I was having a conversation at dinner with Mr. Lego Man (formerly Mr. Triathlete… hobbies change), and he was saying how even 12 or 14 years ago when he was swimming full time he didn’t have six pack abs. I said, “The only time I had six pack abs was when I weighed 90 pounds!”.
I don’t desire to have six pack abs because I don’t see the need to strive for something that seems so stressful (and unrealistic) for me. Why would I want six pack abs when I feel 100% healthy without that look? Isn’t a flat, strong abdomen healthy? I think so!
For some, I understand why they work towards it. They may have a body building or figure competition they are working towards. That is the only reason for six pack abs that I can think of.
Having a strong core and strong abdomen is a different story. For example, Pilates focuses on having a strong long and lean core, but they do not promise six pack abs. The priority of Pilates is to align the body properly and strengthen as healthily as possible. They do not target the exercises to produce a “six pack”.
After all, strength is very important as it helps to maintain overall good health, proper posture, and strong bone mass.
Overall, I just feel bad that the media portrays the six pack abs as ideal. Does it really matter? No. Who cares if you have a little bit of fat over top of a strong core? I’m sure you still look beautiful 🙂 Plus, for women, we need a little more fat on our body to stay healthy. Once a woman’s body fat drops below 16-17%, she may start to put her body at risk for osteoporosis and more.
So, if someone tells you in order to have six pack abs, your body fat needs to be 13%, how do you feel? Not so healthy.
As long as your waist circumference is below 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women), you stay physically active, and you are happy, that should be all that matters!