comes to burning unwanted fat and putting on lean muscle. It is up to you to decide which direction you are going to go.
If you want to keep depriving yourself of sleep and keep drinking alcohol every night, your results will suffer. If you are unmotivated and undetermined, you will find yourself indulging in the wrong foods and skipping workouts on a regular basis.
On the flip side of things, if you dedicate yourself to staying motivated, getting ample amounts of rest, moving around more, cutting down the alcohol consumption, and controlling your stress levels, you will be setting yourself up for great successes in the future.
With the five parts in our six-pack abs series thus far, you have a great outline for success. You know exactly what needs to be done to get six-pack abs. Start applying the information I have provided you and watch as the fat melts away and the ripped, lean muscle gain starts happening.
There are two more parts left in our six-pack abs series, with tomorrow being some different tools and tricks that will help speed up fat loss results even more. A few of these tricks can be done in less than seconds. It is some awesome stuff!
What’s holding you back from getting six-pack abs?
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