A Guide to Getting 6-Pack Abs for Middle Aged Men
If you think that you’re too old for 6-pack abs, you’re wrong! Find out what it takes to get the desired 6-pack, and what it could mean for your health.
Is it unreasonable to want 6-pack abs in middle-age? Of course not! It may seem like a lofty objective, especially if you’ve spent the last couple decades with a “keg” rather than a 6-pack, but it is possible, and more than that, it could provide you with a solid, definable objective that could change your overall health for the better.
Why Every 40- or 50-year-old Should Want a 6-Pack
With age comes realism. You realize that the world is not yours for the taking. You realize that your dream of owning a mansion along the shore is financially irresponsible. You realize that the 2-door red coupe you dreamt of as a 16 year old is too impractical and dangerous to purchase. That’s you, right?
Hell no! You haven’t given up on the dream. It may be on “pause” for a little bit while you take care of your responsibilities, but it’s still there, and it still SHOULD be there.
Six-pack abs are like that, but this is one objective that could improve your overall health, rather than bankrupt you.
If you talk to anyone worth their salt, you’ve probably learned that abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. This is true, but this fact is a BENEFIT, not something to be bummed out about. Think of 6-pack abs as a tangible, healthy goal and you’ll be in the right frame of mind to achieve it. Here is a list of benefits that aiming for a 6-pack can have on a middle-aged man:
- Having a 6-pack requires low body fat, requiring a consistently healthy diet. A healthy diet provides overall health (everyone knows that).
- Developing the musculature for a 6-pack requires consistent training, and doing it properly means overall muscular development (I’ll get to that in a second). A balanced core musculature will help you avoid injury, particularly in your back.
- A 6-pack is either visible or it’s not. While you can feel the benefits of exercise and diet, nothing motivates most people like physical changes to their appearance. If you’re aiming for a 6-pack and you want to know if you are getting closer to your objective, all you have to do is look down.
- Achieving a 6-pack takes time, meaning that you’ll need to commit to a long-term plan. Like any habit, the longer you train and diet to achieve your goal, the more likely you’ll be to keep doing it. If you’re planning to be a functional and active senior, starting to work on it now is a good idea.
How Do You Define “Abs”
Everyone thinks that 6-pack abs are just the muscle bulges on your abdomen, right? While that group of muscles, called the Rectus Abdominals, are a large part of the abdomen’s musculature, they do not define the meaning of having attractive abs by a long shot.
At the bare-minimum, what you see on a well-defined person’s mid-section include the Linea Alba, External Oblique, Internal Oblique, Transversus Abdominis, AND Rectus Abdominals. If you want to get complicated, we could talk about the V-Line (also known as the “Adonis Belt”). If you want to get REALLY complicated, we could talk about how these muscles interact with your back muscles, glutes, hamstrings, and quads to balance your core strength and musculature, but we’ll keep it simple for now.
Why Overall Core Strength Matters
Despite what you may have seen on last-night’s ab-blasting infomercial, “spot training” is basically impossible. For one thing, showing your abdominal muscles has to do with eliminating the fat that lies ABOVE them, and the only way to do that is with a proper diet (if you need some idea of what eating healthy looks like, check out our Healthy Food Guide). Since fat is distributed throughout your body based on your genetics, age, and gender, the only way to eliminate it from one area of your body is to eliminate it from ALL areas of your body.
Secondly, if you try to specifically develop your rectus abdominals without addressing the rest of your core musculature, you could inadvertently be prepping your body for injury. You’ve probably seen some relatively buff-looking guys that are hunched over like cavemen, right? That is because they over-developed their pecs without addressing the strength of their backs or the flexibility and strength of their shoulders. Overtraining one part of your core could lead to a similar situation, or something much worse.
Understand that your body doesn’t compartmentalize movement like some kind of robot. Instead, the interaction of muscles, joints, and bones flows, or at least it should. In the words of Bruce Lee:
You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.
Getting Started on Your 6-Pack Dream
Like any fitness objective, your 6-pack training and diet plan should be a progressive, realistic process that takes your current level of fitness into account. While you may have seen younger men go balls-to-the-wall and achieve some impressive results, chances are that those results didn’t last forever.
You’re more mature than that. You realize that you have time to achieve your goal, and you’re going to do it with a practical approach that will ensure a greater likelihood of success, right? Of course! What you need is a sound diet and nutrition plan combined with a workout plan that can get you started. Fortunately, we have a transformation program that can do just that.
For now, simply browse our healthy food guide to learn what eating healthy looks like, and try to perform the following ab-focused functional workout below.
Your Daily Core Strength Routine
This workout emphasizes core strength while also balancing the strength and conditioning of your entire body. Adjust your workout sets and weight according to your individual needs, and be sure to warm up and cool down for 5-10 minutes. When you just get started, try not to take more than one day off in between workouts.
|PART 1||Sets & Reps|
|Sit Up||3-5 Sets of 10 to 20 Reps|
|Jumping Jacks||3-5 Sets of 10 to 20 Reps|
|PART 2||Sets & Reps|
|Plank (alt legs)||3-5 Sets of 10 to 20 Reps|
|Push Up||3-5 Sets of 10 to 20 Reps|
|PART 3||Sets & Reps|
|Leg Raise||3-5 Sets of 10 to 20 Reps|
|Squat||3-5 Sets of 10 to 20 Reps|