T Nation

Designing the Roadmap to a 6 Pack

[quote]thexander wrote:

I’m a short guy, so I don’t think 150 is an especially low body weight for me, especially if you pay attention to MMA guys around my weight. For the time being, I’m aiming for a ripped, welterweight body type (140-147 lbs). For those of you who are offended by Brad Pitt’s body because it makes you feel “gay,” perhaps the thought of Oscar de la Hoya will make you feel more secure about your sexuality.

[/quote]

Looking like Kid Yamamoto does not make one Kid Yamamoto. Nor will you pull the ass he does.

If you don’t already have abs you probably need to build some first.

[quote]thexander wrote:
eigieinhamr wrote:
Do you mean an accurate 6%, because that is pretty damn lean (almost unsustainable). What are you going to use to measure it? (3point body fat tests suck)

No, it doesn’t have to be an “accurate” 6%. I have calipers and I do a 3 and 4 site test. According to these, I believe I’m somewhere around 10% right now.

I buy bulk bags of BCAAs, and take them post workout (20gBCAA and 10g Glutamine). They are probably one of the worst tasting things ever invented, so I shot them, chasing them with my protein shake. I know some people knock glutamine, but I find it really helps with DOMS so you might want to test it (it’s damn cheap anyway).

Scivation Xtend is supposed to have both and supposedly tastes OK. They push it pretty hard on bodybuilding.com, but I’d like to know if its worth it, or if they’re just trying to push product.

Thanks again
[/quote]

I would question why it tastes good. BCAAs just have a bad taste naturally, it’s nothing added. Glutamine has a pretty bad taste (but no where near as strong).
Either they aren’t putting enough in, or there is a lot of other shit in their to flavour it.

Ok, you have alot of people being flame mongers on this thread. I guess its a slow work day.

5’7" 150 isn’t that skinny he should have enough muscle to get a 6pack.

There is a point where people cannot attain a 6pack no matter how much they try to diet down, it is because their body doesn’t want to drop below a certain critical amount of fat. For those people the only way to get a 6pack is to get more muscle, thats how it was for me. My 6pack took 25 extra pounds of muscle to show up, and it still doesn’t look good.

Perhaps I’m not the best guy to talk to, but at 5’ 7", 150 lbs, and winter approaching, maybe it would be best to try to get huge this winter and then start cutting?

In theory it would be easier to cut with more muscle mass.

Starving yourself all winter may yield benefits short term, but long term it might be better to pack on the pounds this season.

Just my two cents I guess.

[quote]Doc J wrote:
Perhaps I’m not the best guy to talk to, but at 5’ 7", 150 lbs, and winter approaching, maybe it would be best to try to get huge this winter and then start cutting?

In theory it would be easier to cut with more muscle mass.

Starving yourself all winter may yield benefits short term, but long term it might be better to pack on the pounds this season.

Just my two cents I guess. [/quote]

I do appreciate this perspective, but as I mentioned previously, I’m a “Former Fat Boy.” In order to set myself on the right path in fitness success, I need to shed all the fat first, and then begin bulking.

@HunterKiller

Much appreciated for the level headed comments. Where in IL are you?

i think i might have read on here somewhere but just to back it up;

if you really desire a 6 pack, make sure you have the abs to pull it off.

i know too many skinny kids that diet down and do all this crap work in the gym but don’t have the abdominal size to do it.

that make sense? i’m not sure if i am able to put it down correct…

To the OP,

You might be interested on how I approach my quest for a 6 pack that posted and documented here at T-Nation

Here’s the link to my program:

Here’s a link I started on meals:

+dont lift like a girl in the weightroom doing circuits and 3 sets of 20 with 30 seconds rest or whatever the fat loss groupies do these days. Let the nutrition and hormonal factors take care of the majority of the fat loss.

+Lift heavy. Hit the squats (especially front), deadlifts, overhead press,wall pushups, olympic moves,turkish get-up, abs from hang (pikes, knee tucks, holds, etc.), maybe some heavy side bends, bridges, CG roll-outs, straight arm pullovers to pop the serratus anterior,
…if you dont have medium to thick abs, it will be very hard to bring them out. I have 10.5% at 5’11, 190 , my thick abs make me look 7-8%

+no machines of course. Its DB or BB baby. Swiss balls? eh… f em.

+eat fat. tons of it. tons of protein. and a teaspoon of carbs. You be set.

+8-9 hrs of sleep. very beneficial if you break it up. For instance, I go for 5-6 hrs at night ( ehh… the college life) + 1 hr nap + 2-3 hr nap.

“You are not your fucking abs”

for supps

20-30g of regular concentrated fish oil daily.

-caffeine
-geranamine works very well for appetite suppression (75-100 mg/daily). www.bulknutrition.com
-acetyl-l carnitine (4-5 g / daily)

[quote]thexander wrote:

I do appreciate this perspective, but as I mentioned previously, I’m a “Former Fat Boy.” In order to set myself on the right path in fitness success, I need to shed all the fat first, and then begin bulking.

[/quote]

that’s not how it works

there’s no point in severely cutting if you have nothing to show underneath

[quote]THE_CLAMP_DOWN wrote:
“You are not your fucking abs”

for supps

20-30g of regular concentrated fish oil daily.

-caffeine
-geranamine works very well for appetite suppression (75-100 mg/daily). www.bulknutrition.com
-acetyl-l carnitine (4-5 g / daily)
[/quote]

an appetite suppression supplement is retarded.

unless the OP wants to shrink down to a 65lb emo bitch; he still needs to eat.

[quote]THE_CLAMP_DOWN wrote:
+dont lift like a girl in the weightroom doing circuits and 3 sets of 20 with 30 seconds rest or whatever the fat loss groupies do these days. Let the nutrition and hormonal factors take care of the majority of the fat loss.

+Lift heavy. Hit the squats (especially front), deadlifts, overhead press,wall pushups, olympic moves,turkish get-up, abs from hang (pikes, knee tucks, holds, etc.), maybe some heavy side bends, bridges, CG roll-outs, straight arm pullovers to pop the serratus anterior,

+no machines of course. Its DB or BB baby. Swiss balls? eh… f em.

+eat fat. tons of it. tons of protein. and a teaspoon of carbs. You be set.

+8-9 hrs of sleep.
[/quote]

Thanks for the feedback sir.

I definitely lift heavy, and my sets are 5 reps, except for bodyweight excercises, where I go until exhaustion/bad form.

When I say “circuits,” I’m talking “man-circuits” :slight_smile:
BB Benchpress, pull ups, squats. After 4 of those, with increasing weight, I do a core circuit of hanging leg raises, deadlifts, cable curls, and hanging side raises (think legs like slow pendulum). If I have time, I’ll add another set of deadlifts and cable curls.

As for sleep. I’ve been deficient for a few days and I DEFINITELY felt it in the gym last night. This is one of my worst habits, but I’m trying to fix it. I have natural melatonin that I don’t really take anymore. Would the deeper sleep be more helpful for recovery?

“Would the deeper sleep be more helpful for recovery?”

Yes.

Melatonin, ZMA, Z-12…one/all of those should really help ya out.

I’ve taken all separately and at once a few times…super sound deep sleep.

In addition to the good suggestions already listed, I recommend fasted cardio in the morning.

I was the same as you man- small at 165 lbs and 5’11", but for the past two years since I started going to the gym, I wanted to see my damn abs. This summer I buckled down and got to a pretty low bf% for me- somewhere around 8% or so.

People told me I was skinny, but damnit I just had to hit that goal for me and me only. Now I’m happily bulking knowing I CAN get that lean if I want.

Here’s what I did:

2 days a week, 3-4 days apart I did basic heavy TBT:
Day 1:
A1. 6x5 bench
A2. 6x5 bent BB row
B. 6x5 Squat

Day2:
A1. 6x5 standing military press
A2. 6x5 pullup
B. 6x5 deadlift

On these days I’d eat about my maintenance level, with liberal amounts of good carbs (and a few bad ones, around 1 meal/day), or about 2800 cal with ~300g carbs.

Then 2 out of the 5 remaining days of the week i did some type of HIIT with weights- tabatas, CT’s “destroying fat” circuits, crossfit-esque metcons etc. One day a week I did HIIT sprints. The other two days I took off.

On the non-heavy days I ate about 1000 kcals under maintenance, or about 1800ckals. I also tried to NEPA walk fasted as many days as I could, I usually got 3-4 in a week. These days were also as low carb as possible- the only carbs i ate were green veggies, nuts, low carb tortillas, and stuff baked with flax.

In about 6 weeks I went from 10-12% at 165 to about 7-9% at 157 . Can’t say to muscle losses cause I wasn’t big enough to lose a whole lot, but I definitely had enough for a 6 pack when it was all said and done.

good luck man, keep doin your thing and ignore the haters.

Damn, some really good responses shaping up here. Thank you.

Just to touch on some topics

Regard Scivation Xtend BCAA - info is here: bodybuilding.com/store/sv/xtend.html

It appears to have sucralose as one of the last ingredients, but that’s about all.

Also, I was reading about ZMA today and it seems pretty interesting because of it bodybuilding + sexual benefits. Any thoughts on how worthwhile it is, especially for someone with my current goals? I’m also a bit concerned about messing with a supplement with hormonal impacts, because I don’t want any long term adverse effects.

And regarding green tea-

I drink about 3 cups a day at work. I read somewhere that the termogenic effect is only triggered at very high volumes. Are my 3 cups of fairly strongly brewed tea not enough?

[quote]thexander wrote:
Damn, some really good responses shaping up here. Thank you.

Just to touch on some topics

Regard Scivation Xtend BCAA - info is here: bodybuilding.com/store/sv/xtend.html

It appears to have sucralose as one of the last ingredients, but that’s about all.

Also, I was reading about ZMA today and it seems pretty interesting because of it bodybuilding + sexual benefits. Any thoughts on how worthwhile it is, especially for someone with my current goals? I’m also a bit concerned about messing with a supplement with hormonal impacts, because I don’t want any long term adverse effects.

[/quote]

ZMA is good, and it won’t be messing with any hormonal levels. It’s not strong as a testosterone booster. It is more useful as it gives more satisfying sleep.

i didn’t no or notice that ZMA was a sexual booster of any sort lol.

guess i’m just horny 24/7! woot woot!

but yeah, its’ totally safe and works pretty nice.

try melatonin first if you want…it’s super cheap and works great. gnc and stores like that have it.