Summer tummy: What it really takes to get six pack abs

Posted on: 11th April, 2017

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: West Cork People

Originally from Clonakilty, Colin Murphy is a fitness professional, workout specialist, founder of the fitness website properlybuilt.com, certified personal trainer, author and blogger. He is an Ironman, sub 3-hour marathon runner, occasional CrossFitter and all-round fitness fanatic.

How many people do you know who have six pack abs? I’d hazard a guess that there aren’t too many. Having a rock hard mid-section, with chiselled abdominal muscles, is extremely hard to get. For most people, it takes a phenomenal amount of discipline, motivation, and old-fashioned work to come close to this kind of look. However, it certainly isn’t impossible if this is your fitness goal!

As the stomach is one of the first areas to gain fat when we put on weight, for centuries humans have used this area as a gauge of how fit someone is. It is difficult to have a flabby stomach if you are fit and toned everywhere else. When we get a chance to look at someone in their swimsuit, we instinctively look at their stomach as a clue to how in shape they are.  This may explain our obsession with abs, especially as summer approaches.

The abdominal muscles are part of our core that wrap around our mid-section to keep us stable, and also add a layer of protection to the vital organs underneath. The deep muscles, such as the Transversus Abdominis, play a vital role in supporting our spine, and thankfully, fitness professionals all over the world now encourage the strengthening of these muscles, over the more superficial Rectus Abdominis, that can be seen as the ‘six pack’. We basically want to get stronger from the inside out. Having a stable core far outweighs the aesthetic beauty of a chiselled tummy.

Here are Five Truths you need to know before going on your Six Pack Safari and hunting down those Summer abs!

1. It’s not easy! Let’s get this one out of the way from the start. You will have to be super strict with your diet and step up your training more than a few notches. You will be saying no to friend’s requests to go out for drinks and to check out the new burger restaurant opened in town. Body fat is your enemy when you are in search of a six-pack, so avoid all situations where the wrong type of food will be offered. What you eat, combined with high intensity training, will strip you of fat, and give your stomach the best chance to shine for those few weeks strutting around the beach.

2. Get a real role model (a magazine guy or gal doesn’t count!) Fitness pros are who you need to look to if you desire a ripped stomach. If, however, you are happy with a lean flat mid-section, look for someone with a similar lifestyle to yours (job, kids, gym-goer) and watch what they do. A working Dad or Mum with five children will not have the same time as a 30-something single person, so don’t make this person your role model. See who’s killing it in your work or community sphere and then look to replicate their habits. A realistic body goal, based on your current lifestyle, will make this pursuit so much more enjoyable and rewarding.

3. Aim for function first:

Remember, we are working from the inside out. It is pointless to have the look but not the strength. We want to have the strength first by working those deep core muscles. The abs you will eventually see are the icing on the cake, after great foundational work first. Be patient with the process. Things take time, but the results will come if you battle to the point of being consistent through persistence! If you need some great core exercise moves, check out the brand new ‘Lean Abs Workout’ on the Properly Built YouTube Channel. This video works you through 12 different core moves, that you can do anywhere, that build strength and tone.

4. A natural order: You cannot have abs that turn heads if you are overweight. The excess fat will have to be removed before you get into the shape you want. It seems obvious, but people often go crazy on sit ups, crunches, and planks, hoping to get a nice stomach, before doing the fat loss first. It’s important to know the stages that you have to go through so that you don’t get false hope, and sprint after something that really takes weeks and months to achieve. If you know the path that stretches before you, you will be more likely to stay on it. No false hope, just determined focus on the action required.

5. This is temporary: A regular Joe or Sally Soap is not going to have a six pack around the clock. Life interrupts the best made plans and therefore will also interrupt your training. Summer is a great time to have a goal like this, as it’s only temporary, and you don’t feel pressured to stay in that shape all year round (some days I have to squeeze as hard as I can to find an ab or two!). Take it as a challenge to be in amazing shape for one month of the year. This is achievable if planned well in advance, and avoids any disappointment when the routine becomes too difficult to maintain.

Abs are wonderful to have. They can make you feel attractive, confident, and fit, but are very much an accessory to a strong, healthy body. As you strut around in your bathing suit in a few months’ time, I hope that you’ll have put in the work, made a few sacrifices, and are proud of the body you have.

That’s the real ab work aim.

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13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
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9th April, 2018  ·  

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