Do You Need 6-Pack Abs?

Do You Need 6-Pack Abs?

Scooby's Abs

Even if you don’t care about getting a visible 6-pack, you have to work your core! Like everything in bodybuilding, its a matter of priorities and you have to decide what your priorities are in your fitness program. Perhaps getting a visible 6-pack isn’t on the top of your list, you cant make everything your top priority so you have to decide which are your most important goals and focus on them. Here are some:

  • Increase strength
  • Increase impulse strength (jumping/punching/kicking)
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Lower bodyfat
  • Improve coordination
  • Improve balance
  • Increase endurance
  • Increase speed
  • Increase flexibility
  • Minimize risk of injury
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve vitals (BP, lipid levels, etc)
  • Improve sleep patterns
  • Improve self confidence

Its ok to have other fitness priorities but you cant use them as an excuse for bad nutrition. Whether you want visible 6-pack abs or not, its important to stay lean. Obesity is the #1 health problem in much of the world. Good nutrition is really hard work and its extremely important for a bodybuilder. Its also very important to point out that are many health reasons to reduce your bodyfat other than getting visible 6-pack abs. Here are problems associated with being overweight:

  • Joint problems
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)

Don’t believe me? Read what the CDC, has to say. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is the most respected disease research institute on the planet.

Now that we have looked at why its important to stay lean and exercise your core, lets looks as some reasons why you may not want to make 6-pack abs your primary goal. Lets start with priorities. There are a number of sports where the professional athletes don’t have abs, for example, powerlifters, sumo wrestlers, and football players. In these sports, their are other priorities higher than low bodyfat. The other group of people who might not want to make a visible 6-pack their first priority is really skinny people. For really skinny people, its probably more appropriate to focus on increasing strength and muscle mass than working on getting visible 6-pack abs. The other group of people who might not to make a visible 6-pack their #1 priority is pre-pubescent teens because they are growing at such a fast rate that its important they are not calorie deprived. Again, its important to be lean but the visible 6-pack might not be a priority. And certainly, anyone with a history of bulimia or other eating disorders should not make getting 6-pack abs a priority.